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 Figaro‚ Alcina‚ 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 Showboat‚ The 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 Morse‚ Lewis 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 Scene‚ A Little Night Music‚ Showboat 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.