The Bel Canto Singer – choral workshop – 7 September

A unique opportunity to work with an internationally-renowned chorus master, Edward Caswell, on the art of bel-canto singing.

The Paulinus Singers invite you to “The Bel Canto Singer”, a workshop for singers led by Edward Caswell at St John’s Church, Sharow, Ripon HG4 5BJ on Saturday 7th September 2019 (10am – 4pm).

Workshop fee: £20. Places on this workshop are limited, so please book yours now by visiting

‘Bel canto’ simply means beautiful singing and refers to the Italian school of singing which began to develop in around 1600. Essentially it is handful of simple ideas about posture, breathing and singing which can be easily understood and taught, enabling all singers to get the best out of their voices.

Understanding this technique will greatly enhance your contribution to the choirs you sing in and your own level of personal satisfaction.

This workshop will address vocal challenges, such as high notes and long phrases, and specific choral challenges, such as ensemble and intonation, all looked at from the point of view of a choral singer. Participants will be taken through a comprehensive warming up routine and then shown how what is covered in the warm-up relates to specific challenges in standard repertoire works.


10.00 Registration

10.30-10.55 Warm up: waking up body, mind and voice for optimum performance

10.55-11.20 Why posture is the key to good intonation. Working on If ye love me by Thomas Tallis

11.20-11.35 Break

11.35-12.30 The key to good ensemble and clarity of text. Working on O clap your hands by Orlando Gibbons

12.30-13.45 Lunch. We recommend you bring a packed lunch.

13.45-14.35 How to use challenging words for expressive effect. Working on God so loved the world by John Stainer

14.35-14.50 Break

14.50-15.25 Why singing shouldn’t feel like heavy lifting. Working on Locus iste by Anton Bruckner

15.25-15.45 Sing through and Q & A.

Music will be provided on arrival. If you want to study it in advance, please email

Tea and coffee will be provided throughout the day.

Next Concert: St John’s Sharow on 26 October

Our unaccompanied concert will contrast Bach’s glorious motet, Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden (Praise the Lord all ye nations) with Byrd’s setting of the same text. We will sing sonorous Rachmaninoff and some more familiar favorites. Buy tickets – £10.

The programme will include:

  • Blessed is the man – Rachmaninoff
  • Cherubic Hymn – Rachmaninoff
  • Bogoroditse Dyevo – Rachmaninoff
  • Mother of God, here I stand – John Tavener
  • Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden – J S Bach
  • Praise our Lord, all ye Gentiles – Byrd
  • Hosanna to the Son of David – Gibbons
  • Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace – Wesley
  • Beati quorum via – Stanford
  • Holy is the true light – Harris

The concert will be conducted by Sam Gardner. It starts at 7.30 pm. Buy tickets – £10.

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