Janice Watson is one of the worlds’ major sopranos, renowned for the beauty of her sound. A flautist originally, she began taking singing seriously at the instigation of tenor Phillip Langridge. She studied firstly with Johanna Peters at the Guildhall in London, then later with Renata Scotto. There followed a period at the Ravel Institute in Ciboure, culminating in a Concert performance of Sheherezade with Michel Plasson and the Toulouse Symphony Orchestra. Then at the age of 23 she won the Kathleen Ferrier Award and the Royal Overseas League, which launched her into the upper levels of the singing profession.
Janice has performed in most of the major opera houses of the world including; Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera New York, Chicago, Santa Fe, San Francisco, Vienna, Paris, Lyon, Amsterdam, Berlin, Hamburg, La Scala Milan, Naples, Turin, Sydney, Beijing, Tokyo, and has been a regular guest with both English National Opera and Welsh National Opera.
Conductors she has worked with include; Riccardo Chailly, Ed Gardner, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Bernard Haitink, Neeme Jervi, Trevor Pinnock, John Elliot Gardiner, Franz Welser-Möst, Danielle Gatti, Robin Ticciati, David Atherton, David Parry, David Hill, Richard Hickox, Franz Bruggen, Gustavo Dudamel, Antonio Pappano, Andre Previn, Kurt Masur, Mark Elder, Donald Runnicles, Martin Brabbins, Vassily Sinaisky, and Sir Andrew Davis.
Roles include; Countess (Nozze di Figaro), Ellen Orford, Arabella, Daphne, Ariadne, Marschallin, Salome, Musetta, Katja Kabanova, Jenufa, Blanche & Stella (Streetcar named Desire), Alice Ford, Leonore, Elisabetta (Don Carlos), Elsa (Lohengrin), Elisabeth (Tannhaüser), Sieglinde, Isolde, Kundry, Madame Lidoine (Carmelites) Hecuba (King Priam).
Janice has also done many recordings. Her performance of Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes for Chandos with Richard Hickox and LSO won her a Grammy, and she has received 2 further nominations. Other recordings include Elisabeth (Don Carlos) and Jenufa for Chandos, A Poisoned Kiss, Owen Wingrave, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dvorak Stabat Mater, Beethoven Missa Solemnis & Ah Perfido, Poulenc Gloria and Stabat Mater, Bernard Hermann’s ‘Citizen Cane’-Saalambo’s Aria with the Scottish National Orchestra. A recent recording of Delius Mass of Life and Prelude & Idyll for Naxos was recently CD of the week both on Radio3 and in Gramophone magazine.
Concert work includes the Britten Spring Symphony at The Tanglewood Festival in Boston, Die Walküre in Hong Kong, a concert tour of the Far East with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, many performances of the Britten War Requiem, Vaughan-Williams’ Sea Symphony, Mahler Symphonies, Strauss 4 Last Songs, Walton’s Facade (Janice has performed the Speaking role in duet with Sir Andrew Davis), Rachmaninov’s “The Bells”, Beethoven Masses, Mozart Mass in C and Requiem, and many Oratorios by Handel and Mendelssohn. Janice has sung many times at the Royal Albert Hall Proms and the Edinburgh Festival.