Vocal Studio Course 2024

1st - 7th July 2024

An intensive vocal studio course providing the opportunity for a small group of vocal artists and répétiteurs performing at conservatoire level or beyond to work with leading professionals from the opera industry – taking place amidst the Victorian splendour of the Edinburgh Society of Musicians in the heart of Edinburgh’s Georgian New Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Teaching Faculty

The programme will be delivered by a faculty comprised of leading professionals from the opera industry: Amanda Roocroft (Soprano), Elizabeth Rowe (Vocal Coach & Répétiteur incl. National Opera Studio, Royal Opera House Covent Garden & Guildhall School of Music and Drama), Fiona MacSherry (Head of Music – Scottish Opera), Derek Clark (Vocal Coach, Répétiteur, Conductor & former Head of Music – Scottish Opera), Stuart Stratford (Music Director – Scottish Opera) and Susannah Wapshott (Répétiteur, Conductor & Chorus Director – Scottish Opera).

Performance Psychologist Lee Holland of Mental Note will deliver an interactive workshop exploring topics such as performance psychology, coaching and mindfulness.

You can find out more about our teaching faculty via their photo links.

Course Programme - Singers

No specific repertoire is required – singers are welcome to bring either operatic, song or oratorio repertoire.

Our faculty of leading vocal coaches, répétiteurs and conductors will accommodate the artistic goal of each individual whether they are learning new repertoire, preparing a role or refining audition repertoire etc.

The personal development of each singer is integral to the ethos of Opera Caledonia’s Vocal Studio Course which will provide a safe environment to develop artistically. 

There is a focus on intensive, one-to-one learning. Participants will work with all of our faculty members and will benefit from a range of activities during the week:

Daily Vocal Coaching
Performance Classes
Masterclasses
Chorus Coaching
“Working with Conductor” Sessions
Public & Closed Performance Opportunities
Performance Coaching
Recording Opportunities
Faculty Q&A & Discussions
Mock Audition Opportunities

Amanda Roocroft will lead masterclasses open to all participants. Please indicate upon application if you would like to be considered for the Amanda Roocroft masterclasses.

With an emphasis on developing well rounded vocal artists, all participants will benefit from group Chorus Coaching led by Susannah Wapshott, Chorus Director of Scottish Opera.

Participants will also benefit from “Working with Conductor” sessions where they will work closely with conductor Stuart Stratford, Music Director of Scottish Opera, to develop the skill of singing with a conductor.

Discussions, Q&As and talks will accompany the timetable of coachings and masterclasses covering a range of topics including the profession of singing and audition preparation.

Mock Audition opportunities will be available with constructive feedback from the mock audition panel including advice regarding CVs, audition repertoire choices etc. Please indicate upon application if you would like to participate in a Mock Audition.

Participants will have the opportunity to record repertoire with a faculty member for their personal use (audition material, website etc).

With a firm focus on the wellbeing of musicians, Performance Psychologist Lee Holland will deliver an interactive workshop exploring topics such as performance psychology, coaching and mindfulness.

There will be both public and closed performance opportunities throughout the week open to all singers as well as regular informal sharing of work.

All participants are invited to sing in the Closing Concert, taking place in the beautiful St. Giles’ Cathedral (built in 1124) as part of the St. Giles’ at Six programme.

Participants are welcome to record their performances with the permission of their collaborative pianist.

Unless by prior arrangement, all coachings are “open” and course participants are encouraged to observe coaching sessions to learn from their colleagues.

Practice rooms will be available, all equipped with pianos.

Limited participant numbers will ensure maximum time with our faculty. This is a fantastic opportunity not only to benefit from scheduled activities but through active discussion and conversation with our professionals.

The Edinburgh Society of Musicians is the perfect venue for exploring both the beautiful New Town and historic Old Town of Edinburgh, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Highlights within walking distance include Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street Gardens, The Scott Monument, The Royal Mile, St. Giles’ Cathedral and The Palace of Holyroodhouse amongst others. There will be time to explore the local area for those who wish to do so.

Participants are responsible for their own accommodation. From hotels to hostels, airbnbs to guest houses; the city centre of Edinburgh has something for everyone. 

Meals are not provided. Limited kitchen facilities are available. There are many restaurants, cafes and bars within walking distance offering a range of cuisine including traditional Scottish fare. Complimentary tea & coffee is provided.

Participants should arrive at the Edinburgh Society of Musicians ready to attend a Welcome Meeting at 10.00am on Monday 1st July.

The course will end on Sunday 7th July at 7.00pm following the Closing Concert in St. Giles’ Cathedral.

Faculty and venue is subject to alteration. Should an advertised faculty member become unavailable, a suitable replacement will be provided. Refunds cannot be claimed in the event of a change to faculty or venue.

Valentina Bättig in rehearsal with Derek Clark in St. Giles' Cathedral

Course Programme - Répétiteurs

Répétiteur participants will have the opportunity to learn directly from our teaching faculty alongside participation in practical sessions for the duration of the course.

Our faculty of leading vocal coaches, répétiteurs and conductors will accommodate the artistic goal of each individual.

The personal development of each répétiteur is integral to the ethos of Opera Caledonia’s Vocal Studio Course which will provide a safe environment to develop artistically. 

There is a focus on intensive, one-to-one learning. Participants will work with all of our faculty members and will benefit from a range of activities during the week:

Vocal Coaching Observation/Participation
Recitative/Continuo Sessions
Language Sessions
Performance Coaching
Recording Opportunities
Faculty Q&A & Discussions
Mock Audition Opportunities

In addition to the above activities, répétiteurs will also have to opportunity to play an active role in the following sessions with singers:

Performance Classes
Amanda Roocroft Masterclasses
Chorus Coaching
“Working with Conductor” Sessions
Public & Closed Performance Opportunities

Our Faculty of leading opera professionals will ensure that equal input is given to both singers and répétiteurs during collaborative sessions.

Mock Audition opportunities will be available with constructive feedback from the mock audition panel including advice regarding CVs, audition repertoire choices etc. Please indicate upon application if you would like to participate in a Mock Audition.

Participants will have the opportunity to record in the Edinburgh Society of Musicians for their personal use (audition material, website etc).

With a firm focus on the wellbeing of musicians, Performance Psychologist Lee Holland will deliver an interactive workshop exploring topics such as performance psychology, coaching and mindfulness.

There will be both public and closed performance opportunities throughout the week open to all répétiteurs as well as regular informal sharing of work.

All participants are invited to sing in the Closing Concert, taking place in the beautiful St. Giles’ Cathedral (built in 1124) as part of the St. Giles’ at Six programme.

Participants are welcome to record their performances with the permission of their colleagues.

Unless by prior arrangement, all activities are “open” and course participants are encouraged to observe sessions to learn from their colleagues.

Practice rooms will be available, all equipped with pianos.

Limited participant numbers will ensure maximum time with our faculty. This is a fantastic opportunity not only to benefit from scheduled activities but through active discussion and conversation with our professionals.

The Edinburgh Society of Musicians is the perfect venue for exploring both the beautiful New Town and historic Old Town of Edinburgh, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Highlights within walking distance include Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street Gardens, The Scott Monument, The Royal Mile, St. Giles’ Cathedral and The Palace of Holyroodhouse amongst others. There will be time to explore the local area for those who wish to do so.

Participants are responsible for their own accommodation. From hotels to hostels, airbnbs to guest houses; the city centre of Edinburgh has something for everyone. 

Meals are not provided. Limited kitchen facilities are available. There are many restaurants, cafes and bars within walking distance offering a range of cuisine including traditional Scottish fare. Complimentary tea & coffee is provided.

Participants should arrive at the Edinburgh Society of Musicians ready to attend a Welcome Meeting at 10.00am on Monday 1st July.

The course will end on Sunday 7th July at 7.00pm following the Closing Concert in St. Giles’ Cathedral.

Faculty and venue is subject to alteration. Should an advertised faculty member become unavailable, a suitable replacement will be provided. Refunds cannot be claimed in the event of a change to faculty or venue.

Elizabeth Rowe works with Lauren Macleod

The Edinburgh Society of Musicians

The course takes place at the Edinburgh Society of Musicians, a beautiful Victorian building in the heart of Edinburgh’s Georgian New Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Remarkably located in The Dean Village, a tranquil green oasis on the Water of Leith, the Edinburgh Society of Musicians is housed in an historic building of famed architect Sir George Washington Browne, built in 1891.

The Edinburgh Society of Musicians is a short walk from Waverley and Haymarket Stations, Edinburgh’s two central train stations situated in the city centre.

There are fast and frequent tram and bus services linking Edinburgh Airport and the city centre.

Testimonials: Vocal Studio Course 2023

“Opera Caledonia’s Vocal Studio Course was an amazing experience. I got to learn from world class vocal coaches and teachers and the progress I made from the course has been remarkable. I would recommend anyone to join this wonderful course!”
 Stephanie Lai, soprano (UK)

“Opera Caledonia’s Vocal Studio Course was very special for me and incredibly helpful for my development as a singer. It was very intense, which I loved. The coaches were all incredibly experienced, very nice and patient. I learned essential things from everyone, and I would like to benefit from this course in the future. I must also praise the setting, the course took place in a beautiful building in the centre of Edinburgh. The final concert was in the indescribable St. Giles’ Cathedral, which was simply the most perfect conclusion to one of the best courses I could be a part of. I highly recommend the course and look forward to being a part of it again in 2024.”
Valentina Bättig, soprano (Germany)

“I was actually quite nervous before embarking on Opera Caledonia’s Vocal Studio Course – with such an amazing faculty, I knew I had to really make the most of it! I was therefore especially impressed by how quickly the team managed to put us all at ease, connecting with each individual and creating such a positive, encouraging and collaborative atmosphere to really get the best out of us all. The seamless organisation of the weekend meant we could completely focus on our learning and take advantage of the invaluable support and advice on offer – and who wouldn’t be inspired working and performing in the heart of Edinburgh?!”
Elinor Popham, soprano (UK) 
Artistic Director of the ROH Covent Garden Jette Parker Artists Programme David Gowland with Stephanie Lai

Fees & Application Process

Fees of £780.00 are inclusive of all tuition, masterclasses, performance/recording opportunities and unlimited tea/coffee throughout each day.

Participants are responsible for their own travel to and from Edinburgh.

Participants are responsible for their own accommodation.

Opera Caledonia’s Vocal Studio Course is suitable for vocal artists/répétiteurs performing at conservatoire level or beyond and does not discriminate against artists based on race, nationality, sex, religion, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, disability and/or age.

Payment plans are available to spread the cost of tuition fees over several months. Please specify your interest in a payment plan on application. Fees must be paid in full by the start of the course.

To apply, please complete the relevant application form below.

Singers are required to accompany their application form with two recent audio/video recordings and a letter of recommendation. If you are unable to provide recent recordings, please send us any recordings that best demonstrate your ability.

Répétiteurs are required to accompany their application form with two video recordings of scenes (ensembles) from contrasting operas, at least one in a language other than English, singing in all cues and a copy of their CV. If you are unable to provide this, please send us any recordings that best demonstrate your current ability.

Application Deadline: Monday 3rd June 2024.

Places are allocated to artists of the appropriate level on a first come, first served basis. You will have a response within two weeks of submitting your application.

Places are strictly limited so early application is advised. Depending on availability, late applications may be accepted at the discretion of Opera Caledonia.

Details of our Refund Policy can be found here.

Opera Caledonia’s Vocal Studio Course 2024 is kindly supported by Janey and Barrie Lambie.