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Two Rivers Festival Birkenhead School

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27th February 2014

What a treat I had in February when I was invited to do some vocal coaching with the cast members of Birkenhead School’s Les Miserables production.  Birkenhead School is an Independent HMC school for boys and girls and is situated in Oxton on the Wirral Peninsula.  I was delighted in 2012 to sing with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Conductor Vasily Petrenko  to celebrate the schools      Anniversary and had also  perform there previously at the Two Rivers Festival which is held there each year.There is a wonderful welcoming caring atmosphere at the school and there is a real sense of a family community lead by the school’s headmaster John Clark.

Les Miserables is one of my favourite musicals so it was a great pleasure to be able to work on the repertoire with the pupils and to contribute in a small way to their preparations.   Their Head of Music  P  Robinson and Director for the production had done an amazing job with the music and created such a professional stage set and we had a great time running through each of the main songs and exploring the movement on stage.   I was fortunate enough to go to one of the sell-out final performances of the production and it was huge triumph for all concerned. The cast were amazing and it was a credit to the school to see such a wonderful performance.

Two Rivers Festival

I returned to the Bushell Hall at Birkenhead School  on 21st March 2014    to perform in a recital with pianist James Baillieu  for the Two Rivers Festival.      The Two Rivers Festival was created in 2008 by Andrew Thomson and Peter Davison to bring musical performers of international quality to Wirral.    Since its inception the festival has gained a reputation for presenting informal concerts in the intimate setting of the Bushell Hall at Birkenhead School.  The Headmaster of Birkenhead School, John Clark, was leaving at the end of the current school year so the concert was also a special event to mark the occasion.      It was wonderful to perform for a very enthusiastic audience and I was thrilled to see many of the pupils who I had been involved in coaching for the ‘Les Miserables’ production had also come along to the recital.


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