Australian/American soprano Rachelle Durkin has built a glittering career on both sides of the Pacific, establishing herself as a regular at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, receiving nominations for Helpmann Awards for Opera Australia productions, and performing with the likes of Bryn Terfel, Placido Domingo, José Carreras, and more.

Now after two decades based in the US, Durkin has returned to Australia where she will star as The Governess in State Opera South Australia’s production of Benjamin Britten’s spine-tingling The Turn of the Screw. And as she tells Jo Litson, she is thrilled by the challenge.

Rachelle Durkin in reharsal for State Opera South Australia's Turn of the Screw, April 2022. Photo © Soda Street Productions Turn of the Screw

Hello Rachelle! You spent 20 years living in New York. When and why did you return to Australia?

We repatriated to Australia in October 2020. We decided to leave for many reasons. Rising COVID cases, rioting, lockdowns, remote schooling, not to mention the most controversial presidential election in American history. We no longer felt the urge to...