About us Our people Our patron Our patron Our patron: Janine Roebuck Janine Roebuck became AVUK‘s first Patron in 2010. At university, Janine Roebuck became severely deaf and was told she could never hope to sing professionally. She therefore kept her deafness secret and went on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music, the Paris Conservatoire and National Opera Studio, London. Through determination, passion and talent she became the world’s only deaf mezzo-soprano and has achieved an international career. Janine made her debut with New Sadler Wells Opera and has sung principal roles with all the major opera houses in the UK. Highlights of her career so far include singing the title role in Carmen in a nine-week tour of the Middle and Far East. Janine Roebuck’s mezzo soprano is perfectly controlled by an assured technique, and is the expression of a highly cultivated musical and artistic sense of style. The Daily Telegraph Deafness Since announcing her deafness to the music world in 2007, Janine Roebuck has become a passionate advocate for people of all ages who are deaf. In addition to being Patron of AVUK, Janine Roebuck is a former Trustee of Action on Hearing Loss and teaches deaf children to sing with Music and the Deaf. Janine has received several standing ovations in celebration of her achievements and has been interviewed by the Guardian and BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour . She was awarded the 2009 AMI Champion Award, run by the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, for ‘outstanding musical artistry’ and ‘clear demonstration that there are no limits to what can be achieved.’ AVUK is very fortunate to have Janine Roebuck as a positive role model for our AVUK children who are striving to reach their full potential.