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 really well in advance, 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

Opera Scenes

Successful applicants for Opera Scenes will be allocated repertoire in advance to learn and memorise. During the week coaching will be available and scenes will be directed by either Janis Kelly or Linda Ormiston with Sergey Rybin and William Vann conducting. The course culminates in the Opera Scenes performance – a high point of the week for many.


Song Cycle


In this class participants and audience will experience song cycles prepared and performed in their entirety. It will involve group sessions with Malcolm early in the week, with all class participants exploring the poetry and music in preparation for a concert on Friday morning. Before the concert Malcolm will give a short talk about the cycles and discuss class highlights from the week.

This class is worth two class points and is only available to full-week course applicants. Please note that successful applicants may not select additional classes with Malcolm as part of their weekly allocation, but may apply for extra classes subject to availability.

Repertoire allocation will be confirmed in advance and applicants should be familiar with their whole cycle prior to arrival on the course. Malcolm will then allocate individual songs during the group classes. The chosen cycles this year will be:

  • 4 Serious Songs, Brahms
  • Fiançailles pour rire, Poulenc
  • Italienisches Liederbuch (Book 1) Wolf


Audition Experience

This open class will give bursary students a ‘mock’ but realistic understanding of the art of auditioning. Students will present three contrasting aria’s, one in English or English Translation, with up to two arias heard. The first chosen by themselves and the second by the panel. Once the student has sung both pieces the panel will discuss areas of improvement for the next time they enter an audition room. This might include presentation, entering and leaving the room, contact with the pianist or a discussion relating to style, language or repertoire choice. Panellists include Martin Pickard (repetiteur, opera coach and former Head of Music at Opera North), Bridget McCann (acting, presentation and communication skills coach) and Steve Phillips (Chorus Manager at Opera North).



Italian Opera Duets

The most famous and exhilarating moments in the entire Opera art form are found in the duets of the great Italian composers.  In this new class for 2017, David Cowan and Matteo Dalle Fratte will use their expert knowledge of language and musicality to explore Italian Opera Duets throughout all periods of Italian Opera. From Monteverdi to Puccini, suggested repertoire is as follows:

  • Finale – Monteverdi, Il ritorno d’Ulisse 
  • Son nata a lagrimar – Handel, Giulio Cesare 
  • Dolce e bell’anima – Cimarosa, L’Italiana in Londra 
  • Vanne a regnar ben mio – Mozart, Il re pastore 
  • S’io non morro a questi accenti – Mozart, Idomeneo
  • Ah guarda sorella – Mozart, Così fan tutte
  • Ah, crudel, d’onor ragioni – Bellini, I Capuleti e i Montecchi 
  • Voglio dire – Donizetti, L’elisir d’amore
  • Pronta io son – Donizetti, Don Pasquale 
  • Dite alla giovine – Verdi, La traviata 
  • Dio che Nell’alma Infondere Amor – Verdi, Don Carlos 
  • Soave fanciulla – Puccini, La bohème
  • Duetto dei fiori (Flower Duet) – Puccini, Madama Butterfly 
  • Ma come puoi lasciarmi – Puccini, La Rondine 
  • Silvio, a quest’ora (Nedda/Silvio duet) – Leoncavallo, Pagliacci
  • Non risponde – Cilea, Adriana Lecouvreur 



Solo Lieder Ensembles

This class explores the solo ensembles of Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Duparc 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:

  • Hermann und Thusnelda – Schubert D.322
  • Des Tages Weihe – Schubert D.763
  • Mignon und der Harfner – Schubert D.877/1
  • Standchen – Schubert D.920
  • Gott im Ungewitter – Schubert D.985
  • In der Nacht – Schumann Op.74/4
  • Ich bin dein Baum – Schumann Op.101/3
  • Es ist verraten – Schumann Op.74/5
  • Der Abend – Brahms Op.64/2
  • Die Meere – Brahms Op.20/3
  • Abschiedslied – Mendelssohn Op.63/2
  • Gruss – Mendelssohn Op.63/3
  • La Fuite – Duparc Op.2/6



Solo Oratorio Ensembles

This class will focus primarily on movements from the Oratorio repertoire, but will also explore ensembles from Baroque Opera and 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.  Suggested repertoire is as follows:

  • Pur ti miro – Monteverdi, L’incoronazione di Poppea
  • Ecco mormorar l’onde – Monteverdi
  • Zefiro torna – Monteverdi
  • Laudamus te – Vivaldi, Gloria RV 589
  • Et misericordia – Bach
  • Suscepit Israel – Bach, Magnificat BWV 243
  • Se non ti moro allato – Bach, Adriano in Siria 
  • Domine deus – Bach, Mass in B minor BWV 232 
  • Kind health descends – Handel, Ode for the birthday of Queen Anne
  • O, lovely peace – Handel, Judas Maccabeus 
  • To thee, thou glorious son of worth – Handel, Theodora 
  • Vivo in te – Handel, Tamerlano 
  • All Look Up to Thee, O Lord – Haydn, The Creation *
  • Recordare – Mozart, Requiem KV 626/6
  • Tutte le miesperanze – Mozart, Davidde Penitente (SST) KV 469
  • Benedictus – Schubert, Mass in G Major DV 167
  • Qui tollis – Rossini, Petite Messe Solennelle 
  • What have I to do with thee – Mendelssohn, The Elijah Op.74 
  • Benedictus – Saint-Saëns, Oratorio de Noël N. 5
  • Angus Dei – Dvorak, Mass in D Major *

*With Chorus



Applicants successful for this class will work individually with Ann Murray for 30 minutes on any suitable repertoire of their choice. A handful of applicants will also be chosen to take part in the Public Masterclass on the evening of Sunday 23rd July 2017.

Ann Murray has been acclaimed for her performances of the great Handel, Strauss and Mozart roles in the opera houses of  Hamburg, Dresden, Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Cologne, Zurich, Amsterdam, the Chicago Lyric Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, New York, La Scala Milan, the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival.  She has particularly strong links with English National Opera, the Royal Opera, Covent Garden and the Bavarian State Opera.  In 1998 Ann Murray  was made a Kammersängerin of the Bavarian State Opera and in 2002 was appointed an honorary DBE in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Birthday Honours. She is a regular guest with the Glyndebourne Festival, English National Opera , the Royal Opera and the Metropolitan Opera, New York.



Song Repertoire

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.




For all pianists, from those exploring the art of accompaniment for the first time, through to advanced students at postgraduate level.



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.




Students may bring any suitable repertoire to this class that they wish to work on with the tutor.



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.



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 new class for 2017 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.



Opera Coaching

Students may bring opera repertoire, from any period to the present day, to any of our experienced opera coaches; David Cowan, Timothy Dean, Martin Pickard and Susanna Stranders.

Repertoire Coaching

Since 1994, Timothy Dean has worked as Head of Opera at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama). He also founded their critically acclaimed Song Studio series, giving performances with singers all over Scotland. In this new class for 2017, Timothy offers coaching across all genres of opera and from the vast German lieder, French mélodie and English song repertoire.



Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or Tapping)

As a singer, are you nervous, anxious, needing more confidence?  What might be holding you back? Tapping is now used by top level athletes and is increasingly on the radar of musicians and actors.

It is an evidence-based strategy for reducing anxiety, stress and building resilience. It is easy to learn and can be a very useful self-help tool. I learned to do this over six years ago and have found it immensely helpful, not only for myself, but also as an advanced EFT practitioner, using it to help singers and many others, in developing more positive beliefs and peace of mind. I will give an introductory workshop as well as one-to-one sessions.



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.



A new approach to sung Italian

This class will focus on any Italian repertoire, from Monteverdi to Puccini, with the aim of demonstrating how this language was built to be sung and how recent phonetics research could help singers achieve good pronunciation and legato.


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.



Vocal technique

Vocal technique is a one-to-one class which is tailored to the needs of each student by our tutors. 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, drawing on the experiences of Janis Kelly and Russell Smythe. Both Janis and Russell are much sought after teachers, working throughout the year at the Royal College of Music, London, and in their private studios. As singers they have also enjoyed successful international careers, performing at Opera Houses including the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera, New York.




In this class 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 Class

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



Acting for singers

“Two singers both with beautiful voices but only one of them ‘touches’ the audience. Why is this?
Without understanding the true meaning of the song, we the audience hear only the music but may be denied the emotion. I believe that truthful communication can happen only with full connection to the text. Whether it is a folk song, a lied or an entire role you the singer need to know what the overall picture is, then the detail. There is no escape from learning the true meaning of all the text.

As an actor I am always asking myself key questions – What provokes the action? What provokes the words at that moment? It can come externally or internally within the character himself. All of this will be explored in my sessions.

Knowing why you are singing will make your performance truthful and more rewarding for both you and your audience.” Bridget McCann.



Coping with performance anxiety

“Both as an actor and from sitting on audition panels, I know how difficult it is to perform if stage fright kicks in. I’ve learned over the years how to cope with my performance nerves so that I can give an easy and relaxed performance and more importantly enjoy myself! In my fun sessions I will pass on tips to help you to look, sound and feel more confident. We all know that we have only a few seconds in which to make a good first impression so whether you want help to feel in control for an interview, audition or performance then my session is for you.” Bridget McCann.



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.



Baroque to Bel Canto

Baroque to Bel Canto – singing and accompanying opera, oratorio and song, from 1600 to 1950; including Rossini: Serate Musicali (particularly La Promessa, Il Rimprovero, La Partenza, La Gita in Gondola).


  • 30 Italian Songs and Arias, edited by Roger Nichols, Edition Peters; also Anthony Lewis and Damian Cranmer (eds), Associated Board Editions, 2 volumes .. all suggesting an “authentic” performing style.
  • Arie Antiche, arranged by Alessandro Parisotti, published by Schirmer .. suggesting a late 19th-century, “bel canto” performing style.
  • Rossini: Ricordi



Russian Song Class

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.



English Song Class

The category of English song covers a huge range of repertoire, from lute songs of the 16th Century, via the revival of folk song and modality, to contemporary music. William Vann is the Founding Director of the London English Song Festival and in this class participants of all standards are invited to explore English song of all eras and styles.

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