The English soprano, Julie Kennard, read music at the University of Southampton and then went on to the Royal College of Music to study singing with Ruth Packer.
Julie Kennard has always specialised in oratorio although early on in her career she took lead roles in several operas. She has appeared in all major UK concert balls and Cathedrals and in many venues abroad. In Ireland, she was a soloist in Gustav Mahlerís Eighth Symphony for RTE Television, in Italy, Poland Switzerland and France she performed the role of Dido in Purcellís Dido and Aeneas, in Iceland she featured as soprano soloist in John Speightís Symphony No. 2 for the Symposium of Nordic composers- a work she has subsequently recorded. Verdiís Requiem has also played a large part in Julieís career and to date she has sung 80 performances of that great work.
English music has featured strongly in Julie Kennardís repertoire-giving numerous performances of Ralph Vaughan Williamsí Sea Symphony, Edward Elgarís The Kingdom and Apostles, Herbert Howellsí Hymnus Paradisi and Benjamin Brittenís War Requiem. The War Requiem was high-lighted in a television documentary of B. Britten and showed her singing in a commemorative performance from Coventry Cathedral. She was asked to give a recital of English music at the last Gloucester Three Choirs Festival. She also took part in a programme of words and music, which starred Dame Judi Dench and the late Michael Williams.
Recent performances have included Creation and The Kingdom with Guildford Choral Union, Johannes Brahmsí Requiem in Switzerland, Mozart Requiem and Vespers in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Hymnus Paradisi with the Bach Choir and a recital in St Stephenís Festival, London of Berliozí les Nuits díEte and Strauss Four Last Songs.
Recordings on which Julie Kennard features show her versatility - Monteverdiís Christmas Vespers, Haydnís Nelson Mass with St. Paulís Cathedral, Herbert Howellssí Hymnus Paradisi with Vernon Handley and the RLPO and a CD of Victorian and Edwardian Carols entitled All Hayle to the Days.
Future plans include ďthe Bellsď in York Minster, a recital at Brancaster Summer Music Festival, Mozart Solemn Vespers in Guildford Cathedral, Messiah in Wales and numerous concerts in celebration of Admiral Lord Nelson.
Julie Kennard also enjoys teaching singing at the Royal Academy of Music and in addition to her oratorio and solo recital work joins husband Michael George in recital - their most popular programme being From Purcell to Gershwin, with love. She is the Artistic Director of the Grove Park Music Festival.