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’s highlights include the American premiere of Vasco Mendonça’s The House Taken Over at National Sawdust; a collaboration with Third Coast Percussion featuring a new work by Christopher Cerrone and Ligeti’s Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel; Steve Reich’s Tehillim with the American Composers Orchestra at Zankel Hall; works by John Zorn at the Guggenheim and the Louvre; Verdi Concerts at the Rose Theater in New York; Artist-in-Residence at Cornell University; a world premiere by Fang Man with Robert Jesselson at the University of South Carolina; and appearances with Duo Cortona (duos for voice and violin with Ari Streisfeld) at the Columbia Museum of Art, Chamber Music Southeast, and the Contemporary Undercurrent of Songs Project; and, a debut with Opera Philadelphia (2017-2018) in Lembit Beecher’s I Have No Stories to Tell You.
On the concert stage, Ms. Calloway recently sang Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Oratorio Society of New York in Carnegie Hall and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Omaha Symphony.She 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 was presented in concert at the Kennedy Center in collaborations with the Amernet Quartet and Pro Musica Hebraica and the Jukebox New Music Series. Ms. Calloway has covered Thomas Adès’ Totentanz with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Series (Green Umbrella), Berkeley Symphony, San Francisco Girls’ Chorus, BAM Next Wave Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Cal Performances, Resonant Bodies Festival, SONiC Festival, Southern Exposure New Music Festival, and Lincoln Center Festival. Ms. Calloway has performed with Ensemble Signal, Alarm Will Sound, Talea, JACK Quartet, Ekmeles, and Continuum. In addition, she has collaborated with today’s foremost composers including: Gabriela Lena Frank, Georg Friederich Haas, Unsuk Chin, Oliver Knussen, Nico Muhly, and Donnacha Dennehy.
Equally at home on the operatic stage, Ms. Calloway created the roles of “Dominant” and “Musicologist” in Steven Stucky and Jeremy Denk’s The Classical Style (Zankel Hall, Ojai Festival) with Robert Spano conducting which brought recognition from the New York Times praising her singing as “rich-voiced.” Through this engagement she became a finalist for the internationally recognized Warner Music Prize. She sang the world premiere 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. 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.
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 Juilliard Summer Arts in Geneva, Switzerland in 2016, where she will return this summer. Ms. Calloway serves on the faculty of the University of South Carolina. She is a founding member of Shir Ami, an ensemble dedicated to the preservation and performance of lost and unknown Jewish art music. She can be heard on Albany Records, Tzadik Records, BCMF Records, and Toccata Classics.