Alison Kettlewell was born in Taunton, Somerset and graduated in drama before studying singing at the Royal Northern and on the Opera Course at the Royal College of Music. She was a winner of the AsLiCo Competition for Young Opera Singers of Europe and a finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Awards.
In the current season Alison understudies Katisha The Mikado for English National Opera, with concert highlights including Elgar The Dream of Gerontius and Verdi Requiem.
Highlights in recent seasons include Madame Larina Eugene Onegin for Scottish Opera; Venus in Tannhäuser and Fricka and Waltraute in Der Ring des Nibelungen for Longborough Festival Opera, where her performances were reviewed as “magnificent” and “outstanding”; and Siegrune Die Walküre in concert with the Hallé Orchestra under Sir Mark Elder (BBC Radio 3 broadcast and CD release).
Operatic roles include Charlotte Werther, Suzuki Madama Butterfly, Dorabella Così fan tutte and The Secretary The Consul (all for Opera Holland Park); Kate Pinkerton Madama Butterfly and Mercédès Carmen (Raymond Gubbay). Her other performances include Donna Elvira Don Giovanni (Como, Pisa and Lucca); Diamantina L’Isola di Merlino (Cremona, Mantova and Brescia); Dorisbe Gustavo il re di Svezia (Montepulciano Festival); Diana La Calisto (Batignano Festival); Ramise Arminio (London Handel Festival) and Lucilla La scala di seta (Wexford Festival Opera). Concert performances include Delilah Samson and Delilah at the Brangwyn Hall; and Dangeville Adriana Lecouvreur (Chelsea Opera Group).
Roles understudies include Kabanicha Káťa Kabanováand Countess The Queen of Spades (The Royal Opera, Covent Garden); Amneris Aida, Judith in Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, Marguerite The Damnation of Faust, and Herodias Salome (English National Opera); Geneviève Pelléas et Mélisande and Azucena Il trovatore (Scottish Opera); and Roméo I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Opéra national de Montpellier).
In contemporary opera roles have included Matilda and George Cautionary Tales by Errollyn Wallen (Opera North); Mother The Juniper Tree by Roderick Watkins (Almeida Opera, Munich Biennale) and Servant in Param Vir’s Ion (Opéra national du Rhin and Music Theatre Wales in Strasbourg, Berlin and the Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House). She also sang the role of Giraffe Early Earth Operas (ENO Baylis).
On the concert platform repertoire includes the Bach Passions through to Elgar The Dream of Gerontius and Verdi Requiem. She sang Mary in Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ with the Northern Sinfonia and has performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, and the Orchestra of St John’s. She has sung at the Barbican Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Symphony Hall, Birmingham and live on Radio 3’s In Tune.
Madame Larina / Eugene Onegin / Scottish Opera / 2018
“Alison Kettlewell’s rich mezzo a treat as Madame Larina.”
“Alison Kettlewell’s elegant Mme Larina”
(The Sunday Times)
Venus / Tannhäuser / Longborough Festival Opera / 2016
“…the dark intensity of Venus’s opening phrases were one of the highlights of the performance…”
“As Venus, Alison Kettlewell – sang with elegantly contoured phrasing and rich tone”
Fricka & Waltraute / Der Ring des Nibelungen / Longborough Festival Opera / 2013
"…we were present at the discovery of some new stars... Alison Kettlewell’s Fricka was sensational, but so was her Waltraute.”
(Wall Street Journal)
“the magnificent Fricka of Alison Kettlewell.. beautiful, anxious but self-righteous, a complete portrayal.”