Josephine Amankwah is a seasoned and accomplished professional of the creative arts. Her exquisite mezzo-soprano voice has led to her being cast in productions with some of classical music's leading lights, at some of the world's most famous venues. Having trained at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Josephine has embarked on a successful acting career which has won her a number of notable credits in television, film and theatre.
Josephine Amankwah's exquisite mezzo-soprano voice has led to her being cast in productions with some of classical music's leading lights, at some of the world's most famous venues. Her performances across the globe, taking in four continents, have included lead soloist at the Royal Festival Hall with the Gamelan Orchestra, lead soloist at the Centenary Concert of Nazim Hikmet at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and singing in the English National Opera's production of Mahagonny alongside Lesley Garrett. Her exceptional talent has led to critics describing her in glowing terms: "Long and striking with a voice of a nightingale" by London Time Out's Patrick Marmion and a "thrilling and haunting soprano" by The Guardian's Rhoda Koenig, Josephine's performances never fail to move and enthral audiences. However, she has taken her classical training disciplines to new levels, writing and directing Let My People Go, which fused gospel, traditional negro spirituals, classical music and spoken word to tell the story of slavery, emancipation and the black american experience across generations. It is this fearless approach to her discipline and her art that makes Josephine a unique voice of her generation.
Having trained at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Josephine has embarked on a successful acting career which has won her a number of notable credits in television, film and theatre. She was cast in Channel 4 Television's Life on Mars as 'Tyler', played 'Basya's Woman' in Hallmark's Production of In the Beginning alongside such legendary greats as Dame Diana Rigg and played 'Myrt' in Simon Callow's production of Carmen Jones at the Old Vic, a vigorous role that saw her singing and dancing her way into the publicÕs consciousness. Josephine has also imparted some of the skills she has learnt, offering free acting workshops to youth groups whilst on mission trips to Malawi in central Africa.
An affable and conscientious worker, Josephine has also acted as a researcher, producer and presenter. She was a researcher for TNTV in London and New York and presented Return to New York for the same network. She was also a producer for 1 World Television a multi-media outlet, that focused on lifestyle programmes. Her innate curiosity for different people and cultures has led to her travelling extensively and one of her on-going projects is to present and produce a programme that explores the traditional folk singing cultures of Africa.
In Tune BBC Radio 3 Tuesday 28th August 2012 Live at 4:30pm, Danielle de Niese, Ailish Tynan, African Messiah
DURATION: 2 HOURS
Sean Rafferty presents, with guests from the arts world including chatelaine of Glyndebourne, and 'Opera's coolest soprano', Danielle de Niese. She visits the In Tune studio ahead of a project in collaboration with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. We have live music from soprano Ailish Tynan with pianist Richard Black ahead of her appearance at the Desert Island Discs Prom. Plus, kora player Tunde Jegede performs live in the studio with sopranos Josephine Amankwah and Laverne Williams as they prepare for 'African Messiah' at the Linbury Theatre.
Main headlines at 5pm and 6pm.
African Messiah by Tunde Jegede
African Messiah by Tunde Jegede (An African experience of Handel's Messiah)
Linbury Studio Theatre
Sunday 2nd September 2pm-3pm, 5pm-6pm
African Messiah is a celebratory new work by composer and multi-instrumentalist Tunde Jegede, combining themes and melodies from Handel’s Messiah with African musical traditions. The work draws in particular on the sounds of the kora, a West African harp-lute, and music in the griot tradition, and brings together some of the finest international singers, musicians and ensembles for a unique performance.
Songs for the Black Magi
Celebrating the Medieval and Renaissance Collections
Victoria and Albert Museum
Saturday 16 October
Arik Air Magazine article
Ghana Black Stars Network Ghana Independence
Ghana Black Stars Network - presents Ghana Independence on Sat 7th March 09 at Porchester Hall. In attendance and receiving awards will be MOBO CEO Kanya King MBE, Olympic Athlete Jeanette Kwakye, Broadcaster Henry Bonsu, Lady Gifty Tetteh, fashion mogul Joe Casely Hayford OBE. The National Anthem will be sung by Josephine Amankwah.
America - US TV Film
Josephine is singing the sound tracks for the movie America. Filmed in Michigan by the Sanitsky Co. in association with Sony Pictures Television. Starring Rosie O'Donnell
Philip Johnson and Ruby lee.
Executive producers, Larry Sanitsky, Rosie O'Donnell; producer, David A. Rosemont; co-producer, Yves Simoneau; Director, Simoneau; Writers, Joyce Eliason, O'Donnell; based on the novel by E.R. Frank; Music by Normand Correil. February 09
Sir Willard White and Friends, Birmingham, 5th October 2008
Sir Willard White launches the inaugural gala of the Black British Classical Foundation and the VOBOs - the competition to find the best Voice of Black Opera across the Commonwealth. The foundation aims are to increase the take up of Black and Asian young people into classical music and develop new audiences from under represented communities. The evening will consist of operatic arias and spirituals. Joining Sir Willard will be Josephine Amankwah, Mezzo Soprano, Alison Buchanan, Soprano, John Colyn-Gyeantey Tenor, Abigail Kelly Soprano, and Njabulo Madlala , Baritone. The Evening will be accompanied by the Orchestra of The Swan and the CBSOs Young People s Choir.
Josephine will be starring as the Soloist in a new BBC TV drama series called Apparitions. Written and Directed by Joe Ahearne the series stars Martin Shaw, Cherie Lunghi, David Gyasi, Rick Warden, John Shrapnel and Siobhan Finnergan, and is produced by Lime Pictures. Coming to your screens in the Autumn 2008.
Celebration Africa! at the Edinburgh Festival, 17th - 25th August
Venue: C Central (The Blue Room) Studio Theatre, North Bridge, Edinburgh, EH 1
Tickets: Adults: £7.50-£9.50, Concessions: £6.50 - £8.50, Children: £5.50 - £7.50
To purchase tickets go to: www.edfringe.com , Phone Box Office 0131 226 0000 or visit the Box Office at 180 High Street, Edinburgh
Funeral Bells by Benjamin Kent
June 2008 - Josephine will be playing the part of Faustina in the African Performance Production Funeral Bells by Benjamin Kent for BBC World Service. Starring Ellen Thomas, Gameli Tordzro, Enyonam Gbesemete, and Cecelia Tordoro. Produced by Alice Muthengi.
Celebration Africa! Recital, 10th April 2008
Josephine performed in the first recital of Celebration Africa! on the 10th April 2008 at the Posk Theatre, Polish Cultural Centre, Hammersmith.
The recital includes poetry, traditional African songs, well-known spirituals, and classical African music.
Check back here for details of further performances.