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REHANNA THELWELL

MEZZO-SOPRANO

BIOGRAPHY

Mezzo-soprano Rehanna Thelwell is quickly becoming known for her magnetic performances and expressive vocal power in a wide variety of repertoire. She recently made her mainstage début performing the title role of Carmen at Washington National Opera, in a performance Parterre Box hailed as “a stupendous Carmen,” whose “top-flight voice is distinctive and rangy, the center lithe, silky, and clear, and her chest voice voluptuous and authoritative. She’s a gutsy, energetic actress and her take on Carmen favors high-spirited immediacy.”


A recent graduate of the Washington National Opera Cafritz Young Artist program, last season for Ms. Thelwell included her début at Dutch National Opera as Girlfriend/Congregant 3 in Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s Blue, roles which she reprised later in the season at Washington National Opera. She also made role débuts as Dinah/Anna I in Madison Opera’s double-bill of Trouble in Tahiti/The Seven Deadly Sins, returned to South Florida Symphony for Bruckner’s Te Deum, joined Bangor Symphony for Beethoven’s 9thSymphony, débuted with The Washington Chorus for Undine Smith Moore’s Scenes from the Life of a Martyr and the Duruflé Requiem, and reprised Scenes from the Life of a Martyr with Exigence Ensemble (Detroit, MI). This season, she joins San Francisco Opera as Katie Ellen/Caller and the cover of Fatima in Omar, makes her Atlanta Opera début at Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, joins Detroit Opera as the Forester’s Wife/ Owl in The Cunning Little Vixen, and is a soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the South Florida Symphony. [read more...]

CRITICAL ACCLAIM


"... these pieces showcase the exceptional mezzo-soprano Rehanna Thelwell..." – The Capital Times


Trouble in Tahiti / Seven Deadly Sins – "Together, these pieces showcase the exceptional mezzo-soprano Rehanna Thelwell and make for a pleasantly compact evening at the opera. . . Thelwell and Gray are well paired here, expressive, grounded performers with a sure command of Bernstein’s musical style. . . Thelwell sparkles on the title aria, giving her retelling of a silly movie plot the barest edge of mania. . . In both of these pieces, Thelwell is a true star. She’s a pop of primary color among khaki in “Trouble” . . . and digs as deep as she can for emotional impact in “Sins.”"

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"... a stupendous Carmen..." – Parterre Box


Carmen – “There are five performances remaining of Washington National Opera’s season-closing production of Carmen. Only one, however, is worth your time: Rehanna Thelwell will sing the title role once more, on May 27, and she is, in her role debut, a stupendous Carmen. WNO’s Cafritz Young Artist Program, which frequently offers some of its singers a chance to perform leading roles in a performance or two of each of their productions, as was the case on Sunday, is not known for minting stars. Yet Thelwell is one of the singular talents to emerge from it in the past six years. Her top-flight voice is distinctive and rangy, the center lithe, silky, and clear, and her chest voice voluptuous and authoritative. She’s a gutsy, energetic actress and her take on Carmen favors high-spirited immediacy rather than aloof fatedness. With a bit more time. . . she has the makings of a superior Carmen."

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"... standout..." – Opera News


Fire Shut Up in My Bones – “Standouts in the large ensemble included Rehanna Thelwell’s Ruby”

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"...The sheer beauty of Rehanna Thelwell’s sound..." – BackTrack


Oedipus Rex – “The sheer beauty of Rehanna Thelwell’s sound. . . her distinctive presence suited Queen Jocasta well. The evening came alive in her reading of “Nonn’ erubeskite, reges” and subsequent scene of guilty recrimination with Burden’s Oedipus.”

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"...Regal becomes Thelwell both dramatically and vocally..." – Seen and Heard International


Oedipus Rex – “Rehanna Thelwell’s imperious, smug Jocasta followed a similar downward trajectory, as her haughty dismissals of the oracle’s revelations were gradually replaced by horror, if not exactly remorse. Regal becomes Thelwell both dramatically and vocally, as did the Verdian style in which Stravinsky composed Jocasta’s aria.”

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"... showed off her range..." – The Capital Times


Opera in the Park – “Rehanna Thelwell, a mezzo-soprano in a stunning golden gown, showed off her range too, from a delicate rendition of Elgar’s “Where Corals Lie” to vocal growls and broad humor in “When You’re Good to Mama” from the musical “Chicago.”

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"...Thelwell brought plenty of warmth to the role..." – Opera News


Highway 1, U.S.A. – “Mezzo Rehanna Thelwell brought plenty of warmth to the role of Mary’s sympathetic Aunt Lou.”

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"... Rehanna Thelwell is superb..." – Broadway World


Highway 1, U.S.A – “Rehanna Thelwell is superb as Aunt Lou, who spends a night or two with Mary while Bob is away on a trip. Mary has long been a second daughter to Lou, whose first child died young. It's an intimate scene, and Thelwell fills it with warmth-her voice rich and lovely.”

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"... Thelwell’s dynamic presence made the strongest impressions..." – Washington Post


Night Trip – “The singers, from the WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, were excellent. . . Thelwell’s dynamic presence made the strongest impressions on this reviewer, but everyone had superb moments, without a weak link.”

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"... brought a thrilling commitment and dramatic intelligence..." – Washington Classical Review


Night Trip – “Simon’s score opens with a frenetic collage of influences from the period, mixing snippets of Jazz, Motown, and martial motifs for the veterans. These are not reserved solely for the orchestra, however—the substantial opening aria for Conchetta tasks the singer (the tremendous Rehanna Thelwell) with handling these stylistic shifts vocally as well. . . The most impressive turn of the evening was reserved for Rehanna Thelwell in Night Trip, who brought a thrilling commitment and dramatic intelligence to the bravura solo scenes that bookended the piece.”

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"...She’s got it all..." – DC Theatre Scene


Night Trip – “Thelwell embodied the role of Conchetta, a young Black teenager, who is being driven from Chicago by two uncles to visit her family in Tennessee. . . The free physical expression of this performer, her clarity with putting across language, and her accessibility to deep emotional pools demonstrates the most important aspect of any performance art form. She’s got it all. Thelwell carries the arc of the piece perfectly from radiant innocence to what becomes for us all a heartbreaking “knowing” of the real world.”

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"... Thelwell was riveting..." – OperaGene


Night Trip – “I saved the best for last; mezzo-soprano Rehanna Thelwell was riveting as Conchetta. She first appears commanding the stage, full of life, singing beautifully, and by the end, commanding the stage, singing knowingly.”

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"...Thelwell’s titanic sound..." – DC Metro Theater Arts


Washington National Opera Riffs and Relations – “Where all that energy led was to another booming performance, this one by American mezzo-soprano Rehanna Thelwell in Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s “O Loving Heart, Trust On.” It’s impossible not to compare Thelwell’s titanic sound to that of another big-voiced American mezzo, the late Jessye Norman. Thelwell sang the wistful work with tenderness, but her thunderous delivery was more reminiscent of gospel singing than it was a quiet meditation on faith. That’s okay. Given Thelwell’s level of craft, it was great.”

REPRESENTATIVES

Shawn Marie Jeffery

Vice President | Classical & Creatives


Adrienne Boris

Agent | Classical & Concert


Lisa Bremer 

Operations & Finance Manager

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