Raised on the west coast of Canada, Berlin-based soprano and pianist Rachel Fenlon is dedicated to performing song recitals, chamber music, and opera, in addition to creating and commissioning new music. Accompanying herself on piano and performing under the name Fenlon & Fenlon, she gives frequent song recitals featuring repertoire ranging from George Crumb to Franz Schubert, Benjamin Britten, Arnold Schoenberg, and Philip Glass alongside world premieres.
Rachel Fenlon began her professional career at Vancouver Opera as a young artist and went on to perform numerous leading roles with the company: Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), and most recently, Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro). Rachel Fenlon 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). An avid chamber musician and recitalist, she has performed at the Toronto Summer Music Festival, the Oxford Lieder Festival, the Canadian Broadcasting Company Studios, Bristol Song Recitals, Klassik @ Stone Berlin, and the Vancouver International Song Institute, amongst others. Additionally, Rachel Fenlon has been a three-time resident at the Lunenburg Academy in Nova Scotia as a singer, and, in 2018/19, as the guest soprano performing world premieres commissioned especially for its acclaimed contemporary music festival, at which she has also participated as a composer.
Last year, she made her debut at Oper Leipzig, in a solo recital with pianist Ugo D'Orazio, and returned to Vancouver Opera as a guest artist in two self-accompanied solo recitals, which catapulted a series of highly successful solo performances of George Crumb's Apparition as well as a solo show featuring Alma Mahler, Benjamin Britten's On This Island, Franz Schubert, and John Cage within Canada and the UK. Rachel’s 2019/20 season highlights include self-accompanied performances at the National SAW Gallery in Ottawa, at several venues in the US, and at PODIUM Festival Matadapera/Catalonia, as well as a self-accompanied performance at the Viennese series Late Night Liederabend Vienna, performing in an all-Schubert programme to celebrate the composer's birthday. She also performed a recital with pianist Leslie Dala at the Canadian Music Centre, featuring Messiaen's Poèmes Pour Mi and Samy Moussa's Ahania's Lament, and performed Susanne Stelzenbach's Licht at the GEDOK Festival Berlin. In October 2020, she sings a self-accompanied recital at Settimane Musicali di Ascona.
Rachel Fenlon has an ongoing collaboration with the composer Matthias McIntire, with whom she is co-creating a song cycle for voice, piano and electronics; she will perform the world premiere in autumn 2020. This season sees the duo taking part in several residencies: at the New Music for Strings Festival, run by the Emerson String Quartet in Reykjavik, Iceland, at Avaloch Farms Music Residency in New Hampshire, and at the Lunenburg Academy, where the two have been invited as guest performers in the New Music Festival in June 2020.
Rachel Fenlon began playing the piano from age five, and singing at age 17; she brought her long-time dream of singing and accompanying herself in classical songs together in 2017, performing her first liederabend from the piano in an all-Schubert recital debut in Toronto and subsequently performing this show in Europe, while beginning to curate varying programmes in which she could accompany herself -- from Schubert to Schumann, Alma Mahler to Britten, Ravel, George Crumb, and John Cage. She attended Malcolm Martineau's Programme for Song at Crear in Scotland as a singer and pianist, as well as the Oxford Lieder Festival Mastercourse, performing as a self-accompanied singer at both festivals.
Rachel Fenlon holds bachelor´s and master´s degrees in Opera Performance from the University of British Columbia. She has studied singing under Nancy Hermiston, Judith Forst, and Neil Semer; piano with May Ling Kwok at the Victoria Conservatory of Music; and composition with Stephen Brown, alongside short periods of study with Dinuk Wijerhatne and Marco Stroppa as a composition resident. In 2017, Rachel Fenlon co-founded a chamber-music series, the Ricasoli Recitals in Milan.
This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorised by the artist management.