How to Captivate an Audience – 13th/14th October 2018

£245 (or £225 if booked by 31st August 2018)
A Weekend Singing Course with Chris Cowell & Hattie Voelcker
Saturday 13th October 2018 to Sunday 14th October 2018

We all know that good vocal technique is so important for giving your audience a good performance, but what else do we need? Under the expert guidance of Chris you will get the chance to look at interpretation and how to express that intention. You will also get a chance to work with me on shifting one of singers’ biggest barriers to success, what they think about when performing.

With the help of Chris, I have also managed to get the fabulous Alastair Chilvers to join us, so as well as working with Chris and me, you will also get time working with an excellent répétiteur to help you really nail the music!

The weekend will be in Hackney on 13th and 14th October 2018. For those of you that are interested, we are offering a discount to people booking by 31st August 2018.

As this is not a residential course, for those of you who don’t live in London, we may be able to find accommodation locally if you need, so just let me know. I’ve answers some FAQs below, but if there is anything else you would like to know just send an email to


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What people say about Hattie’s Courses

Hattie’s organisation was, as ever, superb. Singers know they are going to have a stimulating weekend, carefully thought out and guaranteed to make you feel the difference at the end of the weekend.

Hattie’s weekends are a warm and understanding environment for all singers strongly wanting to improve their singing in a holistic way.

Given the level of professional input and organisation, these weekends are very good value-for-money.

The golden result for me is coming away from the weekend with tangible “bankable” change, as compared with how the weekend started….in my confidence…and with new ways of thinking about my performance.

– Andrew Hinchley, Bass

In February of this year, I had the great good fortune to take part in one of Hattie’s weekends in the country. The weekend comprised musical training by two accomplished opera singers, as well as some life coaching from Hattie herself. This was my first opportunity to work with Hattie in her capacity as a life coach. I found the experience both enjoyable and richly rewarding. The physical exercises offered a grounding that will be quite helpful to me as a fellow singer. Hattie also provided valuable insights into the ways in which one looks at and consequently deals with certain life situations.

The atmosphere of the weekend was unfailingly friendly and supportive, and it was a joy to take part.

– Leslie Hewitt, Soprano

PERFECT! It was extremely well thought out in every detail and I was so pleasantly surprised to have found (as we went along) that the lesson plans and information in them from Teachers and other Students was EXACTLY what I needed and wanted to know at this stage.

I think the organisation of everything from the Room, Catering, Lessons was spot on and could not have been better.

Everything was done with much care and consideration to my needs.

– Rachel Young, Soprano

I particularly enjoyed Hattie’s weekend for several reasons. Firstly was the focus. With the main performance being about one piece, there was a chance to deeply get entrenched with the character, emotion and setting on a physical, psychological and musical level over two extremely intensive days with a full concert at the end. This gave a chance to deal with not just matters such as dramatic interpretation, but also stance, character, interpretation and story. In particular the chance to discuss the issues in a group setting facilitated by Hattie was very much appreciated and let me look into specific issues that arose from that performance, for example how to portray basic gestures of touch in a concert setting.

Hattie’s experience as a coach also showed in her ability to create a sympathetic group environment where everyone could raise specific personal issues from memorisation to stage anxiety.

Secondly, when not working on my specific piece, I really appreciated the chance to consider physical and psychological matters of performance in a practical setting.

Hattie’s skill at creating a supportive environment, the in put from professional singing coaches and above all the sheer sense of fun made this a wonderful experience. I would strongly recommend Hattie and the work she’s doing to any singer wanting to learn more about themselves, their repertoire and the act of singing in general.

– Luke Hewitt, Tenor

The weekend is an opportunity to learn, in a relaxed and mutually supportive and loving atmosphere, how to understand yourself and improve your performance, with a small group of like-minded people who became friends, and with first-class tutors.

They were two days of high quality tuition, in which everyone participated throughout.

– Mezzo-Soprano

What people say about
working with Hattie

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Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to bring to sing?
Bring any opera aria from a stage work, you can either bring just one piece and work on the same piece with each tutor from different expertise and perspectives, or you can bring more than one piece.

What do I need to wear?
Flat shoes and clothes that are easy to move in, with nothing that is floaty or dangly!

It sounds out of my league, who is it for?
It is designed to be for a whole range of abilities and expertise; everyone from young professionals to the absolute amateur should get a great deal from the weekend.

What sort of person attends this type of workshop?
We have and welcome a whole range of ages and expertise attend these workshops, from 20 to 80 year olds, and from beginner to professional. The mixture really helps to create a relaxed atmosphere in which we can all learn.

What will be the format of the weekend?
The weekend will be a mixture of workshops and masterclass format sessions. The workshops will look at different methods and techniques for engaging and connecting with your audience and the masterclass sessions will provide ample opportunity for one to one work on individual pieces.

How much singing will there be?
There will be plenty of singing for each singer. There will be at least 5-6 opportunities to sing, including performances and at least 30 minutes individual time with each tutor.

Will you be providing food & drink?
Tea, coffee and snacks are included but you will need to bring your own lunch, or there are plenty of shops nearby where you can buy provisions.

Where is the workshop?
The workshop is taking place over two days at Benthal Primary school in Hackney, London, which is served by two overland train stations (Rectory Road and Clapton) as well as a multitude of buses.

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The Tutors

Chris Cowell

Internationally, his work has taken him to Chicago Opera Theater for Semele, and Il Viaggio a Reims, to Danish National Opera for Il barbiere di Siviglia, to Den Ny Opera in Denmark for Orlando, Don Pasquale, Il Turco in Italia, Rinaldo and Le Nozze di Figaro and to Århus Sommeropera for Elskovsdrikken and Cosi fan tutte. In Copenhagen he directed the inaugural production of the Copenhagen Opera Festival, Opera i Underverden, and Rita, Le Docteur Miracle, Den Forvandlede Kat, La Grand’Tante and Il Campanello for Den Rullende Opera. He has also directed Die Zauberflöte, Cenerentola and Giulio Cesare for the ZêzereArts Festival in Portugal. For Opera Akademiet in Copenhagen he has directed Il Tabarro, Cosi fan Tutte, Hänsel und Gretel and Walton’s The Bear.

Domestically, he has directed productions of Agrippina, Poro and Atalanta for the London Handel Festival, La bohème for Iford Arts, Rameau’s Acante et Céphise and Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snowmaiden for UCO, Cendrillon, May Night and Don Giovanni for the Royal Academy of Music, Idomeneo for the Royal Scottish Conservatoire, The Magic Flute for British Youth Opera, Madama Butterfly for Castleward Opera, Falstaff for Pegasus Opera, and Faust, Die Fledermaus, Turandot, The Flying Dutchman and the world première of Samuel Coleridge Taylor’s Thelma for Surrey Opera.

2008 saw his main-house début at the Royal Opera House, directing a revival of Les Contes d’Hoffmann. In 1995 he joined the team of directors at Glyndebourne. With their touring company he has directed La Traviata, Le Comte Ory and Rodelinda. The Royal Opera House also commissioned a new translation and adaptation of La Cenerentola, which he directed in the Linbury Theatre in 2001.

Hattie Voelcker

Hattie Voelcker is an expert in helping performers get the best from themselves.

After a highly successful 10 year career as a Barrister and years of producing authentic and engaging performances in court, she now works with performers who are talented and passionate about what they do, but struggle to produce their best when it counts.

Drawing on her experience as a Barrister, together with the time she has spent working with singers and performers, researching the relationship the performer has with themselves and with the audience, she helps performers feel comfortable with themselves on stage so they can engage their audience in a more authentic and effective way – and fall in love with performing again.

Alastair Chilvers

Alastair Chilvers is the Lucille Graham Opera Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music, where he received a Master’s with distinction in piano accompaniment studying with Michael Dussek. He was a member of the acclaimed Academy Song Circle. As a repetiteur he participated in the Solti Accademia Peretti Masterclasses in Venice, where he worked with Richard Bonynge. He was a 2017 Iford New Generation Artist and Assistant Conductor for West Green House Opera’s 2016 production of La traviata. He is a Samling Artist.

Previously, he read Music at Queens’ College, Cambridge where he was Assistant Conductor for Cambridge University Music Society and received the University Instrumental Award for Chamber Music in 2011 and 2012. In addition to his work at the Academy, he tutors at Saffron Centre for Young Musicians and is repetiteur at W11 Opera. He is delighted to have been appointed as Music Director of Cambridge Youth Opera.

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