Biography

Heralded as a “singing actress of near genius” (Sunday Times) who “has such natural grace and emotional eloquence that she cannot fail to touch the heart” (Independent), soprano Janis Kelly originated the title role of Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna at the Manchester International Festival, with subsequent performances in London, Toronto and Portland; in concert at ROH and Teatro Real‚ Madrid‚ and now available on CD (Deutsche Grammophon). At the opera’s debut, the Financial Times summed: “In the Callas-like title role Janis Kelly gives the performance of her life.”

 

Most recent and future appearances include Marcellina Le Nozze di Figaro (English National Opera)‚ Mrs Lovett Sweeney Todd (Welsh National Opera)‚ Mrs Nixon Nixon in China (Metropolitan Opera‚ New York and Omroep Muziek)‚ Lady Billows Albert Herring (Los Angeles Opera)‚ Hazel George in the World Premiere of Philip Glass’ The Perfect American (Teatro Real‚ Madrid and English National Opera)‚ Marcellina (Garsington)‚ Miss Jessel The Turn of the Screw and Mrs Coyle Owen Wingrave (Théâtre du Capitole‚ Toulouse)‚ Berta Il Barbiere di Siviglia‚ Madame Jouvenot Adriana Lecouvreur and Nella Gianni Schicchi (Royal Opera House)‚ Berta (Glyndebourne Festival)‚ Christine Intermezzo (Buxton Festival)‚ Sister Helen in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking (Eugene Opera‚ Oregon); Foreign Princess Rusalka (Grange Park)‚ and Façade with Sir Mark Elder.

Janis has had a long association with English National Opera where roles have included Countess Marriage of Figaro‚ Alcina‚ Rose Street Scene‚ Mrs Naidoo Satyagraha‚ Mrs Nixon‚ Iris The Fairy Queen‚ Yum Yum The Mikado‚ Despina Così fan tutte‚ Romilda Xerxes as well as roles in operas by Monteverdi‚ Purcell‚ Humperdink‚ Offenbach and Birtwistle. A regular guest at Opera North‚ she has performed Violetta La Traviata‚ Magda La Rondine‚ Lania Skin Deep (World Premiere)‚ Magnolia in the award winning co-production with the RSC of ShowboatThe Cunning Little Vixen (also in Barcelona)‚ Countess‚ Musetta La bohème‚ Marschallin Der Rosenkavalier and Electra Idomeneo.

 

She can be seen as Liù in Puccini’s Turandot in the film The Life of David Gale and performing Verdi’s La Traviata in Woody Allen’s film Match Point. Recordings include four award-winning albums for the Inspector Morse television soundtracks (Virgin); the soundtracks for Street SceneA Little Night MusicShowboat and Brigadoon (TER Records); and three solo recordings The Moment, Waltz of my Heart and La Mia Vita Mia Voce (Dress Circle). Kelly made her directorial debut with Mozart’s Così fan tutte at Grange Park Opera‚ where she has since directed Iolanthe as the inaugural production of the Company’s new theatre.


Janis Kelly studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama in her native Glasgow‚ at the Royal College of Music in London and with Elisabeth Grummer in Paris. She is also a regular tutor, and directs the annual opera scenes, at Oxenfoord International Summer School run by Artistic Director Malcolm Martineau.

Repertoire

Composer

Adams‚ John
Bizet‚ Georges
Britten‚ Benjamin
Britten‚ Benjamin
Britten‚ Benjamin
Cilea‚ Francesco
Dvorák‚ Antonín
Glass‚ Philip

Glass‚ Philip

Handel‚ George
MacMillan‚ James
Mozart‚ Wolfgang Amadeus
Mozart‚ Wolfgang Amadeus
Offenbach‚ Jacques
Puccini‚ Giacomo
Puccini‚ Giacomo
Purcell‚ Henry
Sawer‚ David
Strauss‚ Richard
Strauss‚ Richard
Sullivan‚ Arthur
Tchaikovsky
Verdi‚ Giuseppe
Verdi‚ Giuseppe
Verdi‚ Giuseppe
Wainwright‚ Rufus
Walton

Role

Pat Nixon
Leila
Lady Billows
Mrs Coyle
Miss Jessel
Mademoiselle Jouvenot
Foreign Princess
Mrs Naidoo
Hazel George
Iris
Sarah
Despina
Countess Almaviva
Queen Clementine
Nella
Magda
Iris
Lania
Die Feldmarschallin
Christine
Yum Yum
Kuma‚ The Enchantress
Elisabetta
Alice Ford
Violetta
Madame
Soprano

Opera

Nixon in China
Les pecheurs de perles
Albert Herring
Owen Wingrave
The Turn of the Screw
Adriana Lecouvreur
Rusalka
Satyagraha
The Perfect American
Semele
Clemency
Così fan tutte
Le nozze di Figaro
Barbe-bleue
Gianni Schicchi
La Rondine
The Fairy Queen
Skin Deep (World Premiere)
Der Rosenkavalier
Intermezzo
The Mikado
Charodeyka/The Enchantress
Don Carlos
Falstaff
La traviata
Prima Donna (World Premiere)
Façade

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