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Janis Kelly


Janis studied at the RSC, Glasgow and at the RCM, was an opera scholar, a Ferrier finalist and winner of numerous awards and prizes. On leaving the RCM Opera School she travelled to Paris to study with the world renowned soprano Elisabeth Grümmer. In the same year Janis made her Wigmore Hall recital debut and her opera debut with English National Opera where she continues to sing principle roles. Subsequently her teachers have included Dame Felicity Palmer in London and Jutta Vulpius in Berlin.

She made her MET debut in 2010 as Pat Nixon in Nixon in China by John Adams and recently appeared with LA Opera, ROH and Opera Toulouse and recorded the title role in Rufus Wainwrights opera Prima Donna for Deutsche Grammophon. Known for her acclaimed portrayals of roles such as Violetta, Marschallin, Countess, Rose in Street Scene, Vixen, Alcina, Musetta, and many Britten roles, she has recently added Christine in Intermezzo (Strauss), Sarah in Clemency (Macmillan), and Sister Helen in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. Future roles include Mrs Lovett for WNO and Bertha at Glyndebourne.

She has appeared in concert, recorded and performed with major orchestras on TV and radio in the UK, Europe and the US including the BBC Proms, Aix-en -Provence, Liceu, and for Chandos, TER and Virgin Classics. Recordings for television include Inspector Morse, Lewis and Endeavour. She also appears in the Hollywood movie The Life of David Gale.

Janis has been teaching for over ten years with her studio including eminent singers and students in the UK, Europe and the US. She was invited to join the vocal faculty at the RCM in 2008. Her first pupil Sarah Jane Brandon won the Kathleen Ferrier prize in 2009. Other notable students establishing themselves as soloists on the International stage, and in the recording industry, with major agents worldwide include Emilie Renard, Rhian Lois, Rosie Aldridge, Soraya Mafi and Filipa Van Eck.

Janis’s knowledge and vocal technique is drawn from the Bel Canto teachings of Martienssen-Lohmann. Training in this school concentrates on breath control and freedom of sound and is at the heart of her singing and teaching. Her passion in developing performance skills through text and drama is also a vital element. Physically she draws from Feldenkreis and Alexander techniques alongside psychology of performance training. Throughout the year she holds several day workshops, masterclasses and mock auditions.

Janis gives masterclasses with young artists’ programmes worldwide. Her directorial debut was with Grange Park Opera in a much acclaimed Cosi Fan Tutte followed by Iolanthe. Janis also directs scenes at the RCM as well as for Oxenfoord International Summer School.

Faculties / departments: Vocal Studies


For enquires please contact:

Janis Kelly

Chair of Vocal Performance