“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
Rachel Nicholls is now widely recognised as one of the most exciting dramatic sopranos of her generation.
Following her debut at London’s Royal Opera as Third Flowermaiden/ Parsifal, she has sung a wide repertoire of baroque, classical and contemporary repertoire 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 / Tristan und Isolde in 2014. In 2013 she sang Senta / Die fliegende Hollander for Scottish Opera and in 2014 Leonore / Fidelio for the Bergen National Opera.
Recent and future opera engagements include Isolde for the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Oper Stuttgart, Oper Frankfurt, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Regio Turin, the Badische Staatstheater Karlsruhe, the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and Grange Park Opera, the title role in Elektra for Theater Basel and Karlsruhe, the title role in Salome in Hannover, Brünnhilde / Götterdämmerung in Taichung, Brünnhilde / Siegfried with Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé, Brünnhilde / Die Walküre for English National Opera, Senta for Grange Park Opera, Fidelio for Opera North and Lithuanian National Opera, Guinevere / Gawain for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jenifer / A Midsummer Marriage in the opening concert of the 21/22 season with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Lady Macbeth / Macbeth for Karlsruhe and NI Opera, Eva / Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for Karlsruhe and ENO. Concert engagements include Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder in Rome, Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder in Tokyo, Britten’s War Requiem in Lisbon, and a LeFanu world premiere with the BBCSO in the Barbican.
Rachel Nicholls was born in Bedford and in 2013 was awarded an Opera Awards Foundation Bursary to study with Dame Anne Evans with whom she still studies.