Michael Chance Countertenor

SienAgosto 2017

SienAgosto Academy 2017 - SIENA, ITALY

19th - 29th August 2017

Michael Chance invites singers and accompanists to join him and his team of internationally celebrated artists and teachers in the historic city of Siena. As in the past, there will be a range of musical activities, with ample opportunity to attend classes and lectures, have private tuition, learn the Alexander Technique, work with accompanists and repetiteurs, perform, and enjoy leisure time in and around this beautiful inspiring city.

Our hosts will once again be the renowned school of humanities, the Siena Art Institute in collaboration with the Siena School for Liberal Arts, with teachers from the SienAgosto Faculty.

This course offers world-class tuition in vocal communication. Singers are most effective when they show clear intention, and a need to communicate meaning, in addition to and more importantly than just beauty of sound. SienAgosto covers all periods of classical repertoire, but shows how mastering the vocal craft through the study and celebration of earlier repertoire greatly enhances the understanding of all song. We welcome applications from accompanists, whether they'll be playing piano, harpsichord, lute, theorbo or guitar, etc, who would like to work with singers.

The featured piece worked on throughout the course will be Claudio Monteverdi 1610 Vespers, to be performed at the end of the course. This monumental work is an adventurous choice for a short residential course, but perfectly suited to so many of the ecclesiastical and civic spaces in Siena. It is intended that there be a wide variety of approaches to each of Monteverdi’s settings of the Psalm texts, ranging from solo ensemble to full chorus, and that successful applicants will be given adequate time to prepare allotted parts well before the actual course. This great work offers thrilling opportunities to singers with both choral and solistic aspirations.


Lynne Dawson - Soprano - Head of the School of Vocal Studies at RNCM, Manchester

Lynne Dawson is the RNCM’s Head of the School of Vocal Studies and has been one of Britain’s best-loved and respected sopranos for more than 30 years. Before becoming a singer, she trained as a translator and interpreter and spent several years in industry before studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She was very fortunate to work with many conductors and ensembles at the forefront of the Historical Performance movement, including the Deller Consort, the Hilliard Ensemble, John Eliot Gardiner, Roger Norrington, Christopher Hogwood, Trevor Pinnock, and with them made many recordings for most of the major labels. » more

Deborah York - Lyric-Coloratura Soprano

Deborah York was born and educated in Sheffield and graduated in musicology from Manchester University with a first class honours degree. She has gone on to enjoy a distinguished performing career working with musicians of the highest calibre across a wide spectrum of musical styles and genres. The recording of Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress” with John Eliot Gardiner and the London Symphony Orchestra for Deutsche Grammophon in which she sang the role of Anne Truelove won a Grammy Award for best opera category. » more

Elisabeth Priday - Soprano

Elisabeth Priday studied at the Royal Academy of Music, and whilst there she joined the Monteverdi Choir under John Eliot Gardiner. This marked the beginning of her career as a specialist in Early and Baroque music, both as a soloist and as an ensemble singer. She is a member of the Deller Consort, and has sung for Christopher Hogwood and Trevor Pinnock, and also with the Tallis Scholars. She's now keen to pass on her expertise and enthusiasm to the next generation of singers. » more

Michael Chance, CBE - Countertenor - Professor at the Royal Conservatory, The Hague - Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, London - Artistic Director of The Grange Festival, Hampshire

In opera, oratorio, recital and in recording, Michael Chance has been singing to worldwide acclaim for over thirty years. His success has helped spread the appeal of counter-tenors, and foster the explosion of interest in baroque music. In addition, he has sung the first performances of a large body of new work by living composers. He teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and the Royal Conservatorium in The Hague. He received the CBE in 2009. » more

Daniel Taylor - Countertenor - Head of Historical Performance at The University of Toronto, Faculty of Music

An exclusive recording artist for Sony Classical, Daniel Taylor is one of the most sought-after countertenors in the world. Daniel appears on more than 100 recordings which include Bach Cantatas/Monteverdi Choir/Gardiner (for Deutsche Grammophone Archiv and SDG). As an educator, Daniel has offered master classes at the Beijing Conservatory, the Sao Paolo Conservatory, at the Royal Academy, the Guildhall and the Royal College of Music. The University of Toronto recently appointed Daniel Taylor to the position of Head of Historical Performance in the Faculty of Music. » more

Ian Partridge, CBE - Tenor - Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, London

Ian Partridge is one of Britain's leading lyric tenors. His wide repertoire 
has encompassed the music of Monteverdi, Bach and Handel, the Elizabethan lute songs, German, French and English songs and first performances of new works. He appeared regularly as soloist with major choirs and orchestras in Britain and throughout the rest of the world. He is a professor at the Royal Academy of Music, and was awarded the CBE in 1992 for services to music. Ian retired from singing at the end of 2008, but continues to teach, give masterclasses and adjudicate. » more

Paul Beier - Lute - Professor at the Civica Scuola di Musica Claudio Abbado, Milan

Paul Beier graduated from the Royal College of Music in London. He has performed in Europe, North and South America and Australia as soloist, director of Galatea, member of various groups and as continuo player in orchestral and opera productions. His solo lute repertoire extends from the Italian Cinquecento to the music of Bach and Weiss. Since 1981 Paul Beier has taught lute, continuo and ensemble at the Scuole Civiche di Milano. » more

Giulia Nuti - Harpsichord - Head of the Early Music dept. of Scuola di Musica di Fiesole

Harpsichordist Giulia Nuti has appeared in venues throughout Europe as a soloist and continuo player. A specialist in Italian music and treatises of the baroque, her book "The performance of Italian basso continuo" (Ashgate 2007) is cited as an essential text for performers and scholars of basso continuo. Giulia teaches harpsichord at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole, where she leads the department of Early Music; she also holds a research post at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano. » more

Fiona Tree - Alexander Technique - Royal Conservatory, The Hague

Fiona Tree teaches the Alexander Technique programme at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. Since introducing the course into the bachelor curriculum in 1999, she has taught well over a thousand students and professors, both individually and in workshops. Fiona has been teaching musicians for 30 years. She is regularly invited to give courses, workshops and master classes throughout The Netherlands and internationally. » more


Rebecca Taylor - Accompanist

Born and educated in North Yorkshire, Rebecca made her concerto debut at the age of 17 performing Shostakovich's 2nd piano concerto. Under the tuition of Jeremy Young of the RNCM, she was awarded a performance scholarship to the annual Birmingham International Piano Academy in 2005 and the following year she won the Piano Academy's concerto competition. She is currently playing as accompanist for Celine Forrest, who is taking part on the Cardiff Singer of the World Competiton, currently taking place, and being shown on BBC Television, on BBC 4. » more

Iason Marmaras - Keyboards

Iason Marmaras is a keyboard player, singer, and the founder and leader of the ensemble Os Orphicum. He was awarded a Master’s degree on Harpsichord (2012) under Fabio Bonizzoni and Ton Koopman; and a Bachelor’s degree in Early Music Singing (2011) under Barbara Pearson, Kees Jan de Koning, Jill Feldman, Michael Chance and Peter Kooij; at the Royal Conservatoire in Den Haag, the Netherlands. » more


There will be a scheduled ensemble rehearsal each evening. Repertoire will be detailed after all applications have been submitted. It is hoped to work on both a cappella repertoire and also with instruments, using all the students on the course.


Students may apply for bursaries. SienAgosto welcomes anyone interested to consider applying, regardless of the ability to pay. We treat every application on the basis of ability, financial circumstances, and suitability. Financial help will be offered on receipt and scrutiny of CV, references, and full statement of financial circumstances. For details, please see the application form.


You are invited to send your application for SIENAGOSTO ACADEMY 2017 by 31 March 2017 (extended to 30 April 2017) using the following application form:

Application form Application form (MS Word file)
SienAgosto 2017 announcements
Thinking of applying? Don’t wait any longer! A few places are still available, so we have extended the deadline until April 30th.
posted on Tuesday 11 April 2017
The featured piece worked on throughout the course will be Claudio Monteverdi 1610 Vespers.
posted on Sunday 15 January 2017
SienAgosto 2017 will take place from 19th - 29th August 2017.
posted on Saturday 14 January 2017
Teaching at home & abroad

Michael Chance is Professor in the Vocal Faculty of the Historically Informed department at the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag, Netherlands. He is also Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Since the 1990's, he has been running his own Summer Music Academy in Southern Europe, first in Greece, now in Italy.

We transferred our summer course from a peaceful arcadian forest grove in Greece to a bustling mediaeval city in Italy. In so doing, we lost a little and gained a lot. Some of our faithful students have expressed disappointment at losing swimming pools, forest walks, and a sense of unhurried calm and retreat from diurnal stress. They are not wrong. Siena, however, offers us a rich community, a strong cultural context, wonderful spaces for learning and performing, as well as a connection to nature which we view with constant delight during the working day. It also offers us many more opportunities to collaborate with the local community, and a wealth of possibilities to develop the Summer Academy in still unimagined ways. Another challenge is to continue welcoming musicians from a wide background, nurturing and matching the passion of the part-time enthusiast with the fierce determination of the talented student. I personally love to witness each stimulating the other. We have expanded the course to include all voice types and stringed instruments. I sincerely hope, however, that our time together in Siena will continue to feel personal and individual and memorable.

Michael Chance
Residential Summer Music Academy links
Siena 2016: Concerts
Siena 2016: Testimonials
Siena 2015: Photos
Siena 2015: Testimonials
Siena 2014: Photos
Siena 2014: Testimonials
Candili 2013: Testimonials
SienAgosto 2016 appraisals
I am so grateful …... singing better when I stay with myself and do less also enables me to be even more myself and be true to myself, thank you! I enjoyed the two weeks in Siena very much, and I already miss it. I think I might very easily be persuaded to come back.
Anne Heffner, Zürich
I thoroughly enjoyed the course as a whole and, even considering this was my first experience of an opera course, I thought it was just brilliant. The whole setting of the School for Liberal Arts, within the city of Siena, was fantastic and it was great to become fully immersed into the world of music. The company and the concert venues exceeded my expectations, as did the Italian wine! Although I’ve still got a long way to go, I felt that SienAgosto added greatly to my musical knowledge and really inspired me to further pursue a career in music and performance.
Peter Edge

For any queries about SienAgosto, please use the contact details in the Application Form (MS Word file) above.

For all communication regarding Michael's other teaching projects, please use the form below.

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