Mercedes Kirkwood, who last year at 92 years old received the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander (CD) for outstanding contribution to the development of the Jamaican musical theatre, has died, Jamaica’s Observer reports.
Kirkwood, who was affectionately called GG, was born in Del Rio, Cuba, and started singing at age three.
She relocated to Jamaica, and attended Jamaica School of Music (JSM), where it was discovered that “she had a stunning voice, perfect for opera”.
During her tenure at JSM, Kirkwood became a popular favourite, appearing frequently in several concerts, and on radio programmes.
After spending time in Jamaica, she migrated to the United Kingdom, and furthered her career in operatic theatre, for some 16 years, making her international debut.
During the height of her career, Kirkwood sang the title role of ‘Madame Butterfly’ in Yorkshire, and Mimi (‘La Boheme’) in Ireland; ‘Porgy & Bess’, ‘Carmen Jones’, and ‘Show Boat’.
After returning home to Jamaica, she made a number of local appearances at concerts, such as an Enchanted Evening with Jimmy Tucker and David Reid.
For the original report go to http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Jamaican-music-theatre-stalwart-Mercedes-Kirkwood-dies