Rachel Willis-Sørensen (born 1984) is an American operatic soprano. She was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2010. In 2014, she won first prize, the Birgit Nilsson Prize, and the Zarzuela Prize of the Operalia competition. Other awards include first place in the 2009 Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers in Houston and the 2010 Sara Tucker Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.
She has a bachelor's degree and a masters, the latter in vocal performance and pedagogy, both from Brigham Young University. Among her professors at BYU was Darrell Babidge. She has also studied at the Houston Grand Opera Studio and under Dolora Zajick.
In the 2010/11 season, she sang the role of Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte in the HGO Studio performances. She also covered Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes, Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, and the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos. Willis-Sørensen made her mainstage debut as Masha in Pique Dame and covered Elsa in Lohengrin and the Governess in The Turn of the Screw in the 2009/10 season at Houston Grand Opera. Willis-Sørensen made her Santa Fe Opera debut as the First Lady in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and performed excerpts from Arabella as a member of their Apprentice Program.
In the 2011/12 season, Willis-Sørensen made her Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, debut as Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro under music director Antonio Pappano, a role which she performed at Michigan Opera Theatre. She sang with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 under Leonard Slatkin at the Hollywood Bowl. She appeared in 2012 at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte and Gotham Chamber Opera as Licenza in Christopher Alden's production of Mozart's rarely heard Il sogno di Scipione to celebrate their 10th anniversary. She returned to Covent Garden as Gutrune in Götterdämmerung under Antonio Pappano and Houston Grand Opera as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni.
As a member of the ensemble at the Semperoper in Dresden, she sang Elettra in Idomeneo, Rachel in La Juive, as well as revivals of Don Giovanni, Alcina, and La clemenza di Tito. Willis-Sørensen was part of a special film project to commemorate the bicentennial of Richard Wagner's birth in 2013.
She is married to Rasmus Grand Sørensen, a native of Denmark.
- Jamshid Askar. "Latter-day Saint Singer Wins at Metropolitan Opera Competition", Church News, March 22, 2010
- "Operalia 2014 winners include Mario Chang, Rachel Willis-Sørensen" by David Ng, Los Angeles Times, August 31, 2014
- "Opera Theatre offers a well-sung Cosi" by Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 5, 2012
- Il sogno di Scipione, performance details, Gotham Opera
- "Siegfried, Götterdämmerung, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, review" by Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph, October 2, 2012
- Short profile, Houston Grand Opera
- Profile, Semperoper
- La juive, performance details, September 2013
- "Rachel Willis-Sørensen will make her Met debut as Countess Almaviva in this December's performances of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro", casting update news, The Metropolitan Opera
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rachel Willis-Sørensen.|
- Official home page
- Rachel Willis-Sørensen, Askonas Holt
- "A Chance to Listen to the Future at the Met" by Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, March 15, 2010
- on YouTube from Tannhäuser, Operalia 2014