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Soprano Kelly Ballou has been praised nationwide for her “luminous” stage presence (Opera-L) and her “big, creamy voice” with “appealing richness” (Courier-Journal); quickly becoming an in-demand artist, she is equally versed in operatic and concert repertoire and is an engaging recitalist. As an up-and-coming concert soloist, Ms. Ballou has performed such masterpieces as J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Weihnachts-Oratorium, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mozart’s Requiem, Poulenc’s Gloria, Handel’s Messiah, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, Boccherini’s Stabat Mater and Vivaldi’s Gloria. She is contracted regularly by hometown period ensemble Bourbon Baroque, and is developing a reputation as a rising star in the early music community. Her operatic credits include Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Yum Yum in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado, Constance in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, La Paix in Charpentier’s Les Arts Florissants, L'Amour in Rameau's Les Fetes de l'Hymen et de l'Amour (upcoming 2014), Arthebuze in Charpentier's Acteon, Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and Amahl in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. Ms. Ballou is a graduate of the University of Louisville and the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where she earned the Emilie Dieterle Award under the tutelage of Karen Lykes. She has been a part of numerous young artist programs, including the Indianapolis Opera Ensemble, Opera Lafayette, the Amherst Early Music Festival Baroque Academy, the Baroque Opera Workshop at Queens College, the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar, and the Franz-Schubert-Institut in Baden bei Wien, Austria. Ms. Ballou is a three-time winner of regional NATS auditions, a Rossini Award recipient at the 2008 Orpheus Vocal Competition, and was a finalist in both the 2010 Bethlehem Bach Competition and the 2013 FAVA Grand Concours de Chant.