Classes

Listed by tutor, please see below class descriptions and repertoire requirements. Where none are specified students may bring any suitable own-choice repertoire to the class. For each class please prepare at least one piece to performance standard, as there is a chance you may be asked to sing in the Monday or Tuesday night concert following your first session with a tutor. Although we expect classes and tutors to be as listed, we reserve the right to make changes as necessary.

Advanced Classes

Group Classes

One-to-One Classes


Italian Opera Ensembles

The most famous and exhilarating moments in the entire Opera art form are found in the ensembles of the great Italian composers.  Matteo Dalle Fratte and Anthony Kraus will use their expert knowledge of language and musicality to explore Italian opera ensembles from Handel to Verdi. Repertoire suggestions are as follows, if however you have alternative repertoire you would like to work on, please let us know at the point of application:

  • Alcina – Handel ‘Non è amor, né gelosia’
  • Ariodante – Handel ‘Se rinasce nel mio cor’ & ‘Bramo aver mille vite’
  • Mitridate, re di Ponto – Mozart ‘Se viver non degg’io’
  • La finta giardinera – Mozart ‘Tu mi lasci, oh fiero instate’
  • Don Giovanni – Mozart ‘Fuggi, crudele, fuggi!’, ‘Non ti fidar, o misera’ & ‘Ah taci, ingiusto core’
  • Così fan tutte – Mozart ‘Il cor vi dono’
  • Il barbiere di Siviglia – Rossini ‘Dunque io son’
  • Cavalleria Rusticana – Mascagni ‘No, no Turiddu’
  • La Traviata – Verdi ‘Dite alla giovine… Morrò’


Solo Lieder Ensembles

This class explores the solo ensembles of Schubert, Schumann and Brahms with the focus on singing within interwoven vocal lines and harmonies and a study of the language and musical style. These ensembles include duets and quartets, with repertoire scored for solo voices. Repertoire suggestions are as follows, if however you have alternative repertoire you would like to work on, please let us know at the point of application:

  • Begräbnislied – Schubert, D.168
  • Licht und Liebe – Schubert, D.352
  • Die Geselligkeit – Schubert, D.609
  • Minnespiel – Schumann, Op.101 (No. 7 and 8)
  • Spanische Liebeslieder – Schumann, Op.138 (No. 9 and 10)
  • Fragen – Brahms, Op.64 (from Drei Lieder)
  • Neue Liebeslieder – Brahms, Op.62 (No. 14 and 15)


Solo Oratorio Ensembles

This class will focus primarily on movements from the Oratorio repertoire, but will also explore ensembles from Madrigals more generally. All ensembles will be scored for solo voices (mostly duets, trios and quartets) with piano accompaniment.  During classes the tutors will work on language, balance and musical style, with the possibility of performing in our popular Friday evening Chapel Concert. Repertoire suggestions are as follows, if however you have alternative repertoire you would like to work on, please let us know at the point of application:

    • Sfogava con le stelle – Monteverdi
    • Ecco mormorar l’onde – Monteverdi
    • Mein Freund ist mein – Bach, Cantata BWV 140
    • Wann kommst du, mein Heil? – Bach, Cantata BWV 140
    • The Lord is my strength – Handel, Israel
    • As steals the morn – Handel, L’Allegro il Penseroso
    • Spare your daughter – Handel, Jephtha
    • Who calls my parting soul – Handel, Esther
    • Quoniam tu solus – Mozart, Mass in C minor
    • Benedictus – Mozart, The Coronation Mass
    • Agnus Dei – Beethoven, Missa solemnis *
    • For so hath the Lord – Mendelssohn, St Paul
    • Tecum principium – Saint-Saëns, Oratorio de Noël

*with Choir

Art Song

Open to all applicants, this class examines the intimate relationship between the solo voice and piano accompaniment. Song Repertoire in all languages and styles is welcome by internationally renowned accompanist, Malcolm Martineau.

Cantata and Baroque

This class covers sacred cantatas and music of the baroque period. Baroque cantatas laid the foundation of centuries of music that followed. As such, oratorio music from later periods is also welcome.


French Song

French mélodie, art songs from the late 19th and early 20th century, are explored in this class by a leading specialist in the field, Robin Bowman.

Late Romantics to Britten

After being our guest Masterclass tutor in 2016, Susan Bullock returns with this new class for 2018 which will explore repertoire from the late Romantic period of opera primarily. Having performed a variety of roles in the great opera houses around the world, including the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, and The Metropolitan Opera, New York, Susan is celebrated for her portrayals in the Operas of Wagner, Strauss and Britten, amongst many others, and will use her exceptional knowledge of this period in an open Masterclass setting. This class will also accept repertoire up to Benjamin Britten and from the later Lieder composers of the 20th Century including; Berg, Duparc, Mahler, Marx, Schoenberg, Strauss and Wolf.

Enjoy your singing

Regain freedom and enjoyment in singing, and really connect with your audience. Would you like to enhance your sound and make it warmer or more sparkling? Are you using your energy efficiently? Do you have easy access to your full range? Are your words clear? Is your voice expressing all you feel about the music? Come and experience technical confidence in this class.


Baroque Song

The songs of the early baroque period are often used in the early stages of developing a healthy singing technique. Using Arie Antiche: ad una voce per canto e pianoforte (Parisotti, Milan, 1885–1888) this class explores baroque song in relation to singing on the breath, legato phrasing and expressive dynamic control. The original collection comprises 100 songs or arias published in three volumes by Ricordi as a primer to study classical singing. These volumes are still available, but have also been reduced in a single-volume, 24 Italian Songs and Arias, published by Schirmer. Schirmer also publishes these plus four others from Parisotti in the volume known as 28 Italian Songs and Arias, for Medium High voice, and another with the same name offering a choice of key for each song, plus much additional information and a CD.

Voice Lesson

These one-to-one voice lessons will be tailored specifically to help the student improve their own singing technique. Although there will be no accompanist for this class, students are encouraged bring repertoire they may be working on, so that, by working through selected passages, the basic elements of healthy vocal production can be explored.

Beginner’s Oratorio

Soprano Catriona Clark invites singers at all levels to work on pieces from the great oratorio and concert platforms within a coaching environment. A keen and experienced concert singer, Catriona will work on language, style and performance interpretation during this new class for 2018.


Acting for Singers

My passions as Voice Coach, Actor and Director are text and how to achieve detailed and truthful communication through connection with that text. Over many years of working with actors and musical theatre and opera singers I have become aware that performances frequently suffer from physical ‘tightness’ and inflexibility – often, with singers, the result of an undue concern about ‘hitting the right note’. Of course, musical accuracy is an essential part of the job but it cannot be the only point of focus if the story is to be told in full – on the concert platform as well as in a full blown production. My work helps performers to discover and internalise the emotional details of text, to connect those discoveries with the structure of the music and to communicate the performance freely through the released physical action of the voice. When word and music are fully realised through the performer then there is inspiration. The physical release work is also a great help when grappling with performance nerves!


Shakespeare in Song

The most celebrated composers of Classical music have turned to the words of William Shakespeare to create their Art songs and Lieder. The genius of this one writer has inspired a staggering breadth and diversity of musical work for over 400 years. It has enriched the genre of Art Song and has produced some of our best loved operas.
This new class for 2018 will be led by text specialist and former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Voice and Text department, Jacquie Crago. Jacquie will help singers to explore, enjoy and connect with the emotional and structural intricacies of Shakespeare’s rich and exciting texts.
“The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons stratagems, and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night. And his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.”

Selected Repertoire:

Songs for Ariel – Tippett
Three Shakespeare Songs – Quilter
She never told her love – Haydn
Let us Garlands bring – Finzi
Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day – Dankworth
Six Elizabethan Songs – Argento

HeartSpeak

As well as being a singing teacher, I’m also an EFT practitioner, however I’m introducing this different and new energy protocol this year, as I am finding it a really effective way for my clients to allow a more positive outlook.

Heartspeak uses Applied Kinesiology (muscle testing) as the way into the heart of the problem. Then the process, which allows the client to be quite private about what they are exploring, evolves into a beautiful reframe. This softens triggers, breaks the habit of automatic behaviours and reactions and helps deal with unresolved emotional content. All of this allows more freedom, growth and joy.

I feel the relevance to musicians can be significant, because of the importance of connection to an integrated vibrant life impacting positively on performance!


Voice and Presence

“I have been a singing teacher for over 30 years and I believe that all singers need optimum posture, the right physical connection and release ( in other words singing technique!) to protect and free our voices.

Equally important, is to learn all sorts of ways to productively use our imagination and be ‘in the moment’, so as we can communicate authentically and deeply, be flexible, expressive musicians and serve the poet, librettist  and composer. I love working with singers on these ‘edges’, exploring this joyful alchemy.” Fiona Dobie.


Sung Italian: Melofonetica Method®

Matteo provides tailored coaching using his groundbreaking method, which is based on the phonetics of sung Italian language. The approach helps singers achieve correct Italian diction, maximise expression and strengthen breath support and projection for a performance space. Singers can focus on any Italian repertoire, from Monteverdi to Puccini.

Repertoire Coaching

This new class with Sarah Fox, who has featured on recent recordings of the complete songs of Poulenc with Malcolm Martineau and the Cole Porter Song book with James Burton, invites students to bring repertoire from the worlds of the oratorio and concert platform, particularly Lieder and French Song. Sarah will focus the coaching from a singer’s perspective and may also touch on the technical elements of classical singing and stagecraft.


American Song

Focusing exclusively on American art song (as opposed to opera or musical theatre) participants are encouraged to bring not only standard repertoire such as Bernstein, Copland and Ives, but also to explore the diverse array of newer works by contemporary composers such as Jake Heggie, John Musto, Lee Hoiby, Ned Rorem and Lowell Liebermann. A list of suggested composers is available on request however Barber’s Sure on the Shining Night is no longer accepted as part of this class.

Contemporary Composers

This class explores the repertoire of contemporary composers who have made a significant impact on the world of classical music since 1976. Upon acceptance onto the course, students are encouraged to submit their choice of composer/piece they would like to study. Repertoire will then be agreed for preparation in advance of the course.

Advanced Voice Lesson

This one-to-one class is tailored to the needs of each student by Professor Janis Kelly. This class will focus on the essential elements of vocal technique including breathing and support, tension and grip in the “passaggio” and will explore exercises to help the singer improve their sound and understanding of their technique. This class will also address the technical challenges found in the more demanding repertoire.

Performance Matters

Devised by Professor Janis Kelly, Chair in Vocal Performance at the Royal College of Music, this new class for 2018 will deal with the integral stages of learning a piece of vocal music, technical and postural exercises, the technical aspects of singing in English and in foreign languages and the layers of depth required to get to the performance stage. In a one-to-one setting, individuals will be working on aspects of the above that are particular to their needs at the moment and a varied repertoire is encouraged. Although spaces for this class are limited, Janis may also encourage occasional group exercises for those observing.

Opera Coaching

Students may bring opera repertoire, from any period to the present day, to any of our experienced opera coaches.

Lieder

In this class tenor Jamie MacDougall explores the highly emotional and expressive German art song repertoire with strong lyrical melodies and rich harmony. Although any German Lied is welcome, baritones and tenors in particular are encouraged to bring Schumann’s Dichterliebe to this class.

Scots Song

There can be many variations on traditional Scottish song lyrics and tunes. In this class Jamie MacDougall explores the vast range of repertoire available.

Early Lieder

This class is for students of the Lied at all levels, and will focus on songs by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert & Schumann.


Cabaret Class

This class welcomes anything from the world of Cabaret or Musical Theatre with the opportunity to perform in the popular Wednesday night Lollipops Concert.

Performance Class

The performance class teaches how to get the most out of your aria or song – with technique tips and advice on stagecraft.


Playing Opera Reductions

A class exploring how best to play and support in an ‘orchestral’ way from the piano, whilst also examining the pianistic choices to be made when editing an opera piano/vocal score from the full score.

Russian Song

A class dedicated to vocal repertoire (both song and opera) in the Russian language. Participants of all language-skill level are welcome. Transliterations can be provided on request for advance preparation.


Effective Learning Techniques

This class will cover the various components required to learn repertoire from scratch, suggesting techniques to address pitch, rhythm, text, memory and basic interpretation. It will be of interest to singers (though not addressing vocal technique) and also to pianists who need to learn not only their own part, but gain familiarity with the vocal line and acquire ways of helping/coaching their singer. A piece of unfamiliar repertoire can be supplied at the start of the week as a vehicle for the learning process, but participants are also encouraged to bring any specific examples of problems that they have encountered and wish to address.


Repertoire Coaching

Baritone Russell Smythe has worked with all the major Opera companies in the UK and internationally and uses his extensive experience as a performer on the operatic stage and concert platform in his teaching. This new class for 2018 will concentrate on coaching the students through all periods and genres of the classical singing repertoire that they may bring.

English Song

English Song encompasses a huge variety of styles, from Renaissance lute songs, via Edwardian lyrics and the 20th century revival by composers such as Vaughan Williams, to contemporary music. William Vann, Founder of the London English Song Festival, has a particular interest in this broad repertory, and in this class participants of all standards are invited to explore English song of all eras and styles.

 

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