summer singing school


Course Tutors


Ashley Dean

Ashley Dean trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. His productions include: The Cunning Little Vixen (Royal Academy of Music), Iolanta (Operosa Opera Festival, Montenegro), SãvitriBlond Eckbert, Pauline Viardot’s CendrillonDocteur Miracle, Hans Werner Henze’s Phaedra and Ein LandarztThe Long Christmas DinnerA Dinner Engagement (Guildhall School of Music and Drama), Lucia di Lammermoor (Clonter Opera), Carmen (Scottish Opera), Le Nozze di FigaroCosi Fan TutteLa Clemenza di TitoAriadne auf Naxos, Benjamin Britten’s Phaedra (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), L’incoronazione di PoppeaTrouble in Tahiti (Royal Danish Opera Academy), Albert Herring (Co.Opera Co.), Night Pieces – Jerwood Project (Glyndebourne/LPO), Twist and Shout (Il Palchetto – tour of Italy), The House of Bernarda AlbaThe Dog Beneath the Skin (Cockpit Theatre, London), Hell and High WaterThe Last Resort (Winner of Artistic Excellence Award – Mobarak Festival, Tehran) and A Christmas Carol (Strangeface Theatre, UK and International tours).

Ashley has worked on many opera productions by directors including Richard Jones, Nicholas Hytner, Graham Vick, David McVicar, Dmitri Tcherniakov, Nikolaus Lehnhoff and Deborah Warner. He has been on the directing staff at Glyndebourne, Garsington and English National Opera, and has revived productions in Chicago, Los Angeles and New Zealand.

Ashley regularly works with young singers in music conservatoires and young artist programmes in the UK and abroad including the Royal College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, Oslo National Academy of the Arts, and the Royal Danish Opera Academy. He has led workshops for Voices of South Africa, British Youth Opera and the Jette Parker Young Artists at the Royal Opera House, London.

Michael Harper

Michael Harper is a singer, vocal consultant and singing teacher.   He has sung opera, oratorio, and new music in the US, Europe and in China, premiering new works in the UK, Venice, and Geneva.

As a vocal consultant, he has given master classes, workshops and lectures for the Centre for Performance Research (Aberystwyth), the Asolo Song Festival and Institute for Song Interpretation (Italy), The National Foundation for Youth Music, Sing Up, The Sage Gateshead (Newcastle), Jackdaws Music Education Trust (Somerset), Guildhall School of Music and Drama, The Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon), the National Opera Studio (London),  the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester), various US universities including Westminster Choir College (Princeton) where he worked with the Grammy-nominated Williamson Voices, and the British Library, where he held an Edison Fellowship.

He has curated recitals for the London Song Festival and for Steinway Hall on the songs of African American and Black British Composers, and directed a tribute to the Fisk Jubilee Singers as part of the Hull City of Culture, 2016

He teaches singing at the Royal Northern School of Music in Manchester and has private studios in London, Bristol, and at the den Norske Opera in Oslo. He is trustee of the Saga Trust (Edison Fellowship, British Library) and a Patron for the National Opera Studio’s Diverse Voices programme.

Marie McLaughlin

Distinguished soprano Marie McLaughlin has enjoyed more than four decades of performance at the highest international level. Over that time, she has collaborated with some of the world’s greatest conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Bernard Haitink and Sir Antonio Pappano as well as such legends as the late Leonard Bernstein and Giuseppe Sinopoli. A wide repertoire of core roles took McLaughlin around the world at an early age including to the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, Opéra National de Paris and Salzburg and Glyndebourne festivals. Her substantial discography includes many of those roles including Zerlina with Sir Neville Marriner for Philips, Despina with James Levine for Deutsche Grammophon as well as Micaëla and Violetta under Bernard Haitink.

Recent highlights have included Meg Page in Robert Carsen’s production of Falstaff for the Royal Opera House under Nicola Luisotti, Older Woman in Jonathan Dove’s Flight for Scottish Opera, Mother Goose in The Rake’s Progress with London Philharmonic Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski and Marcellina both at Salzburg’s Mozartwoche under Sir András Schiff and in James Gray’s new production at Los Angeles Opera under James Conlon. Marie McLaughlin recently portrayed the character of Signora Naccarelli in Daniel Evans’ hit production The Light in the Piazza which toured to LA Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago following its critically-acclaimed debut run at London’s Southbank Centre.

Brian Parsonsbrian

Brian is a graduate of the Royal College of Music where his teachers were Bernard Roberts and Maria Donska (piano) and Frederick Sharp and Lyndon van der Pump (singing).

As a postgraduate he went on to study for a further two years at the Royal College of Music Opera School with scholarships from the RCM Patrons Fund and the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust, winning acclaim notably for his performance of the title role in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring. He also studied privately and in masterclasses with Eric Vietheer, Eugenie Triguez, Geoffrey Parsons, Gerhardt Husch, Nadia Boulanger, Pierre Bernac, David Pollard and Peter Pears.

He won the Major van Someren Godfrey Prize for English Song and was a Finalist in the Richard Tauber Competition, the Royal Overseas League Competition and the National Federation of Music Societies Award for Male Singers.

Brian has sung in recital, in concerts and in festivals both at home and abroad including the Spitalfields, Norwich, Camden, Cuenca, Maggio Musicale and Athens Festivals with conductors including Jean-Claude Malgoire, Christoph Rousset, David Roblou, William Christie and Frantisek Vajnar. He has broadcast for the BBC and French Radio and Television, and featured as soloist in many recordings including the cantatas of Bernier and Martinu as well as contemporary works by Berio, Henze and Holliger.

Equally at home on the operatic stage, Brian has sung for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, English National Opera, Glyndebourne, Wexford Festival Opera, Aix en Provence Festival Opera, Opera 80 (now English Touring Opera) and more recently Venetian Opera and Bampton Classical Opera.

He teaches at an international level and has taught on the Berkshire Choral Union (USA), AIMS and Summer Music (UK) and Séminaire Estival de Musique en Wallonie (Belgium) summer schools.

Brian has also given masterclasses for Floral Opera (London) the Cergy Pontoise, Angers and Grenoble Conservatoires (France) and from 1998/2017 was Professeur de Chant at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et Danse, Lyon, and Professor of Singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama London 2000/2015

He is currently a tutor for VoxIntegra and BenslowMusic, a member of the chamber music ensemble Insieme, and director of WorkshopWeekend@Winfrith, short and intense voice courses in Dorset.

Brian is a Fellow of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and also an active member of the Association of English Singers and Speakers.

Course pianists

Grace Carter

Grace Carter began her studies as a Pianist at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland specialising in Vocal Accompaniment, later studying as a Repetiteur on the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Having spent her initial studies working so frequently with singers, she began her own training as a soprano at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and subsequently the Dutch National Opera Academy, receiving an International Opera Awards Bursary in 2015. She has performed most recently at the Dutch National Opera, the Oxford Lieder Festival, Mozarthaus- Vienna, Musiekgebouw aan t’Ij – Amsterdam and the Britten Pears Young Artist programme at Snape Matings. Grace was a recording artist with Deutsche Grammophon, Paris for an album of operas arranged for five female voices.

Grace is based in South East London and is now working as a vocal coach combining her experience as both a singer and pianist. She has worked with young artists for British Youth Opera, the Festival Lyrique de Belle-Ile-en-Mer and is a regular accompanist for the International Opera Awards Young Artist masterclasses.

Marc Verter

Marc Verter is a pianist, song accompanist and vocal coach. Marc was the artistic director for over five years at the Chelsea Schubert Festival. Alongside his performing work Marc is a highly sought after vocal coach and repetiteur. Previous opera engagements have included Aix en Provence festival, Opera pa Skeret programme in Sweden, the Dartington festival in the UK and the double bill for Opera Pegasus in 2023. He is currently on staff as a vocal coach at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, the Mediterranean Opera Studio and Festival in Sicily and accompanist for the Jette Parker Aritsts Programme in the Royal Opera House. He has performed at music festivals in Israel, North America and Europe and has played for such internationally renowned singers as Yvonne Kenny, Jonathan Lemalu, Nelly Miricioiu, Kate Royal, Sarah Walker and Chen Reiss. He curated a salon concert series recreating the glamour of 19th century European musical soirees. Recordings include recital with soprano Ilona Domnich (Quartz), Robert Franz lieder (MPR), Piano pieces by Tamara Konstantin (Naxos) and songs by holocaust survivor and reemerging composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg with bass-baritone Mark Glanville ( Challenge – release expected 2023).
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Chad Vindin

Born in Australia, Chad studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music before moving to London to study with Malcolm Martineau and Michael Dussek at the Royal Academy of Music. From there, Chad was awarded the position of Lord & Lady Lurgan Junior Fellow in Accompaniment at the Royal College of Music, before taking up a position as regular vocal coach at the Royal Academy of Music.

Chad has been awarded many prizes, including the accompanist prize at the Royal Overseas League Competition, the Ludmilla Andrew Russian Song Accompanist Prize at the Royal Academy of Music, and the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards Accompanist’s Prize at the Wigmore Hall.

Chad performs regularly as a recitalist with the Royal Overseas League, The Tait Memorial Trust, and the popular Debut Opera series, based in Shoreditch. He has worked with Grange Festival Opera, Bergen National Opera, Bury Court Opera, Opera UpClose. He is regular staff pianist at Malcolm Martineau’s annual Oxenfoord International Summer School for Singers and Accompanists in Scotland, and toured with Manchester Collective performing Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, in a new English translation. He is currently the assistant conductor for The Grange Festival’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Yeoman of The Guard.