After performing to critical acclaim the title role in the new Jonathan Miller production of Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos at the Broomhill Music Festival in England, Soprano Rachel Bersier appeared with the Virginia Opera where she was able to further display her exceptional vocal versatility. By understudying the title roles of Turandot and Norma, and performing Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Mrs Bersier had been given the opportunity to demonstrate her unique ability to command such a wide spectrum of repertoire. She also performed the title role of Vanessa with the Kansas City Opera and the Mother in Dayton Opera's Hänsel und Gretel. In New York, she sang the leading role of Matilde in concert performances of Mascagni's rarely performed opera Silvano at Carnegie Hall and portrayed Elisabeth in Wagner's Tannhaüser and Agathe in Der Freischutz at the Liederkranz Opera Theatre. She has also sung the First Lady with the Cincinnati Opera in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, as well as Marianne in Der Rosenkavalier with Opera Columbus. Most recently, she performed her first Tosca in Fribourg, Switzerland.


In concert, Rachel has sung Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Honolulu Symphony, Strauss' Vier Letzte Lieder with the Trenton Symphony Orchestra, Dvorak's Stabat Mater, Mendelssohn's Elijah, La Petite Messe Solennelle and the Verdi Requiem at Victoria Hall in Geneva.


As a stepping stone to her professional debut, Mrs Bersier was an Apprentice of the Santa Fe Opera for two consecutive years and was assigned to cover roles in Feuersnot (Diemut), Der Rosenkavalier (Marianne) and La Calisto (Giunone). As an Apprentice she appeared in extensive operatic scenes from Aida (Aida), Lohengrin (Elsa), The Rape of Lucretia (The Female Chorus), Idomeneo (Elektra) and Ariadne auf Naxos (The Prima Donna).


Nationally, she was awarded the First Prize in the Wagner Division by the Liederkranz Foundation and was a Finalist in the Lucia Albanese Competition. She has received grants from the Sullivan Foundation, the American Wagner Association, the Martha Moore Smith Foundation and the Metropolitan Opera. Internationally, Mrs Bersier received Third Prize in the Verviers International Vocal Competition in Belgium and was a Finalist in the Francisco Vinas International Competition in Barcelona.

 

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