Vocal Studies students are driven, dedicated and versatile, with a reputation for outstanding quality and professionalism.

'My vocal teacher has helped me build up my confidence. She provides not only support, but also honesty and tough love when necessary'
Postgraduate student

Our singing professors are committed teachers with considerable experience as professional performers and a wide range of industry knowledge and insight.

We offer Principal Study at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. As a member of our department you will benefit from exceptional opportunities and one-to-one lesson time. Our comprehensive training includes vocal and performance technique, stagecraft, repertoire, historical performance, new music, audition preparation and language tuition, preparing students for high-level work on stage and in concert.

Students and recent graduates have found success in top concert venues, with opera companies in the UK and abroad, and in international competitions.

Marcus van den Akker

Alexander Ashworth

Catherine Benson

Richard Berkeley-Steele

Michael Chance CBE

Raymond Connell

Ryland Davies

Nuccia Focile

Andrew Foster-Williams

Glenville Hargreaves

Yvonne Howard

Caitlin Hulcup

Mary Nelson

Kate Paterson
Head of Vocal Studies

Elizabeth Ritchie

Giles Underwood

Marie Vassiliou

Susan Waters

Mark Wilde

Prof Mark Wildman
Henry Cummings Distinguished Professor of Singing

Catherine Wyn-Rogers

John Mark Ainsley

Sir Thomas Allen

Barbara Bonney

Susan Bullock
Marjorie Thomas Visiting Professor

Christian Gerhaher

Sir Simon Keenlyside

Angelika Kirchschlager

Anthony Legge
Sir Arthur Sullivan Visiting Professor

Dame Felicity Lott

Ann Murray

Dennis O’Neill

Brindley Sherratt
John Shirley-Quirk Professor

Academy students perform JS Bach's St Matthew Passion directed by Trevor Pinnock

Academy students perform JS Bach's St Matthew Passion directed by Trevor Pinnock

Emma Bell

Graduated 1998
Voice (Soprano)

Emma Bell

Graduated 1998

Voice (Soprano)

A former winner of the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Award, soprano Emma Bell has in recent seasons developed her repertoire, moving from the Mozart heroines, with which she established her career, to the key jugendlich-dramatischer roles of Wagner and Beethoven. Recent highlights include her house debut at Bayerische Staatsoper as Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg; Freia in Das Rheingold with The Hallé; Madame Lidoine in Dialogues des Carmélites at Staatsoper Hamburg; and Leonore in Fidelio at Oper Köln.

A regular presence on the stage of the Royal Opera House, Bell's most recent appearances there have included Eva, Madame Lidoine and her highly acclaimed Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, about which The Times wrote ‘her timbre has always been unique but now Bell shows so much more: perfect intonation, tenderness, subtle variation, compelling acting’. She returned to the role of Elisabeth last season at both the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Bayerische Staatsoper.

A wide and varied early career has taken Bell to Teatro alla Scala as Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress, Elettra in Idomeneo and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni; to Teatro Real as the Governess in The Turn of the Screw and Elettra; to The Metropolitan Opera as Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro and Donna Elvira; and to Glyndebourne Festival Opera as Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw. In more recent seasons, Bell has appeared as Elsa in Lohengrin for Staatsoper Hamburg; the title role in Arabella at Oper Köln; as Eva for Opernhaus Zürich; and as the Governess for Staatsoper Berlin.

An engaging concert performer, Emma Bell has enjoyed a close collaboration with Sir Antonio Pappano on works such as Strauss’s Vier letzte Lieder with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten’s War Requiem with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, and both Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. She has recently added soprano I in Mahler’s mighty Symphony No 8 to her repertoire in performance with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra under Lan Shui.

Photo by Paul Foster-Williams

Emma Bell

Christina Gansch

Graduated 2014
Voice (Soprano)

Christina Gansch

Graduated 2014

Voice (Soprano)

Austrian soprano Christina Gansch is the winner of the 2014 Kathleen Ferrier Award and a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and Mozarteum University Salzburg.

Recent highlights have included her debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper as Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel and Marzelline in Fidelio for the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. In concert, she performed Mahler’s Symphony No 4 at the BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; Zerlina in concert performances of Don Giovanni in Vienna and Lucerne with Musica Aeterna; Gretchen in Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; and Beethoven’s Egmont with the Camerata Salzburg. Other recent successes include her debut as Dorinda in Orlando for the San Francisco Opera; Gretchen for Staatsoper Hamburg; Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos for Teatro alla Scala; and Dew Fairy in Hänsel und Gretel for Royal Opera House. Gansch has also appeared at the Salzburg Festival, Glyndebourne Festival, Deutsche Staatsoper, Opéra national de Paris and Opéra national de Montpellier.

In concert, she has appeared at Musikverein Wien with the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Wiener Konzerthaus as part of Resonanzen International Cultural Festival, Verbier Festival, Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen, Wigmore Hall, the Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Highlights include Zerlina in Don Giovanni in St Peterburg and Dortmund with Musica Aeterna; Ilia in Idomeneo at the Ingolstadt Festival; Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem with Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg; Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore and Coronation Mass in C major at Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik; Mozart’s Requiem with the Göteborgs Symfoniker; and Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor with Mozarteumorchester Salzburg.

Gansch’s recordings include Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Music Aeterna and Teodor Currentzis (Sony), Wolf’s Lieder with Malcolm Martineau (Vivat) and Schubert’s Der Hochzeitsbraten with Matthew Rose, Robert Murray and Malcolm Martineau (Stone Records).

Photo by Kartal Karagedik

Christina Gansch

Stephanie Wake-Edwards

Graduated 2019
Voice (Mezzo-soprano)

Stephanie Wake-Edwards

Graduated 2019

Voice (Mezzo-soprano)

Stephanie Wake-Edwards is a London-born mezzo-soprano. With her unique and impressive voice, she is attracting significant international attention from the highest levels. At only 26 years old, she has already secured engagements with several opera companies and orchestras, including Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Royal Opera House, where she joined the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in September 2019. In 2018, Marc Minkowski awarded Wake-Edwards a special recital in his Concours Bordeaux Medoc Lyrique. She was a finalist in the 2018 Kathleen Ferrier Awards and the Royal Academy of Music’s Richard Lewis Award.

Wake-Edwards is a Royal Academy of Music Bach Cantata/Kohn Foundation scholar, recipient of the Simon Fletcher Charitable Trust Award 2017, a member of the Academy’s prestigious Song Circle and is supported by the Josephine Baker Trust, Help Musicians UK and the Academy, where she holds a Blue Badge Style Award. She is also the recipient of the Sarah Walker CBE Mezzo Soprano Award and won second prize in the Isabel Jay Competition 2017.

In September 2019, she made her debut at the Royal Opera House as Käthchen in Werther, followed by more role debuts including Flora in La Traviata, Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, the Maid in Jenůfa and Second Maid in Elektra. In 2018, Wake-Edwards made her debut as Third Noble Orphan in Der Rosenkavalier at Glyndebourne Festival as well as joining their Chorus for Saul, Vanessa and Madama Butterfly. In summer 2019, she covered roles including Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte at Glyndebourne as part of the Jerwood Young Artist Programme.

Other operatic engagements include Dido and Aeneas for Leicester MusicFest; The Enchanted Pig, L’incoronazione di Poppea and Die Zauberflöte for Hampstead Garden Opera; Albert Herring and The Rape of Lucretia for Aspect Opera; and Peter Grimes for the Dartington International Summer School & Festival.

Wake-Edwards graduated from the University of York with the BA in Sociology with Social Psychology, and studied for a Master’s degree in Opera at the Royal Academy of Music with Alexander Ashworth and Jonathan Papp.

Photo by Elishama Udorok

Stephanie Wake-Edwards

Christopher Ventris

Graduated 1988
Voice (Tenor)

Christopher Ventris

Graduated 1988

Voice (Tenor)

Christopher Ventris has performed on the world’s most important stages, enjoyed enduring collaborations with many esteemed conductors and is considered internationally to be one of today’s finest tenors.

Ventris made a long-anticipated role debut in 2019 as Tristan in Wagner’s epic Tristan und Isolde under Alain Altinoglu at La Monnaie, with Operatraveller.com writing: ‘In the love duet, he sang with honeyed warmth, blending handsomely with Merbeth [Isolde] and the orchestra below.’ The same year brought further Tristan performances, this time at the Royal Danish Opera conducted by Lothar Koenigs, and 2020 saw a return to The Metropolitan Opera in a role debut as Tambourmajor in Wozzeck conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In addition to concert performances of Die Walküre with the Dresdner Philharmonie under Marek Janowski, he joined Robert Carsen’s production at Teatro Real under Pablo Heras-Casado.

Ventris appeared as Peter Grimes at Opernhaus Zürich and Deutsche Oper Berlin, Florestan in Fidelio at Washington National Opera, Sergei in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk in Geneva, Madrid, London and Brussels, and Jimmy Mahoney in Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at both Staatsoper Berlin and Wiener Staatsoper. He has performed in Jenůfa for The Metropolitan Opera and Opernhaus Zürich, Der Freischütz at Teatro alla Scala and Palestrina at Bayerische Staatsoper. His role debut as Prince Andrey Khovansky in Khovanshchina at Wiener Staatsoper, conducted by Semyon Bychkov, was subsequently seen at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the 2017 BBC Proms.

An acclaimed debut at Bayreuther Festspiele as Parsifal led to a number of other appearances in the role, including at Wiener Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper, Royal Opera House, Opéra national de Paris, San Francisco Opera and Opernhaus Zürich. Ventris has appeared as Siegmund in Die Walküre numerous times, including a live CD recording from Wiener Staatsoper with Christian Thielemann. He joined Philippe Jordan at Salzburger Festspiele in the title role of the lesser-performed Rienzi, made his role debut as Tannhäuser under Sir Mark Elder at Opéra national de Paris, and appeared as Lohengrin at Grand Théâtre de Genève, Teatro Real and The Dallas Opera.

Christopher Ventris

Find out more about the career paths of some of our former students

Emma Bell

Graduated 1998
Voice (Soprano)

Emma Bell

Graduated 1998

Voice (Soprano)

A former winner of the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Award, soprano Emma Bell has in recent seasons developed her repertoire, moving from the Mozart heroines, with which she established her career, to the key jugendlich-dramatischer roles of Wagner and Beethoven. Recent highlights include her house debut at Bayerische Staatsoper as Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg; Freia in Das Rheingold with The Hallé; Madame Lidoine in Dialogues des Carmélites at Staatsoper Hamburg; and Leonore in Fidelio at Oper Köln.

A regular presence on the stage of the Royal Opera House, Bell's most recent appearances there have included Eva, Madame Lidoine and her highly acclaimed Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, about which The Times wrote ‘her timbre has always been unique but now Bell shows so much more: perfect intonation, tenderness, subtle variation, compelling acting’. She returned to the role of Elisabeth last season at both the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Bayerische Staatsoper.

A wide and varied early career has taken Bell to Teatro alla Scala as Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress, Elettra in Idomeneo and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni; to Teatro Real as the Governess in The Turn of the Screw and Elettra; to The Metropolitan Opera as Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro and Donna Elvira; and to Glyndebourne Festival Opera as Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw. In more recent seasons, Bell has appeared as Elsa in Lohengrin for Staatsoper Hamburg; the title role in Arabella at Oper Köln; as Eva for Opernhaus Zürich; and as the Governess for Staatsoper Berlin.

An engaging concert performer, Emma Bell has enjoyed a close collaboration with Sir Antonio Pappano on works such as Strauss’s Vier letzte Lieder with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten’s War Requiem with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, and both Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. She has recently added soprano I in Mahler’s mighty Symphony No 8 to her repertoire in performance with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra under Lan Shui.

Photo by Paul Foster-Williams

Emma Bell

Iestyn Davies MBE

Graduated 2005
Voice (Countertenor)

Iestyn Davies MBE

Graduated 2005

Voice (Countertenor)

In 2017, Iestyn Davies was awarded an MBE for his services to music. A former Cambridge choral scholar, he went on to study singing at the Royal Academy of Music. An esteemed Handelian, he has astounded audiences globally with his vocal agility in roles such as Orlando, Rinaldo, Giulio Cesare, Ottone in Agrippina and David in Saul. His intelligent and considered interpretations have led to fruitful collaborations with Thomas Adès, George Benjamin and Nico Muhly. Davies recently made his Broadway debut in a revival of his West End theatre project, Farinelli and the King, with Mark Rylance, for which he received an Olivier Award nomination. A celebrated recitalist, with repertoire ranging from John Dowland to Eric Clapton, he has twice been awarded the Gramophone Recital Award and, in 2017, won the Gramophone Baroque Vocal Award.

Photo by Chris Sorensen

Iestyn Davies MBE

Christina Gansch

Graduated 2014
Voice (Soprano)

Christina Gansch

Graduated 2014

Voice (Soprano)

Austrian soprano Christina Gansch is the winner of the 2014 Kathleen Ferrier Award and a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and Mozarteum University Salzburg.

Recent highlights have included her debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper as Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel and Marzelline in Fidelio for the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. In concert, she performed Mahler’s Symphony No 4 at the BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; Zerlina in concert performances of Don Giovanni in Vienna and Lucerne with Musica Aeterna; Gretchen in Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; and Beethoven’s Egmont with the Camerata Salzburg. Other recent successes include her debut as Dorinda in Orlando for the San Francisco Opera; Gretchen for Staatsoper Hamburg; Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos for Teatro alla Scala; and Dew Fairy in Hänsel und Gretel for Royal Opera House. Gansch has also appeared at the Salzburg Festival, Glyndebourne Festival, Deutsche Staatsoper, Opéra national de Paris and Opéra national de Montpellier.

In concert, she has appeared at Musikverein Wien with the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Wiener Konzerthaus as part of Resonanzen International Cultural Festival, Verbier Festival, Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen, Wigmore Hall, the Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Highlights include Zerlina in Don Giovanni in St Peterburg and Dortmund with Musica Aeterna; Ilia in Idomeneo at the Ingolstadt Festival; Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem with Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg; Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore and Coronation Mass in C major at Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik; Mozart’s Requiem with the Göteborgs Symfoniker; and Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor with Mozarteumorchester Salzburg.

Gansch’s recordings include Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Music Aeterna and Teodor Currentzis (Sony), Wolf’s Lieder with Malcolm Martineau (Vivat) and Schubert’s Der Hochzeitsbraten with Matthew Rose, Robert Murray and Malcolm Martineau (Stone Records).

Photo by Kartal Karagedik

Christina Gansch

Stephanie Wake-Edwards

Graduated 2019
Voice (Mezzo-soprano)

Stephanie Wake-Edwards

Graduated 2019

Voice (Mezzo-soprano)

Stephanie Wake-Edwards is a London-born mezzo-soprano. With her unique and impressive voice, she is attracting significant international attention from the highest levels. At only 26 years old, she has already secured engagements with several opera companies and orchestras, including Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Royal Opera House, where she joined the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in September 2019. In 2018, Marc Minkowski awarded Wake-Edwards a special recital in his Concours Bordeaux Medoc Lyrique. She was a finalist in the 2018 Kathleen Ferrier Awards and the Royal Academy of Music’s Richard Lewis Award.

Wake-Edwards is a Royal Academy of Music Bach Cantata/Kohn Foundation scholar, recipient of the Simon Fletcher Charitable Trust Award 2017, a member of the Academy’s prestigious Song Circle and is supported by the Josephine Baker Trust, Help Musicians UK and the Academy, where she holds a Blue Badge Style Award. She is also the recipient of the Sarah Walker CBE Mezzo Soprano Award and won second prize in the Isabel Jay Competition 2017.

In September 2019, she made her debut at the Royal Opera House as Käthchen in Werther, followed by more role debuts including Flora in La Traviata, Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, the Maid in Jenůfa and Second Maid in Elektra. In 2018, Wake-Edwards made her debut as Third Noble Orphan in Der Rosenkavalier at Glyndebourne Festival as well as joining their Chorus for Saul, Vanessa and Madama Butterfly. In summer 2019, she covered roles including Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte at Glyndebourne as part of the Jerwood Young Artist Programme.

Other operatic engagements include Dido and Aeneas for Leicester MusicFest; The Enchanted Pig, L’incoronazione di Poppea and Die Zauberflöte for Hampstead Garden Opera; Albert Herring and The Rape of Lucretia for Aspect Opera; and Peter Grimes for the Dartington International Summer School & Festival.

Wake-Edwards graduated from the University of York with the BA in Sociology with Social Psychology, and studied for a Master’s degree in Opera at the Royal Academy of Music with Alexander Ashworth and Jonathan Papp.

Photo by Elishama Udorok

Stephanie Wake-Edwards

Christopher Maltman

Graduated 1995
Voice (Bass-Baritone)

Christopher Maltman

Graduated 1995

Voice (Bass-Baritone)

Following a degree in Biochemistry, Christopher Maltman studied singing at the Royal Academy of Music. A globally-renowned Don Giovanni, he has sung the role in London, Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Salzburg, Amsterdam, Toulouse, San Sebastian, Beijing and Chicago, and adds New York and Edinburgh this year. Increasingly in demand for Verdi roles, he has sung Posa, Ford, Simon Boccanegra, Conte di Luna, Guy de Montfort and will soon add Don Carlo di Vargas, Rigoletto and Germont. He won the Lieder prize at the Cardiff Singer of the World early in his career and has continued to delight audiences with his sensitive and engaging song performances, many of which are documented in acclaimed recordings. His vast and varied discography, from Purcell to Ades includes John Corigliano’s Grammy award-winning Ghost of Versailles from Los Angeles Opera.

Photo by Pia Clodi

Christopher Maltman

Christopher Ventris

Graduated 1988
Voice (Tenor)

Christopher Ventris

Graduated 1988

Voice (Tenor)

Christopher Ventris has performed on the world’s most important stages, enjoyed enduring collaborations with many esteemed conductors and is considered internationally to be one of today’s finest tenors.

Ventris made a long-anticipated role debut in 2019 as Tristan in Wagner’s epic Tristan und Isolde under Alain Altinoglu at La Monnaie, with Operatraveller.com writing: ‘In the love duet, he sang with honeyed warmth, blending handsomely with Merbeth [Isolde] and the orchestra below.’ The same year brought further Tristan performances, this time at the Royal Danish Opera conducted by Lothar Koenigs, and 2020 saw a return to The Metropolitan Opera in a role debut as Tambourmajor in Wozzeck conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In addition to concert performances of Die Walküre with the Dresdner Philharmonie under Marek Janowski, he joined Robert Carsen’s production at Teatro Real under Pablo Heras-Casado.

Ventris appeared as Peter Grimes at Opernhaus Zürich and Deutsche Oper Berlin, Florestan in Fidelio at Washington National Opera, Sergei in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk in Geneva, Madrid, London and Brussels, and Jimmy Mahoney in Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at both Staatsoper Berlin and Wiener Staatsoper. He has performed in Jenůfa for The Metropolitan Opera and Opernhaus Zürich, Der Freischütz at Teatro alla Scala and Palestrina at Bayerische Staatsoper. His role debut as Prince Andrey Khovansky in Khovanshchina at Wiener Staatsoper, conducted by Semyon Bychkov, was subsequently seen at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the 2017 BBC Proms.

An acclaimed debut at Bayreuther Festspiele as Parsifal led to a number of other appearances in the role, including at Wiener Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper, Royal Opera House, Opéra national de Paris, San Francisco Opera and Opernhaus Zürich. Ventris has appeared as Siegmund in Die Walküre numerous times, including a live CD recording from Wiener Staatsoper with Christian Thielemann. He joined Philippe Jordan at Salzburger Festspiele in the title role of the lesser-performed Rienzi, made his role debut as Tannhäuser under Sir Mark Elder at Opéra national de Paris, and appeared as Lohengrin at Grand Théâtre de Genève, Teatro Real and The Dallas Opera.

Christopher Ventris