Susan Dunn-Rachleff

Australian Mezzo-Soprano, Susan Dunn-Rachleff enjoys a vibrant and dynamic career as a versatile performer and educator. She has appeared globally on operatic and concert stages and in musical theatre productions, with engagements throughout the USA, Europe and Australia. Additionally, Ms. Dunn-Rachleff is internationally recognized for her teaching approach towards developing presence on stage. In her work with singers, instrumentalists, and conductors, she employs a protocol that embodies a neurophysiological approach for attaining presence and peak performance.

Ms. Dunn-Rachleff has performed with Opera Australia, Opera Queensland, Sydney Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre Company, Queensland Ballet, Andrew Lloyd Webber’sThe Really Useful Company, Andrew McKinnon Concert Productions, Context, and other major performing arts companies and ensembles both in Australia and the USA. She has also performed internationally in London’s West End, Israel, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Ukraine. Additionally, Ms. Dunn-Rachleff has conceived, produced and performed as a soloist in a series of stage and orchestral concerts.

Susan Dunn-Rachleff has appeared on the symphonic stage with a variety of orchestras worldwide, including the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Chicago Philharmonic, Charlotte Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Spokane Symphony, Toledo Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony, and the Martinu Philharmonic in the Czech Republic. Additionally, she has performed and recorded with ABC Australia, 4MBS, EMI/Jade, and many of Australia’s major orchestras. Summer engagements have included solo performances with summer music festivals, including the Grand Teton Music Festival, Connecticut’s Summer Music Festival, Interlochen Music Festival, Sunflower Music Festival, Cactus Pear Music Festival, Chautauqua Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, and the International Conductor’s Workshop in the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Ukraine.

Ms. Dunn-Rachleff has won many major Australian singing competitions, including the State and Commonwealth Finals of the ABC Instrumental and Vocal Competition, an Opera Foundation Scholarship, an Australia Council Grant for international study, and an Arts Queensland Personal Development Grant. In 2000, she won a prestigious Winston Churchill Fellowship, where she studied at the New York Festival of Song and other performing arts companies in New York City and London. As a result of her Churchill Fellowship, Ms. Dunn-Rachleff devised and performed a series of thematic concerts at the Shepherd School of Music, dedicated to the revitalization and re-invention of the song recital.

Susan Dunn-Rachleff specializes in coaching singers, instrumentalists and conductors to create a grounded, dynamic, and present performance. Ms. Dunn-Rachleff has designed a protocol that embodies a neurophysiological approach for attaining peak performance. This is achieved with mindful awareness, primal breath training and self-directed neuroplasticity, and application of polyvagal theory for grounding, rewiring, and regulating the nervous system, both on and off the stage. Implementing these practices with visual, physical, aural and musical presence lead to an expressive, confident and polished performance.

Ms. Dunn-Rachleff also conducts master classes on presence for the general public with a concentration on mindfulness, breathing, connected and communicative body language, and confident, articulate speech.   

In her position at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, Ms. Dunn-Rachleff strives to empower young musicians by helping them develop innovative programming and communicative performance skills. She currently devises and teaches classes in Thematic Programming and Presence on Stage as part of the Career  and Skills Enhancement courses, as well as an Undergraduate Performance Seminar. She also teaches independent studies to voice and instrumental students, while maintaining a private voice studio. In Brisbane, Australia she held positions as Lecturer at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and Lecturer of Voice at the Queensland University of Technology, where she also devised programs in Music Theatre Skills. In 2011, she created The St. Francis School of Music: A Co-curricular Vocal and Instrumental Program for St. Francis Episcopal Day School in Houston, Texas.

Ms. Dunn-Rachleff has also served on the faculty of the Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca-Italy, Brevard Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, Miami Music Festival, and the International Conducting Workshop and Festival in Dallas, Houston, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Ukraine. Additionally, she has taught master classes in 'Presence on Stage' at the Aspen Music Festival and School, Music Academy of the West, Sarasota Music Festival, and the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Australia.

Ms. Dunn-Rachleff studied at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Brisbane, Australia, graduating with both a Bachelor of Music Degree (performance and teaching) and a Graduate Diploma in Opera.

Susan Dunn-Rachleff currently lives in Houston with her son, Samuel Rachleff.

More Information

Susan Dunn-Rachleff , Artist Teacher of Performance Studies
B.M. (1985), Graduate Diploma of Music (1987), Queensland Conservatorium of Music
2270 Alice Pratt Brown Hall