The De Costa Academy of Singing in York, a Singing School for all Styles

A unique and historic singing school based in and original 13th century tower in the centre of York.

The De Costa Academy is a singing school based in an original 13th Century tower in York's city walls. It was founded in 1988 by Michael De Costa who studied singing with the legendary Arthur Hinchcliffe, and later with John Hargreaves. Subsequently, Michael de Costa has become one of the most sought-after baritones in England, performing a wide variety of operatic roles, but specialising in the Italian Romantic repertoire and the operas of Verdi. 

The Academy, now well established and respected internationally, was founded with a view to developing a school of vocal production in the North based on the ancient Italian art of ‘bel canto’ (beautiful singing).

singing school york

Students are drawn from all parts of the British Isles and Europe, and are gaining recognition in all areas of singing, from the major opera companies and cathedral choirs, to musicals and cabaret.  Students of the Academy also include contemporary and pop singers (soloists and bands) whose venues have included, amongst others, the London Palladium.

The Academy 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 20-year period of presenting students for examination.

Repertoire of the Singing Academy

The De Costa Academy presents concerts involving a variety of musical styles, which can include any of the following:

  • Operatic arias, duets and ensembles
  • Oratorio
  • Light opera, operetta and Gilbert & Sullivan
  • English Song, Lieder and Art Song
  • Victorian and Edwardian Ballads
  • Twentieth Century Musicals
  • Popular Songs
  • Jazz standards
  • Original songs by members of bands
  • Cover versions of pop classics

In addition to their own engagements, members of the De Costa Academy also present concerts with Michael De Costa, under the title of “Michael De Costa and Friends”.

Press Reviews

(All named artists are students of the Academy, past and present)

“Malcolm Jennings had earlier delivered an able Recondita Armonia (Tosca), and displayed confidence and accuracy in a demanding aria beautifully sung.”
(M.L.S., Times & Chronicle)

“…Victoria Johnson singing her first song, I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables, her lovely sweet tonal quality winning the hearts of the audience who received it with outstanding applause, as they did for all her contribution to the concert…the applause was interspersed with cries of ‘More’…”
(Dr Alan Knowles, The Post)

“Soloists Emma Maidment (Soprano), Valerie Louise Parker (Mezzo), Anthony Kenneth Hogg (Tenor) and Rowland Bridgewater (Bass) gracefully sang their way through the powerful operatic and melodious notes of Rossini’s oratorio. Ms Parker’s solo towards the end of the concert, outstanding in the degree of feeling poured into it, was enough to send shivers of appreciation through the body. After this first appearance, Grimsby Phil. audiences will no doubt want to see her on the stage again.”
(Eila Rana, Evening Telegraph)

“Carolyn Hardisty…A great communicator with a beautiful voice and easy relaxed manner, her items were much enjoyed by the large and appreciative audience.”
(DCW, Evening Telegraph)

“Miss Hardisty started with an emotional rendition had a song from Handel’s opera Rinaldo. Her vocals, well suited to opera the audience spellbound…”
(Scott Armstrong, Evening Telegraph)

“The tenor voice of Steven Goulden is a very fine instrument. He tastefully decorated all his arias and showed that even a big voice can sing Handelian runs with pinpoint accuracy. This young singer really knows how to sing recitatives, giving full meaning to every phrase, this is something very rare among singers of the younger generation. The highlight of the evening for me was ‘Sound an alarm’, Mr Goulden would surely bring an army to its feet!”
(Carmarthen Times, Gwylim Thomas).

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.

the de costa academy inside the singing school - de costa academy

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

01904 610 341