Past Students of the De Costa Academy of Singing in York

Over 25 years of pupil success stories and successful examinations results.

The De Costa Academy of Singing is proud of its record that every student that has been presented to the Associated Board for examination at various grades, has succeeded in achieving their designated grade, and there have been no unsuccessful candidates.  This is over a 25-year period of presenting students for examination.

Several pupils have been accepted on choral scholarships at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. The following pupils past and present are now full time professional performers and/or teachers of singing:

Andrea Campbell-Mapplebeck

Andrea Campbell-Mapplebeck

Andrea has sung throughout the UK with principals from English National Opera, Glyndebourne Opera and the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. She sings regularly in concerts and recitals.

With Michael De Costa she has studied Eboli (Don Carlos), Amneris (Aida) and Lady Macbeth (Macbeth), as well as Dalila (Samson et Dalila). Her staged roles include Carmen (Carmen), Azuncena (Il Trovatore), Siebel (Faust), Peep-Bo (The Mikado) and Lady Melissa (Princess Ida) as well as appearing in productions at the Phoenix Theatre, Leicester. She has won singing competitions in the UK and abroad and was the subject of a Channel 4 programme on the science of voice production.

Natalie Hunter

Natalie Hunter

Natalie is from England and at the age of 11 she attended the Michael De Costa Academy of Music in York. During her teenage years Natalie performed musical theatre which included a part in Kes (Theatre Royal York).

Her personal highlights include touring Paris with the Yamaha Youth Band and performing solo on BBC’s ‘Children In Need’ and again in front of thousands at Featherstone Rugby Club. Before joining Milan Natalie was performing her one-woman show throughout the North East of England.

Emily Robinson

emily robinson

While many other 16-year-old girls spend their weekends shopping, Emily was honing her talents at the De Costa Academy of Singing in Marygate - she was chosen to join prestigious National Youth Choir from 600 applicants.

She began singing five years ago at Canon Lee School, and it was a teacher there that encouraged her to enter the auditions for the choir and even gave her the application form.

Gary Coward

Gary Coward

Gary Coward studied singing at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His performing career encompassed principal roles and chorus work with English National Opera, Scottish Opera, English Touring Opera and many smaller companies and lots of appearances in concert and recital.

Gary is a principal study professor at the Guildhall School of Music and teaches at his private studio in London and West Sussex and counts international baritone Gerald Finlay amongst his professional pupils.

Gary studied with Michael for many years after meeting at Opera Holland Park in the early 1990s.

Kristina James

Kristina James

Professional soprano with Opus 1, Skipton Camerata and teacher.

Valerie Parker

Mezzo Soprano and Teacher of singing.

Alistair & Sophie Hewish - York Minster Chorister

Under the auspices of the Academy, Alistair Hewish became the youngest ever York Minster chorister, at just six years old.  He went on to become Head Chorister and, with the choir, toured Poland and performed on Polish television.  He also featured as a soloist on many of the choir’s CD recordings.

Sophie Hewish, his sister and also a student at the Academy, was York Minster choir’s first ever female chorister and also went on to become Head Chorister. 

Christopher Broughton

Author of “A Voice for Life” and teacher of singing.

Lucy Jubb

Professional soprano with Opus 1 and teacher.

Paula Mooneyhan Sides

Paula Sides

American soprano Paula Sides spent time training at the De Costa Academy prior to her professional career. She was awarded the Tagor Medal from the Royal College of Music and has won several International Singing Competitions.

She is a regular principal for English Touring Opera and is equally at home on the concert platform.

... and many more, too numerous to mention.

de costa academy past students

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North Yorkshire, YO30 7BH

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