American soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen is internationally acclaimed for her diverse repertoire ranging from Mozart to Wagner. A regular guest at the leading opera houses around the world, Le Monde enthused, “…the American soprano has without a doubt one of the most impressive voices in the opera world. The timbre, of marmoreal beauty, is striking, the projection telluric…”; In 2021, Willis-Sørensen signed a multi-record deal with Sony Classical. Her debut album was released on April 8th, 2022, and her second album, Strauss: Vier Letzte Lieder, released in March 2023.
Ms. Willis-Sørensen opens the 2023/24 season with a return to the Grand Théâtre de Genève
to perform the role of Elisabeth in Verdi’s Don Carlos which she debuted at Chicago Lyric Opera last season 2022/23. This season, Willis-Sørensen performs two roles in Verdi operas at the Wiener Staatsoper: Desdemona in Otello, followed by Elena in I vespri siciliani. This season also marks Ms. Willis-Sørensen’s house and role debut as Antonia in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann at Opéra national de Paris. She performs the role of Elsa in Lohengrin and
Desdemona in Otello at the Bayerische Staatsoper, and then returns to Los Angeles Opera as Violetta in La traviata. Willis-Sørensen returns to Santa Fe Opera to as the Marschallin in Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier. On the concert stage, she performs Mahler’s 8th Symphony at the Bayerische Staatsoper, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at the Wiener Konzerthaus, as well as a debut recital at Carnegie Hall in April 2024. Ms. Willis-Sørensen also performs Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with Houston Symphony as part of their Strauss Festival under the baton of Maestro Juraj Valčuha.
Previous engagements include Elisabeth in Don Carlos with Lyric Opera of Chicago; the title role of Rusalka at San Francisco Opera and in concert with NDR Hamburg, the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier in Glyndebourne, Semperoper Dresden, and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden; Violetta in La traviata at Opéra national de Bordeaux and the Bayerische Staatsoper; Marguerite in Faust as part of the Royal Opera House’s tour of Japan; Elsa in Lohengrin at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opernhaus Zürich, and Oper Frankfurt; Desdemona in Otello at the Wiener Staatsoper, Los Angeles Opera and the Bayerische Staatsoper; Mimi in La bohème at the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Wiener Staatsoper and Semperoper Dresden; the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera and the Wiener Staatsoper; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Wiener Staatsoper, Houston Grand Opera and Semperoper Dresden; Hélène in Les vêpres siciliennes at the Bayerische Staatsoper; Valentine in Les Huguenots at the Grand Théâtre Genève; Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the San Francisco Opera and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden; Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes at the Bayerische Staatsoper; Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatskapelle Dresden and the Wiener Staatsoper; Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte at the Houston Grand Opera; Leonore in Fidelio at l’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Leonora in Il Trovatore at the Teatro Regio di Torino, the Royal Opera House, and Gran Teatre del Liceu.
Equally at home on the concert stage, Willis-Sørensen has performed Strauss’ Four Last Songs multiple times, including Buckingham Palace for an HRH Prince Charles’ birthday
celebration, and joined Jonas Kaufmann in 2019 and 2020 for a multi-city European tour in
support of his latest recording, Wien, on which the Soprano is featured. Other repertoire includes Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Mahler’s 2nd, 4th and 8th Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elias, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, Schoenberg’s Gurre-lieder and Verdi’s Requiem.
Ms. Willis-Sørensen was a member of the ensemble at the Semperoper Dresden for three years, where she sang the title role in Die Lustige Witwe, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Vitellia in La clemenza di Tito, Elettra of Idomeneo, Diemut in Feuersnot, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, and Mimi in La bohème. She won first prize at the 2014 Operalia competition in Los Angeles and at the 2011 Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition. Willis-Sørensen was also a winner of the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She holds both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Brigham Young University, and is an alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio.