Scroll down for thumbnail class descriptions and repertoire requirements for each class. Where not specified, students may bring any suitable own-choice repertoire. Please note at least one piece you bring on the course should be prepared to performance standard, as you may be allocated to sing in either the Friday, Saturday or Monday night Student Showcase concert. Although we expect classes and tutors to be as listed, we reserve the right to make changes as necessary.
Italian Opera Ensembles
The most famous moments in the entire operatic artform are found in the ensembles of the great Italian composers. Italian language coach Paola Quaglia and Conductor Tony Kraus use their combined knowledge of language and style to lead these ensemble classes. Should you have preferred repertoire to sing, please detail at the point of application so that suggestions can be considered before a final repertoire list is allocated. All pieces must be fully prepared in advance of the course as an afternoon concert on Wed 5th August will showcase these ensembles if at concert standard.
Solo Lieder Ensembles
These classes are led by vocal tutor Richard Jackson, a founding member of Graham Johnson’s Songmaker’s Almanac and the Prince Consort’s Artistic Director, pianist Alisdair Hogarth. Both tutors will work with singers and accompanists in the lieder ensembles of composers Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn and Brahms. Repertoire is allocated in advance of the course and must be fully prepared. An afternoon concert on Sunday 3rd August will showcase a handful of these ensembles if at Concert standard.
Solo Oratorio Ensembles
The solo ensemble movements from the oratorio repertoire and the Madrigals of Monteverdi will be studied in these classes led by Baroque specialist and soprano Lorna Anderson and vocal coach Jo Ramadan. Repertoire is allocated in advance to the course and must be fully prepared, please list any preferred repertoire you would like to work on so that suggestions can be considered before a final repertoire list is allocated. A handful of these ensembles will be added to the popular Chapel Concert on Tuesday 4th August if at concert standard.
Feldenkrais Workshop Classes
These group sessions will be taken by Feldenkrais practitioner Rebecca Meitlis and will last for 45 minutes. Her practice focuses on performers, building on her professional experience in Opera and Creative Learning. Students may select more than one group session as each one is approached differently.
“Performance issues that I have found are addressed through the method include : Self confidence and self image, Increased capacity for the breath and awareness for the breathing mechanism, Appropriate tension, Poise, flexibility, and quality of movement, Communicating with the whole self, Openness to creativity and the imagination”
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One to One Classes
In 2020 we welcome back Oxenfoord Patron Ann Murray and other international and celebrated singers including John Mark Ainsley, Susan Bullock and Karen Cargill. These Masterclasses are faster-paced as the tutors work on fine detail and interpretation through performance. Repertoire choices must be sent in advance and must be fully memorised.
Song and Accompanist Classes
Art Song is led by Artistic Director Malcolm Martineau and will be open to all applicants on the course. These Masterclasses examine the intimate relationship between the solo voice and accompaniment. Songs in all languages are welcomed by this internationally renowned accompanist with a particular focus on the French Song and Strauss Song books for 2020.
French Mélodie is led by one of the foremost specialists in this field Robin Bowman. Classes focus on the close relationship between text and melody in this repertoire, from the mid 19th and to early/mid 20th Century with a particular focus on the mélodies of Maurice Ravel for 2020.
Song Recital is taught by English soprano Sarah Fox. Sarah is an experienced recitalist and this class invites students to bring two or three songs one might incorporate into a song recital and then working through performance transitions and linking themes of language, style and interpretation within the songs. A particular focus will be French mélodie and concert arias are also welcomed in this class.
American Song led by Alisdair Hogarth focuses 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. This class also welcomes the repertoire of contemporary composers from all nationalities who have made a significant impact on the world of classical music since 1976. Any contemporary composers you would like to bring to the class should be submitted and agreed in advance.
Take the Lied led by vocal tutor Richard Jackson explores the vast Song repertoire in the German and French languages. Richard is a very experienced vocal coach and linguist and teaches in many of the leading Music Conservatoires across the UK. Focus will be on language but primarily on the interpretation and performance of the texts in the songs.
Lieder with 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. There can be many variations on traditional Scottish song lyrics and tunes and in his Scots Song class Jamie explores the vast range of repertoire available.
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Accompanists and Duos is led by Conductor and Accompanist Gary Matthewman and will focus solely on student pianists and the technical challenges faced in challenging accompaniments. Singers may join student accompanists for these classes.
Russian Song with Sergey Rybin is dedicated to all 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.
Early Lieder with Alice Turner focuses on the lieder of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann. As an experienced accompanist and vocal coach Alice will focus on language and musicality in this repertoire. This class is suited to students of lied at all levels.
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. Both mezzo-soprano Catherine Wyn-Rogers and William Vann, Founder of the London English Song Festival, have a particular interest in this broad repertory, and participants of all standards are invited to explore English song of all eras and styles.
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Cantata and Baroque – This class focuses primarily on the sacred and secular music of the Baroque and Classical periods but also invites music from later periods which might feel at home in Loretto’s beautiful chapel. Lorna Anderson will work on the early stages of developing a healthy technique and the style of ornamentation often associated in the Baroque period.
Baroque to Bel Canto – Conductor and vocal coach Tony Kraus is an experienced musician having been a full time member of the Music staff at Opera North for over 10 years and now freelances as a conductor with companies across the UK. Tony will coach singers on the stylistic differences of operatic repertoire from the Baroque to Bel Canto periods, with a focus on the music of Monteverdi for 2020.
Bach to Beethoven – Drawing on the varied career of celebrated mezzo-soprano Catherine Wyn-Rogers, this class explores a variety of sacred and operatic repertoire of the Baroque period to the more romantic repertoire of later years. This class will focus on the performance and interpretation elements singers might consider whilst singing repertoire from these periods.
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Performance and Performance Preparation
Performance Classes, led by joint directors of Oxenfoord Opera Scenes Janis Kelly and Linda Ormiston, explore how to get the most out of your aria or song with technique tips and advice on stagecraft.
Led by Linda Ormiston, Cabaret Class welcomes repertoire from the world of Cabaret or Musical Theatre with the opportunity to perform in the popular Sunday night Lollipops Concert. All songs and arias for this class must be performed by memory.
Characterisation in Performance is led by Nicky Spence. A diverse performer equally comfortable on the operatic and concert stages, Nicky will work in detail from the essential elements of vocal production, through interpretation and musical style, to get the best out of your performance.
Acting for Singers with Jacquie Crago – “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!”
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Singing, Presence and Feldenkrais – Through this class Rebecca Meitlis and Fiona Dobie will be team-teaching on solo repertoire. This will enable you to bring more awareness and release into your singing. Observers will also have the opportunity to participate in some group work during this morning session. Attendance at the Feldenkrais morning warm up beforehand is essential.
Intentional EFT and other energy modalities with Fiona Dobie – “Although I am primarily a singing teacher, in 2010 someone offered me EFT tapping sessions as a swap for singing lessons. I was intrigued, and then amazed at how powerful it is as a way of releasing anxiety. Very soon I embarked on EFT training and in time became an advanced practitioner. This work releases people into better energy and thought patterns, and I teach it very simply but effectively now, as a self -help tool. I’ve continued to explore best practice in EFT and other energy modalities, including HeartSpeak, tailoring a session to the individual.”
Effective Learning Techniques with Ingrid Sawers – 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.
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Enjoy your Singing with Joan Busby – “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.”
Voice Lessons with Catriona Clark, Patricia MacMahon, Richard Berkeley-Steele and Russell Smythe are one to one voice lessons tailored specifically to help the student improve their own singing technique. Areas of vocal technique covered will include, tension and release in the passaggio, using the breath as your support mechanism and working to find a healthy, free sound in the voice at the extreme ranges in all voice types. 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.
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Voice and Presence with Fiona Dobie – “I offer the combination of aligned, embodied, freeing singing technique and many ways of encouraging singers to be fully present. This enables more beautiful, protected and expressive singing, integrated with enhanced awareness and ability to be grounded and fully imaginative. I have been an associate teacher of David Jones for over 11 years and also use Meribeth Dayme’s ‘Core Singing’ principles. I love working in partnership with singers, exploring what works for them and witnessing them becoming more alive and confident in their singing and performing. It’s exciting and a privilege.”
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Opera and Language Coaching
Opera Coaching offered by highly sought-after opera coaches Susanna Stranders, Martin Pickard and Duncan Williams bring their wealth of experience working in Opera Houses across the UK, Europe and America to coach singers in the preparation for opera performance. A wide range of repertoire is accepted but please come to the class ready to work on the nuances of language, interpretation and style.
Advanced Opera Coaching with Paul Wynne Griffiths will coach singers on the nuances of preparing operatic repertoire for performance. For The Royal Opera Paul has conducted a variety of classical and romantic repertoire, and has played continuo for numerous productions and worked as a répétiteur. Paul was artistic director of the BBC’s ‘Pavarotti Masterclass’ and is a visiting tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music and the National Opera Studio. There are limited spaces available on this class and repertoire should be fully prepared to performance standard.
Coaching for Singers with Jo Ramadan will be tailored to the individual needs of the singer; whether preparing for a performance, adding to their vocal technique or working on greater detail regarding musicianship, language and style. Both operatic and song repertoire will be welcome from singers of all levels but pieces must be prepared before the session.
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Italian Language Coaching with language coach and former singer Paola Quaglia will focus on correct Italian diction and technique, maximising expression and strengthening projection of text. Pieces are welcome from across the vast Italian vocal repertoire, from Monteverdi to Puccini.
Audition Experience will take students through all aspects of preparing for and undertaking auditions. After a mock audition, the panel will invite students back into the room to discuss their audition, including; repertoire choice, personal presentation, connection with pianist and things to consider inside and outside the audition room. The panel will include Susanna Stranders, full-time music staff at The Royal Opera and former Head of Music at Garsington Opera, Steven Phillips, Company Manager at The Grange Festival and former Chorus Manager at Opera North and Oliver Clarke, Berlin-based agent from OWL Management. This will be a closed class, best replicating the audition experience, and students should prepare three contrasting arias (one in English or English translation) and give a CV to the panel on arrival.
Playing Piano Reductions led by either Martin Pickard or Duncan Williams will explore 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.
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