Professional Students of the De Costa Academy of Singing in York

Here is a sample of the Academy's current and former pupils who have gone on to have professional careers in 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, Azucena (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.

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 counting 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.

Alistair & Sophie Hewish - York Minster Choristers

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 one of York Minster choir’s first female choristers and also went on to become Head Chorister. 

Natalie Hunter

Natalie Hunter

Natalie Hunter 11 she attended the Academy from the age of 11. During her teenage years Natalie performed musical theatre which included a part in Kes (Theatre Royal York).

Professional highlights include touring Paris with the Yamaha Youth Band, performing solo on BBC’s ‘Children In Need’ and in front of thousands at Featherstone Rugby Club. Before joining the pop–opera crossover girl group Milan, Natalie was performing her one-woman show throughout the North East of England.

Kristina James

Kristina James

The Dutch-born English soprano, Kristina James, has toured as a principal with Opus 1 opera, and was a member of the fairy chorus in Opera North's production of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Kristina is a regular on the concert platform, singing many oratorios with choirs across the north of England. She also teaches singing and musical theatre in Leeds, and has also directed small-scale productions and school musicals.

Lucy Jubb

Lucy Jubb graduated in Music from the University of York in 2002 while studying at the Academy. Since then she has performed across the UK and Ireland in operas, solo recitals and special events alongside teaching singing and violin.

Lucy also trained in Occupational Therapy and now works for Converge, a social enterprise based at the university, using her skills as an occupational therapist and musician to support adults with mental health difficulties to achieve their goals in the creative arts and beyond.

Valerie Parker

Mezzo Soprano and Teacher of singing.

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.

Christopher Broughton

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

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

de costa academy past students

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