Selected Press

The Australian

Mark Coughlan

Leading the cast is Rachelle Durkin, fresh from her triumph at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where she replaced Anna Netrebko at short notice. Singing all four heroine roles, Durkin showed extraordinary versatility and range, from the Doll Song's bright-toned coloratura to the lyric warmth of Giulietta and the naive sweetness of Antonia. Her voice is supple and mellifluous, her tone quality unfailingly pure.

The West Australian

William Yeoman

But this opening night surely belonged to WA-born Rachelle Durkin as Hoffmann's successive objects of desire. While the highlight was the coloratura tour-de-force Les oisieux dans la charmille, otherwise known as the Dolls Song, Durkin brought a seemingly limitless range of emotion to each part, revealing herself as not only a solid dramatic actress but a talented comedian. And all this on top of a gorgeous, flexible yet firmly centered soprano.

North Shore Times

Melissa Lesnie

Rachelle Durkin and Sian Pendry proved themselves as exeptional leading ladies in Mozart with last year's Cosi fan tutte. Durkin's Countess is a supremely graceful creature whose Porgi Amor touches the depthes of heartbroken despair, yet she also brings to the role an understated gift for comic timing.

Sydney Morning Herald

Peter McCallum

As the Countess, Rachelle Durkin mixed statuesque hauteur with girlish puppy love...refined phrasing and beautifully poised tonal control. She created a glowing close to the opera in the final scene.’

The Opera Critic

Sarah Noble

As Fiordiligi, Rachelle Durkin gives one of her finest Australian performances to date, a sensitively rendered depiction of glamorous neuroticism. Her stark "Per pietà" is especially beautiful, its silvered sweetness and refinement a telling contrast to the colourful histrionics which surround it.

The Australian

Murray Black

Pure and agile across her tessitura, soprano Rachelle Durkin was genuinely moving as she grappled with Fiordiligi's emotional confusion

Sydney Morning Herald

Peter McCallum

Durkin sings with poised, well-sculpted clarity and her voice flashes with admirable precision in rapid passages.

Opera Australia-Orlando

Sarah Noble, Theoperacritic.com

Rachelle Durkin sings Angelica, the femme fatale who blithely drives Orlando to distraction. Handel heroines have become something of a calling card for Durkin in this country - her commanding stage presence and fiery, brilliant singing make her an ideal fit. Angelica is no exception. Her agile soprano is resplendent in the pyrotechnics of the role; even more impressive, though, is the exquisite "Verdi piante" in which mile-a-minute coloratura gives way to soaring vocal lines and mesmerising beauty of tone.

Opera Australia-Orlando

Murray Black, The Australian

As Orlando's love interest Angelica, Rachelle Durkin was outstanding, singing with immense freedom and flexibility. Virtuosic showpieces were executed with agility and accuracy while slower sections were beautifully shaped.

Opera Australia-Orlando

Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald

Rachelle Durkin, as the statuesque beauty Angelica, handled the same style of rapid passagework with a different, more fiery vocal colour, and could sing slow numbers with persuasive pathos and line while bringing sensuous regality to the stage persona.

Opera Australia-Orlando

Josephine Giles, AussieTheatre.com

As Angelica, soprano Rachelle Durkin showed again how she can hold an audience in the palm of her hand, not just with her spectacular coloratura, but in intimate moments with an exquisite pianissimo - and she has the sexiest legs in the business!

New York Metropolitan Opera-Satyagraha

Jay Nordlinger, The New York Sun

Rachelle Durkin, a soprano, sang in bold, rich, and soaring lines.

New York Metropolitan Opera-Satyagraha

Anthony Tommasini, ArticlesModern.Com

Besides Mr. Croft, other standouts in the excellent cast included the soprano Rachelle Durkin as Gandhi's secretary, Miss Schlesen......You are not likely to hear the long, ethereal sextet in the last act sung with more calm intensity and vocal grace than it was here.

New York Metropolitan Opera-Satyagraha

Harry Rolnick, Concertonet.com

Rachelle Durkin was an amazing soprano when she had the chance, in the second act.

Opera Australia-Alcina

Michael Magnusson, Onstagemelbourne.com

As Alcina Durkin is a class act. In the second act the two extraordinarily long and varied arias which might have presented her with a challenge actually inspires her into some her finest singing. In the most taxing of them all "Ah! Ruggiero crudel" and the contrasting "Ombre palliade" she is on fire. The repeated upward runs in "Ombre palliade" are clean and precise and run up into a full and rich upper voice and the last of them is crowned with a gorgeous little trill.

Concert of Arias with WASO

Neville Cohn, The West Australian

An engaging, strongly communicative, stage presence, a voice that is both supple and agile and, crucially, a marked ability to sing the words as if they really meant something, combined to impressive effect.

Opera Australia-Alcina

John Grant, OperaNow

Led by the stunningly statuesque Rachelle Durkin, totally believable as the sexually avaricious Alcina, a staggeringly difficult role, accurately and tonally splendid over the whole lengthy evening. Durkin will be closely watched.

Opera Australia-Alcina

Emma Nelms, media-culture.org.au

Rachelle Durkin provides us with an outstandingly charismatic bad girl. Gorgeous, and with powerful vocal delivery, she makes a despairing end look pretty good and delivers an extraordinary performance. Her vocal control is as impressive as her stage presence is captivating. The ruthlessness of Durkin’s Alcina is a product of obliviousness to all but desire rather than of cruelty. Durkin conveys Alcina at her enchanting and seductive peak: she melds the world to her desires with an unhurried and nonchalant grace. A key ambivalence in Alcina is the sympathetic characterisation of the lead and Durkin manages Alcina’s change of fortune with panache. Her apprehension that she is in love with Ruggiero is compounded by his refusal; the shocking and transformative powers of love and jealousy register in Durkin’s performance. That Durkin can sing an aria whilst lying on a chaise longue is, I must add, entirely admirable.

Opera Australia-Alcina

Sarah Noble,"Prima la musica, dopo le parole"

Let us now praise Rachelle Durkin. Forget the usual introductions, there's no question that this woman is absolutely the best thing about Opera Australia's new Alcina...This was a woman possessed. Not a soprano or an actress but an actual sorceress on stage, in touch with some seriously dark and frightening forces. To watch her fall apart was beyond riveting, her ferocious energy on stage matched at every turn by a voice of coolly penetrating beauty and demonic agility. Her "Ah, mio cor" was unexpectedly raw, punctuated with rasping sobs and ornamented not just with glittering and decorative high notes but several ominously low ones as well. "Ombre pallide" was a fully-fledged and electrifying mad scene — not so much an aria as an EXPERIENCE. To be repeated as often as humanly possible. The same can be said of her performance as a whole. Rachelle's Alcina is not a figure for whom, in even at her lowest point, one can really feel very much sympathy — she's a bit too intrinsically evil and threatening for that. Nevertheless it's impossible not to be drawn into her whirlwind of fury and desperate, clawing passion. You mightn't like her, but when she's miserable, when she's furious, when she's utterly ruined — you've no choice but feel it too.

Opera Australia-Alcina

Murray Black, The Australian

soprano Rachelle Durkin was a compelling Alcina. sang with intensity, tonal richness and lustrous colour, and displayed precision and agility in her virtuosic showpieces. Her acting, too, was splendid, as she switched from erotic allure to ferocious anger and anguish with absolute ease.

Opera Australia-Alcina

Peter MacCallum, Sydney Morning Herald

Rachelle Durkin was a statuesque Alcina, with a wicked eyebrow, carrying this most demanding role with impressive technical precision.

Feature in Time magazine

Michael Fitzgerald "Time Magazine"

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1592998,00.html

Mozart Gala New Zealand

William Dart

Rachelle Durkin gave the Exsultate Jubilate the full operatic treatment. Without score in hand, the Australian soprano added chutzpah and character to the motet. At times one could sense the pragmatic Susanna in the opening movement or the languishing Countess in "Tu virginum corona". The "Alleluja" was a triumphal finale...... Durkin was a absolute hoot as the Amazonian Madame Herz, almost vanquishing Ryan's petulant Mademoiselle Silberklang with a top F.

Cunegonde

Paul Hopwood

"Rachelle Durkin, as Cunegonde, displaed a flawless coloratura technique, exquisite tone and excellent dramatic ability.....she must surely now rank as one of Australia's finest sopranos."

Beethoven 9th Symphony

William Thomas Walker "Classical Voice of North Carolina"

Australian soprano Rachelle Durkin's stage presence was striking; her robust voice has a pleasing timbre and soared seamlessly across its range.

Bruckner's Te Deum

William Thomas Walker "Classical Voice of North Carolina"

Durkin's luminous coloratura was a perfect contrast to Golden's darker, lower sound. Durkin's powerfully projected soaring high sequence near the end was stunning.

The Australian

Neville Cohn "The Australian"

....soprano Rachelle Durkin's recital gave ample evidence of her remarkable potential to become the State's best operatic export... Durkin seems incapable of a dull or tired presentation as her increasingly illustrious career unfolds. She has a fine instinct of what works in musical terms, able to adapt to the subtlest stylistic demands of whatever she happens to be singing.

Wentworth Courier

Ross Steele of Wentworth Courier

"... she is surely destined for international stardom."

Daily Telegraph

Alison Rehn, Daily Telegraph

"...Durkin shows no signs of slowing her meteoric rise to the top."

Armida

The Australian

"The spirited, bright-toned Rachelle Durkin brought tremendous vivacity to her role as the evil sorceress Armida, demonstrating accuracy, agility and a strong upper register in her many florid, coloratura show-pieces."

The Countess

The Sun Herald

"Rachelle Durkin provides the musical highlights- her Dove Sono in act three causes a spine-tingling hush in the auditorium"

Star of the evening

Neville Cohn, Sunday Times

"Star of the evening was Rachelle Durkin... I treasured every moment of this gloriously vulgar tour de force with its spot-on coloratura brilliance and hilarious repertoire of gestures that brought the house down."

Opera Australia

The Opera Critic

"Rachelle Durkin, not yet in her 30's but already a formidable performer, is clearly the new star for Opera Australia."

 

 

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