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BBC Proms Debut

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Kathryn Rudge


I was thrilled to make my BBC Proms debut in the stunning setting of the Old Royal Naval Chapel in Greenwich on Saturday 6th August 2016.  David Hill conducted this ‘Proms at…” premier of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with the BBC singers which was presented by Sean Rafferty and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

I was joined by Elizabeth Watts, Soprano, Peter Auty, Tenor and James Platt, Bass.   We were accompanied by Richard Pearce on the harmonium and Iain Farrington on the Piano together with the wonderful singing of the BBC Singers.

The Petite Messe Solennelle was Rossini’s final work.  He called it “The last mortal sin of my old age” and whilst he described it as his Little Solemn Mass it is definitely not short nor solemn!    It is a wonderful piece very much influenced by his operatic solo writing with elaborate choruses and beautiful expressive dramatic music.

It was amazing  to perform in the setting of the Old Royal Naval Chapel (Chapel of St. Peter and Paul)  at Greenwich which was stunning.    The Chapel is a neo-classical masterpiece by James ‘Athenian’ Stuart and William Newton. Featuring a Samuel Green organ and an altarpiece painted by Benjamin West.  It has one of the finest eighteenth century interiors in the UK.

Greenwich is such a fascinating place situated on the banks of the River Thames and known for its maritime history.  It is home to the Cutty Sark, a restored 19th-century ship, the huge National Maritime Museum, and the classical buildings of the Old Royal Naval College, including the  magnificent Painted Hall which is recognised as the greatest piece of decorative painting in England and has been described as ‘the Sistine Chapel of the UK’. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor it was originally intended as a dining hall for the naval pensioners who lived here at the Royal Hospital for Seamen.    Overlooking the lovely Greenwich Park is the also the Royal Observatory the site of the Greenwich meridian line.  The views from here across the Thames of London are amazing.

I had a brilliant time in Greenwich with family and friends.  The week-end was made extra special too by taking a trip along the Thames by boat to Westminster and spending the afternoon on a tour of  Buckingham Palace and seeing the special exhibition of 90 years of style of the Queens wardrobe! Here are some lovely photographs of a very memorable week-end.


Kathryn is an opera singer, concert and song recitalist from Liverpool. Described by What's on Stage as 'One of Britain's brightest young mezzos' and named as The Times 'Rising Star of Classical Music.' Kathryn regularly works with leading singers, instrumentalists, orchestras and ensembles in concerts and broadcasts nationally and internationally.

Kathryn has performed leading opera roles for companies including English National Opera, Glyndebourne and Opera North. She has made recordings for Hyperion, Chandos, Somm, Nyman Records and her debut CD 'Love's Old Sweet Song' was released by Champs Hill Records. Kathryn was a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist 2015-17.

Kathryn trained at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, studying voice with Susan Roper and piano with Naomi Kayayan. Her many awards include the Joyce and Michael Kennedy Award for the Singing of Richard Strauss, Susan Chilcott Scholarship and The Joaninah Trust Award. Kathryn is an Associate Artist of the Royal Northern College of Music and teaches singing at The University of Manchester.

Kathryn co-founded Mersey Wave Music Choir in 2012 in her home city of Liverpool and was recipient of the Merseyside Woman of the Year Arts Award in 2016. Kathryn has a passion for championing and supporting live music making within community and healthcare settings; especially to support staff, patients and relatives throughout healthcare. In loving memory of her parents who were both cancer patients.

Read More here: Music and Cancer


Copyright Kathryn Rudge 2019