New York-based Australian-born lyric coloratura soprano Rachelle Durkin begins Season 2013-14 with her appearance at Opera Australia as Norina Don Pasquale. She returns to West Australian Opera for the role of Musetta La Boheme under the baton of its music director, Joe Colaneri. The artist returns to her artistic home The Metropolitan Opera of New York to appear as Lisa La Sonnambula with conductor Marco Amiliato, and remains to sing the role of Clorinda La Cenerentola under the baton of Fabio Luisi. Back on native soil, Rachelle joins Asher Fisch and Western Australia Symphony Orchestra for Rossiniís Stabat Mater before she continues to Opera Australia for the role of Adina L'elisir díamore.
Recent successes include her highly successful debut as Violetta La Traviata in Francesca Zambello's acclaimed new production for Opera Australia on the harbor, a role she also sang at Hong Kong Opera. She also made her debut in the title role Lucia di Lammermoor at Chautauqua Opera.
The artist began her career by winning the top three vocal competitions in Australia in 2000: The Herald Sun Aria Competition, The Marianne Mathy Scholarship and The Metropolitan Opera Award. Another win followed at the 2001 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and she was invited to join the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program where she remained from 2001-2004. She made her Met debut as the First Handmaiden Sly with Placido Domingo and subsequently appeared as Miss Schlesen Satyagraha and Clorinda La Cenerentola (both recorded live for commercial DVD release), Masha Pique Dame, Frasquita Carmen, Elvira L'Italiana in Algeri, First Flower Maiden Parsifal (also at Salzburg Festival as part of the MET tour with James Levine), as well as covering many principal soprano roles. Her recent spur-of-the-moment appearance as Norina in place of an ailing colleague won her a Sirius Broadcast, a thunderous standing ovation, MET engagements for the future, and a permanent place in the hearts of the New York public.
Other notable engagements include the role of Donna Anna Don Giovanni (c: Mark Wigglesworth) and Contessa Le Nozze di Figaro (c: Patrick Summers) both for Opera Australia's CinemaLive HD Movie and commercial DVD release; for West Australian Opera she appeared as the Heroines Les contes d'Hoffmann and debuted as Amina La Sonnambula. She additionally appeared as Fiordiligi Cosi fan tutte in the new Jim Sharman production broadcast live by ABC Television and Tytania in Baz Luhrmannís groundbreaking production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
A highly adept interpreter of a wide range of repertoire spanning from the baroque to modern masterpieces, the artistís other great successes include the role of Kumudha in John Adamsí A Flowering Tree for Perthís International Arts Festival; for Opera Australia she sang the title roles Alcina (c: Richard Hickox), Armida (c: Trevor Pinnock) as well as Angelica Orlando for which she became a Helpmann Award nominee for her outstanding performance in each production.
Additional appearances include Gilda Rigoletto with ABAO Bilbao and State Opera of South Australia, Konstanze Abduction from the Serail for Hawaii Opera, Cunegonde Candide with Bellingham Festival of Music, and Corinna Il Viaggio a Reims at Chicago Opera Theater. She made her Carnegie Hall debut as the soprano soloist in Handelís Messiah.