"There is little doubt that one day, Durham will be dazzling us with vocal fireworks in the manner of Ann Hallenberg or Vivica Genaux" (Jacques Duffourg, Baroquiades)
Grace Durham is a prize-winning British mezzo-soprano based in Paris. She began her studies as a linguist, graduating in French and Italian from Clare College, Cambridge in 2012. The recipient of an Independent Opera Voice Scholarship, she then continued her training as a singer at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the National Opera Studio, before joining the Semperoper Dresden as a member of the Junges Ensemble from 2017-2019. In 2019, she was awarded both the First Prize at the 10th International Cesti Competition for Baroque Opera, and the Grand Prix of the Concours international d’interprétation de la Mélodie Française de Toulouse.
Grace began her 2019/20 season with rôle débuts as RosinaIl barbiere di Siviglia for Lyric Opera, Dublin, and cover AriodanteAriodante for Les Musiciens du Louvre under Marc Minkowski. As a member of the Semperoper Junges Ensemble, Grace’s roles in the 2017/18 season included CherubinoLe nozze di Figaro, MercédèsCarmen, Second LadyDie Zauberflöte and LucienneDie Tote Stadt; in 2018/19, she made additional débuts as Flora BervoixLa traviata, cover UrbainLes Huguenots and Clare in the German première of Philip Venables’ 4.48 Psychosis. As a concert soloist, her repertoire includes Mozart Mass in C Minor at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, and regular appearances with Oxford Baroque including Bach St Matthew Passion, St John Passion and Mass in B Minor, Mahler Symphony no. 2 and Duruflé Requiem.
An accomplished recitalist, particularly in 20th-century French repertoire, Grace Durham’s recent engagements include Ravel Shéhérazade at the Les Journées Ravel festival in Montfort-L’Amaury, Schumann Frauenliebe und -leben in St-Jean-de-Luz (where she was the recipient of the Grand Prix de l’Académie Ravel) and Sous le ciel de Paris, a cabaret recital celebrating Poulenc, Jean Cocteau and Edith Piaf, at the St James Studio in London. She has also performed in recital at the Opéra Grand Avignon and at the Semperoper Dresden, where she sang frequently in the Semper Soireeconcert series.
Her current engagements include From Purcell with Love, a concert of songs and arias from Purcell's Orpheus Britannicus with Les Talens Lyriques at the 2020 Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik, recitals at the Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse and the Opéra National de Bordeaux, the title role in Carmen (concert highlights) with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra under Omer Meir Wellber, and Second MaidElektra also at the Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse.