Rachel Kelly is a recent graduate of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden’s Jette Parker Young Artist Programme where she attracted considerable attention for her portrayals of Zaida (Il turco in Italia) conducted by Evelino Pidò, Javotte (Manon) conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, Mercédès (Carmen) conducted by Alexander Joel, and Pisana (I due Foscari) conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano. Her performance as Mirinda in Kasper Holten’s L’Ormindo conducted by Christian Curnyn (which marked the first ever collaboration between the Royal Opera House and Shakespeare’s Globe) was singled out by Opera Today for its “rich sensuality of voice” and “glowing warmth”, her appearance as the Cat in El gato con botas (Puss in Boots) at the Linbury Theatre was described by The Telegraph as “a special delight” and she earned unanimous praise for her Proserpina (Orfeo) at London’s Roundhouse.
Recent opera highlights include Idamante (Idomeneo) for Opera di Firenze, Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) with Northern Ireland Opera, Nerone (Agrippina) with the Irish Chamber Orchestra under Jonathan Cohen, and she created the role of Catherine (The Devil Inside) for Scottish Opera, subsequently on tour in the UK and Canada. Rachel Kelly made her debut at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino as Nancy (Albert Herring) and she made her Glyndebourne Festival Opera debut last season as Annio (La clemenza di Tito). In concert she has appeared in the title role of Jomelli’s little-known Il vologeso with Classical Opera conducted by Ian Page, she’s sung the role of Sesto (Giulio Cesare) with Christian Curnyn and the Early Opera Company, she joined Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and Christopher Franklin as Teresa (La sonnambula) at Paris’ Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and she appeared as Idamante with the CBSO under Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. She has appeared with the Ulster Orchestra under Jac van Steen, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra under Matthew Halls, Danish National Symphony Orchestra under Laurence Equilbey, and CBSO under John Wilson. After impressing him in Operalia, Rachel Kelly was invited to make ThérèseThérèsea special guest appearance alongside Plácido Domingo in concert at Dublin’s 3Arena.
During the current season Rachel Kelly appears as Virtue (The Choice of Hercules) at the Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen under Laurence Cummings, she makes her company debut with Nationale Reisopera as Medarse (Siroe), and she joins the Glyndebourne tour as Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte). Rachel makes a role debut as Marguerite (La damnation de Faust) as part of the Leeds International Concert Season, Dido (Dido and Aeneas) at London's Wigmore Hall with La Nuova Musica, and she makes her German operatic debut as Annio (La clemenza di Tito) at Staatstheater Karlsruhe.
Earlier opera experience includes Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro) for Lismore Music Festival and, for the Royal Academy of Music, Fanny Price in the London premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park, Wu in the world premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Kommilitonen!, and Beatrice in John Copley’s production of Béatrice et Bénédict conducted by the late Sir Colin Davis.
A native of Ireland, Rachel Kelly studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, London’s Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio. She has taken master classes with Sir Antonio Pappano, Sir Mark Elder, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Ann Murray, Ileana Cotrubaș and Sir Thomas Allen.
2016/17 season only. Please contact HarrisonParrott if you wish to edit this biography.