Rediscover your love of singing
and free your voice

Rediscover your love of singing
and free your voice

A weekend Music Theatre
singing course
with Morag McLaren
and Hattie Voelcker

Saturday 6th -
Sunday 7th April 2019

9am to 6pm

Benthal Primary School Benthal Road
Hackney London N16 7AU

A weekend Music Theatre
singing course
with Morag McLaren
and Hattie Voelcker

Morag & Hattie believe that the greater freedom a singer can feel in their heads and their bodies, the more they freedom and versatility they will be able to achieve with their voices. Freedom also help us access our real voices, the one that effortlessness pings round the room and expresses all we want it to.

Achieving that freedom is what this weekend is all about. If you feel like there is something holding you back as a singer, if you feel that you'd like to access more freedom in you singing then this is the weekend for you.

Over the course of the weekend singing Morag and Hattie will explore and support ways in which both novice and experienced singers can express their songs to the best of their ability: unleashing their personal creativity and developing faith in their interpretative choices by breaking down and examining how we learn and perform Music Theatre songs, and encouraging them to connect with their repertoire by understanding why they choose the songs they do.

Woven into the workshop and masterclass sessions will be the chance to develop the skills of storytelling, text delivery, clarity of dramatic intention, physicality and emotional colour. Answering the questions...... 

 What can we do to access our true voice?

 What gives us versatility & flexibility in our singing?

 How do we let go of our insecurities and just sing?

The weekend is designed to help the  singers by:

  • Providing a toolbox from which singers can draw and
    take ownership of their vocal performance with confidence, authenticity and independence.
  • Helping singers connect with their repertoire, understanding why they choose the Music Theatre songs they do & how to express them to the best of their ability
  • Looking at how can we declutter our brains so that we can be present in our performance & free to make musical, vocal and dramatic choices in singing

We have managed to persuade the brilliant Alastair Chilvers to join us as a répétiteur. So as well as working with Morag and Hattie, you will get time working with an excellent coach to help you develop your interpretation and musical understanding of the piece.


“This weekend offered such a rich insight into the craft of performance. It opened new doors in my mind, and inspired me to take my singing to the next level.”
– Jenny Napier

Morag Mclaren

Hattie Voelcker

Alastair Chilvers

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

“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

“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

“Hattie’s courses are run with great love, as well as with great expertise, enthusiasm and efficiency. She is sensitive to, and has first-hand knowledge of, the psychological obstacles and complications which singers encounter with their performances, and skilled in addressing these. Without putting pressure on anyone, together, she and the tutors who join her, ensure that we go away better and more comfortable singers than when we arrived. We all look after each other and have fun. We have time to explore our personal performance issues, while learning in a safe, supportive and stimulating environment. I’m already looking forward to the next course!”

– Vivienne, Mezzo-Soprano

“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

“Hattie’s last course was a fantastic workshop weekend which covered stagecraft, group work, listening/observation with elements of latest research on audience perception and space for exchange and feedback in a safe environment. The tutors were fabulous and experts in their fields of different age and experience and the accompanists equally professional and there was sufficient opportunity to sing and work on repertoire due to great organisation!”

– Veronika Rettich, Soprano

“Hattie provides for a very pleasurable and safe atmosphere, through which you can play around with the advice given. The great tutors, including Hattie, and excellent accompanists are key to the course’s success.”

– Marielle Keulen, Soprano

“This weekend offered such a rich insight into the craft of performance. It opened new doors in my mind, and inspired me to take my singing to the next level.”

– Jenny Napier, Mezzo-Soprano



Frequently Asked Questions

Where and when is the weekend?
The weekend is 6th-7th April 2019, and both Saturday and Sunday will start at 9.00am and finish at 6.00pm.

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.

What do I need to bring to sing?
Bring any Music Theatre work or Cabaret song, you can either bring just one piece and work on the same song 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 novice 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 tools for developing the singers confidence, authenticity, freedom, and independence; and the masterclass sessions will provide ample opportunity for one to one work to develop this work.

How much singing will there be?
There will be plenty of singing for each singer. With several opportunities for individual singing, including performances and a session of one to one time with each of the three tutors in a masterclass format.

Will you be providing food & drink?
Tea, coffee and snacks are included but you will need to bring your own lunch, or there is a cafe just down the road where most people go for lunch.

What about accommodation?
The course is non-residential but people do travel and stay locally to come to these courses. There are plenty of hotels & AirBnBs locally.

The Tutors

©Nobby Clark

Morag McLaren

Morag has performed in a wide variety of opera, musicals, concerts and music theatre productions, including principal roles with Welsh National Opera (The Mother and Witch in Hansel and Gretel), Scottish Opera (Lucy in Threepenny Opera), The Royal National Theatre (Mrs. Segstrom in A Little Night Music) and in the West End (Carlotta in Phantom of the Opera).

She toured internationally with Opera Circus (The Good Wife in Shameless: an Immoral Tale), presented on BBC Radio 3, released three solo CDs and featured on RNT cast recording and other compilations. Morag presents her One Woman Shows worldwide and is currently a member of the opera improvisation group, Impropera, which has a residency at the London venue King’s Place.

Her qualifications include a B.Ed from Lancaster University, operatic training at The Royal Northern College of Music and an MA (Dist) from the London College of Music.

Morag works as a vocal coach/consultant for emerging artists privately as well as leading performance workshops and master classes at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London College of Music, Ardingly International Music School, Guildford School of Acting and The Cooper Hall Emerging Artists Workshop.

The nature of her workshops, as facilitation process work, her breadth of professional performance experience, particularly in physical theatre and devising, and her focus on creativity, has more recently and inevitably led Morag to directing. She has so far directed The Turn of the Screw (2013), Hansel and Gretel (2014) and Così Fan Tutte (2015) for Frome Festival in collaboration with Bath Philharmonia, and Dido and Aeneas for London College of Music in March 2016.

Morag is Patron of Frome Festival, and Artistic Director of The Cooper Hall Foundation, where she co runs a small venue, programming a range of performance and educational events. Her Cooper Hall Emerging Artists Workshop provides welcome and valuable opportunities for young professional singers to discover, learn about and experience the process of role development and rehearsal.

Her facilitation work as a director or workshop leader create meaningful, practical preparation for, and links with the profession. She explores the work in a nurturing as opposed to judgmental environment. She feels very strongly that this approach is key to assimilation of learning, tapping creative potential and personal development.

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.

Copyright 2018 Hattie Voelcker
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