Agnieszka Rehlis graduated with honours from the Academy of Music in Wrocław, Poland (1996), with a degree in Vocal Studies. While a student, she had been receiving a scholarhip from the Ministry of Culture and Art of Poland for three years.
In 1991 she won the first prize at the Franciszka Platówna Vocal Competition in Wrocław and in 1994 – the third prize at the 3rd International Vocal Competition in Duszniki-Zdrój.
She participated in a range of masterclasses, led by Krystyna Szostek-Radkowa, Adele Stolte, Christian Elsner, and Gerhard Kahry among others, which would culminate with concerts held as part of the Wratislavia Cantans Festival of Oratorio and Cantata Music.
In 1996–2007 Ms Rehlis was a soloist of the Wrocław Opera, making a debut as Jadwiga in Moniuszko’s The Haunted Manor. Among her other significant roles were Fenena in Nabucco, Flora in La Traviata, Meg Page in Falstaff, and Maddalena in Rigoletto by Verdi; Sibel in Gounod’s Faust; Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro and Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte by Mozart; Mercedes in Bizet’s Carmen; as well as Euridice in Rudziński’s Antigone. Together with the Wrocław Opera, she toured Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, England, Ireland, France, Italy, and Taipei. She also appeared in large-scale opera shows at Hala Ludowa in Wrocław (Carmen, Nabucco, Il trovatore, The Haunted Manor, Fiddler on the Roof, Das Reingold) and the premiere of Ponchielli’s La Gioconda staged on the Odra river in Wrocław and recorded by TVP, Polish national TV broadcaster (2003).
She debuted at the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera in 2003 as Fenena in Nabucco.
The artist mainly performs oratorios and cantatas, with her repertoire including over sixty of such works, ranging from Johann Sebastian Bach to Krzysztof Penderecki. She has appeared in philharmonic halls in Poland and across Europe (Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Ukraine, Lithuania, Austria, Latvia, Russia, Slovenia, Spain). She has participated in such international festivals as the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, Wratislavia Cantans, Chopin Festival in Duszniki-Zdrój, International East-West Musical Encounters in Zielona Góra, Probaltica Music & Art Festival of Baltic States, Usedomer Music Festival in Peenemunde, Festival Pablo Casals in Prades, festivals of sacred music in Marseille and Nuremberg, George Enescu International Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Contrasts International Music Festival in Lviv, Prague Spring, and Beijing Music Festival.
Ms Rehlis has performed under such conductors as: Jiří Bělohlávek, Gabriel Chmura, Lawrence Foster, Marco Guidarini, Gustavo Dudamel, Jacek Kaspszyk, Kazimierz Kord, Bramwell Tovey, Antoni Wit, or Long Yu; and to the accompaniment of: the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, NDR Symphony Orchestra, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de la Juventud Venezolana Simón Bolivar, Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, among other ensembles.
She has made numerous appearances in concerts conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki at home and abroad, performing his Polish Requiem, Te Deum, Credo, and Seven Gates of Jerusalem (at the music fair Midem Classique 2000 in Cannes). She took part in the world premiere of his Symphony No. 8 Lieder der Vergänglichkeit (Songs of Transience).
In September 2005 the singer recorded Te Deum, in 2006 – Lieder der Vergänglichkeit, and in 2008 – Penderecki’s Utrenja for Naxos. Two of her recordings, made for DUX, won the Fyrderyks (Polish music awards): Paderewski’s Manru was named The Best Polish Music Recording in 2004, while Stanisław Moniuszko’s Masses Part 1 was named the best album of choral and oratorio music in 2009. Her second album containing Moniuszko’s Masses recorded for DUX received Orphée d’Or for ‘the best phonographic initiative’ (Arturo Toscanini memorial award) from L’Académie du Disque Lyrique, France. The artist has also released DVDs, including Penderecki’s Polish Requiem (concert commemorating the December 1970 riots in the Szczecin Shipyard) or Seven Gates of Jerusalem directed by Jarosław Minkowicz and Tomasz Bagiński, which won the Grand Prix – The Czech Cristal (in the ‘music on the TV screen’ category) at the International Television Festival Gold Prague.
Agnieszka Rehlis took part in the first staging of Mieczysław Weinberg’s opera The Passenger at the Bregenz Festival produced by David Poutney; she also sang in Chopin, a ballet production of the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera, at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. She was praised by critics and audiences alike for her excellent appearances in the premieres of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia (Maffio Orsini), The Passenger by Weinberg (Lisa), the ballet Tristan (she sang Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder set to words by Mathilde Wesendonck), and the ballet Chopin (she sang a Berlioz song) – all at the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera’s.
On 14 January 2011 the artist took part in the Warsaw Philharmonic’s special concert concluding the Chopin Year. Together with Sinfonia Varsovia under Valery Gergiev, she performed Krzysztof Penderecki’s new work Powiało na mnie morze snów… (A Sea of Dreams Did Breathe on Me), set to Polish peotry.
In the 2013/14 season Agnieszka Rehlis performed at the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera as Richard Strauss’s Electra (a production of Willy Decker), Marta in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta under Valery Gergiev (a production of Mariusz Treliński). In June 2014 she created the role of Hagar in the world premiere of Eugeniusz Knapik’s Moby Dick, receiving rave reviews. In the same season she played Azucena in the Kraków Opera (a production of Laco Adamik).
In 2014 she made a debut at the Houston Grand Opera and the New York’s Lincoln Center Festival (The Passenger). In February 2014 she toured with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, singing Polish Requiem under Penderecki. In November 2014 she took part in the world premiere of Penderecki’s Dies Illa in Brussels, written to commemorate the outbreak of World War I on a commission from the Festival of Flanders. In December 2014 she gave four performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Lezion under Maestro Noam Scheriff. In 2015 she will make a debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in The Passenger.