Rachel Kelly
Mezzo-soprano

“Kelly’s vocal agility and bright, well-centred tone enabled her to create a thrilling portrayal.” (Opera Magazine, July 2016)

Contacts

Shirley Thomson +44 (0)20 3725 9173
Christopher Lawson +44 (0)20 3725 9108

Biography

Rachel Kelly is a recent graduate of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden’s Jette Parker Young Artist Programme where she attracted considerable attention for her portrayals of Zaida (Il turco in Italia) conducted by Evelino Pidò, Javotte (Manon) conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, Mercédès (Carmen) conducted by Alexander Joel, and Pisana (I due Foscari) conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano. Her performance as Mirinda in Kasper Holten’s L’Ormindo conducted by Christian Curnyn (which marked the first ever collaboration between the Royal Opera House and Shakespeare’s Globe) was singled out by Opera Today for its “rich sensuality of voice” and “glowing warmth”, her appearance as the Cat in El gato con botas (Puss in Boots) at the Linbury Theatre was described by The Telegraph as “a special delight”and she earned unanimous praise for her Proserpina (Orfeo) at London’s Roundhouse. 

Rachel Kelly is a recent graduate of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden’s Jette Parker Young Artist Programme where she attracted considerable attention for her portrayals of Zaida (Il turco in Italia) conducted by Evelino Pidò, Javotte (Manon) conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, Mercédès (Carmen) conducted by Alexander Joel, and Pisana (I due Foscari) conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano. Her performance as Mirinda in Kasper Holten’s L’Ormindo conducted by Christian Curnyn (which marked the first ever collaboration between the Royal Opera House and Shakespeare’s Globe) was singled out by Opera Today for its “rich sensuality of voice” and “glowing warmth”, her appearance as the Cat in El gato con botas (Puss in Boots) at the Linbury Theatre was described by The Telegraph as “a special delight”and she earned unanimous praise for her Proserpina (Orfeo) at London’s Roundhouse. 

During the current season Rachel Kelly appears as Virtue (The Choice of Hercules) at the Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen under Laurence Cummings, she makes her company debut with Nationale Reisopera as Medarse (Siroe), and she joins the Glyndebourne tour as Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte). Rachel makes a role debut as Marguerite (La damnation de Faust) as part of the Leeds International Concert Season, and she makes her German operatic debut as Annio (La clemenza di Tito) at Staatstheater Karlsruhe.

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Contacts

Shirley Thomson +44 (0)20 3725 9173
Christopher Lawson +44 (0)20 3725 9108

Reviews

“Rachel Kelly sang a delicious Dorabella, radiating honeyed warmth” (Bachtrack, October 2017)

“But then there’s Rachel Kelly, who plays her sister Dorabella with irresistible charm and openness, singing beautifully” (The Guardian, October 2017)

“Rachel Kelly was a vibrant Giunone. Entering midway through Act 2, she immediately made her vengeful presence felt, her mezzo glinting darkly with outraged dignity as she transformed Calisto into a bear.” (Opera Magazine, February 2017)

“Rachel Kelly sang a delicious Dorabella, radiating honeyed warmth” (Bachtrack, October 2017)

“But then there’s Rachel Kelly, who plays her sister Dorabella with irresistible charm and openness, singing beautifully” (The Guardian, October 2017)

“Rachel Kelly was a vibrant Giunone. Entering midway through Act 2, she immediately made her vengeful presence felt, her mezzo glinting darkly with outraged dignity as she transformed Calisto into a bear.” (Opera Magazine, February 2017)

“Rachel Kelly channels Donna Elvira’s anxious vulnerability through her sensitive mezzo-soprano.” (Guardian, George Hall, November 2016)

“Rachel Kelly as Donna Elvira furiously charges across the stage, her bright and agile mezzo-soprano effectively conveying both drama and private pain. Her rendition of Elvira’s lovesick solo was touching” (Bachtrack, November 2016)

“her way of tempering her clear, high mezzo with subtle vocal shading – for example, when launching the quartet ‘Andrò ramingo e solo’ with heroic determination tapering off to youthful uncertainty – was highly imaginative.” (Opera Magazine, December 2016)

“Rachel Kelly as a flirtatious Nancy” (Opera magazine, October 2016)

“There’s a bright, focused depth to Rachel Kelly’s mezzo – splendidly demonstrated in Classical Opera’s superbly-cast performance earlier this season of Jommelli’s Il Vologeso – which suggests boundless reserves, and she lent emotion weight to Semiramide’s charming pastorale.” (Arts Desk, September 2016)

“mezzo-soprano Rachel Kelly, whose Idamante was consistently sharply focused.” (Irish Times, August 2016)

“Ilia and Rachel Kelly as Idamante were expressive, evenly matched voices that produced some of the finest duets of the evening.” (Irish Examiner, August 2016)

“The mezzo-soprano Rachel Kelly, as the eponymous hero, was the only one of the soloists not relying on the score, and her first bravura aria was spirited and exciting. Kelly’s vocal agility and bright, well-centred tone enabled her to create a thrilling portrayal.” (Opera Magazine, July 2016)

“Rachel Kelly, a total natural with a vibrant mezzo voice seemingly flawless throughout the range…Kelly made her urgency felt, persuading us with natural body language as well as focused urgency that the recitatives are as crucial a part of the drama as the arias and finales.” (Arts Desk, May 2016)

“Her bravura aria “Invan Minacci” displayed an heroic, bright upper register and agile runs, while her long crescendo on the first syllable of “lasciami” in “Cara, deh serbami” gradually bled warmth into her voice – a nuanced, dramatic portrayal.” (Bachtrack, May 2016)

“Rachel Kelly, who has the most lyrical music in the piece, is both an affecting stage presence and technically excellent” (Seen & Heard, February 2016)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Catherine [is] sung with fresh-toned lyricism by mezzo Rachel Kelly” (The Guardian, January 2016)

“Rachel Kelly as Catherine, her strong mezzo soaring to the top of the score, takes charge” (Bachtrack, January 2016)

“For sheer vocal fireworks, however, the palm went to the feckless Nerone of Rachel Kelly, still firing off the coloratura accurately in ‘Come nube’, at the end of a long evening.” (Opera Magazine, November 2015)

“the delicate, deeply dramatic performance delivered by Rachel Kelly in a scene from Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust. Her minimalist but emotional approach to Marguerite was one of the treats of the afternoon.” (A Younger Theatre, July 2015)

“Irish mezzo Rachel Kelly had the stage to herself in…”D’amour l’ardente flame” and Kelly, wrapped in furs, impressed with her warm mezzo, with glorious, even emission across Berlioz’s long phrases.” (Bachtrack, July 2015)

“...an unusually strong seconda donna: though still on Covent Garden’s young artist programme, the Irish mezzo-soprano Rachel Kelly is feisty as the gypsy Zaida.” (The Telegraph, April 2015)

“the radiant young mezzo Rachel Kelly, who’s a feisty Zaida” (What’s On Stage, April 2015)

“The bright young singer in this production is Rachel Kelly as Zaida” (Bachtrack, April 2015)

“Rachel Kelly possesses a beautifully burnished mezzo-soprano and her portrayal of Zaida feels effortless.” (Opera Online, April 2015)

“As Zaida, Irish mezzo-soprano Rachel Kelly impressed…When I heard Kelly last year, in the role of Mirinda in the ROH’s production of L’Ormindo at the Globe Theatre, I remarked the ‘rich sensuality’ of her voice, and this glowing warmth was much in evidence again.” (Opera Today, April 2015)

“Kelly as Selim’s abandoned Zaida struck me as excellent, a rich, warm, even mezzo with some glints of steel, who should make a fabulous Isabella (in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri)” (Opera Britannia, April 2015)

“Rachel Kelly’s fresh, vibrant Zaida gave constant pleasure – what a season this very promising young singer is having, with her much-praised roles in L’Ormindo and Orfeo” (Music OMH, April 2015)

“Young Rachel Kelly’s delightful gypsy-girl Zaida vocally lifts the show” (The Times, April 2015)

“As Mirinda, Rachel Kelly has a burnished, mature mezzo-soprano” (Music OMH, February 2015) 

“but it’s the young mezzo Rachel Kelly whose appearances as Erisbe’s confidante, Mirinda, [that] prove the most luminous.” (What’s On Stage, February 2015)

“They sound as gorgeous as they look, the utterly compelling Rachel Kelly especially” (Arts Desk, January 2015)

“Rachel Kelly projected lordly grace as Proserpina” (What’s On Stage, January 2015)

“Amongst a very strong cast, Rachel Kelly’s Proserpina stood out for the sheer beauty of her tone and the elegance of her phrasing” (Music OMH, January 2015)

"There was another glimmer of beauty in Jette Parker Young Artist soprano Rachel Kelly, who has a lovely voice and a stunning stage presence. I predict a huge star in the making" (Spear's Magazine, October 2014)

"Rachel Kelly makes a big impression in her small role" (The Stage, October 2014)

“Kelly has covered herself in glory during her term in the young artists nurturing programme at Covent Garden. Her opener, the emotion-laden Voi che sapete from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro was both charming and captivating. However, it was the Rossini that followed, his love and forgiveness aria Nacqui all’affanno from La Cenerentola, that grabbed the attention and revealed the true blossoming of an outstanding young singer’s talent with an assured and affecting rendering. You can’t spend a lunchtime hour better than this.” (Sunday Business Post, August 2014)

“Rachel Kelly has a lovely mezzo, sweet-toned and agile but very centred, which made Dorabella’s ‘Smanie implacabili’ a winning number, despite its mock-hysterics.” (Operatoday.com, July 2014)

"ROH Jette Parker Young Artist Rachel Kelly made a strong impression as Mirinda." (Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, March 2014)

"Rachel Kelly is engaging and sweet-toned as the maid, Mirinda." (Laura Battle, Financial Times, March 2014)

"…Rachel Kelly a delectable Mirinda; her burnished tone brings Jean Rigby to mind." (Melanie Eskenazi, MusicOMH, March 2014)

"The singing is superb… Rachel Kelly is a vision of loveliness as the scheming servant Mirinda, her mature mezzo belying a slender frame." (Simon Thomas, What’s on Stage, March 2014)

“…by far the liveliest ensembles are the ones involving Simona Mihai’s Frasquita and Rachel Kelly’s Mercedes, both young singers to watch …”(Richard Morrison, The Times, December 2013)

“Rachel Kelly was strong as Mércèdes.” (Claire Seymour, Opera Today, December 2013)

“Rachel Kelly’s Mercedes indicated a Carmen in waiting ….”(Alexander Campbell, ClassicalSource.com, December 2013)

“Rachel Kelly was a special delight as the titular moggy…”(Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, October 2013)

“…Rachel Kelly gave a beautifully nuanced account of the title-role… demonstrating feline prancings and body language… a source of constant delight in her understanding of not only the idiom but many individual touches of phrasing and vocal timbre.” (Colin Clarke, Seen&Heard.com, October 2013)

“The best singing came from mezzo soprano Rachel Kelly’s Cherubino, effortlessly full-voiced and boyishly hearty.” (Michael  Dervan, The Irish Times, June 2013)