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The University of Southampton

Abigail Kelly Event

13:00 - 13:50
22 October 2012
Turner Sims Highfield Campus University of Southampton Southampton SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this event, please telephone Louise Johnson on 023 8059 8424 or email .

Event details

Part of the lunchtime concert series

Abigail Kelly, soprano with Jo Ramadan, piano in a recital of operatic arias (Scott Joplin, Gershwin), Jamaican folk songs arrangements by Peter Ashbourne, traditional  African American spirituals and art songs by composers of Caribbean and African descent (Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Shirley Thompson).

Soprano Abigail is performing as part of Black History Month and will also be speaking as part of Music’s Research Seminar series on Tuesday 23 October. A Seminar with Abigail Kelly.

Free admission


Abigail Kelly completed her PG Dip in operatic studies at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and completed her BMus degree at Birmingham Conservatoire with first class honours. At the Conservatoire she was awarded a course scholarship, the Robert Gahan prize for achievement by a first-year singer and the BMus prize. Abigail has also won the Leamington Spa Festival's Rae Woodland opera competition and has received awards from the Black and African Caribbean Young Achiever awards, the Council of Black Led Churches and was awarded the silver medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Abigail is grateful to the Peter Moores Foundation which gave her financial assistance to further her operatic training and to English Touring Opera (ETO) and Chris Ball for a bursary to continue her professional development.

Abigail has performed with ETO as Naiad/Rusalka, Cobweb/A Midsummer Night's Dream, Bridesmaid/The Marriage of Figaro, cover Barbarina/The Marriage of Figaro, Pennie Fox/Fantastic Mr Fox, cover Nella/Gianni Schicchi. Internationally, Abigail has performed with British Youth Opera in Italy and France, with Opera South Africa and the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra in Pretoria, in Germany as part of the Arianna Consort and in Jamaica for the Military Defence Force.

Abigail has sung for Bishop John Sentamu at the confirmation service of his election as Archbishop of York at St Mary- Le- Bow church in London and at the Walk of Witness service commemorating the 200th Abolition of the Slave Trade in London's Kennington Park. A proud Birmingham girl, Abigail performed at Birmingham’s first commemoration of Emancipation day and at the 2012 Birmingham Symphony Hall celebrations of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence.

Future engagements include recitals in Grand Cayman, Montserrat and at the Turner Sims Hall in Southampton. In 2013 Abigail will tour with ETO covering the role of Despina in Così fan tutte.


Jo began his music studies as a chorister at Chapel Royal St James Palace. After graduating from Durham University, Jo studied as a postgraduate pianist at the Royal College of Music studying with John Blakely and Roger Vignoles. He received major awards from both the MBF and the Neuby Trust. He has been accompanist for many masterclasses including those of James Bowman, Michael Chance, Sarah Connolly, David Daniels, Anne Evans, Gerald Finley, Kiri Te Kanawa, Angelika Kirchschlager, Graham Johnson, Petra Lang, Malcolm Martineau, Ann Murray, Amanda Roocroft, Brindley Sheratt, Robert Tear, Roger Vignoles, Sarah Walker, Roderick Williams and Lawrence Zazzo, as well as a Liszt masterclass with Leslie Howard. Jo was Assistant Conductor and Chorus master for The British Youth opera tour to Anghiari with Southbank Sinfonia for performances of L’Elisir d’Amore. He has been a repetiteur for Classical Opera Company and has been a Pianist and coach with English Touring Opera. . He has been the accompanist for a masterclass and Gala recital with Sir Thomas Allen at Woodhouse opera. Jo is also a Britten-Pears Young Artist and a Samling Scholar. Recent performances include recitals with Amanda Roocroft for the Rivington Festival and with Cardiff singer of the World Finalist John Pierce, and Conductor and Music Director for Minotaur music in a double Bill of The Bear by Walton and l'Ocassione Fa il ladro by Rossini and conducting Cosi Fan Tutte for Woodhouse opera. Last year Jo won the accompanist prize from Joanina Trust awards competition. Future plans include performances of Wolf Italienisches Liederbuch, recitals with Joan Rodgers and Roderick Williams and the three Schubert cycles to begin a lieder recital cycle in the summer. Jo is currently Director of Music at St Vedast Foster Lane.



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