Born in Bedford, Rachel Nicholls was awarded Second Prize at the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Competition. She has a huge repertoire ranging from J. S. Bach and Handel to Schoenberg and Errollyn Wallen. She made her début at London’s Royal Opera as Third Flowermaiden Parsifal, returning as Pepik The Cunning Little Vixen, EchoAriadne auf Naxos and Prilepa The Queen of Spades and other operatic engagements have included First Niece Peter Grimes, Jenifer The Midsummer Marriage and Shepherd Tannhäuser at the St Endellion Festival, Philippa Babette’s Feast at the Linbury Studio Theatre, Frasquita Carmen, Tatyana Eugene Onegin and Flora The Knot Garden for Scottish Opera, the title role in Erismena, Ginevra Ariodante and Elisa Tolomeo for English Touring Opera, Miss Schlesen Satyagraha for English National Opera, Dorinda Orlando for the Atelier Lyrique, Tourcoing, TheophanoOttone and MetellaSilla at the London Handel Festival, Handel’s Susanna for The Early Opera Company, Fiordiligi Così fan tutte for Longborough Festival Opera, Donna Elvira Don Giovanni for Mid Wales Opera, Elettra Idomeneo for New Sussex Opera, Junon Platée for T.C.C. Productions, Lisbon, and Jessie Mahagonny Songspiel at the Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte, Montepulciano.
Rachel Nicholls made her international début singing Messiah under the direction of Sir David Willcocks in Halle. Other concert appearances include performances with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra (at the Proms 2008), the Britten Sinfonia, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Darmstadt Hofkapelle, the Hanover Band, the London Handel Players, the London Mozart Players, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Orchestra of St John’s, Le Parlement de Musique, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, as well as at the Brighton, Chelsea, Fishguard, London Handel and Three Choirs Festivals. Conductors with whom she has worked in opera and concert include Thomas Dausgaard, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Colin Davis, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Martin Gester, Richard Hickox, Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Simon Rattle, Steven Sloane and Masaaki Suzuki. Her broadcasts include the Christmas Oratorio with Le Parlement de Musique and Dorinda Orlando with La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy for Radio France and Sally Flashmob - The Opera, Schoenberg Quartet No. 2 with the Quatuor Parisii and In Tune for the BBC. She has appeared in recital at the Wigmore Hall, and her recordings include B Minor Mass and Cantatas – Volume 42 (BIS), Metella Silla (Somm). Hummel Mass in D Minor (Chandos), Music by Cecilia McDowall (Dutton) and Paul Spicer’s Easter Oratorio (Birmingham Bach Choir).
Current engagements include First Woman – First Fury The Mask of Orpehus: The Arches with the BBCSO at the 2009 Proms, Marzelline Fidelio for London Lyric Opera, Joan For You for Music Theatre Wales, Wendy Peter Pan (Bernstein) at the Festival Rota dos Monumentos, Portugal, further performances as Ginevra Ariodante and Elisa Tolomeo for English Touring Opera, Fiordiligi Così fan tutte at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Armida Rinaldo at the Edinburgh Festival 2009, Nerone L’Incoronazione di Poppea at the New Theatre, Tokyo, the B Minor Mass, the St Matthew Passion (arranged Mendelssohn) and Messiah with Bach Collegium Japan, Jauchzet Gott with Bach Collegium Japan in Edinburgh and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in London and Minneapolis, Beethoven Mass in C with the Bochum Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven Symphony No. 9 for the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Spring Symphony at the Three Choirs Festival, Hereford, The Kingdom in King’s College, Cambridge, Judas Maccabaeus at the Gdansk Music Festival, Messiah with Florilegium, the Nelson Mass at the St Endellion Festival, Haydn Il ritorno di Tobia with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Die Jahreszeiten with the Nagoya Symphony Orchestra, Schumann Requiem with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Szymanowski Stabat Mater for Huddersfield Choral Society, an Opera Gala with the Mikkeli City Orchestra, La Folle Journée in Tokyo, a programme on Ann Cargill for the BBC’s Early Music Show and Sir Roger Norrington’s 75th Birthday Concert with the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment.