Janis Kelly
Composer: Puccini Other Artists: Tony Legge 2002
Laudate Dominum
Composer: Mozart
Rusalka/Song to the Moon
Composer: Dvorak

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Janis Kelly studied at the RSAMD (now Royal Scottish Conservatoire) in her native Glasgow‚ at the Royal College of Music in London and with Elisabeth Grummer in Paris. Widely recognized as one of the great singing actresses of her generation‚ Janis Kelly’s work continues to take her to the World’s leading Opera Houses‚ ranging from the Operatic and Concert platform‚ to Hollywood films and Soundtracks.

Janis received worldwide acclaim for her portrayal of the title role in Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna‚which she has performed at the Manchester International Festival (World Premiere)‚ Sadlers Wells‚ Toronto‚ Portland; in concert at Royal Opera House and Teatro Real‚ Madrid‚ and is now available on CD (Deutsche Grammophon).

Engagements postponed or cancelled due to Covid include Marcellina Le Nozze di Figaro (Royal Opera House), however she did perform in Feast in the Time of Plague and Owen Wingrave pop-up performances for Grange Park Opera.

Recent and future appearances include Mrs Rutland in Nico Muhly’s Marnie (Metropolitan Opera‚ New York)‚ Polly Nichols in the World Premiere of Iain Bell’s Jack the Ripper and Marcellina Le Nozze di Figaro (English National Opera)‚ Mrs Grose The Turn of the Screw (ENO and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre)‚ 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 and at Théâtre des Champs Elysées)‚ 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 (ROH)‚ Berta (Glyndebourne Festival and Glyndebourne on Tour)‚ Christine Intermezzo (Buxton Festival), Sister Helen in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking (Eugene Opera‚ Oregon) and Directing and Singing La Dame de Monte Carlo with the Royal College of Music, where she is a Professor.

Janis has had a long association with English National Opera where roles have included Countess Marriage of FigaroAlcina‚ Rose Street Scene‚ Mrs Naidoo Satyagraha‚ Mrs Nixon‚ Iris The Fairy Queen‚ Yum Yum The Mikado‚ Despina Cosi 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 Boheme‚ Marschallin Der Rosenkavalier and Electra Idomeneo.

Janis made her directorial debut with Cosi fan tutte at Grange Park Opera‚ where she has since directed Iolanthe as the inaugural production in their new theatre. Roles sung with Grange Park Opera include Queen Clémentine Barbebleu‚ Alice Falstaff‚ Miss Jessel The Turn of the Screw‚ Kuma The Enchantress Foreign Princess Rusalka (Grange Park) and Elisabetta Maria Stuarda. Further engagements include Mrs Nixon in Athens‚ Rosalinde Die Fledermaus with Opera Ireland and for Scottish Opera‚ Iris Semele with Les Arts Florissants/William Christie in Aix-en-Provence and Flanders Festival‚ Dorabella Cosi fan Tutte and Amaranta in Haydn’s La Fedelta Premiata (Garsington)‚ La Finta Semplice (Buxton)‚ Sarah Clemency (ROH2‚ Edinburgh Festival / Scottish Opera) and Façade with Sir Mark Elder.

Janis made frequent appearances in David Freeman’s productions for Opera Factory‚ singing Ottavia The Coronation of Poppea‚ Juno La Calisto as well as recording Susanna‚ Zerlina and Despina in their Mozart cycle for Channel 4 TV and Flora The Knot Garden for Chanel 4 Films. She has performed Weill with the Matrix Ensemble/Robert Ziegler and Handel with Les Arts Florissants/Christie at the BBC Proms; in the UK she has sung Poulenc with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra‚ Strauss with the London Festival Orchestra‚ Sullivan with the Halle‚ Bach with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Schubert with the Nash Ensemble. An experienced recitalist‚ she has sung at the Purcell Room‚ the Grand Theatre‚ Geneva‚ the Aix-en-Provence Festival and for BBC Radio.

Janis can be seen as Liu Turandot in the Hollywood blockbuster The Life of David Gale‚ Violetta in Woody Allen’s Match Point and singing Casta Diva on the soundtrack for When Did You Last See Your Father. She has performed for many TV series including Inspector MorseLewis and in 2012 sang Butterfly and Liu on ITV’s Endeavour‚ also on DVD.

Recordings include DVDs of The Pirates of Penzance and The Sorcerer (Brent Walker Film Company). Discs include Tchaikovsky’s Incidental Music to Hamlet with the London Philharmonic Orchestra for Chandos‚ Street SceneA Little Night MusicShowboat and Brigadoon for TER Records‚ four award-winning albums for the Morse soundtracks on Virgin Records and The Maid of the Mountains on Hyperion. Janis also has three solo CDs on sale exclusively at Dress Circle.

Meg Page, Falstaff, Grange Park Opera

Janis Kelly’s scene-stealing Meg Page... – all luscious voice and twinkling eyes

The Independent (iNews) (June 2021)

...with Janis Kelly (Meg Page) and Sara Fulgoni (Mistress Quickly) as her characterful accomplices. Articulation is excellent from all, every word audible.

The Guardian (June 2021)

Janis Kelly, always a stalwart performer, is a lively Meg Page, sounding in better vocal shape than ....

The Telegraph (July 2021)

Mrs Coyle, Owen Wingrave, Grange Park Opera

There is an equally nuanced and sympathetic portrayal from Janis Kelly as Mrs Coyle who is uncomfortable at Paramore. She introduced her love for her husband’s ‘many boys’ in Act I by singing ‘After the long days with their books they come to me and charm me with their new-found grown-up ways’. We see her luxuriating in a standalone bath early in the final scene, perhaps the only other fleeting moment of Regietheater.

Seen and Heard (December 2021)

Janis Kelly (who sang Mrs Julian in 2014) is superb as his empathetic wife, a welcome source of wisdom, calm and kindness.

Opera Today (December 2021)

Il barbiere di Siviglia, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

...Janis Kelly’s multi-faceted Berta – she makes more of this role than one would have thought possible. Indeed, she makes one acutely aware how crucial it is to the musical structure of the piece

Classical Source (May 2019)

Janis Kelly, not beyond a few flamenco steps, hams it up as a naughty Berta.

Bachtrack (May 2019)

...it was the two original cast members who really shone. Janis Kelly made the most of the seemingly thankless role of Rosina’s servant Bertha, revealing the good-time girl lurking under the put-upon servant.

The Telegraph (May 2019)

Janis Kelly, as Berta, and Alessandro Corbelli, as Dr. Bartolo, performed these roles, again from the 2016 production, and did not miss a beat. Kelly sang with a flavorful balance of hilarity mixed with solid vocal technique. She never faltered once while she rode along the edge of delivering comic punches and moving about the stage. Kelly found pleasure in her role, which invited the audience to easily find pleasure in her performance.

OperaWire (June 2019)

Jack the Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel, English National Opera

Five more mature artists take the other female leads, all of them seizing every opportunity offered by their characters and the writing: especially notable are Janis Kelly’s half-comic, half-touching Polly Nichols...

The Stage (March 2019)

Each of the Women of Whitechapel who fall victim to the killer have their moments in the spotlight and are given ample scope to inject colour and character. ENO’s starry roster of singer-actresses give these full measure – and how! Janis Kelly’s light-fingered but sympathetic Polly Nichols is the first as the character compares her (happier?) earlier days to her present state.

Classical Source (March 2019)

Janis Kelly as Polly is the first of six strong women who rivet the attention in presence and voice...

The Art's Desk (March 2019)

Four other veterans Susan Bullock, Marie McLaughlin, Lesley Garrett and Janis Kelly all sing and act their darned stockings off as fallen women - Kelly is particularly poignant as the drunken Polly Nichols...

The Telegraph (March 2019)

What an inspiration to give leading roles to five stellar female singers of an earlier ENO generation... Janis Kelly and Marie McLaughlin as Polly and Annie also bring a lifetime’s experience to their parts.

Evening Standard (April 2019)

The casting of this production is absolutely first rate...It is, of course, dominated by women and it would be hard to imagine the roles of Jack’s victims - and that of the capricious Maud - being better sung...Janis Kelly’s Polly is strongly sung..

Opera Today (April 2019)

Kelly and McLaughlin both endowed their roles with beauty and intensity.

Opera Magazine (June 2019)

Marnie‚ Metropolitan Opera

Janis Kelly and Denyce Graves both excelled in their respective roles...

Seen & Heard International (November 2018)

...soprano Janis Kelly gave a stylish reading of Mrs. Rutland.

Broadway World (October 2018)

...Janis Kelly is excellent as the domineering mother.

Classical Source (October 2018)

Janis Kelly also made a strong impression as the elder Mrs. Rutland‚ her singing had a pointedness that cut through powerfully. We really got a sense of her status as a controlling matriarch and when Muhly demanded that she rise to the higher end of her soprano‚ she did so with puissance.

Opera Wire (October 2018)

The Turn of the Screw‚ English National Opera and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

...and Janis Kelly‚ an erstwhile Flora and Governess‚ proved utterly persuasive as a Mrs Grose gradually resigning herself to disaster.

Opera Magazine (September 2018)

He gets remarkable acting performances out of his mixed-experience cast‚ from the two children...to the wonderful “veteran” Mrs Grose of Janis Kelly‚ who sang Flora with ENO in 1980 and has since sung all of the work’s female roles‚ which must be a record...Kelly uses her long experience to suggest a well-meaning yet troubled housekeeper whose illusions are shattered when Willmer’s Flora bites her arm in the final scene.

The Sunday Times (July 2018)

Janis Kelly’s Mrs Grose was in many ways the warm heart of the production‚ striving desperately against the odds to regain and retain a balanced domestic environment. Kelly‚ having sung the other three female roles over her career‚ brought tremendous experience to Mrs Grose‚ a keen diction and secure top bolstering her strong stage presence.

BachTrack (June 2018)

And‚ Mrs Grose‚ sung with impressive musical composure and dramatic credibility by Janis Kelly...

Opera Today (June 2018)

Janis Kelly‚ who has sung every female role in the opera‚ makes Mrs Grose a memorably troubled figure: not the conventional homebody‚ but a woman who palpably loves the children and who at one point clutches a pillar in fear for their safety.

The Guardian (June 2018)

...Janis Kelly completing a remarkable hat-trick-plus-one. Having already sung Flora‚ the Governess and Miss Jessel at various times in her distinguished career‚ she now conjures up an impeccably characterised portrayal of the housekeeper Mrs Grose.

The Times (June 2018)

The Marriage of Figaro‚ English National Opera

Best‚ though‚ was Janis Kelly’s Marcellina‚ whose passive-aggressive characterization was offset by her still-glowing tone.

Opera Magazine (June 2018)

Janis Kelly’s Marcellina swung with ease from a superb performance of vinegar and lemon in the first half to maternal sweetness in the second...

BachTrack (April 2018)

Janis Kelly and Keel Watson are class acts as Marcellina and Bartolo respectively‚ and it is amusing to see how when they realise they are Figaro’s parents she reveals a motherly love while he displays rather more bewilderment.

MusicOMH (April 2018)

Bringing a wealth of experience to the cast was Janis Kelly‚ a member of ENO for over 30 years... Kelly’s spinster Marcellina was perfectly assured and full of character.

Seen & Heard International (April 2018)

Meanwhile Janis Kelly‚ Keel Watson‚ and Colin Judson respectively turn Marcellina‚ Doctor Bartolo‚ and Don Basilio into such vivid caricatures that in their scenes the comedy keeps fizzing.

The Independent (April 2018)

Everyone relishes Jeremy Sams’s translation‚ and there are entertaining moments aplenty‚ especially Janis Kelly and Keel Watson’s Marcellina-Don Bartolo double act.

The Times (April 2018)

As Marcellina‚ Janis Kelly was outstanding...

Mark Ronan Theatre Reviews (March 2018)

Janis Kelly and Keel Watson made a fabulous double-act as Marcellina and Don Bartolo‚ both are fine comedians she with a range of physical gestures and he with a glorious selection of facial expressions. Yet both made us care for the characters underneath. This wasn’t just farce‚ both helped reflect the humanity of Mozart’s music. I loved their reactions in the Act Three sextet‚ when they realise that Figaro is their son‚ and in fact this performance of the sextet (Mozart’s favourite piece of the opera) was one of the funniest and most touching that I have seen. As ever with fine artists in the roles of Marcellina and Don Bartolo‚ I regretted that omission of the Act Four arias though understand how they do hold up the action.

Planet Hugill (March 2018)

Il barbiere di Siviglia‚ Glyndebourne on Tour

Among the smaller parts‚ the wonderful Janis Kelly’s sneezing Berta offered a quite different characterization from her Mrs-Overall-meets-Montserrat-Caballé impersonation in the Caurier-Leiser staging at Covent Garden‚ not quite as slapstick perhaps‚ and she still has plenty of voice for her aria di sorbetto. A character artist of near genius.

Opera Magazine (December 2017)

Janis Kelly (Bertha) produced a pearl from her single aria – and made clear that this ageing spinster is still up for it.

Classical Source (October 2017)

Janis Kelly was the sole representative of the first cast‚ and she was a finely sung‚ lovingly detailed Berta despite having to carry out embarrassing actions.

MusicOMH (October 2017)

Le nozze di Figaro‚ Garsington Opera

Marcellina is luxury casting‚ the wonderful Janis Kelly makes the role rollickingly funny.

Arts Journal (June 2017)

The smaller roles are given luxury 3D treatment‚ especially Janis Kelly’s garish but still-glamorous Marcellina (whose transformation from spiteful cougar to tiger-mother is at once hilarious and touching)...

BachTrack (June 2017)

Janis Kelly is an unusually loveable Marcellina‚ the old retainer with a guilty secret. Many years ago‚ when I started my journalistic career‚ I hated the tendency of older critics to compare performances with those they had seen in what seemed to be the “dark ages.” Now I join them.
In the 1990s‚ in the unprepossessing setting of Reading Hexagon‚ Opera Factory brought their touring production of Figaro with Janis Kelly in the role of the Countess. In more than 20 live performances of the opera‚ and many more on records and CDs‚ her performance stood out for its extraordinary beauty‚ vulnerability and depth.
Now she turns to the (usually) old battleaxe role with affection‚ wit and charm‚ again entrancing the audience.

Fine Times Recorder (June 2017)

Janis Kelly est une Marcellina épatante dans ce qui lui reste de rôle (son air est‚ classiquement‚ coupé). /// Janis Kelly is an amazing Marcellina in what remains of her role (her aira is‚ traditionally‚ cut).

Forum Opera (June 2017)

Has either Timothy Robinson or Janis Kelly ever failed to inhabit a role to such a degree that it’s impossible to imagine it being bettered? Unlikely‚ if their Basilio and Marcellina here are anything to go by. Robinson’s suave‚ caustic‚ impeccably sung music master and Kelly’s hilarious‚ persuasive housekeeper are absolute classics‚ and they form the perfect trio with Stephen Richardson’s sonorous Bartolo.

MusichOMH (June 2017)

The last time I saw Janis Kelly‚ at Glyndebourne in 2016 as Berta in Rossini’s Barbiere‚ she threatened to steal the show. And‚ the same was true here: her Marcellina was a cross between ’Hyacinth Bucket’ and Queen Elizabeth II‚ but her voice is still fresh and youthful. The Act 3 revelations of Figaro’s origins were expertly done - Kelly switched from financial grabbing matriarch to matronly concern in the twinkling of an eye; and‚ Kelly’s theatrical experience no doubt was of enormous help to the younger members of the cast.

Opera Today (June 2017)

...and Janis Kelly extracts laughter of the sort one more usually expects from an Orton comedy‚ as the frumpy housekeeper Marcellina.

The Independent (June 2017)

Special commendation goes to the excellent Janis Kelly as the social-climbing Marcellina‚ whose forceful personality is well matched by her costumes

The Stage (June 2017)

Plentiful chuckles met the hide-and-seek shenanigans; the comic timing as Janis Kelly’s sharp Marcellina was revealed to be Figaro’s mother was delicious.

The Times (June 2017)

Nixon in China‚ Omroep Muziek

Soprano Janis Kelly gave us a winning characterisation of the First Lady‚ Pat Nixon‚ in turn touching or almost comically impressionable.

BachTrack (February 2017)

His diction was crystal-clear‚ as was Janis Kelly’s in the role of Pat Nixon. Kelly sang with irreproachable operatic technique and the subtleties of a musical actress‚ every accent and colour sounding natural. Her Pat was a likeable mixture of practicality and feminine warmth.

Opera Today (February 2017)

Il barbiere di Siviglia‚ Glyndebourne Festival BBC Prom

Janis Kelly proved as nimble a dancer as singer in her aria‚ and even though it is Berta’s only big vocal outing it brought the house down.

Classical Source (July 2016)

Janis Kelly was rather luxury casting as Berta‚ and she made her single aria into a wonderfully show-stopping number.

Opera Today (July 2016)

It was lovely to see the experienced Janis Kelly there as Berta‚ her Act 2 aria astonishingly characterful‚ her voice strong.

Seen & Heard International (July 2016)

Il barbiere di Siviglia‚ Glyndebourne Festival

Una Janis Kelly vestida de traje sastre la cantó y bailó con el histrionismo necesario para merecer una de las mas grandes ovaciones de la noche // Janis Kelly dressed in a tailored suit sang and danced with the histrionics necessary to deserve one of the biggest ovations of the night

Mundoclasico.com (June 2016)

Janis Kelly grabbed Berta’s little Act II aria and turned it into something quite wonderful.

BachTrack (May 2016)

Janis Kelly turns Berta’s little aria into a show-stopper.

Financial Times (May 2016)

Janis Kelly as Bartolo’s servant Berta inspiring spontaneous applause following her excellent Act 2 aria on the frenzy and craziness around her.

Mark Ronan (May 2016)

Janis Kelly showed that her Miss Marple-spinster’s outfit hid a rampant vivaciousness‚ and stole the show with Berta’s lament for missed romantic chances‚ ‘Il Vecchiotto Cerca Moglie’.

Opera Today (May 2016)

Janis Kelly makes something of a showstopper out of her cleverly vocalised‚ wittily acted account of efficient housekeeper Berta’s aria.

The Stage (May 2016)

Janis Kelly’s outrageous scene-stealing as the housekeeper Berta drew genuine laughter.

The Telegraph (May 2016)

Sweeney Todd‚ Welsh National Opera

Ultimately‚ though‚ this must be a paean to the exceptional Janis Kelly‚ whose portrayal of Mrs Lovett was simply outstanding and testimony to her consummate skills as a singing actress...the resonance Kelly brought to her characterization tipped the balance of power ever further in Mrs Lovett’s favour. Hers was the razor-sharp performance of the evening

Opera Magazine (December 2015)

All the cast are excellent but a special mention for Janis Kelly as Mrs Lovett. She gets all the best lines and threatens to upstage Todd

Daily Post (November 2015)

The set‚ particularly the barber’s chair and cinematic effects are quite superb as are some of the performances. Particularly outstanding is that of Janis Kelly as Todd’s new woman. Hearing and seeing her as a singing actress reminded me of Eric Roberts as Doctor Bartolo in Rossini’s Barber‚ seen several times in Llandudno in the shared production with Opera North. Her every little tick‚ facial expression and body movement serving the creation of the part to perfection. She lives acts and portrays the role that is anything but appealing‚ but becomes the centre of the action creating a woman infatuated by the sadistic but imposing Todd as portrayed by David Amsperger – at least until she becomes a victim of the Demon Barber

Seen & Heard International (November 2015)

Clearest of all was Janis Kelly as an irresistibly comical‚ sinister Mrs Lovett‚ who seemed to be channelling Joan Sutherland‚ Fanny Craddock and Mary Berry in rapid succession‚ permed blonde wig sprayed firmly into place

BachTrack (October 2015)

Janis Kelly’s Mrs Lovett steals the honours‚ with fine comic timing

The Guardian (October 2015)

Janis Kelly certainly isn’t the first opera singer to succeed with Mrs Lovett‚ but she’s the first in my experience not to sound anything like an opera singer. She’s one of the most creative artists in the business‚ a true theatrical chameleon‚ with plenty of rasp to her voice and a deft way with words to reveal the black wit of “Priest”. One of the joys of the staging is her appearance‚ after the success of the pie enterprise‚ as a ringer for Dick Emery’s peroxide drag persona‚ Mandy (readers of my age might remember her catchphrase‚ “Ooh‚ you are awful‚ but I like you”)‚ which Kelly carries off with delicious aplomb

Sunday Times (October 2015)

Janis Kelly catches this image with precision‚ from the slatternly but twinkly purveyor of “The worst pies in London” to the not wholly passive recipient of Tobias’s affection in “Not while I’m around”. And her vocalising – soprano when required – is consistently stylish and to the point

The Arts Desk (October 2015)

...authentically Cockney contributions of Janis Kelly’s desperate Mrs Lovett

The Stage (October 2015)

Janis Kelly’s equally convincing Mrs Lovett so compellingly rancid

The Times (October 2015)

Janis Kelly was gruesomely entertaining as Mrs Lovett

Wales Online (October 2015)

Albert Herring‚ Royal Academy of Music

The excellent young cast were inspired by that terrific signing actress Janis Kelly‚ her Lady Billows a portrait of preposterousness and provincialism

Opera Magazine (September 2015)

Janis Kelly is an elegant treat as Lady Billows‚ a brilliant balance of the esteemed grande dame who rules her village with the flick of an eyebrow‚ and a tired old lady who secretly knows the world she nostalgically longs for no longer exists – if‚ indeed‚ it ever did

BachTrack (July 2015)

As Lady Billows‚ Janis Kelly gave a masterclass in comic acting and showed that with the right technique‚ you do not need a giant voice to sing this role. This was very much a Lady Billows who could quell a room with a look or a syllable

Planet Hugill (July 2015)

Although performances alternate between two different casts‚ the constant across all nights of Albert Herring is the wonderful Janis Kelly‚ anchoring all around her as the magnificently unimpressed Lady Billows. She’d be luxury casting anywhere‚ but here she galvanises and energises her young co-stars‚ daring them to match her vivid vocal acting

The Arts Desk (July 2015)

The Turn of the Screw‚Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse

...un couple Quint/Jessel très convaincant‚ Jonathan Boyd et Janis Kelly‚ et les deux orphelins‚ Matthew Price et Eleanor Maloney‚ impeccables. // a couple Quint / Jessel very convincing‚ Jonathan Boyd and Janis Kelly‚ and the two orphans‚ Matthew Price and Eleanor Maloney‚ impeccable

Concerto.net (November 2014)

Jonathan Boyd et Janis Kelly distilent superbement les sortilèges sulfureux du couple fantôme /// Jonathan Boyd and Janis Kelly conjure up the devilish spells of the ghostly couple superbly

Diapasonmag.fr (November 2014)

Janis Kelly‚ la bourgeoise Mrs Coyle‚ est méconnaissable en Miss Jessel‚ rôle qui lui permet de déployer sa voix dans toute son étendue et d’y faire passer un désespoir aussi intense qu’étroitement contrôlé. Leur duo du deuxième acte donne un sentiment d’intimité à faire frissonner /// Janis Kelly‚ the bourgouis Mrs Coyle‚ is unrecognisable as Miss Jessel‚ a role which allows her to use the full range of her voice in a performance which conveys intense despair‚ but is at the same time perfectly controlled. Their duet in the second act creates an atmosphere of thrilling intimacy

Forum Opera (November 2014)

Il barbiere di Siviglia‚ Royal Opera House Covent Garden

Janis Kelly’s Berta was a hoot

BachTrack (September 2014)

...and even more of a treat to have a soprano of the calibre of Janis Kelly in the tiny role of Berta‚ the maid‚ swaying those prosthetic buttocks with pride

The Guardian (September 2014)

Janis Kelly gives a highly polished performance as Berta‚ singing her aria while swigging from a bottle

MusicOMH (September 2014)

Smaller parts were no less well taken; the Berta of Janis Kelly was impressive enough that‚ particularly as one heard her soaring high notes in the chorus that ends Act I‚ one wished she could have had more to sing

Opera Britannia (September 2014)

Janis Kelly‚ last seen by this reviewer as Hazel George in Glass’s The Perfect American over at St Martin’s Lane‚ was a strong Berta

Seen & Heard International (September 2014)

Janis Kelly a fabulously vivid Berta

The Spectator (September 2014)

Janis Kelly’s boisterous governess‚ Berta

The Times (September 2014)

Completing the ‘below-stairs’ team‚ Janis Kelly’s unusually glamorous‚ chippy Berta made one lament the fact that role is so tiny

What’s On Stage (September 2014)

Owen Wingrave‚ Aldeburgh Festival

Susan Bullock‚ Janis Kelly und Catherine Backhouse verkörpern die herzlosen‚ unnachgiebigen Frauen‚ die Owen schließlich zugrunde richten /// Susan Bullock‚ Janis Kelly and Catherine Backhouse embody the heartless‚ relentless women who eventually ruin Owen

General-Anzeiger-Bonn.de (June 2014)

In a cracking cast...Janis Kelly a steel-eyed Mrs Julian

What’s On Stage (June 2014)

Rufus Wainwright Concert‚ Festspielhauses St. Pölten

Janis Kelly widmete sich zunächst „All Days Are Nights – Songs for Lulu“‚ einer zum Teil auf Shakespeare-Sonetten basierenden Liedersammlung Wainwrights‚ die sich vorrangig mit den düsteren Seiten der Existenz befasst. Schwieriger Stoff‚ von Kellys zart-herbem Sopran mit etwas Zuversicht lackiert. Besonders das die Knabenliebe behandelnde „Sonnet 10“ gewann durch ihre schwebende Interpretation /// Janis Kelly initially devoted herself to "All Days Are Nights - Songs for Lulu"‚ one based in part on Shakespeare sonnets songs collection Wainwright‚ which primarily deals with the darker side of existence. Difficult material‚ painted by Kelly delicately bitter soprano with confidence. Especially the pederasty treated "Sonnet 10" won by their floating interpretation

Die Presse (March 2014)

...die schottische Sopranistin Janis Kelly‚ die für Kirchschlager einsprang und Wainwrights Kunstlieder "All Days are Nights – Songs for Lulu" sang. Kelly war die Richtige dafür. Wainwrights Songs neigen zum dramatischen‚ ausladenden Gestus und Kelly interpretierte ebendiese Dramatik‚ ohne dabei auf das Augenzwinkern und die leisen Zwischentöne zu vergessen. Denn die emotionale Bandbreite dieses fabelhaften Komponisten ist groß: Von Rührung bis schmunzeln ist alles dabei. Kelly‚ am Klavier von Sarah Tysman begleitet‚ gelang es‚ alle diese Rollen zu spielen. Sie hat Erfahrung mit Wainwright‚ dessen musikalischer Neugier es geschuldet ist‚ dass er auch eine Oper schrieb: "Prima donna" wurde 2009 in Manchester uraufgeführt‚ Kelly sang die Titelrolle ///...the Scottish soprano Janis Kelly‚ who stepped in for Kirschschlager and Wainwright’s art songs "All Days are Nights - Songs for Lulu" sang. Kelly was the right choice. Wainwright’s songs tend to be dramatic‚ sweeping gestures and Kelly interpreted precisely this drama‚ without forgetting a wink and the subtle shades. Because the emotional range of this fabulous composer is large: from emotion to smile is everything. Kelly‚ accompanied on piano by Sarah Tysman‚ managed to play all these roles. She has experience with Wainwright‚ whose musical curiosity is due to writing an opera‚ "Prima donna" was premiered in Manchester in 2009‚ Kelly sang the title role

Kurier.at (March 2014)

Satyagraha‚ English National Opera

Janis Kelly was in fine voice as Mrs Naidoo‚ blending especially well with mezzo Stephanie Marshall at the start of the long ensemble in Act III

Opera Britannia (November 2013)

Two female singers stand out for comment: Sarah Pring’s Mrs Alexander and Janis Kelly’s Mrs Naidoo

Seen & Heard International (November 2013)

DVD Nixon in China‚ Metropolitan Opera

This production is brilliantly cast – Janis Kelly’s weary Pat Nixon is a joy‚ never better than when she’s being shown the delights of Beijing at the start of Act 2

The Arts Desk (June 2013)

The Perfect American‚ English National Opera

...strong performance from Janis Kelly as his nurse...

Classical Music (June 2013)

...the performances are strong...Janis Kelly as the nurse Hazel George (“Snow White”)

Classical Source (June 2013)

...Donald Kaasch‚ Janis Kelly and David Soar stand out in a good cast

Financial Times (June 2013)

The always excellent Janis Kelly and Pamela Helen Stephen were the two women in Disney’s life‚ his nurse and Lillian‚ Walt’s wife

Opera Britannia (June 2013)

...Janis Kelly (Hazel George‚ Disney’s nurse) added colour and character

Seen & Heard International (June 2013)

Individual performances are consistently good...Janis Kelly as his personal nurse Hazel George‚ and Pamela Helen Stephen as his wife Lillian all make the most of their material

The Stage (June 2013)

...his intimate sharing with his caring nurse‚ whom he has dubbed "Snow White" and is well taken by Janis Kelly‚ is poignant

The Opera Critic (June 2013)

Dead Man Walking‚ Eugene Opera

Both British soprano Janis Kelly as Sister Helen Prejean and American mezzo Susanne Mentzer as Joseph’s mother are well known as superb singing actresses. Kelly has a radiant voice with enviable tonal consistency. Her scenes with Mayes‚ especially in the second act‚ were riveting

The Register-Guard (March 2013)

The Perfect American‚ Teatro Real Madrid

Très belles‚ les agiles et parfois formidables voix féminines: Janis Kelly‚ soprano et actrice avérée (elle a chanté Violetta‚ Despina... et Pat Nixon dans l’opéra de John Adams et Peter Sellars)/// Very beautiful‚ the agile and sometimes great female voices: Janis Kelly‚ soprano and proven actress (she sang Violetta‚ Despina... and Pat Nixon in the opera by John Adams and Peter Sellars)

ConcertoNet (January 2013)

The rest of the mostly excellent large cast includes David Pittsinger as Roy Disney‚ Donald Kaasch as Dantine‚ Janis Kelly as Disney’s nurse Hazel George

Los Angeles Times (January 2013)

Clemency‚ Scottish Opera

Janis Kelly is bursting with spirit as Sarah‚ incredulous when the strangers announce she is pregnant

The Stage (September 2012)

...strong performances from Janis Kelly and Grant Doyle

The Times (September 2012)

Intermezzo‚ Buxton Festival

Janis Kelly engaged our sympathy‚ sang enchantingly in the final love duet and‚ most importantly‚ let us hear 99 per cent of her words. In a long and taxing role she confirmed her reputation as a high-quality singing-actress

Opera Magazine (September 2012)

At the centre of it all is Christine‚ who is hardly off the stage. Janis Kelly is just terrific in the part – querulous‚ self-serving‚ bitchy‚ coquettish‚ loving. Hers is an all-embracing characterisation and she sings with great clarity. The show is worth seeing for her alone...

The Arts Desk (July 2012)

...as Storch’s paranoid and intense wife Christine (Pauline)‚ Janis Kelly was exemplary. Easily the ‘main character’ of the opera‚ she is on stage in ten of the thirteen scenes and Kelly exhibits her skill in playing what most husbands would consider an undoubtedly insufferable woman. Excellent diction and lyrical singing that would not be out of place in Der Rosenkavalier or Daphne made for highly entertaining listening

Bachtrack (July 2012)

'The role of Christine Storch could have been written for Janis Kelly: she captures the self-pity‚ the haughtiness‚ the pathos‚ as well as the strident tone of a character who would be easy to caricature but comes across here as intensely human. It is one of the best things Kelly has done'

Financial Times (July 2012)

Musically‚ it’s exceptional. In what may well prove a career-best performance‚ Kelly really gets to the heart of the vulnerability beneath Christine’s tantrums

The Guardian (July 2012)

...its highly verbal nature (Andrew Porter’s translation is used) makes it difficult to cast‚ especially the crucial role of “Christine.” Janis Kelly gives an outstanding performance as the volatile wife enraged by a supposed affair involving her husband. Ms. Kelly gives meaning to every word

New York Times (July 2012)

It’s a triumph‚ too‚ for the central figures in the cast‚ especially Janis Kelly‚ who carries the show as Christine‚ Strauss’s own semi-autobiographical depiction of his seriously difficult but ultimately lovable wife. Her nuclear-like reaction on reading a letter apparently intended for her husband written by a dubious female provides the lynchpin of the plot. Also germane to proceedings is her crush on a young Baron she (literally) collides with when out tobogganing. The ever resourceful Kelly is something of a wonder in this huge assignment: vocally secure and dramatically alert to every passing possibility of the text

Stage (July 2012)

In Stephen Unwin’s stylish 1920s staging (designed by Paul Wills)‚ Janis Kelly is a near-ideal interpreter of the role‚ alive to every nuance of text and character. Most of the role proceeds in quick-fire recitative‚ with some spoken passages‚ until the lyrical outpouring of the final duet‚ for which Kelly saves her most finely spun Straussian singing. Earlier‚ she is not afraid to adopt a shrewish tone with her husband‚ though she lays on the charm with the young‚ impecunious admirer she crashes into on the toboggan run...

Sunday Times (July 2012)

Janis Kelly as Christine Storch (aka Pauline Strauss) has the measure of the work’s unique‚ agitated style of melodic recitative‚ and is indefatigable

The Times (July 2012)

Albert Herring‚ Los Angeles Opera

As always‚ they find themselves supplicating to the village’s resident grande dame‚ Lady Billows (sung with steely severity by Janis Kelly). And it is here that the updated setting really weakens the proceedings because it denies Kelly the chance to explore the type of Lady Bracknell/Countess of Grantham excess it so richly deserves

Daily Breeze (March 2012)

All cast members are exceptional including the matriarch (Janis Kelly’s Lady Billows)

ConcertoNet (February 2012)

The cast is winning...Another nice touch is that rather than exaggerating Lady Billows’ grandiosity‚ Janis Kelly hints‚ Joan Crawford-like‚ at a slightly sinister side to her character

LA Times (February 2012)

L.A. Opera does well by Britten’s score and gives the show a huge‚ luxurious production across the board...I’d be remiss in not mentioning some of the others in the cast like Janis Kelly who portrays a rather understated Lady Billows

Out West Arts (January 2012)

Rusalka‚ Grange Park Opera

Janis Kelly launched herself at the role of the Foreign Princess with wicked abandon

Opera Magazine (August 2011)

Janis Kelly made a glamorous and vocally splendid Foreign Princess‚ all sophistication and glitter‚ where Rusalka is childlike simplicity and plainness. She a good comic actress too‚ and was perfect in this role

capricciomusic.blogspot (June 2011)

...in terms of drama‚ all the performances register impressively‚ including Janis Kelly’s Joan Collins-like Foreign Princess

The Stage (June 2011)

Janis Kelly excelled as the Foreign Princess – a little killer of a role which she both sings and characterises brilliantly

The Telegraph (June 2011)

...it’s only in the creepy-sophisticated palace of Act II that the more sinister fairytale aspects knit together‚ and very much a definitely-etched lynchpin here is the ever-superb Janis Kelly’s Foreign Princess. Rusalka‚ voiceless in the human world‚ can’t sing to her Prince in this act‚ so another soprano is needed; but Kelly makes a virtue of necessity as a vamp who knows her sensual powers will override the nymph’s other-worldly‚ more innocent charms‚ and her superb phrasing unfolds with a knife-thrower’s certainty of aim

The Arts Desk (June 2011)

Clemency‚ Royal Opera House 2‚ Linbury Theatre

...eloquent and moving...

Opera Magazine (July 2011)

Janis Kelly and Grant Doyle give meaning to their every movement

Financial Times (May 2011)

Janis Kelly registers Sarah’s "gratitude and terror" towards God in a performance of considerable power

The Guardian (May 2011)

...the characterisation is unfailing: Sarah‚ sung by the marvellous Janis Kelly‚ has soaring‚ palpitating and plunging lines as her emotions are buffeted by fear and elation

The Independent (May 2011)

she is riveting

Independent on Sunday (May 2011)

Space is too short to celebrate in full the week’s other premieres‚ each singular in style but abundant in rewards. James MacMillan’s chamber opera Clemency...and the cast led by Janis Kelly and Grant Doyle were all excellent

Observer on Sunday (May 2011)

Janis Kelly perceptively reflects the burden of Sarah’s longstanding sterility seemingly as much by what is thought as what is sung

The Stage (May 2011)

Grant Doyle and Janis Kelly as Abraham and Sarah and Eamonn Mulhall‚ Andrew Tortise and baritone Adam Green as the mysterious visitors make up an ideal cast

The Telegraph (May 2011)

Janis Kelly brings a careworn dignity to the under-written role of his wife‚ Sarah

What's On Stage (May 2011)

Nixon in China‚ The Metropolitan Opera

Soprano Janis Kelly was eloquent as Pat Nixon‚ especially in her second-act scene that includes the aria‚ "This is prophetic"

ABC News (February 2011)

Janis Kelly’s Pat Nixon is no Stepford wife‚ but a woman desperately searching for stronger connections to her powerful husband and the world at large. Kelly’s delivery of Pat’s aria‚ "This is prophetic!‚" sung after a series of first lady–type visits‚ is especially moving

Backstage.com (February 2011)

Wednesday’s cast was strong...Janis Kelly as an excellent Pat

Boston Globe (February 2011)

The cast was excellent in this performance...Janis Kelly was very touching as Pat Nixon

Classical Source (February 2011)

Janis Kelly’s Pat Nixon is wonderfully sympathetic and her act two soliloquy is a marvelous piece of self-examination and introspection

Classics Today (February 2011)

Janis Kelly as Pat Nixon was entirely persuasive as the steadfast ("I don’t daydream and I don’t look back") and apolitical wife of the President‚ and she was indefatigable in her vocal agility. Kelly‚ who like Maddalena looked the part she played‚ navigated the wide-intervallic leaps and pernicious tessitura in the lengthy second-act numbers with resolve. During her "I come from a poor family‚" sung to Chinese school children‚ one had to wonder whether the First Lady would have led a much happier life as a schoolteacher. Compassionate‚ sincere and introspective‚ Pat Nixon is arguably the most complex and three-dimensional of the story’s six principal characters

CNY cafe Momus (February 2011)

Janis Kelly as Pat Nixon delivered a vocally stunning and enormously touching portrayal. Here was a woman with both a warm heart and an endearing lack of sophistication. Her confusion of illusion (the ballet) and reality was deliciously funny. Kelly’s Pat displayed great tenderness toward her husband‚ most poignantly in her gestures of comfort in act three‚ as he relived memories of his own military service and then of Vietnam and the soldiers he sent to war and to their death

ConcertoNet (February 2011)

The cast looked terrific‚ acted with ardour...Janis Kelly a sympathetic Pat Nixon

Financial Times (February 2011)

Il ruolo della First Lady Pat Nixon è l’epicentro emotivo e musicale della serata. Viene ritratta benevolmente e la sua grandiosa aria: ”This is Prophetic!” è stata cantata con grazia dalla soprano Janis Kelly. I suoi versi finali “Bless this Union…May it Remain Inviolate” sono stati intensamente commoventi. Un membro del pubblico è esploso in entusiastico applauso da solo e c’era da chiedersi se è stato per la musica o per la richiesta che la nazione rimanga unita nonostante le divisioni politiche‚ un sentimento chiaramente attuale nell’odierna scena politica americana

GB Opera Magazine (February 2011)

Pat Nixon blossomed in the second act where Janis Kelly enlivened the rote visit by a First Lady to a factory and a school with personal memories and a quick but not indulgent thought for the easier life that might have been out of the spotlight

Huffington Post (February 2011)

Janis Kelly gave a world-class performance as Pat Nixon

Los Angeles Times (February 2011)

The performances‚ like the opera‚ remained ambitious all around‚ pulling together many threads and methods. Soprano Janis Kelly made her house debut as a tender‚ sympathetic Pat‚ who dominated the second act. As the score relaxed into broadly arching phrases for her character and drew in an increasing variety of influences — from late Romanticism to Big Band — the opera simultaneously seemed to have clearer dramatic direction

New Jersey Star Ledger (February 2011)

There’s the magnetic Janis Kelly as Pat‚ confessing “I come from a poor family” in a rising arpeggio that rides a cloud of strings‚ a musical literalization of uplift and social mobility

New York Magazine (February 2011)

...the audience — which included Nixon’s daughter‚ Tricia Nixon Cox — enjoyed some fine performances‚ particularly that of Scottish soprano Janis Kelly‚ whose lyric voice and flawless American diction lent charm to Pat Nixon. Her dreamy second-act aria‚ “This Is Prophetic‚” proved the evening’s musical highlight

New York Post (February 2011)

The soprano Janis Kelly‚ in her Met debut‚ was wonderful as Pat Nixon. During the affecting Act II scene in which she is guided by Chinese escorts and journalists to a glass factory‚ a people’s commune and a health clinic‚ she is finally taken to a school. She speaks of coming from a poor family and tells the obliging children that for a while she was a schoolteacher. In Mr. Adams’s tender music‚ as sung by Ms. Kelly‚ you sense Mrs. Nixon wistfully pondering the much different life she might have had

New York Times (February 2011)

The rest of the cast had many excellent vocal performances from Robert Brubaker’s Mao and Russell Braun’s Chou En-lai to Janis Kelly’s Pat Nixon

Out West Arts (February 2011)

...the part now belongs to Janis Kelly another long term operatic warrior perfectly in control both of her dangerously high-lying phrases and of her utterly believable characterisation

The Arts Desk (February 2011)

Kelly takes command of the entertaining first scene of the second act during which‚ on Pat’s tour of hospitals‚ grade schools and a pig sty‚ she waxes soprano-philosophical in "I am prophetic" -- a stretch of music that astutely captures the smiling but lost First Lady that she appeared to be to most people

Theater Mania (February 2011)

Janis Kelly did herself proud in her company debut‚ portraying a character‚ Pat Nixon‚ who is even less sure of who she is and why she is there than her husband

Washington Post (February 2011)

Adriana Lecouvreur‚ Royal Opera House Covent Garden

Of the acting troupe Janis Kelly’s Madamoiselle Jouvenot in particular caught attention

Classical Source (November 2010)

As the ensemble of the Comédie‚ Janis Kelly‚ Sarah Castle‚ Iain Paton‚ and David Soar were outstanding

Musical Criticism (November 2010)

The cast is remarkably strong...Janis Kelly is an ideal Jouvenot

MusicOMH (November 2010)

There’s a relaxed little scene in which her theatrical chums cheer her up - all excellent‚ they’re expertly led by a soprano who’s played the prima donna herself recently‚ Janis Kelly

The Arts Desk (November 2010)

There’s a splendid supporting cast that includes Bonaventura Bottone (Abbé de Chazeuil) and Janis Kelly (Mademoiselle Jouvenot)

What's On Stage (November 2010)

TBA Festival 2010: Rufus Wainwright‚ Janis Kelly and the Oregon Symphony

Kelly came out for the remainder of the first half‚ and her commanding presence and clarion diction formed a basis for what was to follow. A heart wrenching aria Quand j’etais jeuene etudiante told the story of her metamorphosis from a fearless music student to an opera singer riddled with anxiety and self-doubt. “Now the music has left me–gone as fast as it came.” Kelly’s voice was hypnotically precise and she displayed a clear mastery of her art. Though the lengthy arias that followed were beautiful‚ the way the segued into one another gave an impression that was somewhat monolithic and ceaselessly sombre; since they were excerpted it was difficult to get a sense of what they may have felt like if heard in context.

Oregon Music News (September 2010)

Prima Donna‚ Sadler’s Wells

As in Manchester‚ Janis Kelly exudes restrained charisma as the prima donna

Financial Times (April 2010)

...it is a tribute to the marvellous Janis Kelly in the title role that she actually elicits such pathos...

Independent (April 2010)

Beautifully orchestrated and with some stunning vocal performances by its small cast - especially Scottish soprano Janis Kelly in the lead role

Montreal Gazette (April 2010)

Janis Kelly is an electrifying Régine. Mature voiced‚ soulful and full of heart-wrenching sorrow‚ there is a Madama Butterfly quality to her performance as she goes to her (metaphorical) death with sadness‚ despair‚ but‚ above all‚ dignity

Music OMH (April 2010)

As the Prima Donna‚ the marvellously versatile Janis Kelly

Observer on Sunday (April 2010)

The part of Régine is expertly handled by Janis Kelly‚ who offers a performance perfectly measured to show the panic and neuroses of a woman consumed with fear about her age‚ talent and relevance in a world that she no longer feels part of

Pink Paper (April 2010)

...she gives an alluring and persuasive performance...

The Telegraph (April 2010)

She’s perfect for the part‚ and she’s outstanding in it. Nothing that I ever saw her do before was in this class. And I suspect it’s what she’ll ultimately be remembered for

Telegraph (April 2010)

...a top-notch quartet of singers led by a great if underrated singing actress‚ soprano Janis Kelly...Simple in its range and effect‚ the only "aria" in the show to sound like Wainwright at his authentic best - words excepted - it’s beautifully served by La Kelly

The Arts Desk (April 2010)

Janis Kelly — predictably excellent

This is London (April 2010)

...the tormented soul of the retired diva Régine Saint Laurent — inhabited magnificently by the Scottish soprano Janis Kelly

Times (April 2010)

Satyagraha‚ English National Opera

...the soprano of Janis Kelly is often a powerful and rich aural presence

Seen & Heard International (March 2010)

Also worthy of special mention is Janis Kelly’s soaring soprano

Classical Source (February 2010)

...and Janis Kelly as Mrs Naidoo make an impression among the supporting singers

Financial Times (February 2010)

...in the next scene’s pseudo-quintet‚ Janis Kelly’s Mrs Naidoo proves impervious to strain in the exposed high-lying writing

Stage (February 2010)

Also worthy of special mention is Janis Kelly’s soaring soprano

What's On Stage (February 2010)

Gianni Schicchi‚ Royal Opera House

Janis Kelly’s Nella was new‚ revealing a voice big enough to ride the top of the ensembles at the Royal Opera House

Opera (January 2010)

The casts are choice‚ too...with tight playing from everyone on stage‚ the impression is of a perfectly aligned company achievement...and Janis Kelly’s house debut as Nella is very welcome

The Stage (October 2009)

Skin Deep‚ Opera North at Bregenz Festival

Janis Kelly as Lania and Heather Shipp as Donna are powerful sparring partners‚ singing some of Sawer’s most energetic rhythms with dramatic precision

The Times (August 2009)

Prima Donna‚ Manchester International Festival

Janis Kelly‚ a dramatically focused performer with a clear flexible voice‚ is very good as Regine

Bloomberg Press (July 2009)

In the Callas-like title role Janis Kelly gives the performance of her life

Financial Times (July 2009)

Janis Kelly gives a regal performance as Regine.

Guardian (July 2009)

Janis Kelly was superb as the prima donna‚ Regine‚ stitching something almost striking out of insubstantial material.

The Independent (July 2009)

Kelly is magnetic throughout: commanding in chest register‚ wistful in "Quand j’étais jeune"‚ sometimes girlish‚ sometimes crone-like. Nonetheless‚ it is ironic that such a hard-working real-life prima donna should be playing this caricature of a diva as though it is the role of her life

Independent on Sunday (July 2009)

On sera heureux de réentendre un jour - qui sait ? - en France cet opéra francophone. Mais à condition de ne garder que le meilleur de la distribution (les excellentes Janis Kelly‚ en Régine‚ et Rebecca Bottone‚ en Marie)

Le Monde (July 2009)

a staggering performance from Kelly

Manchester Confidential (July 2009)

The cast though are universally excellent - Janis Kelly is incredibly convincing as the jaded‚ troubled Regine‚ suitably vulnerable in her scenes with Marie‚ yet capable of turning on the star diva quality when Andre the journalist comes to visit

MusicOMH (July 2009)

Régine‚ Madame Saint Laurent‚ a demanding role performed here with intensity and stamina by the British soprano Janis Kelly

New York Times (July 2009)

...the singing is admirable and expressive‚ led by Scottish soprano Janis Kelly as the flame-haired Régine - her face one moment disfigured with the torments of hell and the next sexy and radiant

Observer on Sunday (July 2009)

Wainwright’s gorgeous melodies are given full vocal reign‚ particularly by Janis Kelly’s Regine

The Stage (July 2009)

Oozing glamour‚ Scottish soprano Janis Kelly plays the diva in Rufus Wainwright’s first opera.

Telegraph (July 2009)

Janis Kelly gives her all to a heroic interpretation of the preposterous Regine.

Telegraph (Telegraph )

The fine vocal actress Janis Kelly inhabited the taxing role of Régine with admirable conviction

Opera (September 2009)

Skin Deep‚ Opera North

...and there are excellent contributions from Janis Kelly and Heather Shipp

Financial Times (January 2009)

Two performances are pure brilliance - Geoffrey Dolton’s suavely sinister Needlemeier and Janis Kelly’s languid Lania

The Stage (January 2009)

And there are spirited performances from...Janis Kelly‚ spouting furious cascades of coloratura as his enraged wife

The Times (January 2009)

Rusalka‚ Grange Park Opera

This is all very diverting‚ but it wouldn’t work without a cast that sings as convincingly as it acts....The glamour-quotient rises whenever Janis Kelly’s Foreign Princess struts the stage

Financial Times (July 2008)

Anthony McDonald wins riveting acting performances from Anne Sophie Duprels (Rusalka)‚ Jeffrey Lloyd Roberts (the prince)‚ Janis Kelly (the foreign princess) and Clive Bayley (the water sprite)

Sunday Times (July 2008)

McDonald wins riveting acting performances from Anne Sophie Duprels (Rusalka)‚ Jeffrey Lloyd Roberts (the prince)‚ Janis Kelly (the foreign princess) and Clive Bayley (the water sprite). Stephen Barlow obviously loves the score and extracted fine playing from an enlarged English Chamber Orchestra. A few more strings might have brought lusher textures‚ but this was GPO operating at the top of its game

The Times (July 2008)

Janis Kelly delivers the Foreign Princess with superb hauteur

The Guardian (June 2008)

Janis Kelly was majestically malign as the rival Princess in Act II‚ singing with style and nuance to spare

Sunday Telegraph (June 2008)

Turandot‚ Dorset Opera

Janis Kelly’s Liu was spellbindingly sung and heartrending.

Sunday Times (July 2007)

Falstaff‚ Grange Park

The ensemble holds firm‚ with...Janis Kelly a sharply catty Alice.

Independent (June 2007)

Janis Kelly is quick-witted and warm.

Independent on Sunday (June 2007)

Janis Kelly is a wonderful Alice‚ vivacious yet capable in the seduction scene of signalling far more complex emotions.

The Times (June 2007)

Satyagraha‚ English National Opera

Janis Kelly’s expressive soprano – soaring ecstatically to the heights on occasions.

Classical Source (April 2007)

Alan Okes mellifluous Gandhi sang with unarguable clarity‚ as did ENO stalwarts such as Janis Kelly.

Financial Times (April 2007)

La Rondine‚ Opera North

Janis Kelly gave a beautiful performance as Magda ‚ both dramatically and vocally.

The Herald (June 2006)

Janis Kelly has reached that time in life when she both looks and acts the role to perfection‚ and we have never heard her voice in such fine shape.

Yorkshire Post (June 2006)

Nixon in China‚ English National Opera

Janis Kelly’s Pat is a similar triumph.

Financial Times (June 2006)

Janis Kelly does a mean Pat impersonation...in wonderful voice‚ coping well with the occasional excursions into the tonal stratosphere.

MusicOMH (June 2006)

From an altogether superb cast‚ I would single out Janis Kelly’s touching Pat Nixon.

Telegraph (June 2006)

Janis Kelly’s ever-smiling‚ oddly touching Pat Nixon.

The Stage (June 2006)

Best of all... and Janis Kelly‚ uncannily lifelike and touchingly vulnerable as the Nixons.

Times (June 2006)

La Rondine‚ Opera North

...she was singing with a gloriously full tone and tastefully controlled portamento. This was a heartfelt characterisation‚ reminiscent of her memorable portrayals of both Violetta and the Marchallin (in Strauss Der Rosenkavlier‚ from which Puccini took inspiration); one simply could not take ones eyes off her.

Music OMH (May 2006)

Janis Kelly‚ singing with ravishing tone and looking superb.

Spectator (April 2006)

As the repentant courtesan Magda‚ that consummate actress Janis Kelly negotiates the music skilfully.

The Telegraph (April 2006)

La Rondine...remains in pristine shape‚ largely thanks to the central performance of Janis Kelly‚ still lustrous of voice.

The Observer (April 2006)

Janis Kelly returns as Magda‚ her masterly‚ understated portrayal the evenings emotional epicentre. She brings a long-breathed elegance to Puccinis soaring vocal lines‚ while her acting is rich in detail. I love the way she cradles Pruniers head in her hands as he calls her Salome.

The Stage (April 2006)

Janis Kelly assumes the role of Magda‚ the Parisian courtesan in search of true love...theres no change in Kellys superb ability to act and sing in tandem‚ and express emotions beyond the librettos surface. How forlorn she looks once she stops imitating the swallows flight near the end of Act I; and for piercing anguish‚ her final despair among Bruno Schwengl s blistering white Riviera set — De Chirico meets a Dulux advert — takes some beating. The voice has its steely quality‚ though full-throated ardour emerges for rapturous duets with Rafael Rojass Ruggero‚ Magdas new capture and hope.

The Times (March 2006)

Memorial Gala‚ Wigmore Hall

Outstanding was Janis Kelly’s Surabaya Johnny which I have never heard surpassed for its blend of incandescent rage and heartbreak.

Evening Standard (January 2006)

Xerxes‚ English National Opera

She has a show-stopping entry in Act 1‚ and the intensity and artistry of her performance never let up.

Opera (February 2006)

Janis Kelly’s Romilda...was feisty and adorable.

ConcertoNet.com (December 2005)

Janis Kelly keeps Xerxes in thrall as Romilda.

Musical Pointers (December 2005)

Janis Kelly as Romilda sparkles in her fiercely difficult set pieces.

Observer (November 2005)

Arguably the most interesting performance comes from Janis Kelly as Romilda....her finely detailed acting and musically insightful singing go right to the heart of both character and score. She manages to inject emotional reality into the most fanciful situations.

Sunday Independent (November 2005)

La soprano Janis Kelly‚ en el papel de la bella Romilda‚ por quien compiten los dos hermanos‚ exhibe dominio vocal y‚ al igual que sus compañeros‚ gran claridad de dicción.

Terra (November 2005)

Janis Kelly’s spitfire runs as the lovesick Romilda are married to an acute sense of stagecraft.

Times Online (November 2005)

Maria Stuarda‚ Grange Park Opera

Janis Kelly‚ singing equally strongly as Elizabeth‚ managed to make one half-sympathise for a moment with the totally disagreeable character devised by the librettist‚ Giuseppe Bardari.

The Guardian (June 2005)

It says much for Kelly’s fine acting skills that she made much of the little Donizetti gave her and succeeded in creating a powerfully drawn Elizabetta without relying overmuch on caricature. Kelly can spin a fine vocal line and imbue it with meaning; every word of her dialogue told... It is a measure of Kellys stature as an artist that she found a way into the music that was expressive and suited her distinctive vocal attributes whilst doing justice to Donizettis artistry and never doing violence to musical style.

Music & Vision (June 2005)

Grange Park is lucky once again to have an artist of this calibre.

The Times (June 2005)

Semele‚ English National Opera

...the always excellent Janis Kelly...

The Independent (November 2004)

Janis Kelly camps Iris up something terrible.

Times (November 2004)

The Enchantress‚ Grange Park Opera

Janis Kelly is totally compelling as Nastasia‚ making the smallest gesture count and perfectly catching her mixture of hard-bitten cynicism and touching vulnerability; her duet with Jeffrey Lloyd-Robertss ardent Yuri is the operas emotional watershed.

The Guardian (June 2004)

...sings with utter conviction and passion‚ Kelly moderating her supple tone to her sympathetic doomed role.

The Independent (June 2004)

...the wonderful Janis Kelly as Nastasia‚ wittily tarty in her kinky boots and leather miniskirt‚ sounds like a dramatic soprano‚ which she isnt in this context.

Sunday Times (June 2004)

Janis Kelly‚ one of the most resourceful actresses on the British operatic stage today‚ engages at every level with the mature‚ worldly-wise but vulnerable Kuma.

The Stage (June 2004)

The Seasons‚ Halifax Choral Society

With a vibrant‚ well-controlled soprano voice Janis Kelly sang the role of Hannah with fine dramatic effect.

Halifax Today (March 2004)

La Traviata‚ Opera North

One of the most moving Violettas I have seen‚ Janis Kelly manages to remain in thrilling voice while emoting her way through the versatile performance the part demands‚ dazzling as the first acts sultry courtesan‚ harrowing in the grim finale.

The Observer (October 2003)

...even more heart-rending as the consumptive heroine than she was in 1999...which this singing actress of near genius turns to her advantage.

Sunday Times (October 2003)

Janis Kelly’s Violetta‚ singing through tuberculosis. is truly sensational.

The Guardian (September 2003)

...the outstanding reason to seek it out is Janis Kelly’s Violetta. It is not only supremely sung - her voice is just the right size for this theatre - but is superbly acted.

Sunday Telegraph (September 2003)

Idomeneo‚ Opera North

A flawless performance by the magnificent Janis Kelly.

Bolton Evening News (February 2003)

Janis Kelly as Electra was superb. Seductive when she needed to be‚ almost terrifying when enraged.

Liverpool Daily Post (February 2003)

Janis Kelly was vocally and dramatically vivid as Electra.

Manchester Evening News (February 2003)

...outstanding individual performance came from Janis Kelly as Electra...She presented an absorbing and sympathetic study in emotional and sexual frustration and self-deception.

The Independent Review (February 2003)

Janis Kelly is a formidable Electra.

The Stage (February 2003)

As Electra‚ the dramas resident Fatal Attraction bunny boiler‚ Janis Kelly follows her superb Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier with another compelling performance.

Yorkshire Evening Post (February 2003)

The ever-watchable Janis Kelly is in scorching form as Electra.

Ilkley Gazette (January 2003)

...her bile-spitting final aria is a true showstopper.

The Guardian (January 2003)

Der Rosenkavalier‚ Opera North

The main thing is the music...Above all‚ it glows in Janis Kellys wonderful performance as the Marschallin‚ crystal clear and noble.

Manchester Evening News (November 2002)

Kelly has a magnetic stage charisma.

Opera Magazine (November 2002)

Janis Kelly’s Marschallin is a compelling interpretation‚ beautifully sung.

Sunday Telegraph (November 2002)

Janis Kelly is every inch the Marschallin.

Daily Telegraph (October 2002)

The Marschallin was given a superbly thoughtful and pensive performance by Janis Kelly.

Darlington & Stockton Times (October 2002)

At the heart of all this is one remarkable performance. Janis Kellys Marschallin is steely yet vulnerable‚ searingly honest‚ complex and ultimately heartbreaking...it is hard to imagine anyone giving a more complete and moving performance. This is a fine Rosenkavalier; Kelly makes it outstanding.

Guardian (October 2002)

All good Rosenkavaliers require a classy Marschallin‚ and Janis Kellys remarkable first assumption of the role is a complete success in this context. Exquisitely delicate in feature and form... she commands the stage as a figure of grace‚ wit‚ big-heartedness and authority. She understands the nostalgic‚ wistful aspect of the Marschallins character without indulging in maudlin sentimentality. This is an unmissable performance from one of our finest singing actresses.

Sunday Times (October 2002)

Hers is an utterly involving portrayal with every word and phrase delivered so as to touch the heart.

The Stage (October 2002)

She is heart-stopping at the close of Act 1 as she internalises the womans sense of resignation‚ and the aching directness of her performance is helped by verbal clarity.

The Times (October 2002)

Singing the role for the first time‚ Janis Kellys Feldmarschellin moves effortlessly‚ both vocally and visually‚ from the opening act bedroom scene of sexual infatuation with Octavian‚ to the stately finale‚ where the realisation of the passing of her youth paints for her a sad picture of age.

York Post (October 2002)

Turn of the Screw‚ Grange Park

Janis Kellys sexy‚ brilliantly-acted‚ keenly-sung Miss Jessel was another remarkable self-reinvention by this amazingly versatile artist‚ almost unrecognisable as the impudent veteran Despina of ENOs recent Cosi fan Tutte.

Opera Magazine (September 2002)

Janis Kelly and Clarissa Meek gave vivid characterisations of Miss Jessel and Miss Grose.

Daily Telegraph (July 2002)

Janis Kelly characterises strongly as Miss Jessel‚ a malevolent force.

The Guardian (July 2002)

Janis Kelly’s glamorous‚ icily sung Miss Jessel is another remarkable self-reinvention by this extraordinary chameleon of an artist‚ barely recognisable as the impudent veteran Despina of ENOs recent Cosi fan Tutte.

Sunday Times (July 2002)

Cunning Little Vixen‚ Opera North

Janis Kelly’s Vixen boasted bags of vitality and charm.

Daily Telegraph (September 2001)

Janis Kelly is a glorious Vixen - an alluring‚ sexy-voiced hothead‚ who yields to Giselle Allens butch Fox with erotic glee.

Guardian (September 2001)

...really extraordinarily accomplished. Her singing was radiant‚ and the scenes with the Fox‚ Giselle Allen‚ were rapturous.

Independent (September 2001)

Janis Kelly’s wonderful vixen - resourceful‚ seductive‚ created with a subtle range of nuances and effects. She sings out bravely and affectingly. what an incomparable artist.

Stage (September 2001)

Janis Kelly is among the most versatile of our sopranos and brings an extra-special touch of character to every role she undertakes. Her Vixen is a brilliant portrayal‚ teasing‚ amorous.

Sunday Telegraph (September 2001)

Janis Kelly lithe and eloquent in the title role.

Sunday Times (September 2001)

Cosi fan tutte‚ Grange Park

...This was her directing debut. Mozart and Rossini companies should sign her up quick; Kelly has an eye for detail crossing Benny Hill with Tati‚ a feel for character and subject and a tangible loyalty to the score.

Independent (June 2001)

This is soprano Janis Kellys first-ever venture into direction‚ and it looks like she now has two successful careers on her hands.

The Stage (June 2001)

La Rondine‚ Opera North

Janis Kelly achieves another triumph of singing and characterisation. Here is a singing actress who has such natural grace and emotional eloquence that she cannot fail to touch the heart.

Independent (October 2000)

Janis Kellys Magda is a portrait of masterly understatement‚ her every emotion transmitted with expressive economy‚ Puccinis soaring vocal lines limbed with long-breathed elegance. Hers is a performance which would grace any major opera house in the world.

Stage (October 2000)

Magda was sung with glorious freedom by Janis Kelly‚ who follows her exceptional Violetta for this company with this equally sensitive and perceptive portrayal of a fallen‚ but less tragic woman.

Sunday Telegraph (October 2000)

If Magda lacks the stature of La traviata‚ you would hardly know it from the heart-rending performance of Janis Kelly in the Leeds staging. Her voice is slender‚ but she sings and acts her heart out with spellbinding grace and intensity‚ and phrases with an instinctive understanding of Puccinian style.......The Royal Opera has plans for a staging mounted around the Alagnas: they will have their work cut out to move me as much as Kelly and Pita did.

The Sunday Times (October 2000)

If anyone can make you believe in- or care about- the heroine it would be Janis Kelly‚ an actress as much as a soprano‚ one who doesnt let her concentration lapse for a second. The way she listens to someone elses solo turns it into a duet‚ and her blinking back tears in the last act would (almost) melt the heart of a critic. There is a certain fragility to her tone that suits the role.

The Times (October 2000)

Alcina‚ English National Opera

Kellys performance was a dramatic triumph‚ effortlessly making you believe in the sorceress dangerous magic.

The Independent (June 2000)

Nixon in China‚ English National Opera

Janis Kelly brings real pathos out of Pat Nixon.

Guardian (June 2000)

The excellent Janis Kelly beautifully conveys the fixed smile of one who can never quite believe she is First Lady but has come to rather enjoy it.

Independent (June 2000)

...Pat (an excellent Janis Kelly).

Observer (June 2000)

Kellys singing is wonderful.

Seen and Heard (June 2000)

...admirably acted and sung by Janis Kelly.

Spectator (June 2000)

Janis Kellys brilliantly conceived Pat Nixon...had paint-stripping powers of projection to draw on

Sunday Times (June 2000)

Pat Nixon (Janis Kelly) is movingly portrayed.

Telegraph (June 2000)

Perhaps the most sympathetic portrayal is that of Pat Nixon‚ played by an excellent Janis Kelly‚ who in a moving aria speculates on lifes dreams and regrets.

The Week (June 2000)

Janis Kelly is supremely touching as Pat Nixon.

Times (June 2000)

La Traviata‚ Opera North

The unlikely heroine‚ making her debut as Violetta‚ was Janis Kelly‚ unlikely because hers is not the conventional sound for the role. But one should never underestimate the sheer power of musicality. Instead of a glorious climax at her rural farewell to her lover‚ Amami‚ Alfredo was a tearful prayer that spoke of a multitude of forebodings‚ momentarily disappointing if you were expecting something bigger‚ but absolutely in keeping with the tear-stained conversation that preceded it. Most riveting of all was her attitude to death. So often at this point we hear singing that is all too healthy‚ at odds with Violettas pallid makeup and physical frailty. Here‚ however‚ voice and vision were all of a piece. Of course‚ it helps that Miss Kelly is petite and her tone beautifully focussed. By virtue of an orchestra that reined back marvellously‚ she was able almost to whisper‚ so drawing in her audience. Her suffering‚ as she dragged herself over the bed‚ was almost too painful to watch. Yet we dared not look away. The superhuman final effort to stand and embrace Alfredo meant that she died as he lifted her off her feet‚ her head flopping straight back. Here was courage that one could never question‚ whether in the drama or in the singer herself.

Opera Magazine (Novemer 1999)

Janis Kelly as a fragile but feisty Violetta‚ a tart with soul as well as heart

Daily Mail (October 1999)

but these are two fine singing actors at the peak of their powers

Daily Mail (October 1999)

Janis Kellys mature‚ intelligent Violetta . is an unforgettable touching portrayal right the way through - not just in her intensely moving death scene.

Evening Standard (October 1999)

The success of La traviata was honesty of the two principals‚ Janis Kelly and Tom Randle‚ and the compact beauty of the whole enterprise

Financial Times (October 1999)

One singer should be exempted from criticism: Janis Kelly may not be an innate Verdian‚ but her portrayal of Violetta is so minutely nuanced that it becomes difficult to look away‚ even when she is not singing.

Observer (October 1999)

her portrayal of Violetta is so minutely nuanced that it becomes difficult to look away‚ even when she is not singing. Her dignity as Alfredo throws his money at her is heartbreaking‚ while her death‚ bloodstained bed-sheets and all‚ is as distressing as Verdi could have wished.

Observer (October 1999)

Janis Kelly‚ though‚ is the real thing.

Express (September 1999)

she builds a deeply affecting portrayal of fragile strength and rightly received a rapturous ovation on opening night.

Express (September 1999)

This was very much Janis Kellys Violetta‚ not a second-hand copy of anybody elses.

Financial Times (September 1999)

Kellys performance‚ . is compelling.

Guardian (September 1999)

she touches the core of Violettas personality‚ with the slightest movement here‚ a beautifully shaded moment there.

Guardian (September 1999)

And at the heart of this production stands the truly wonderful Violetta of Janis Kelly. What an intelligent and accomplished actress she is‚ both vocally and physically. Verdi would surely have appreciated her performance.

Independent (September 1999)

she invests every phase and gesture with what he valued most - dramatic truth. She was able to make even silences - the pauses in Sempre libera‚ for example - truly meaningful.

Independent (September 1999)

Of course‚ this is a gift of a part to the singing actress who can encompass its great dramatic and emotional range. But how many can? Kelly made Violettas decline‚ from brittle brilliance in the first act to the haggard‚ wasted wrech of the last‚ utterly convincing‚ both visually and vocally. The operas end - her death - was as chilling and devastating as it should be.

Independent (September 1999)

This is one of the best-acted Traviatas you could hope to see. Janis Kellys Violetta is a wonderful performance‚ dramatically and vocally.

Sunday Telegraph (September 1999)

this is a Violetta that no one should miss

Sunday Telegraph (September 1999)

dignified and vulnerable in the encounter with Germont père; her declaration of love - Amami‚ Alfredo - when she prepares to leave is heartrending.

Sunday Telegraph (September 1999)

She is adorable in the first scene

Sunday Telegraph (September 1999)

Janis Kellys Violetta is no befrilled‚ golden-hearted courtesan with an occasional cough‚ but a brave and desperate woman who has clearly fought for her independence and doesnt surrender it easily. Her historical original‚ Marie Duplessis‚ was a crafty peasant‚ and Kelly never forgets this‚ kicking off her shoes the moment that she is alone‚ and striking her fatal bargain with Germont without illusions or sentimentality.

Telegraph (September 1999)

Her love for Alfredo seems almost maternal. She is older and wiser than he is‚ and she knows that she is asking for trouble by falling for him. On her deathbed‚ she seems to cling to life by her fingernails. I have never seen a Violetta more intensely terrified of her illness or heard one more audibly gasping for breath.

Telegraph (September 1999)

how richly she characterises the music‚ how responsive she is both to the text and to the scores dynamic markings. This Violetta is supremely honest‚ in what she does and what she sings.

Telegraph (September 1999)

Kellys magnificent performance - it is hard to believe that this is her debut in the role‚ so completely does she inhabit it - blazes at the centre of Opera Norths powerful new production

Telegraph (September 1999)

Janis Kelly’s Violetta doesn’t take her fate lying down; there are flashes of anger at Father Germonts outrageous demands‚ flaming resentment before she bows to the inevitable‚ or what the 19th century was as the inevitable. She doesnt faint operatically when Alfredo humiliates her in public‚ but stands shaking with rage. She even rages at her own weakness when at deaths door. This is a stunning‚ fresh- minted‚ deeply felt impersonation‚ rightly greeted with an ovation at curtain-fall.

Times (September 1999)

Parsifal‚ English National Opera

Janis Kelly’s alluring first Flowermaiden

Evening Standard (February 1999)

Die Fledermaus‚ Opera Ireland

It was well cast and drew winning performances from Janis Kelly (Rosalinde)‚

Irish News (November 1998)

Whenever she was singing the emotional tension moved up a notch.

Irish Times (November 1998)

Janis Kelly the undeniable star of the show. As Rosalinde‚ she sang and acted the part in splendid style and was always credible in the part

Sunday Independent (November 1998)

La finta semplice‚ Buxton Festival

Rosina’s ermine wraps mark her out as a femme du mond‚ and Janis Kelly triumphs in the part‚ spinning out the taxing vocal lines with sumptuous assurance; it is an outstanding performance in a show where no one‚ musically‚ puts a foot wrong.

The Guardian (July 1998)

Janis Kelly rises radiantly to the challenge of Rosinas two showstoppers

The Times (July 1998)

The Marriage of Figaro‚ Opera North

Janis Kelly’s Countess was perceptive and sensitively sung

The Sunday Telegraph (May 1996)



Acorn Media

The Sorcerer, Gilbert & Sullivan

Acorn Media

Gilbert & Sullivan - Favorites Collection

Opus Arte

The Perfect American, Philip Glass


Showboat, Jerome Kern


Brigadoon (Highlights), Lerner & Loewe


Musicality of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Andrew Lloyd Webber


The Magical Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Andrew Lloyd Webber


Inspector Morse Soundtrack (Vol 3), Barrington Pheloung

Virgin Television

The Magic Of Inspector Morse, Barrington Pheloung


The Essential Inspector Morse Collection, Barrington Pheloung

Image Entertainment

The Fairy Queen, Purcell


The Maid of the Mountains, Fraser-Simpson


A Little Night Music, Stephen Sondheim


Rare Orchestral Music, Tchaikovsky


Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture, Tchaikovsky

Dress Circle

Janis Kelly The Moment, Various

Naxos AudioBooks

The History of the Musical, Richard Fawkes


Great Duets from the Musicals, Various


Street Scene (Original London Cast), Kurt Weill

Nixon in China DVD from The Metropolitan Opera (Janis Kelly as Pat Nixon)

Nixon in China, Metropolitan Opera

Prima Donna, Deutsche Grammophone Recording (title role)

Prima Donna, Rufus Wainwright

Adriana Lecouvreur at the Royal Opera House

Adriana Lecouvreur, The Royal Opera