Soprano Rachelle Durkin’s recent performance of Haydn’s Armida earned her a Helpmann Nomination for Best Female Performer in an Opera. The Australian wrote: “Rachelle Durkin gave a magnificent performance of Armida. Sustaining focused clarity and excellent dynamic control…her spectacular coloratura display passages and smoothly shaped lyrical sections were equally impressive”.
Other recent performances include the title role in Tosca for Opera Queensland, Céphise in Rameau’s Acante et Céphise for Victory Hall Opera, soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Detroit Symphony under Leonard Slatkin, Musetta (La bohème) and Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) with Hawaii Opera Theatre, Adina (L’elisir d’amore) with West Australian Opera and Opera Australia, Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the West Australian Symphony under Asher Fisch, Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Norina (Don Pasquale) with Opera Australia and a Gala Concert with Bryn Terfel at Leeuwin Estate, Western Australia.
After winning Australia’s top three vocal competitions (The Herald-Sun Aria, The Marianne Mathy Scholarship and The Metropolitan Opera Award), Rachelle was accepted into the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program from 2001-2004. She became a regular guest artist at The Met singing Norina in Don Pasquale, Lisa in La Sonnambula, Clorinda in La Cenerentola and Miss Schlesen in Satyagraha – all recorded live for Sirus Radio. Other roles haveincluded Frasquita in Carmen, Masha in Pique Dame, First Flower Maiden in Parsifal (also at Salzburg Festival under James Levine) and Young Girl in Moses und Aron.
For West Australian Opera, she sang Musetta, the Four Heroines in Les contes d’Hoffmann Amina in La sonnambula and The Fox (The Cunning Little Vixen); for Opera Australia, the title role in Alcina, Armida (Rinaldo), Angelica (Orlando) and Violetta (La traviata) in Francesca Zambello’s production staged on Sydney Harbour, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte (in the new Jim Sharman production broadcast live by ABC Television) and Tytania in Baz Luhrmann’s celebrated production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and Countess in Le nozze di Figaro were both released as CinemaLive HD movies and as commercial DVDs.
A highly adept interpreter of a wide range of repertoire spanning from the baroque to modern masterpieces, Rachelle’s other successes include Kumudha in John Adams’ A Flowering Tree (Perth’s Festival), Gilda in Rigoletto (Bilbao and Adelaide), Cunegonde in Candide (Bellingham Festival) and Corinna in Il viaggio a Reims (Chicago Opera Theater). She made her Carnegie Hall debut as soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah.