“Rachel Nicholls’ Isolde was, in contrast, superlative from the start. She sounded spectacular, combining a silvery sheen with an iron core in lines that unravelled with a wondrously even legato, and was fully convincing dramatically. The Liebestod grew from a whisper to free-flowing mantel of sound. Its ecstatic quality worked its way into your bones.” – Bachtrack
Following her debut at London’s Royal Opera as Third Flowermaiden/ Parsifal, she sang a wide repertoire of baroque, classical and contemporary repertorie in opera and concert throughout the UK and Europe, including the Edinburgh Festival and BBC Proms, and forged a close relationship with Masaaki Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan, with whom she made several recordings. Other conductors with whom she has worked include Sir Colin Davis, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Mark Elder, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Roger Norrington, Richard Hickox, Valery Gergiev, Daniele Gatti and Gianandrea Noseda.
She first came to notice as a dramatic soprano with her highly acclaimed performances as Brünnhilde for Longborough Festival Opera, culminating in complete Ring Cycles in 2013, followed by Isolde in 2014. In 2013 she sang Senta for Scottish Opera and in 2014 Leonore in Fidelio for the Bergen National Opera.
Recent and future engagements include Isolde, Tristan und Isolde for the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Oper Stuttgart, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, the Teatro Regio di Torino, the Badische Staatstheater Karlsruhe, the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and Grange Park Opera, Fidelio for Lithuanian National Opera, Guinevere Gawain for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Lady Macbeth, Macbeth for the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe and NI Opera, Eva, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe and ENO, Isolde’s Liebestod and Elgar’s Spirit of England with Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé, the Wesendonck Lieder at the 2013 St Endellion Festival, and Verdi Requiem at Cadogan Hall. In January 2018 she will make her role debut as Elektra in Basel.
Rachel Nicholls was born in Bedford and in 2013 was awarded an Opera Awards Foundation Bursary to study with Dame Anne Evans.