"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 was born in London, and began her studies as a linguist, graduating in French and Italian from Clare College, Cambridge in 2012. She continued her training as a singer at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and the National Opera Studio, and from 2017 to 2019 was a member of the Junges Ensemble at the Semperoper Dresden. A prize-winner in several international competitions, in 2019 she was awarded First Prize in both the Pietro Antonio Cesti Competition for Baroque Opera, and the Concours international de la mélodie française de Toulouse.
Grace's recent opera roles include Mercédès Carmenand Second Maid Elektra at the Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, Giovanna Rigolettoat the Opernhaus Zürich, Kuchtík Rusalka for Garsington Opera and the Edinburgh International Festival, Rosina Il barbiere di Sivigliafor Lyric Opera Ireland, and the title role in Ariodante(cover) with Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre.. At the Semperoper Dresden, she performed Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro, Zweite DameDie Zauberflôte, Flora Bervoix La Traviata and Lucienne Die Tote Stadt. Later this season, she will make her house début at the Opéra national de Lorraine as Prêtresse/Femme Grecque Iphigénie en Tauride, and will return to the Opernhaus Zürich as Zweite Dame Die Zauberflöte.
A passionate concert singer, Grace has collaborated with Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques on two solo recital programmes, Plaisir d'amour ne dure qu'un moment(Staatsoper Berlin, Festival Antiqua Bolzano) and From Purcell with Love(Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik). In 2020/21, she was a laureate of the Académie Orsay-Royaumont with pianist Edward Liddall, and performed recitals around Haydn's Arianna a Naxos at the Opéra de Lille, Opéra de Montpellier, Opéra national de Bordeaux, Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, Musée d'Orsay and London's Wigmore Hall, where she returned in 2022 to sing Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music with the Nash Ensemble. In 2021, she also performed Ravel Shéhérazade with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Rudolfinum, Prague, and Chausson Poème de l'amour et de la mer at the Murten Classics Festival, Switzerland.
Also active in contemporary music, Grace has worked closely with composer Philip Venables, both on the German première of his opera 4.48 Psychosis and on Numbers, for voice and chamber ensemble, which she premièred in 2021 at the Festival Musica, Strasbourg and at the Festival d'Automne, Paris with Collective Lovemusic. This season, she performed both Numbers and the world première of Michelle Agnes Magalhaes' The Word, also with Collective Lovemusic, at the Klangwerkstatt Festival Berlin, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and the Arsenal, Metz.
Grace's discography includes mélodies by Fauré, Ravel and Chausson on the disc Aimer à loisir, recorded in 2021 with Edward Liddall on B Records, and Jobs Frau Job by Gregor Werner, recorded with Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques and due to appear in 2023.