Howard Charles: Director
Howard has worked throughout the UK and internationally singing leading Operatic roles, performing on the concert platform and featured in many television, film & radio performances.
He has won two major scholarship awards from The Countess of Munster Musical Trust, and a further two awards from the Peter Moores Foundation. He studied Voice with Eduardo Asquez and also in New York with the renowned Baritone, Theodore Upman.
Howard has taught extensively for 25 years, including ten years as Singing Tutor at Warwick University.
During the last 6 years, he has used his vast knowledge as a singer and a voice coach, to formulate & host business seminars & workshops for a variety of professional clients, using the training and skills that professional performers normally only experience, for enhanced individual & group communication skills. As well as the presentational benefits, the health implications from learning & developing, correct Breathing, Posture & use of Voice, are considerable and an important adjunct to the work City Music Services provides to busy modern day professionals.
Choral Conducting has increasingly become an integral part of Howard’s work, regularly rehearsing and performing with City based company choirs & ensembles.
Howard is also joint partner in the Lottery Award Winning Genesis Stage Schools & Agency, providing professional tuition in Singing, Drama & Dance for young performers around the country.
Mark Luther: DirectorMark Luther began his musical education as a choral scholar at Llandaff Cathedral. He then studied
at the G.S.M.D. and at The National Opera Studio. His many awards and scholorships included, The Ian Fleming Trust, The Leche Trust, John Wates Trust, The W. Towyn Roberts Scholarship, and The Ryan Davies Memorial Scholarship.
Mark has enjoyed a hugely successful international career over the last 20 years and his many operatic roles have included; Vanya Kudryash and Jacquino (New Zealand International Festival of Arts), Tamino (National Opera New Zealand, and The Harare International Music festival, Zimbabwe), Don Ottavio (Mozart International Festival- Schonbrunn- Vienna), Macduff and Arturo (Lucia) (Welsh National Opera.), Lenski (Opera North), Paris (King Priam) (English National Opera.), Don Jose (Rotterdam and Holders Festival- Barbados), Gondolier and 1st American (Glyndebourne Festival Opera), Lenski (Buxton Festival), Rodolfo (Castleward Opera. N.Ireland), Pinkerton (Butterfly) and Alfredo (Traviata) (Longborough Festival) Faust and 1st Armed Man (Mid Wales Opera).
In addition to his operatic and concert performances, Mark has made many TV and radio broadcasts, including the role of Paris King Priam in a live radio 3 broadcast to celebrate Sir Michael Tippett’s 90th birthday in 1995, TV broadcasts for the RTE concert orchestra in Dublin, and ‘On the Threshold’ for BBC radio Wales.
Mark has also enjoyed a busy career in oratorio, appearing many times at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. He has sung Haydn’s Elijah at St. John’s Smith Square, and Verdi’s Requiem at York Minster and also throughout Holland, where the Maastricht performance was broadcast live on Dutch radio.
Mark has appeared regularly as guest artist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in their Summer Proms Concerts series, and with the RTE concert orchestra in Dublin. Most recently, Mark sang the tenor soloist in Mozart’s Requiem at the Royal Festival Hall. He has also made several guest appearances on the cruise ships of P&O, where he regularly performs with the BBC news broadcaster Richard Baker, and also on QE2 and QM2 ships of Cunard. Most recently Mark was guest artist for Katherine Jenkins on her British autumn tour.
Mark has sung for many dignitaries during his distinguished career, including HRH’s, The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne, George Bush senior, Boris Yeltsin, John Major, as well as many other renowned international politicians.
Marks recordings include: Carmen (Don Jose) for Carlton Classics, an ‘Opera Highlights’ CD for Tosca Records and a solo CD, entitled ‘Shades of Passion’.
Having undergone formal training from a very early age Beverley has worked as a professional vocalist since leaving an office job in 1993. Performing popular songs is her vocation. She has a strong preference for the Great American Songbook or most all music where the emphasis is on melody combined with a meaningful story to tell.
Beverley has been to many parts of the world performing in all variety of ensembles, and venues. These, range from fronting big swinging bands in large theatres to small groups in intimate night clubs.
Her voice coaching is based on 5 simple principles:
1. Practice and preparation: developing and tuning the instrument
2. Technical correctness: singing the right notes, in the right way, in the right order
3. Focussing on performance: delivering the story to be told – touching emotions
4. Honest and construction feedback to students
5. The essential need to have a good time – smiles and laughter obligatory
Mezzo Soprano. Deborah studied at the Royal Northern College and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She is a professional opera singer and has sung principal roles for English National Opera, The D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, Castleward Opera in Northern Ireland, Opera D’centralis in Geneva, Holland Park, Central Festival Opera and Glyndebourne Touring Opera.
She is a regular Promenade soloist with the City of London Sinfonia appearing with them in Promenade Concerts in Berlin, Dusseldorf and Hamburg. Most recently she has performed concerts and galas in London, Germany and France. Later this year she returns to Berlin for a Promenade concert with the Sudwestfalische Orchester at Neuen Palais in Sans Souci, Potsdam. She will also sing the role of Baba the Turk in Stravinsky’s ‘The Rake’s Progress’ for Opera East.
Deborah teaches singing in Cambridge and London, working with both beginners and the more advanced. She teaches from a ‘classical’ perspective but is happy to encompass songs from the shows and lighter repertoire.
Julie Unwin is one of the UKs most successful rising sopranos. Her recent performances of the Countess Marriage of Figaro, a role she sang for Glyndebourne Touring Opera and in the London Festivals, suggested she was in “absolute control of her considerable vocal resources” singing the role with ” gracious ease”(Opera ).
Her performances of Euridice Orpheus e Euridice for English National Opera were described as “strong, full voiced ” and “effortlessly in command of the stage” (Opera).
Further successful operatic performances have included Micaela Carmen, for Welsh National Opera; Pamina The Magic Flute for English National Opera; Vitellia La Clemenza di Tito as a cover for Welsh National Opera. and Tatyana Eugene Onegin for Stowe Opera and Holland Park Opera where her “intelligent Tatyana” and “warm vibrant soprano paced the role ideally, the voice in full refulgent flood” (Opera).
Notable among Julies concert performances are L’Enfance du Christ with the Helsinki Philharmonic and En Shao and with the Northern Sinfonia and David Lloyd-Jones; Beethovens Nineth Symphony with the Helsinki Philharmonic; and Mahlers Second Symphony with the London Philharmonic and Kaplan. She has recorded Cleone Ermione with Glyndebourne Festival Opera for Channel Four (also available on video by N.V.C.); and Damigella and Virtu in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea for BBC Wales. Julie is frequently invited to perform as special guest artist on the classical cruises aboard the Q.E. II and the Coronia.
Julies early career, beginning as a mezzo-soprano, earned her some of the most distinguished awards in the vocal field. She was the first recipient of the Harold Rosenthal Opera Award; she won the International Young Singer of the Year at the Llangollen Eistedfodd in 1989 and additionally received both the John Christie Award from Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Young Singers Award from Glyndebourne Touring Opera.
Future plans include Micaela at the Royal Albert Hall in London, concerts throughout the UK and Europe; and guest apppearances on the QE1.
Karen Fodor began her professional life as a translator and teacher of modern languages. Increasingly sought after as a singer, she left her post in Higher Education to pursue a career in music. She sings everything from Bach to cabaret songs, but specialises in contemporary music, Spanish repertoire and Jewish music, sometimes managing to combine all three in the same programme. She is also a skilled stage performer, encompassing a wide range of operatic roles, and an experienced recitalist.
She has given many world premieres, working closely with living composers in the UK and USA. Performances with the BBC Singers and London Voices have taken her all over Europe, from the festivals at Edinburgh, Avignon and Luzern, to Helsinki, La Scala Milan and the Roman Amphitheatre at Ephesus. She makes frequent recordings of everything from opera to film soundtracks, such as The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, and the latest works by Paul McCartney and Roger Waters.
Her specialist skills in coaching performers to sing in Spanish are increasingly in demand and her clients have included Katherine Jenkins, Kate Royal, Ailish Tynan, the BBC Singers and Polyphony. She is the Spanish language and repertoire coach at Trinity College of Music, the Guildhall School of Music, and for the Royal Opera House’s Young Artists’ Programme.
She has been teaching voice since the early 90s, working mainly with adult amateurs; she has built a reputation for putting her students at ease, helping them overcome vocal problems and inspiring them to realise their full potential. Her vocal exercises based on Italian food will make you laugh but keep you focused!
Harry Ogg, a recent graduate of Clare College, Cambridge, is active as a Conductor, Pianist, Vocal Coach and Repetiteur. As a pianist, he has studied with Wilfred Murray and Michael Dussek and now studies principally with Simon Lepper. His work has been a rich mixture of solo playing (he gained a distinction in his DipABRSM aged just 16, and was winner of the Louis Watt Soloist prize aged 18), chamber music and accompaniment (prize winner as accompanist for the Cambridge University Song Prize). Harry has acted as repetiteur/vocal coach for numerous operas and musicals in London and Cambridge, even being called into Glyndebourne to repetiteur at a day’s notice in April of this year.
As a conductor, Harry is founder and Artistic Director of his own London-based orchestra, Sinfonia d’Amici, which has now had over a dozen projects in London, as well as its own opera festival in the South of France. In Cambridge, Harry won the University Conducting competition in his 1st and 2nd years, giving him the opportunity to assist Sir Mark Elder, Sir Richard Armstrong, Libor Pesek and Martin Yates in his 2nd and 3rd years.
Future plans include working as an assistant conductor at Glyndebourne in 2013, working as cover conductor for the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden in 2013 and working as a guest conductor for various orchestras, including the Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra., a recent graduate of Clare College, Cambridge, is active as a Conductor, Pianist, Vocal Coach and Repetiteur. As a pianist, he has studied with Wilfred Murray and Michael Dussek and now studies principally with Simon Lepper. His work has been a rich mixture of solo playing (he gained a distinction in his DipABRSM aged just 16, and was winner of the Louis Watt Soloist prize aged 18), chamber music and accompaniment (prize winner as accompanist for the Cambridge University Song Prize). Harry has acted as repetiteur/vocal coach for numerous operas and musicals in London and Cambridge, even being called into Glyndebourne to repetiteur at a day’s notice in April of this year.
As a conductor, Harry is founder and Artistic Director of his own London-based orchestra, Sinfonia d’Amici, which has now had over a dozen projects in London, as well as its own opera festival in the South of France. In Cambridge, Harry won the University Conducting competition in his 1st and 2nd years, giving him the opportunity to assist Sir Mark Elder, Sir Richard Armstrong, Libor Pesek and Martin Yates in his 2nd and 3rd years. Future plans include working as an assistant conductor at Glyndebourne in 2013, working as cover conductor for the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden in 2013 and working as a guest conductor for various orchestras, including the Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra.