on the west coast of Canada, Rachel Fenlon is a soprano and pianist who
performs song recitals accompanying herself on the piano, drawing from a
more singer-songwriter approach, instead of the current classical music
performance tradition. She has toured Europe, Canada, and the US with
solo recitals, in repertoire from Schubert, Schumann and Debussy, to
Olivier Messiaen, George Crumb, Philip Glass, and numerous world
premieres. Rachel is dedicated to creating and commissioning new music,
and actively has several collaborations with composers for new song
cycles for her to perform as self-accompanied singer. Rachel has
appeared at festivals such as the Oxford Lieder Festival, the Toronto
Summer Music Festival, Kammermusik festival Ahrenshoop, Bristol Song
Recitals, the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC Studios), GEDOK
Festival Berlin, and solo concerts at venues such as the National SAW
Gallery, Fox Cabaret, Oper Leipzig, Vancouver Opera, the Baumann centre
at Pacific Opera Victoria, and the Theater am Delphi Berlin.
this reimagined 2020 season, Rachel has performed livestream recitals
with the National Arts Centre Canada, Pocket Concerts Toronto, Against
the Grain Theatre, Pacific Opera Victoria, and the Lunenburg Academy.
Upcoming streams include Schubert's Schwanengesang with PinDrop
Entertainment and United We Stream, Amsterdam Dance Event, a world
premiere by Helmut Zapf at Randspiele Berlin, Virtuosi Festival
Brazil, and a recital in IDAGIO's acclaimed Global Concert Hall.
is the founding host of a series titled "Classical (R)evolution" on
IDAGIO, in which she interviews weekly guests and discusses what rule
breaking and pushing boundaries mean for Classical music, and for
musicians today. She has interviewed guests such as Marc-André Hamelin,
Barbara Hannigan, Alexander Neef, Avi Avital, Francesco Piemontesi,
Gerald Finley, and Nico Muhly, amongst many others.
began her professional career at Vancouver Opera as a young artist, and
went on to perform numerous leading roles with the company: Pamina (The Magic Flute), Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), and most recently, Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro). Rachel has also performed leading roles with Pacific Opera Victoria as Nannetta (Falstaff) and Queen Guinevere (Camelot); Ensemble Nylandia as Galatea (Acis and Galatea); the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra as Lisa (Das Land des Lächelns), and with the Bard on the Beach Festival as Mimi (La Boheme). In 2019/20 Rachel debuted as a guest soloist with the Deutsche Oper Berlin in the world premiere of Heart Chamber by
Chaya Czernowin, directed by Claus Guth. Rachel appeared as a young
artist at the Rossini Opera Festival, leading to performances as soprano
soloist with Alberto Zedda in Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle,
and has performed as a soloist with the Victoria Symphony, the
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and the Northern Czech Philharmonic.
and rescheduled performances for future seasons also include
recitals at Settimane Musicali di Ascona, GEDOK Festival Berlin (world
premiere), Podium Festival Matadapera, Array Space Toronto and SAW
Gallery (world premiere), as well as an artist residency at the Banff
Centre. Her collaborations include ensembles such as the Gryphon Trio,
Ensemble Nylandia, Friction Quartet, Impulsia Ensemble, pianists Leslie
Dala, Cristian Niculescu and Ugo D'Orazio, and composers Matthias
McIntire, Danika Loren, Susanne Stelzenbach, Nicole Lizee, Gavin Fraser,
and Helmut Zapf. Her collaboration with composer Matthias McIntire won
the two a Toronto Arts Council Grant in 2020 to realize a song cycle
composed to Rachel's poetry with live electronics. The two have attended
residencies such as Avaloch Farm Music Institute (New Hampshire), and
Lunenburg Academy (Nova Scotia). Rachel is a member of the Canadian
artist collective New ART/New MEDIA, a three time resident at the
Lunenburg Academy, as singer/pianist/composer, and was the first to
attend song mastercourses at both the Oxford Lieder Festival and the
Crear Song Programme with Sir Malcolm Martineau as a self-accompanying
singer. Rachel holds an ARCT Diploma in piano performance from
the Royal Conservatory of Music Toronto, and Bachelors and Masters
degrees in Opera performance from the University of British Columbia.
She has received grants from the Toronto Arts Council, the Vancouver
Opera Guild, the National Arts Centre Canada, and the Art Song
Foundation of Canada. Fenlon studied voice
with Judith Forst, Nancy Hermiston, and Neil Semer, and composition with
Stephen Wood, and Robert Aitken, as well as summer composition
residencies with Dinuk Wijerhatne and Marco Stroppa.
Rachel lives in Berlin.
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