Rachel Cleland began the 2011/2012 season with Marcellina (Nozze di Figaro) followed by Fiordiligi in Cosi Fan Tutte with Opera York. She then ventured into the world of Slavic art song with Off Centre Music singing the music of Janecek and Rachmaninov and then the Verdi Requiem. She also added a new role to her operetta repertoire when she sang the title role in Princess Ida with the KW Gilbert and Sullian Society. She then made her Brott Festival debut stepping in as Frasquita with a week’s notice. She will then sing Elsa in Wagner’s Lohengrin in January with Opera by Request, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Orchestra Toronto and ends the season singing Violetta in La Traviata.
Ms Cleland started her 2010 season with a solo recital with pianist, James Cheung in London, England that featured the music of Schumann, Britten and Rachmaninov followed with the role of Musetta in La Boheme with Opera York. In the spring of 2009, she added Orff’s Carmina Burana to her concert repertoire. Critics hailed her performance as astonishing, florid, full and agile. In August she participated in a Schumann lieder class with Malcolm Martineau and Susan Youens at the prestigious Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme (Snape, England) where she studied Frauenliebe und Leben and various other lieder.
Her operatic repertoire includes: Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (Mozart), Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice, Pamina and Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflote (Mozart), Nanetta in Falstaff (Verdi), Norina in Don Pasquale, Musetta in La Boheme (Puccini), Fiordiligi in Cosi fan Tutte (Mozart), Ophelie in Hamlet (Thomas), Cissie Woodger and Lady Billows in Albert Herring, Leonore in Fidelio (Beethoven).
Her Contemporary Opera repertoire is the title role in the world premiere of The Last Wife (Howard Alexander), the Lady in Waiting and Barbara Croft in the double bill of The Fool and The Night Blooming Cereus (Somers and Beckwith), The Summoning of Everyman (Cousin) and Dream Play (Agnes), and Carolyn Boulton in The Last Duel (Gary Kulesha).
Ms Cleland’s operetta roles include Elsie Maynard in Yeomen of the Guard, YumYum in the Mikado, Countess Lisa in Countessa Maritza and Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus. She received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Sharon Graham singing Lady Macbeth’s Entrance Aria and Cabaletta in Terrence McNally’s play Masterclass.
Rachel is committed to music education and has worked with the Jane Austen Society of North America, the Alderburgh Connection, the Canadian Opera Company, Queen’s University (Belfast), York University (Ontario), Gideons International, and numerous other schools and charitable organizations across Canada. She has worked with DARE Arts for 8 years teaching music to underprivileged children.