When & Where

Suitable For

  • 19 year olds and up are permitted on this course

Quick Facts

  • Availability Yes
  • Tutor Una McMahon
  • Course Code W21VSSA05A

What you will learn

This is a course that focuses on the delivery of opera recitatives. It is led by vocal tutor Una McMahon, stage director Ashley Dean and vocal coach/Head of Opera Michalis Angelakis. The course is for advanced students wishing to deepen their understanding of the recitatives, and develop recitative performance skills, as well as a range of preparation techniques.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Develop systematic approach to learning a recitative
  • Understand the different types and styles of recitatives in opera and oratorio
  • Improve your dramatic skills in recitative
  • Develop confidence in the delivery of a recitative


  • Full fee
  • Concession fee
  • Class format and activities

    This course will include both a master-class element and group activities. In week one students will have the opportunity to present a piece of solo recitative from an opera or oratorio and receive feedback and advice from the tutors. There will also be some musical preparation of short scenes of recitative. Week two will focus on these scenes, working with the stage director on text analysis, timing and playing dramatic intention.

    Entry requirements

    To fully benefit from this course, you will need to have reached an advanced level of vocal training (Grade 8 and above). Ability to sing in tune and have a good sense of timing is essential. A basic knowledge of music notation as well as pronunciation of Italian text are also required.

    What you need to know before you enrol

    You will need to be able to perform solo repertoire in front of the class and be willing to engage in group work on short scenes of recitative. Scenes will be allocated prior to the first session to enable preparatory study and you should arrive at the first session ready to work on your respective scene.

    What you need

    You should bring three copies of your chosen piece of solo recitative (one for the tutor, one for the pianist and one for yourself), and any preferred equipment for taking notes e.g. a recording device, notebook and pen.