30th Anniversary

2018 is the 30th Anniversary of The De Costa Academy. Below are some messages of support from past students and followers received for the 25th anniversary.

Congratulations on 25 years of the De Costa Academy of Singing! It takes something, or someone, very special to keep such a niche business thriving through the many ups and downs of the last 25 years. What the De Costa Academy provides is indeed very special.

With warm best wishes for many more years, Thea

On behalf of all his friends in York Opera, I am pleased and proud to be able to offer Michael our warmest good wishes on his 25th York “jubilee”. His support for the Company has been much appreciated over the years.

At one time he was a committee member, when I was chairman and grateful to be able to draw upon his years of professional experience. York Opera have also benefited from the many excellent and committed singers whom he has trained here in York and who have joined our ranks, both as soloists and chorus members.

In particular, however, what I shall always recall with greatest pleasure are his splendid rendition of King Philip in Verdi’s Don Carlos at the Theatre Royal, an equally powerful Amonazro in the same composer’s Aida, and his solo – Rigoletto, I think it was – at a concert that we gave in the Salvation Army Citadel a few years ago. Ever the showman, Mike’s presence there in his full evening regalia, complete with tails, was as memorable as his singing.

What a voice, what a range, and what a personality! Long may Mike remain the good friend that he is to York Opera, fully deserving our congratulations, thanks and admiration.

Clive Goodhead
York Opera

I worked at the De Costa Academy as a teacher and accompanist between 1990 and 2005. Studying with Michael and observing him teach many other singers, from beginners to professionals, was the most wonderful education in vocal technique for any aspiring singer and what I learned during that time was of inestimable value. Over the years it has become increasingly apparent to me that Michael is uniquely gifted in his ability to help his students believe in themselves, and I know that this has allowed many of us to achieve far more in our singing than we ever thought possible. It was a privilege to share in the achievements of the many students I worked with and a joy then and now to see them fulfilling their potential as singers.

Thank you, Mike, for helping so many of us to find our voices and for the exhilaration, happiness and fulfilment that brings. I hope the Academy continues to nurture and inspire singers for many years to come.

Congratulations on your 25th Anniversary! Val

Happy anniversary, Mike.

I first met you in costume as King Philip during rehearsals for Don Carlos. The lessons I had over the next few years encouraged me to take on bigger roles with York Opera and gave me the range and technique to give it a go.

As the Mikado might have sung: "A more humane instructor never did in a tower exist."

Here's to the next 25!

All the best, Steve Griffiths

Dear Michael,

I hope you still remember this young upstart who brought his hopes and dreams into your De Costa Academy around 15 years ago. My music teacher highly recommended you, and my training under your tutelage brought forth a long and continuous journey into the world of opera.

Many things have been made possible because of the lessons I sought with you; the placement at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire, my debuts as a principal artist at ENO, Scottish Opera, and European opera houses, and now, students of my own!

Thanks always for the encouragement and guidance all those years ago. You made a strong, lasting impression on me, and it fuelled my daily battle for success.

Congratulations on 25 years of successful teaching. Here's to another 25.

Reno Troilus

Michael, what an inspiration that you were prepared to get involved in singing acoustic research as a singing teacher and be so open about what you do - a rare and generous gift.

Thank you - David Howard (Professor of Electronics, University of York)

25 years! Congratulations!

Just imagine, that's over 10,000 times you've listened to 'Vilia' or 'Beneath Thy Window' and more than 500,000 vowel corrections!! It's been a pleasure working at the academy and being part of the history.

Matthew, Rachel and Harry

Dear Michael

Congratulations on the 25th anniversary of the De Costa's Academy of Singing!

Thank you for your tuition and encouragement in improving my singing voice and enabling me to be a member of York Opera's chorus for nearly 15 years.

With best wishes, Lorna (Sheppard) xxx

Congratulations and thanks for 25 years of instilling the joy of song and performance. For bringing out the potential of so many and such varied voices and giving the opportunity to grow in confidence and proficiency through performance. Here’s to another 25.

Studying at the De Costa Academy has transformed my voice. It has not only resulted in a radical improvement in technique and interpretation since beginning study but continues to progress markedly from performance to performance. This has resulted in a thoroughly enjoyable and motivating process of improvement which goes on between lessons themselves as well as within them.

James Gaughan

Congratulations Michael on 25 years success with your Academy.

Having been a pupil for over 10 years, I want you to know that you have contributed an immense amount not only to my performance, but also my appreciation and enjoyment of Opera. Your ability to pick the repertoire which best suits a voice, to teach, and give performance opportunities is much appreciated. To share a platform with you to sing the Concert performances of Manrico in Trovatore and Radames in Aida, was a great privilege, and unforgettable experience for someone who joined as a Chorus singer just hoping to improve a bit.

Thank you for the journey. Graham Turner

Dear Michael,

Congratulations on celebrating 25 years of a wonderful Teaching career, and long may it continue!!

For me,The Academy has always been a place where one can learn in a relaxed ,friendly environment, & yet come away from a lesson feeling that you have had a good 'work-out' (and with reduced stress levels)! With your guidance I have gained the confidence to take part in Masterclasses in Dublin, & Bahrain and in Recitals, and Concerts & Opera in the Uk, Saudi & Bahrain, and it was really great that you were able to come out to Bahrain to sing in Carmina Burana to an appreciative audience of over 1,000 people!!!

Look forward to singing with you soon, Love Erika

Congratulations Mike on 25 years of teaching, and to all his students on their achievements, keep on singing!

David Hammond

I spent a number of happy and interesting years accompanying, teaching and learning singing at the Academy. It was great to see Michael working his magic with his pupils. We explored a lot of repertoire and it was good to have the opportunity to accompany the singers at many concerts. He helped me a great deal with my own singing, expanding the range of my voice, and giving me the confidence to perform before an audience.

With many congratulations to Michael on the 25th Anniversary of the Academy. Becky Smith

It has been a privilege to have been able to have Michael as my singing teacher. He is such an inspiration as a vocalist, with an outstanding voice that I could listen to for hours. He is also so encouraging and patient as a teacher. Michael takes the time to help nurture, challenge and develop all aspects of his students' performances and he sees the potential in all of us and I am really grateful. I would never have developed without him and his constant encouragement. He is a fantastic teacher and a very unique and special person. He makes lessons a pleasure and a joy and I am very thankful that I met and got to know him. I wish him all the best and hope he enjoys the celebration of everything that he has achieved and I look forward to all of his future triumphs.

Andrea CM

I had been having singing lessons since I was 11, had passed all my ABRSM grades and done a music degree, but it wasn't until I started lessons (aged nearly 40) with Michael, that I learnt vocal technique!

I'm still learning new things and gaining a deeper understanding of how my voice works.

Michael's technique helps each pupil to get the best they can out of their natural voice.

Cathy Atkin

I first encountered Michael in the mid 1980s. I heard him sing the role of Amonasro (Aida) and he instantly grabbed my attention.

I spoke to him about his history and his current employment. He was, mostly, earning his living working in the clubs. I had no problem with this – having performed in similar venues myself – but I felt he should spend more time performing the classical repertoire and organised a recital in York inviting respected critic, Martin Dryer, to attend.

Things progressed from there and I also suggested that Michael teach. I think I was his first pupil and I remember our first lesson when I went to his home in Selby. He was a revelation to me.

I perform rarely now but I do teach, once a week, at Scala Performing Arts in Leeds (an agency and theatre school for young talent) and instil in my pupils the same principles of vocal production in which both Michael and I believe. My little prodigies have performed all over the country (including the West End) and have appeared with Opera North.

I am honoured to be able to pay tribute to Michael but will not tolerate any suggestion by him that he should “slow down” or “retire”. We both know that this is not an option.

Here’s to the next 25 years - Chris Haddock

Congratulations Mike,

I was one of your first pupils 25 years ago. We met at one of your concerts just prior to that in Burnley in Lancashire. I was accompanying you and you told me afterwards you were opening ‘The De Costa Academy’ in York. I loved your voice and as a singer I wanted to know more. This was the start of many years spent travelling to York to learn more as a student and a wonderful friendship.

I soon fell in love with voice and singing and after a few years started to teach following the principles you had established from the Italian School of Voice. Later, I formed ‘The Performance Academy’ specialising in Theatre, Pop and Rock singing and many pupils who have been taught here have gone on to enjoy performing more with increased confidence, technical and artistic prowess. Some have become successful performers in their own right.

I also became involved, in the early days, with the writing of the Royal School of Church Music’s training publication – ‘Voice For Life’ which contains many of the solid principles of the School.

I would like to thank you for not just being my teacher but for the friendship you have extended to me over the years. I have been privileged to have had an association with you.

With sincere thanks once again and best wishes. Mr Chris Broughton

Congratulations, Mike, on 25 years of the De Costa Academy - a fantastic achievement!

Happy memories of your performances with South Yorkshire Opera from the 'old crowd' now with Sheffield City Opera and still singing and performing regularly in Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

Happy Anniversary!

If you would like to book a performance for a Wedding or an event please contact us for availability.

Or if you would like to enquire about singing lessons, please email or call 01904 610 341.

michael de costa singing tutor york

Marygate Tower, Marygate, York
North Yorkshire, YO30 7BH

01904 610 341