Janine Roebuck is a mezzo-soprano was is equally at home in opera, operetta, oratorio, and popular song, and is particularly good in roles which require a touch of comedy.
However, when she was told at the age of 18 that she was going deaf, many people told her she would have to give up her dreams. Instead, she kept her disability a secrets and went on to become successful in both opera and musical theatre.
She managed to keep the secret for over 30 years, before finally deciding to go public and has since had bilateral Cochlear implants fitted, which has been life changing. Her speech perception in her right ear alone when from 4% to 92% in just three months!
She now gives inspirational talks on how to cope with hearing loss, how she followed her dreams, and how a positive outlook on life helped her achieve her goals.
Janine made her debut with New Sadlers Wells Opera and has sung principal roles with all the major houses in the UK. As well as opera she sings musical theatre and is best known for her comedy roles.
She was a regular guest on Friday Night is Music Night on BBC Radio 2 and has worked regularly with Richard Baker on Classical Music Cruises.
She has also devised her own one-woman show entitled This Thing Called Love, and written and performs a show about the life and works of Joyce Grenfell entitled Stately as a Galleon.
Janine is also a globally recognised opera singer, appearing in the role of Carmen in the Middle and the Far East, as well as performing in Scrooge, The Sound of Music, as well as Gilbert and Sullivan operas. She has recorded The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein, The Best of Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Gilbert and Sullivan and many popular classics.
Improvements in technology are such that Janine’s latest hearing aids use Bluetooth short-range wireless connectivity which helps her perform at her peak.
She has decided it is time to be proud, not ashamed, and, with support from Action on Hearing Loss (formerly the RNID), she went public as the only deaf mezzo-soprano in the world!
Janine’s main keynote talk is titled Soprano With a Secret. Informative, moving and hilarious, this keynote talk is perfect for anyone who loves music and the theatre, and for people who have a hearing loss.
Janine was a Trustee of Action on Hearing Loss (now an Ambassador) and Patron of Auditory Verbal UK which teaches profoundly deaf babies and children to listen and speak wonderfully.
Over the years she’d confided in colleagues she could trust and inevitably word spread. Responses have varied from astonishment to admiration. One conductor told his orchestra she was deaf only after they’d heard her sing. Their standing ovation is the reaction she treasures the most.
The Champion Award was presented to Janine in 2009, and she was given a coveted place on The Independent ‘Happy List’ in 2010.
I have received so many wonderful compliemnts about our luncheon. Everyone I spoke to said that Janine was the best speaker we have ever had!
Tylney Hall Event
Janine Roebuck’s after dinner speech was simply wonderful, because it had everything that a good speech should have. She is incredibly witty and had us all in stitches. Janine is also fantastically moving in the way that she tells us about her life, but what I took away mainly was how inspirational she is, and how nothing has been too big an obstacle in her life. I have hosted hundreds of events in the past few years and I have never been so moved in so many ways during a 15 minute address. I could listen to it time and time again, and singing was excellent as well!
Wynne Evans, aka ‘Gio Compare’ from the Go Compare Adverts
Janine is a warm and engaging speaker with a twinkling smile whose story is an extraordinary one. Her presentation captivated our audience of young women who were mesmerised by her.
Clarissa Farr, High Mistress of St Paul’s Girls’ School Hammersmith
Janine was presented with The Champion Award in 2009 for her outstanding musical artistry; for making her talent available to a wide international audience; and for her clear demonstration that there are no limitations to what can be achieve if an artist has outstanding ability, passion, and sheer determination. She sand Puccini’s O Mio Babbino Caro at the AMI Awards 2009.
Ability Media International
Thank you so much for your incredible talk, it was without doubt one of the best I’ve heard and so powerful. You struck a beautiful balance of sharing lived experiences punctuated with humour and some very hard-hitting facts for us all to consider. Everyone who was there was in awe of it!
I have rarely met anyone so warm, generous and inspiring – and life-affirming in your example of how one can triumph over adversity with your positive attitude. Quite apart from all the inspiration and encouragement you gave to the main hearing-impaired members of our audience, you gave those of us lucky enough to have good hearing, huge insight into your world. I know that I, at least, will be a better teacher and supporter of pupils and friends with their hearing difficulties from now on.x
Canto Song and Voice School