As an internationally recognized leading interpreter of contemporary and modern music, mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway brings versatility and compelling insight to stages worldwide. Her work has been praised by the New York Times for “penetrating clarity” and “considerable depth of expression” and by Opera News for her “adept musicianship and dramatic flair.”
This season finds Ms. Calloway as guest soloist with Third Coast Percussion in a Chris Cerrone commission for the company and in a work by Ligeti. She was presented in Vasco Mendonça's two-person opera, The House Taken Over at National Sawdust and appeared at the Guggenheim Museum in John Zorn's Commedia dell'Arte. Ms. Calloway will be Artist-In-Residence at Cornell University where she will collaborate with pianist Xak Bjerken in recital; is soloist at Rose Theater at Lincoln Center in an all-Verdi program; is soloist with the American Composers Orchestra; guest soloist with the Chamber Music Southeast; and, continues her appointment to Juilliard Summer Arts as collaborator and instructor in Switzerland this summer. She makes her Opera Philadelphia debut in the fall season in Lemit Beecher's I Have No Stories to Tell. In 2018 she reprises her collaboration with Third Coast Percussion in Chicago and New York.
Recent performances include concerts with Duo Cortona for voice and violin with Ari Streisfeld on the Resonant Bodies Festival (New York), the SONIC Festival with JACK Quartet, the music of John Zorn in New York, collaborations with Pro Musica Hebraica and the Amernet Quartet at the Kennedy Center, the Kennedy Center Jukebox New Music Series, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Oratorio Society of New York in Carnegie Hall, and appearances with the new music vocal ensemble Ekmeles at the University of Pittsburgh, Syracuse University, and Columbia University.
Ms. Calloway’s recent Carnegie Hall debut in the roles of Dominant and Musicologist in Steven Stucky and Jeremy Denk’s The Classical Style with Robert Spano conducting brought recognition from the New York Times praising her singing as “rich-voiced.” It was through this engagement that she became a finalist for the internationally recognized Warner Music Prize. She recently performed with Alarm Will Sound in the world première of The Hunger by Donnacha Dennehy in an unscheduled appearance last season.
Other engagements include Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Omaha Symphony under the direction of Thomas Wilkins, Thomas Adès Totentanz (cover) with the New York Philharmonic, the world premiere of Earth by Man Fang at the Southern Exposure New Music Series, the world première of Jeff Myers’ Requiem Aeternam with JACK Quartet at Trinity Wall Street, the music of John Zorn at The Cloisters. and the music of Helmut Lachenmann at Miller Theater.
Ms. Calloway debuted with Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt, Germany, singing Alban Berg’s Der Wein under the auspices of Alte Oper for a national radio broadcast by Heissicher Rundfunk. She sang the world première of Mohammed Fairouz’s Sumeida’s Song in the inaugural PROTOTYPE Festival in New York and Lembit Beecher’s I Have No Stories to Tell You with Gotham Chamber Opera at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has performed with leading contemporary ensembles including Ensemble Signal, Alarm Will Sound, Talea, JACK Quartet, Ekmeles, and Continuum. She has collaborated with today’s foremost composers including: Gabriela Lena Frank, Georg Friederich Haas, Unsuk Chin, Steven Stucky, Oliver Knussen, Nico Muhly, and Donnacha Dennehy.
She has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Series (Green Umbrella), Berkeley Symphony, Ojai Festival, San Francisco Girls’ Chorus, BAM Next Wave Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Cal Performances, and Lincoln Center Festival. She has collaborated with the Amernet Quartet, Boston’s Chameleon Arts Ensemble, Dolce Suono Ensemble, and the Biava Quartet . She made her European operatic debut as Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw at Opéra de Reims, Athénée Théâtre Louis-Jovet (Paris) and Opéra de Lille. She has performed with Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival in Virginia, Tulsa Opera, Central City Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, and the Glimmerglass Festival. She has appeared at the Kennedy Center under the auspices of Pro Musica Hebraica. Ms. Calloway is a founding member of Shir Ami, an ensemble dedicated to the preservation and performances of lost and unknown Jewish art music.
Ms. Calloway is a United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts and has received awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council and first prize in the Arts Recognition and Talent Search. As winner of the Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition, she performed Ravel’s Shéhérazade conducted by George Manahan. A native of Philadelphia, Ms. Calloway holds degrees from The Juilliard School (BM) and Manhattan School of Music (MM). She joined the faculty of the Cortona Sessions for New Music (Italy) in 2014 and can be heard on record companies of Albany, Tzadik, BCMF and Toccata Classics.
More on Rachel Calloway at: www.rachelcalloway.com
"A selection of orchestral songs based on Lewis Carroll, and partly drawn from Ms. Chin’s opera, was the highlight of the concert, which otherwise felt oddly tentative. The dark-toned mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway gave a dramatically focused rendition of “snagS&Snarls,” a five-movement suite that roller-coasters through a dizzying variety of musical idioms and has much of the same dark humor and alluring weirdness as the film director Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.” The committed Ensemble Signal, conducted with clarity and verve by Brad Lubman, responded with admirable flexibility to the lurching changes in color... — Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times 2014, Unsuk Chin, Composer Portrait, Miller Theater
“Mezzo Rachel Calloway has the adept musicianship and dramatic flair required for the demanding role of Asakir, and she controls the weight of her voice effectively, preventing even her most unhinged diatribes from becoming too strident.” — Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News, Sumeida’s Song, PROTOTYPE FESTIVAL, 2013
“Rachel Calloway, the soprano, sang with considerable depth of expression and very little vibrato, and gave superb accounts of both works.” — Allan Kozinn, New York Times, Harrison Birtwhistle’s Corridor and Nico Muhly’s Stabat Mater, Merkin Hall 2010