Chorus Director of the Gustav Mahler Chorus
Director of the Gustav Mahler Society of Colombo

Exposed to Classical Music at a very young age, both at home, and at her alma mater, Methodist College, Colombo, Rachel has always been a deeply committed musician. In College, she won first place at the inter-house solo singing competitions, for three years consecutively, and played the lead role of Boadicea in the College production of the operetta, ‘The Waxwork Carnival’. She was also a member of the College band, in which she played the trumpet, and choir.

She credits her piano teacher, Mrs. Priyanthi Perera, for laying her foundation in music, and with whom she completed her Graded London, Trinity and Royal College of Music examinations. She was introduced to orchestral music when she was given the opportunity to sing with the Symphony Orchestra choir for Haydn’s Creation in 2002.

She began studying voice in 2009, under the tutelage of Mrs. Menaka De Fonseka Sahabandu. As a member of the Menaka Singers Opera ensemble she played various roles in the ensembles opera productions and also received the opportunity to New Delhi to perform Adolphe Adams opera “If I were King”. In 2019 she completed her LTCL in Singing Recital from Trinity College of London and was awarded the prize for the highest results.

Since 2015 she has also been studying under Madam Barbara Segal. Under her guidance, she also engaged in masterclasses with world renown musicians Maestro Peter Crockford, Mezzo-soprano Janine Roebuck, Baritone Christopher Thornton-Holmes and Professor Carlos Conde-Gonzalez.

Having received a scholarship for masterclasses in South Africa in 2019, she refined her vocal skills under the tutelage of Maestro Dominic Wheeler and Baritone Njabulo Madlala.

Rachel has an extensive list of solo performances under her belt. These include the premier performance Gustav Mahler’s Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen and Ruckert lieder, Urlicht from the Resurrection Symphony in 2018 and 2019, respectively, and local composer Lakshan Fernando’s Mass in C by Lakshan Fernando, for which she was the mezzo-soprano soloist. In the 2019 Barbara Segal Opera Production of Cavalleria Rusticana under the musical direction of Maestro Peter Crockford and stage direction of Maestro Christopher Cowell, Rachel played the lead role of Santuzza, at St. Andrew's Scots Kirk Church, Colombo.