Hailed for her “diamantine high notes, witty characterization, and giddily delirious coloratura” (Boston Globe), Welsh-born soprano Rachel Schutz is increasingly in demand throughout the US, Europe and Asia for her sensitive and evocative performances and wide range of repertoire. She enjoys a multi-faceted career which includes both concert/recital and opera performances and her upcoming engagements include Mysteries of the Macabre with the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, Lise in Glass's Les enfants terrible with Opera Paralèlle, a concert tour of Thailand, and recitals at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center and on the Hawai'i Concert Society series.
In 2016, Ms. Schutz won First Prize at the 44th National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Award competition. She was also awarded the third prize at the Jensen Foundation competition, and was a finalist in the Hans Gabor Belvedere competition held in Cape Town. Most recently, she performed Papagena, Johanna (Sweeney Todd) & Diana (Siren Song) with Hawai'i Opera Theater, Adele (Die Fledermaus) with Stockton Opera, and Thérèse (Les mamelles de Tirésias) and Jessie (Mahagonny Songspiel) with Opera Paralèlle about which the San Francisco Chronicle exclaimed "the finest singing was delivered by soprano Rachel Schutz [who] brought lyricism and cogency to the Weill songs and a vivacious spirit to the role of Thérèse." She also recently appeared in Beethoven's 9th Symphony and Dvorak's Stabat Mater with the Hawai'i Symphony Orchestra, and in Imbrie's Adam with the Riverside Symphony. In 2012 Ms. Schutz made her Ravinia Festival debut singing Zemlinsky's Maiblumen blühten überall with Maestro James Conlon and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Other engagements have included performances and tours with the Boston Pops Orchestra, singing, most notably "Glitter and be gay;" her Carnegie Hall Zankel Hall debut singing the world premier of Elena Langer's Songs at the Well; Susanna with Stockton Opera; Giannetta in L'elisir d'amore with the Santa Fe Opera, which the MVDaily called "enchanting," and a guest appearance at the Ojai Festival.
A seasoned recitalist known for her "communicative zest" (Boston Globe), Ms. Schutz has been invited to perform at prestigious Concert and University Series around the world including the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, the Honolulu Chamber Music Series, the Hawai'i Concert Society, the Austin Chamber Music Series and venues in China, Taiwan, Korea and Germany. Ms. Schutz has performed with famed artists such as Dawn Upshaw, Christian van Horn, Martin Katz, Leon Botstein, James Conlon, JoAnne Faletta and Keith Lockhart, and frequently collaborates with husband and pianist Jonathan Korth. Know for their variety and originality, recent programs have featured both vocal and piano music woven together by creative themes.
Ms. Schutz is also an avid supporter of new music and enjoys close working relationships with many young composers and new music ensembles such as Maui-based Ebb & Flow Arts. A two-time Tanglewood Music Center Fellow, she performed Babbitt's Phonemena to critical acclaim in the presence of the composer, and has premiered dozens of new works, several of which were written specifically for her. She has worked with composers Augusta Read-Thomas, John Harbison, Libby Larsen, John Musto, Peter Winkler and Thomas Osborne on their music and recently, with William Bolcom on a performance and recording of his Briefly it Enters.
Equally at home in the opera house as on the concert stage, Ms. Schutz's roles have included Musetta (La Bohème), Blondchen (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Euridice (Orpheus ed Euridice), Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier), Rose (A Street Scene), Gloria (Handel's O come chair e belle) and St. Settlement (Four Saints in Three Acts), about which the Daily Freeman wrote "[Schutz's performance] revealed a comic streak lurking in this astounding lyric coloratura." Other roles have included First Maid in Daphne, Flora in The Turn of the Screw, Mable in The Pirates of Penzance and the title role in Patience.
She has been the recipient of the 2012 Sorel Fellowship at SongFest, the winner of the Roland Jones Scholarship Competition at the Welsh National Eisteddfod, New York Civic Morning Musicals Vocal Competition, and the Lillian Caroff Meyer Award from the Santa Fe Opera. She has been featured on Hawai'i's 88.1 KHPR and Chicago's WFMT, and can be heard on "Elements", an Albany Records album of contemporary American music, released in 2013.
After making her professional debut at age 12 premiering John Hardy’s The Roswell Incident with Music Theatre Wales, Ms. Schutz began studying with Mark Gruett of the Deutsche Oper, Berlin. She completed her B.A. in Music at Stony Brook University under the tutelage of Elaine Bonazzi, and received her Masters of Music degree from the Dawn Upshaw-run Vocal Arts Program at Bard College.