Rachael Birthisel

Rachael Birthisel

Dramatic/Heroic Soprano

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2016Verdi: MacbethLady Macbeth
2015Verdi: NabuccoAbigaille


Born in 1987 in Australia, Rachael began her performing arts studies at a young age through classical ballet with the Cecchetti Society of Australia and later went on to study Drama and Music.  After completing her high school diploma majoring in Performing Arts she received the Franco Schiavoni Memorial Scholarship and decided to move to Italy where she began her formal classical voice training.   After briefly studying at the Accademia Musicale di Firenze Rachael was accepted in the higher education course at Maggio Musicale, Maggio Formazione where she studied the Ancient and Baroque repertory for two seasons in 2011 and early 2012.  She sang in the Vespri della Beata Vergine by Monteverdi as a soprano secondo and also sang in the Gregorian Schola for the performance at the Pergola Theatre of Florence and for the associations CD recording.  Rachael was selected to sing in the choir for Maggio Formazione in the Messiah by Handel under the direction of Federico Bardazzi.   She then furthered her experience in Ancient music performing the Florentine Medieval repertory with the Ensemble San Felice directed by Federico Bardazzi.  She sang in numerous concerts with the Ensemble in performances such as Messa Sopra l’aria di Fiorenza in the sacred music festival O flos colende at the Cathedral of Florence and at the International Gregorian chant festival of Watou in 2012.   Also in 2012 Rachael had the opportunity to sing as a soloist with Maestro Lanzetta and the Florence Chamber Orchestra at the Bargello Museum, singing repertory linking America and Italy such as Porgy and Bess and pieces by Morricone.  She performed Opera concerts with I solisti di Toscana Classica at the Auditorium Santo Stefano and at Villa Bardini in the summer of the same year.   In late 2012 she performed in the world premiere of Verdi Ritrovato, a modern opera based on the music of Giuseppe Verdi and a libretto by Philip Von Reutter at the teatro Cestello with the Mexican company Canto en Movimiento that had a cultural exchange with the city of Florence for two years.     After deciding to further her formal studies she auditioned for the Conservatory of Music of Bologna and was accepted along with only 2 other students into the school for the year 2012-2013.  During her studies Rachael was guided by Ester Castriota, Monica Bacelli, the noted mezzo-soprano and finally with Marina Gentile.  She is currently waiting to present her thesis in March when she will formally graduate.   Rachael has participated in masterclasses with Liliana Poli the Italian Soprano (2013), Richard Barker, repetiteur (2013, 2014 and 2015), Vincent Scalera, repetiteur and pianist (2014) and Vincente Romani, repetiteur (2015).     She performed in the festival Musica in Fiore in Bologna in 2014 and 2015 performing Spanische Liebeslieder by Schumann with M° Viviana Ciavorella and lieder by Strauss and Wagner with M° Stefano Malferrari at the Cappella Farnese.  At the same venue she also performed A Suon di Chitarra for M° Alessandro Valenti.   In 2014 Rachael performed at the Bologna Teatro Comunale as voice 5 in Laborintus II by Luciano Berio under the direction of M° Fabrice Pierre for the festival Suona Francese. She also performed with the Lucca Opera Festival in July of 2014 in L’elisir d’amore as a Chorister and then as a soloist in the opera concert Gli australiani a Lucca in November.   In 2015 she performed for a national conference in Bologna, Se la pena fa ancora spettacolo singing arias by H.Eisler and  Kurt Weill in a performance piece with M° Stefano Malferrari. Rachael travelled to Berlin to perform in the opera concerts Von Lucca nach Berlin organized by  M° Gerd Rosinsky where she sang both sacred arias by Mozart and Mendelssohn and opera arias by Wagner, Purcell and Puccini. In July she was invited to Madrid to perform at the Casa della cultura de Navacerrada in an opera concert De Opera Y Zarzuela performing opera duets and arias and Zarzuela repertory.   In June this year she was successful in an audition for the Fondazione Teatri di Piacenza and the cultural association Nel Pozzo del Giardino for the series of concerts In...Canto d’opera.  She will perform a concert version of Nabucco performing Abigaille in December and Macbeth performing Lady Macbeth in March 2016.  
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CV & Repertoire

Musical Work Role Jump-in ready? Company Year
Verdi: Macbeth Lady Macbeth Teatro Municipale di Piacenza 2016
Verdi: Nabucco Abigaille Teatro Municipale di Piacenza 2015