Course In Early Music For Singers


The course is intended for both student and professional (classical) singers. More specifically, it should prove to be of particular interest to anyone who desires to deepen their knowledge and understanding of Baroque vocal music. As in previous years, the workshop will culminate in three performances of a semi-staged Baroque operatic work presented in historical venues (chateaus and churches) in Western Bohemia.




The 2019 summer course will focus on Purcell's Ode for the Birthday of Queen Mary Come Ye Sons of Art Away composed in 1694, and on the short pastoral opera by Handel, Acis and Galatea. Handel’s ‘English’ opera was first performed in 1718 for the 1st Duke of Chandos at Cannons (his stately home near London), and the rare charm and beauty of the score ensured its immediate success and its enduring popularity. Like Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Acis and Galatea has always enjoyed a sovereign place in the operatic repertoire.



The workshop will take place in the beautiful Chateau at Spálené Poříčí, not far from Pilsen (Plzeň). Students may express themselves in Czech, German or English (and possibly Italian). The three performances of the opera will take place on Friday 26th, Saturday 27th, and Sunday 28th July. A professional approach during rehearsals and performances will taken with (and expected from) all participants.

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George Frederic Handel: ACIS AND GALATEA
Friday 19th – Sunday 28th July 2019 (dates are inclusive)
 The course will take place in the Chateau at SPÁLENÉ POŘÍČÍ, which stands in its own park adjacent to the town square. The spacious chateau houses a music school and an art school during term-time and functions as a hostel during the holidays. Accommodation costs €10 per night. There is also a hotel close nearby.
 The course is intended for anyone who wants to engage in an intensive workshop and then participate in a series of semi-staged performances. Participants will work with a distinguished faculty of tutors: Květa Ciznerová, Pavla Kšicová, Petra Kohoutová, and Markéta Malcová; James Gray, music director; and Heather Hadrill, stage director. There is no age limit for 
participants of the course which is open to amateurs, students and professional singers; the tutors respect the level and individual needs of each participant.


 Each solo participant is offered a daily lesson in vocal technique which – if he/she agrees – other participants may attend. All soloists undergo intensive coaching with the music director for historically informed performance (HIP), and to explore the interpretative possibilities of their respective roles. The music director will also personally supervise the frequent chorus calls.

I have known all the tutors personally, as my music colleagues, for many years, and James Gray in particular, has helped me to extend my own insight and knowledge into the treasury of Early Music. I am most grateful to him for this expertise which I now in turn, try to pass on.”


Michael Pospíšil, bass singer and founder/director of the ensemble Ritornello which specialises in historically informed performance of 16th and 17th century vocal and instrumental music.

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