News from The De Costa Academy

September 2019 // Autumn events

Opera Gala

We are busy preparing for our Autumn Opera Gala concert on 16 November. Full details on our Events Page. There will be something for everyone to enjoy, sung by the Academy's most experienced pupils.

Prior to this, we will be supporting our baritone James Gaughan as he gives his first solo evening recital in the National Centre for Early Music on 25 October. Do please support this fabulous young artist.

July 2019 // Remembering Malcolm

A Night on Broadway

We are delighted that we have been invited to give a concert in memory of our friend, tenor Malcolm Jennings, at Holy Trinity Church, Stockton–on–the–Forest on 24 August 2019, 19:30. This will be a concert of pieces we associate with Malcolm and a time to reminisce about his life and singing career.
The concert is free to all, with donations given in Malcolm's memory.

June 2019 // Forthcoming concerts

A Night on Broadway

Pupils and friends from the De Costa Academy will be joining Michael De Costa in celebrating A Night on Broadway in St Saviourgate Unitarian Chapel on 13 July 2019. Featuring songs and duets from musicals from the early twentieth-century right up to The Greatest Showman, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Also coming later in the autumn, two pupils are performing their own solo concerts. Jacob Walsh, "The Yorkshire Tenor", is performing in Selby Abbey on 14 September at 16:30. Entitled An Emotional Journey, Jacob will be joined by the York Military Wives Choir.

James Gaughan, baritone, who has been performing lunchtime recitals across the country on a monthly basis, is returning to York for his first evening recital. James will be at the National Centre for Early Music on Friday, 25 October 2019.

March 2019 // Malcolm Jennings (1932—2019)

Malcolm Jennings

It is with great sadness that we said farewell to Malcolm Jennings after a short illness. Malcolm was a pupil of the Academy for nearly 29 years, and had a fine tenor voice much loved by all.

Much more than a pupil, Malcolm was a genuine friend to all of us at the Academy and Michael was privileged to speak about Malcolm’s singing career at his funeral.

Our thoughts are with Pat, Emma and all of the family at this time.

March 2019 // Spring News

Spring Songs

Congratulations go to Nick Sephton and Alastair Bush for their part in the Joseph Rowntree Theatre Company's production of Kiss Me Kate last month.

Also on the Rowntree Stage is Steven Jobson, a regular principal with the Bev Jones Musical Company, who are performing The Full Monty from 27–30 March.

Moving into April, you can see baritone James Gaughan, directed by Matthew Collins perform Fauré's Requiem in Howden Minster on 6 April.

A week later, on Saturday 13 April, the De Costa Academy presents its concert of Spring Songs in the Unitarian Chapel, York, where you can enjoy the breadth of talent from young up–and–coming voices to the more experienced professionals. Full details on the Events Page.

December 2018 // Merry Christmas!

opera gala

Michael and all the staff and pupils wish you all a Merry Christmas. We are holding a Christmas Concert and Social on 15 December, in York Cemetery Chapel.

Michael De Costa with Andrea Campbell–Mapplebeck and Derek Thomson present a hour of popular music from opera, musical theatre, and seasonal favourites. Following this, refreshments will be provided and other students of the Academy are invited to bring along a song to perform during the course of the evening.

We hope to see you there!

October 2018 // October appearances

It is a very busy month for appearances by members of the Academy. Alongside the two Opera concerts mentioned below, we also have the following:

  • 5 Oct — James Gaughan is giving a lunchtime song recital in Sheffield Cathedral, 1.15pm.
  • 7 Oct — 13–year–old Jessica May Frost is singing in the final of Breeze Has Talent at Northern Ballet Studio, Leeds.
  • 20 Oct — Tenor, Ben Pieper is singing in the premiere performance of a new oratorio 'Omega and Alpha' in Hull Minster.
  • 23,24,26,27 Oct — York Opera perform Bizet's Carmen in York Theatre Royal. Helen Eckersall is singing Frasquita, Gareth Rees is Zuniga, Nick Sephton covers Escamillo, and we have several other pupils in the ensemble cast.
  • 24–27 Oct — The Bev Jones Music Company are putting on Oklahoma in the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, with Steven Jobson as Will Parker.

October 2018 // Not one, but two nights at the opera

opera gala

On 6 October, five Academy principals will be performing in Howden Minster's Opera Gala. Sopranos Joanna Moy and Laura Rafferty–Trow are joined by mezzo-soprano Andrea Campbell–Mapplebeck, tenor Jacob Walsh, and Michael De Costa supported by the Howden Minster Community Chorus.

Opera for an Autumn Evening

A week later, on 13 October, the Academy will be hosting its annual own operatic evening, "Opera for an Autumn Evening" at the Unitarian Chapel, St Saviourgate, York. This is a chance to hear, in concert, the wide breadth of voices studying at the Academy. The evening will include items from Carmen, Don Giovanni, Manon, Lakmé, Aida, The Force of Destiny, The Pearl Fishers and much more!

Full details of both events are on the events page.

September 2018 // Gilbert and Sullivan stars

Congratulations to our pupils who have performed starring roles in two Gilbert and Sullivan productions across the North of England. Over in Staveley, Lancashire, Graham Beevers made his role debut as King Paramount in Utopia Limited; an exhausting role in a rare opportunity to hear one of G&S's last collaborations.

Closer to home, Nick Sephton and James Hirst played the Princess Ida's hapless brothers, Arac and Guron, in Jorvik Gilbert and Sullivan's production.

June 2018 // York Minster Choristers

Seven-year-old Hattie Talbot

Seven-year-old Hattie Talbot (pictured) has been a pupil for approx. 12 months and has been invited to become a Probationer Chorister in York Minster from September.

Sophie Gibson, another Academy pupil, is just completing her time in the choir, latterly as a Senior Chorister, and will be continuing her singing in Pocklington School next term.

Congratulations girls!

June 2018 // Graham Beevers, baritone

Graham Beevers, baritone, travels from Lancashire each week for his lessons in the Academy. A regular on the Gilbert and Sullivan stage across the North West, he has just been cast as King Paramount in a rare production of Utopia, Limited. Staveley Amateur Operatic Society are performing one of Gilbert and Sullivan's last operettas from 19–22 September.

Prior to that, Graham's next musical exploits will be on stage in Preston Opera's production of Bellini's Norma on 7–9 June.

Toi, Toi, Toi, Graham.

May 2018 // Izzie Mills

The Academy is delighted to announce that pupil Izzie Mills has been appointed Head Chorister at Queen Margaret's School, Escrick. In addition, as a bassoonist, she has been invited with other talented young musicians to join the York Guildhall Orchestra at a rehearsal for their forthcoming performance of Symphonie Fantastique and Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto.

A pupil for the past 10 years, it is a pleasure to see Izzie developing into a fine young musician.

May 2018 // Fiddler on the Roof

Lee Patterson will be playing the role of Avram in Fiddler on the Roof for The Bev Jones Theatre Company. The production is from 23–26 May 2018 at The Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York.
Tickets are available from the Theatre Box Office.

May 2018 // York Opera: Tales of Love and Passion

Our friends at York Opera are performing Tales of Love and Passion in the National Centre for Early Music on 16 and 17 May 2018. The evening consists of staged extracts from Cavelleria Rusticana, Hugh the Drover, Eugene Onegin and La bohème, sung in English.

The Academy is particularly pleased that Gareth Rees will be taking the baritone role of Schaunard in Act II of La bohème. Also in the cast are Academy pupils Chloe Crowder, Gill Tiplady, Thea Jacob.

Tickets are available from the NCEM box office.

May 2018 // James Gaughan: Israel in Egypt

Baritone James Gaughan will be one of the soloists in Handel's oratorio Israel in Egypt next month. The performances, with St Hilda's Festival Chorus and Scarborough Choral Society, will take place on 2 June at St Hilda's Church, Whitby, and on 9 June at Queen Street Methodist Hall, Scarborough.

James is also giving the next in his series of solo song recitals at Wakefield Cathedral on 26 June at 1pm.

April 2018 // York Casting News

Congratulations go to Stephen Jobson who will be playing Will Parker in an upcoming production of Oklahoma with The Bev Jones Theatre Company.

Jorvik Gilbert and Sullivan Company have also cast Princess Ida. The Academy is delighted that Nick Sephton and James Hirst are the brothers Arac and Guron.

Congratulations all!

March 2018 // Graham Beevers, The Sorcerer

Hornby Occasionals in Lancashire are presenting The Sorcerer from 18–21 April. Academy pupil Graham Beevers is making his role debut as Dr Daly in this Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.

March 2018 // Messiah at Howden Minster

A splendid evening was had at Howden Minster on 17 March, despite the snow, when Academy principals Valerie Parker, Ben Pieper and James Gaughan, alongside Clare Rachel Greener, led a performance of Handel's Messiah. Matthew Collins was accompanying on the organ, and they were joined by the Howden Community Chorus.

The Academy has a further opportunity to sing in Howden when the Minster closes its Summer Concert Series with an Opera Gala on Sat 6 Oct 2018.

February 2018 // The Producers

The Joseph Rowntree Theatre, at the heart of the perfoming community in York, are forming an in–house Theatre Company. Joining the ensemble for the debut production, The Producers, directed by Kayleigh Oliver, are James Hirst and Alastair Bush.

Performances are on 8–10 February and tickets are on sale now.

2017 news...

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