"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 young British mezzo-soprano based in Germany, and a recent member of the Junges Ensemble at the Semperoper Dresden, 2017-19. Born in London, Grace began her studies as a linguist, graduating in French and Italian from Clare College, Cambridge in 2012, before continuing her singing training at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the National Opera Studio. Her competition successes include, most recently, First Prize at the 10th International Cesti Competition for Baroque Opera, 2019; during her studies, she was also awarded the Bruce Millar Gulliver Prize 2016, 2nd Prize in the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2015, and Audience Prize and Banque Chaix Prize at the Opéra Grand Avignon’s inaugural Jeunes Espoirs competition in 2015.
Grace begins the 2019/20 season with her role début as Rosina Il barbiere di Siviglia at the National Concert Hall, Dublin. As a member of the Semperoper Junges Ensemble, Grace’s roles in the 2017/18 season included Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro, Mercédès Carmen, Second Lady Die Zauberflöte and Lucienne Die Tote Stadt; in 2018/19, she made additional débuts as Flora Bervoix La traviata, Urbain (cover) Les 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 the French 20th-century repertoire, Grace recently made her recital débuts at the Opéra Grand Avignon, the Printemps de l’Académie Ravel festival in St-Jean-de-Luz and the Les Journées Ravel festival in Montfort-L’Amaury, where her repertoire included Ravel Shéhérazade. In 2015, she was awarded the Grand Prix de l’Académie Ravel, and in 2013 devised and performed Sous le ciel de Paris, a cabaret concert celebrating the 50th anniversaries of Francis Poulenc, Jean Cocteau and Edith Piaf, at the St James Studio in London. Grace also performs regularly as part of the Semperoper’s Semper Soiree recital series.
Grace's future plans include covering the title role in Handel's Ariodante on tour with Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre throughout France and Germany, and Kitchen Boy Rusalka for Garsington Opera in 2020.