© David Shoukry
The choir is privileged to have had Rachel Nicholls as its Vocal Consultant since 2015.
Rachel is widely recognised as one of the leading international dramatic sopranos of her generation. Following her debut at London’s Royal Opera as Third Flowermaiden/Parsifal, she sang 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 in 2015, a role she has subsequently sung in Paris, Tokyo, Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Frankfurt, San Paulo, Grange Park Opera, Turin and Rome. Rachel specialises in the operas of Wagner and Richard Strauss and recently made her role debuts as Elektra (Basel and Karlsruhe) and Salome (Hannover). She made a return to Longborough in summer 2022 to sing Marie/Marietta in die Tote Stadt Rachel is currently singing Brünnhilde in ENO’s Ring Cycle.
Rachel is a passionate advocate of music education: she is regularly in demand for masterclasses and as a consultant, scheduling these activities around her performing career. She very much enjoys her coaching and mentoring engagements at the the University of York, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and at the National Opera Studio. These are rewarding roles for Rachel, and she views them as a way of giving back to the educational establishments which have given so much to her.