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About


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About


American Mezzo Soprano Renée Rapier brings her “dark, velvety mezzo and smoothly controlled, unfailingly eloquent phrasing to match” (Opera News) as well as a “razor-sharp focus” (Bay Area Reporter) to the operatic stage.  

 

This summer Ms. Rapier will be featured in a number of recitals and concerts at the Newport Music Festival including a performance with renowned Mezzo Soprano Federica won Stade and composer Jake Heggie.  She also makes her Wagnerian debut as Grimgerde in San Francisco Opera’s visionary Ring Cycle, and makes her role debut as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Opera Steamboat.  Her 2018/2019 season includes a new production of John Cage’s Europeras 1&2 with the LA Phil in collaboration with The Industry and MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant winner Yuval Sharon, appearances with Peninsula Symphony and Mise-en-scene Studios, as well as a return to Opera San Jose to sing Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. 

Ms. Rapier was recently a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Suzuki in Madame Butterfly at both Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Seattle Opera, Mercédès in Calixto Bieito’s provocative production of Carmen at San Francisco Opera, and a critically-acclaimed debut as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera San Jose.  Other notable engagements include a return to LA Opera singing Cherubino in both Le Nozze di Figaro and John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, the latter of which producing a two-time Grammy winning recording, a debut at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival as both the Page in Salome and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, her international debut as Olga in Eugene Onegin with the Seoul Philharmonic, Cornelia in Giulio Cesare with Wolf Trap Opera, and a debut with Opera San Antonio as Mrs. Fox in Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. 

 

After receiving degrees in both voice and viola from the University of Northern Iowa, Ms. Rapier participated in several prominent training programs including Chautauqua Opera and the Merola Opera Program.  In 2011, she was chosen to join LA Opera’s Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program where she made her professional debut as Stephano in Roméo et Julietteunder the baton of Plácido Domingo.  Soon after, she joined the prestigious Adler Fellowship at the San Francisco Opera where she covered and sang a number of roles including Giovanna in Rigoletto and Meg Page in Falstaff.  

Renée has received recognition from several notable competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (national semi-finalist), Palm Springs Opera Guild Competition (first place), the Seoul International Music Competition (finalist), Plácido Domingo’s Operalia (semi-finalist) and the Brava! Opera Theater and James M. Collier Young Artist Program Vocal Competition (first place).

 

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Upcoming


 

THE RADIANT MEZZO RENÉE RAPIER IMMEDIATELY ENGAGED OUR EARS WITH A PLUSH, RIPE TONAL BEAUTY THAT ANNOUNCED HER AS A MAJOR DISCOVERY.

 

Upcoming


 

THE RADIANT MEZZO RENÉE RAPIER IMMEDIATELY ENGAGED OUR EARS WITH A PLUSH, RIPE TONAL BEAUTY THAT ANNOUNCED HER AS A MAJOR DISCOVERY.

 

Upcoming

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San Francisco Opera- Die Walküre

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Newport Music Festival- Guest Artist

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Gallery


 

Her voice is a deep and smoky mezzo-soprano, though she displays a wide tonal dexterity. 

 

Gallery


 

Her voice is a deep and smoky mezzo-soprano, though she displays a wide tonal dexterity. 

 

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Reviews


 

a dark, velvety mezzo and smoothly controlled, unfailingly eloquent phrasing to match.

 

Reviews


 

a dark, velvety mezzo and smoothly controlled, unfailingly eloquent phrasing to match.

 

Reviews

As her loyal maid Suzuki, Renée Rapier is also a standout. It is evidence of how thoroughly Rapier inhabits her role that, at the end of the play, you may find yourself thinking not of what will become of Cio-Cio-San’s blue-eyed boy, but what will happen to her maid. The women’s friendship is the second love story in what, by the end, feels like a feminist fable — A Handmaid’s Tale with international borders.
— Riverfront Times
Renée Rapier was also luxury casting as a potent Suzuki. Ms. Rapier’s plummy mezzo radiated authority and her poised singing was a perfect partner for Ms. Harms, the two melding beautifully in their duet.
— Opera Today
The radiant mezzo Renée Rapier immediately engaged our ears with a plush, ripe tonal beauty that announced her as a major discovery. In short order, she also captured our hearts with an especially assured Una voce poco fa. Her fresh, spontaneous reading of this thrice-familiar piece immediately established her credentials as a first tier Rosina. Ms. Rapier’s rich lower register was wedded to a solid middle and brilliant top, giving off coloratura sparks as demanded, and coy romantic heat when appropriate.

She, too, proved to be a well-rounded, richly complicated personality, and she found a variety of meaningful expression in her impersonation. Her comic sensibilities were a formidable component in the day’s success, and she clearly relished interacting and conspiring with her Figaro and Lindoro. Even though I knew it was coming, her spot on revelation that she has already written the love note that Figaro is prompting her to compose was so “right” that I barked a surprised laugh out loud. This cast was treating the audience to Barbiere as if for the first time, and we relished their sense of discovery.
— Opera Today
At the end of what had to be one of the longest, most confusing weeks for many in the Bay Area and around the country, it was not one brilliant woman, but two, who lifted our spirits, brought order to things and with their various talents, inspired us to hope.

With the strength of Layna Chianakas’ direction and the resplendent singing and acting of mezzo-soprano Renée Rapier, we were astounded by the quality of this production.

Make no mistake: the men in this cast were brilliant, too.

But at the end of the day, it is  Rapier that people should listen to. The mezzo has appeared with the San Francisco and Los Angeles  opera companies, but as one knowledgeable audience member remarked, “She could sing this role on any stage in the world”.

Rapier’s seamless portrayal of Rosina’s ambiguous qualities was buttressed by a unified, blistering vocal technique that students can appreciate. From “Una voce poco fa”, colors and ornaments were meticulously placed and musically satisfying. Her ravishing tone in “Contro un cor che accende amor”, traveled the ends of the hall, even throughout, and her duet with Myer, “Dunque io son”, was nothing short of resplendent.
— Mercury News
As an example of luxury casting on the part of Seattle opera, the small role of Mary Stuart’s companion Anna was sung by Renee Rapier, an excellent artist with a major career ahead of her.
— Opera Warhorses
The entire ensemble cast proved to be of the highest standard. Renée Rapier made her mark as Mrs. Bass, the school-marmish owner of the boarding house. Ms. Rapier sang with clarity and finesse, and communicated a completely realized character.
— Opera Today
Iowa mezzo-soprano Renée Rapier, an alumna of the Los Angeles Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist’s program, proved an endearing and funny Cherubino, who sings (beautifully) two of Mozart’s most famous arias and gets abundant laughs as Tagliavini’s Figaro sings Non piu andrai, the number one aria on the Mozart hit parade.
Although she has had important comprimario roles at both the Los Angeles and San Francisco Operas, her Los Angeles Opera Cherubino should be considered a breakout role for this talented mezzo.
— Opera Warhorses
Rapier’s exceptional strength and solidity as Octavian in the concert’s close, the final trio from Der Rosenkavalier, more than held its own opposite Sierra’s high C soaring Sophie... Rapier displayed equal core strength and many expressive touches in her “Parto, ma tu ben mio” tour de force from Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, and dueted perfectly with Jose Gonzalez Granero’s clarinet.
— San Francisco Classical Voice
Renée Rapier brought to the role of Cornelia a dark, velvety mezzo and smoothly controlled, unfailingly eloquent phrasing to match. She summoned such a proud, noble presence that it was all the more unfortunate that Rader-Shieber called on this Cornelia to attempt suicide by means of assorted gardening tools.
— Opera News
During an extended orchestral introduction (perfectly timed by conductor Mark Morash), mezzo Renée Rapier as Charlotte had to cross the entire stage slowly with her eyes fixed on the box in which she had saved Werther’s letters. Her focus was so intense that one easily forgot about the whipping chill wind in the air, not to mention the scraps of paper blowing off stage after she untied the ribbon around those letters. Her subsequent confession scene with her younger sister Sophie, sung by soprano Janai Brugger-Orman, was equally effective and certainly compelling enough to leave us hungry for a performance of the entire opera.
— San Francisco Classical Music Examiner

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Contact


Her lovely, lyrical voice is complemented by an infectious charm and charisma.

Contact


Her lovely, lyrical voice is complemented by an infectious charm and charisma.

Contact

Phone- (929) 445- 2294

Email- reneemrapier@gmail.com

 

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