Tuesday | March 3, 2015

UK VOICE: Birmingham opera singer brings Jamaican flavour

Published:Tuesday | September 25, 2012

Her voice is as beautiful as it is versatile.



And anyone who is yet to hear Abigail Kelly sing can treat themselves to her autumn gala concert at Birmingham Cathedral in her home city.



The popular soprano will perform a variety of songs from traditional spirituals, musicals and Jamaican folk songs to operatic arias during the concert on Saturday, October 6.



Kelly proved herself to be a gifted and adaptable performer, when she appeared a several events in Birmingham this summer to celebrate the Jamaican Olympic team’s stay in the city before London 2012.



She also won over crowds during Jamaica’s 50th anniversary celebrations of independence.



Now Kelly is back and sharing a stage with pianist Jeanette Wong, who met years ago at Birmingham’s Conservatoire, where Kelly won a scholarship.



“I love singing in my home city and I’m delighted to be performing such a wide variety of work with Jeanette,” said Kelly who took part in the cultural extravaganza and salute to the Jamaican athletes at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall in July.



She sang at the city’s five-day Jamaica in the Square celebrations in August to mark Jamaica’s 50th anniversary and also performed several moving spirituals at Birmingham’s first midnight service to mark Emancipation Day.



It’s fortunate that she chose to become an opera singer over her other potential career path – genetic research.



After training at Birmingham Conservatoire she took a post-graduate degree at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.



Now a singer with the English Touring Opera (ETO), she says one of her career highlights has been singing with Opera South Africa.



She is also a passionate music teacher and when she is not touring with ETO, Kelly is in Birmingham inspiring the next generation.



At the end of October she flies out to George Town, Grand Cayman for a concert and returns to the Caribbean a week before Christmas to sing in Montserrat.



editorial@gleanerjm.com