Teseo:Medea Artist Interview: Rachel Duval

Soprano Rachel Duval. Photo credit: Kati McKie

Soprano Rachel Duval. Photo credit: Kati McKie

Behind every man is a woman with a story to tell, and this May that story is TESEO:MEDEA. Rachel Duval returns to CantantiPROJECT as Teseo in a production that has women center stage and ready to shine.

Get to know Rachel in the interview below.


Music by Handel, libretto by Haym

May 11th @ 7:00pm

May 12th @ 3:30pm

Underground Theater at the Abrons Art Center

466 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

Part of the @Abrons Series Program and the 2019 New York Opera Fest.

Please introduce yourself: your name, where you’re from, what role you’re singing, and the first three things that come to mind when you think “Handel”.

Rachel Duval, from Boulder CO, singing Teseo, and first three things: frills, trills, and skills!

Rachel Duval as Angelica and Juecheng Chen as Orlando in Orlando. Cantanti Project, 2017. Photo credit: Lucas Godlewski

Rachel Duval as Angelica and Juecheng Chen as Orlando in Orlando. Cantanti Project, 2017. Photo credit: Lucas Godlewski

Our production of TESEO:MEDEA emphasizes the fact that women play very important roles in this opera. How has this influenced your character’s trajectory in the plot?

Teseo, while being the title role, actually affects the plot very little with his choices. It is Medea and Agilea's choices that ultimately find him happiness within the context of the opera. He is a powerful warrior and enters the world of the opera successful by his own merits, but within the opera he is perfectly content to have his frienemy Medea and his main squeeze Agilea take charge.

In your opinion, do you think Teseo is aware of how little direct power he has?

No, I do not think Teseo knows how little direct power he has in the show because he just defeated a huge foe on the battlefield and is feeling pretty good about that.

In Barcelona. Photo credit: Kati McKie

In Barcelona. Photo credit: Kati McKie

What was the most challenging aspect of Teseo for you to tap into?

The fact that we just came from battle and are presumably exhausted, sad, drained, and weary, and then have to go sing a whole opera!

If Teseo could have a theme song, what would it be?

Battle, David Guetta (featuring Faouzia)

What’s the most interesting discovery you’ve made while preparing for TESEO:MEDEA?

I would LOVE to be a drag king. And if I were, my drag name would be Theseus D.

Dressed up as Danny from Grease.

Dressed up as Danny from Grease.

And if you could have a mythological superpower, what would it be?

As Rachel, it would be the ability to speak any language and/or fly. As Teseo, it would probably be to have Luke Cage style bulletproof skin.

One of the goals of this project is to showcase women in the arts - we have an all-female cast and a majority-female production team. What has this experience been like for you so far?

Not much different than usual, to be honest. I love working with quality artists and if they happen to be female identifying then awesome! This group is comprised of all wildly skilled musicians/artists, and that's what I look for in the projects I choose to be a part of. I do think that women in the arts have to work harder to get the same amount of respect, so as a result the average skill level of this production is higher.

We hope TESEO:MEDEA inspires other female/female-identifying artists and audience members. What do you hope they’ll take away after seeing this production?

That gender has always just been a construct, and history tells us that power and love are what humans seek.

Visit rachelduval.com to learn more of Rachel before seeing her as Teseo in TESEO:MEDEA this May.