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Grace Hewett

Grace Hewett

Artist Administrator


Worldwide general management with Askonas Holt

About Rachel

American soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen is known 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, Rachel signed a multi-record deal with Sony Classical. Her debut album was released on April 8th, 2022, and her second CD, Strauss: Vier Letzte Lieder, came out on March 10th, 2023.

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 in Chicago last year. This season finds her performing two roles in two Verdi operas at the Wiener Staatsoper; her first engagement in Vienna includes a return to the role of Desdemona in Otello, followed by Elena in the Italian version of I Vespri Siciliani. Also in the winter, she makes her first role debut of the season, as Antonia in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann at Opéra national de Paris, also marking her house debut. She performs the role of Elsa in Lohengrin and Desdemona in Otello at the Bayerische Staatsoper, and makes her Hong Kong debut in the title role of R.Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos as part of the 52nd Hong Kong Arts Festival with the Bayerische Staatsoper. In the spring she returns to LA Opera as Violetta in La Traviata. She then makes a return to Santa Fe Opera to perform the role of the Marschallin in Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier. On the concert stage, she performs Mahler’s Symphony No.8 at the Bayerische Staatsoper, and Beethoven's Symphony No.9 at the Wiener Konzerthaus, as well as a debut recital at Carnegie Hall in April. Ms. Willis-Sørensen also performs R. Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder with Houston Symphony as part of their Strauss Festival under the baton of Maestro Juraj Valčuha.

Previous engagements include Elisabeth (Don Carlos) with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Rusalka (Rusalka) at the San Francisco Opera and NDR Hamburg, Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier) at Glyndebourne, Semperoper Dresden and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Violetta (La Traviata) at Opéra national de Bordeaux and the Bayerische Staatsoper, Marguerite (Faust) as part of the Royal Opera House’s tour of Japan, Elsa (Lohengrin) at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opernhaus Zurich, and Oper Frankfurt, Desdemona (Otello) at the Wiener Staatsoper, LA Opera and the Bayerische Staatsoper, Mimi (La Bohème) at the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Wiener Staatsoper and Semperoper Dresden, Countess (Le nozze di Figaro) at the Metropolitan Opera and the Wiener Staatsoper, Donna Anna (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 (Les Vêpres siciliennes) at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Valentine (Les Huguenots) at the Grand Théâtre Genève, Eva (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) at the San Francisco Opera and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Ellen Orford (Peter Grimes) at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatskapelle Dresden and the Wiener Staatsoper, Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte) at the Houston Grand Opera, Leonore (Fidelio) at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, and Leonora (Il Trovatore) at the Teatro Regio di Torino, the Royal Opera House and Gran Teatre del Liceu.

Equally at home on the concert stage, she has performed Strauss's Vier Letzte Lieder multiple times, including notably at 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 she is featured. Other repertoire includes Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, Mahler Symphony No.2, No.4 and No.8, Mendelssohn’s Elias, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder and the Verdi Requiem.

Rachel was a member of the ensemble at the Dresdner Semperoper for three years, where she sang the title role in (Die Lustige Witwe), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Vitellia (La clemenza di Tito), Elettra (Idomeneo), Diemut (Feuersnot), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus) and Mimi (La Bohème). She won first prize at the 2014 Operalia competition in Los Angeles and at the 2011 Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, and she was 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.

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Worldwide general management with Askonas Holt

Season Highlights

Jul 2024 - Aug 2024
Santa Fe Opera
Der Rosenkavalier (Marschallin) Karina Canellakis (conductor)
Oct 2024
The Kennedy Center
Strauss Four Last Songs National Symphony Orchestra Washington Gianandrea Noseda (conductor)
Oct 2024 - Nov 2024
The Metropolitan Opera
Verdi Il Trovatore (Leonora) Daniele Callegari (conductor)

Selected Repertoire

BrittenPeter Grimes (Ellen Orford)
DvořákRusalka (title role)
GounodFaust (Marguerite)
HandelAlcina (title role)
Johann Strauss IIDie Fledermaus (Rosalinde)   •   
LeharDie lustige Witwe (title role)
MeyerbeerLes Huguenots (Valentine)
MozartCosì fan tutte (Fiordiligi)   •   Don Giovanni (Donna Anna)   •   Idomeneo (Elettra)   •   Le nozze di Figaro (La Countessa di Almaviva)   •   La clemenza di Tito (Vitellius)
OffenbachLes contes d'Hoffmann (Antonia)
PucciniLa bohème (Mimi)
Richard StraussAriadne auf Naxos (Ariadne)   •   Der Rosenkavalier (Marschallin)
VerdiDon Carlos (Elisabeth de Valois)   •   La traviata (Violetta Valery)   •   Otello (Desdemona)   •   Les vêpres siciliennes (Hélène)   •   Il trovatore (Leonora)
WagnerLohengrin (Elsa von Brabant)   •   Tannhäuser (Elisabeth)   •   Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Eva)



  • Strauss Ariande auf Naxos

    Bayerische Staatsoper at Hong Kong Arts Festival
    Feb 2024
    • “American soprano Rachel Willis-Sorensen was a wonderful Ariadne — one would never have guessed that this opening night performance was her role debut. Her mezza voce in “Ein schönes war” was gorgeous, as was her resplendent top in “Es gibt ein Reich.” I would not be at all surprised if Ariadne becomes one of her signature roles.”

    • “The American soprano Rachel Willis-Sorensen made her debut in Bayerische Staatsoper’s production of Ariadne auf Naxos in Hong Kong…There was powerful dramatic singing from Rachel Willis-Sorensen as Ariadne.”