Australian soprano Rachelle Durkin has established herself as one of opera's most striking artists, performing at major houses worldwide to critical acclaim.
Most notably in the 2011-2012 season, Ms Durkin sang Norina in place of Anna Netrebko for the Sirius Radio Broadcast of Don Pasquale at the Metropolitan Opera, where she received a standing ovation.
Ms Durkin has just returned from a highly successful debut as Violetta in Francesca Zambello's critically acclaimed new production of La Traviata for Opera Australia and is currently preparing for her Lucia debut for Chautauqua Opera in the summer.
A frequent guest of the New York Metropolitan Opera, Ms Durkin was most recently featured as the lead female role Miss Schlesen in Glass’ Satyagraha in which she was “vocally impressive and thrillingly dominates an act two ensemble with her repeated series of pushbutton high-lying phrases". Satyagraha was performed for the Met Live simulcast in theaters (released on DVD). She also covered Marie in Fille as well as Rosina for the Metropolitan Opera in the Winter.
In the fall, Ms Durkin performed Donna Anna for Opera Australia's CinemaLive HD Movie release conducted by Mark Wigglesworth (released to DVD). In the same season she sang the Heroines in Les contes d'Hoffmann for the Western Australia Opera, "While the highlight was the coloratura tour-de-force Dolls Song, Durkin brought a seemingly limitless range of emotion to each part, revealing herself as not only a solid dramatic actress, but a talented comedian"
In the 2010 - 2011 season she performed Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro for Opera Australia's CinemaLive HD Movie release conducted by Patrick Summers, (released to DVD). She also performed Fiordiligi in the new Jim Sharman production of Cosi fan Tutte (ABC Live Broadcast) and Tytania in Baz Luhrmanns groundbreaking production of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Ms Durkin performed her first Amina for Western Australian Opera, "As the eponymous heroine, Durkin is vocally excellent and dramatically convincing. She has the ability to project her voice effortlessly to the furthest corners of the house; its a pure and perfectly pitched stream of sound" and she performed Clorinda at the Metropolitan Opera in the international HD simulcast of La Cenerentola to audiences worldwide (released on DVD).
A much sought after interpreter of a wide range of repertoire spanning from the baroque to modern masterpieces. Successes in recent seasons include Kumudha (Helpmann nominee) in John Adams’ A Flowering Tree with the Perth International Arts Festival, Alcina (Helpmann nominee) for Opera Australia with the late Richard Hickox. Her performances as Alcina produced glowing reviews such as, "Rachelle Durkin provides us with powerful vocal delivery, she makes a despairing end look pretty good and delivers an extraordinary performance. Her vocal control is as impressive as her stage presence is captivating"
Armida (Helpmann nominee) for Opera Australia under the baton of Trevor Pinnock and Angelica in Orlando.
She has sung Gilda with ABAO and with Opera South Australia, Konstanze for Hawaii Opera, Cunegonde in Candide with the Bellingham Festival of Music. Other acclaimed portrayals include Corinna in Chicago Opera Theater’s production of Il Viaggio a Reims, about which the Chicago Tribune exclaimed, “Ms. Durkin.... juggled the men in her life as easily as she juggled Rossini’s virtuoso vocal writing; her gleaming soprano made a noble effect in the poetess’ final eulogy.”
Ms Durkin often performs in concert and appeared along side Jose Carreras in Perth Australia to critical acclaim and opened for Amici Forever at Leeuwin Estate Winery. She performed at the Joseph Volpe Gala at the MET in 2006 along side the elite of the opera world, which was nationally televised and made her Carnegie Hall debut as the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah. She often performs with the Hong Kong Phil in their New Years Eve spectacular.
She is also a distinguished oratorio artist with repertoire ranging from the early works of Handel, Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven to the more recent works of Bernstein, Gershwin, and Sondheim. She has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, The New Choral Society of Central Westchester, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Portland Baroque Consort, the Perth Pops Orchestra, as well as the Philharmonic Orchestra of Western Australia.
In 2000, Rachelle won the top three prestigious competitions in Australia, The Herald Sun Aria, The Marianne Mathy Scholarship and The Metropolitan Opera Award.
She won the 2001 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions from thousands of entrants. After having auditioned on the Met stage for Maestro Levine, Ms. Durkin landed a position in the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artists Development Program from 2001-2004. From there she made her Metropolitan Opera debut as the First Handmaiden in Sly with Placido Domingo and has subsequently appeared at the MET as Miss Schlesen in Satyagraha, Clorinda in Cenerentola, Rosina (cover) in Barbiere, Marie (cover) in Fille du Regiment, Young Girl and Naked Virgin in Moses und Aaron, Barena in Jenufa, Teresa (cover) in Benvenuto Cellini, Konstanze (cover) in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Masha in Pique Dame, Frasquita in Carmen, Elvira in L'Italiana in Algeri, and First Flower Maiden in Parsifal, which she performed at the Salzburg Festival as part of the MET tour with Maestro Levine.
Ms. Durkin’s recordings include DVDs of Opera Australia's Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro, a DVD of the Metropolitan Opera's Cenerentola and Met Live simulcast of Satyagraha. Recitals for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in their “Sunday Live” and “Young Australia” programs, and she has also been heard in the Metropolitan Opera Broadcast of Don Pasquale, Satyagraha, Cenerentola, Carmen and Sly, and has been heard in ABC Radio National Broadcasts with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and in Lieder Recitals, and has appeared twice on A&E in the USA.