Originally from Victoria, BC, Berlin-based soprano and pianist Rachel Fenlon is acclaimed for her one-woman Liederabend, with which she tours internationally, singing and accompanying herself on the piano, in music from Schubert to George Crumb, as well as world premières.
Rachel debuted with Pacific Opera Victoria in 2013 as Nannetta in Falstaff, and the following year returned as Queen Guenevere in Camelot in concert. She is a rising operatic soloist and chamber musician and is committed to performing, curating, and commissioning contemporary music.
Recent highlights include numerous one-woman performances in 2019 of George Crumb’s Apparition, with CBC Studios, the Fox Cabaret, Vancouver Opera Festival, National SAW Gallery, Bristol Song Recitals, Lotus Lounge Berlin, and Kammermusiktage Ahrenshoop.
Previous self-accompanied engagements, with wide-ranging repertoire, include the Oxford Lieder Festival, the Toronto Summer Music Festival, Gallery 345, the Crear Programme in Scotland, the Vancouver Opera Festival, the Lunenburg Academy, Klassik @StoneBerlin, and Ricasoli Recitals in Milan. Rachel has been developing these self-accompanied programmes since an all-Schubert recital première in 2015.
Upcoming highlights for Rachel include one-woman shows at Settimane Musicali di Ascona, Podium Festival Matadepera, Late Night Liederabend, Vienna, Orania Concerts, Berlin, and the Canadian Music Centre.
Rachel is collaborating as a poet and performer with Canadian composer Matthias McIntire on a song cycle for soprano, piano, and live electronics, which will première in Toronto in 2020. This project was recently awarded a full commissioning grant from the Toronto Arts Council. Rachel is an inaugural member of the collective New Art/New Media, an interdisciplinary collective for Canadian artists, and was sponsored in August 2019 by FAZIOLI and Showcase Pianos for video projects of her self-accompanied Fenlon & Fenlon.
Operatic engagements during 2019/20 include her debut with Deutsche Oper Berlin in the world première of Heart Chamber and solo recitals at Ahrenshoop Festival, the Canadian Music Centre, and Orania Klassik Berlin, featuring repertoire from Messiaen to contemporary composers such as Samy Moussa.
This year, Rachel performed a solo recital of Messiaen’s Harawi at Oper Leipzig with pianist Ugo D’Orazio, and was the guest soprano soloist with Impulsia Ensemble, in a Baroque open air concert in Berlin. Rachel is a three-time resident of the Lunenburg Academy, recently returned as the guest soprano premièring several works written for her, and has been re-invited as the guest soloist for summer 2020.
Rachel holds a Master’s degree in Opera Performance from the University of British Columbia. She is an alumna of Vancouver Opera’s 2012 Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program, where she debuted many roles including Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Pamina in The Magic Flute, and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance. She has appeared as a soloist with both the Victoria and Vancouver Symphonies, and was a young artist at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro. Rachel studied singing with Neil Semer, Nancy Hermiston, and Judith Forst.