Dido & Aeneas Conductor
The Singing Nest is an online platform for singers from around the world, that’s fun, educational and developmental. Being a member of the Nest gives you access to a number of amazing perks. For example, becoming part of the Singing Nest’s very own small group chorus – Cloud 9. Here singers can learn music from a broad range of genres. Folksongs and classics from The Beatles will be taught by ex-King’s Singer Timothy Wayne-Wright, explaining all the ensemble tricks of the trade. And the wonderful Danilo Tepša will be working through the English-language opera, Dido and Aeneas, Henry Purcell’s miniature, operatic masterpiece.
Founders, Alex and Témi, believe that nothing binds people together more than singing. ‘Maybe it’s because we’re at our most exposed when we sing, or perhaps it’s the raw physicality of making sound together. Maybe it’s the text, the story-telling – lifted to new heights by sublime music. Whatever it is, it connects people and forges deep friendships. More than ever we need that connection – that community to remind us that we’re not alone’. This is the fundamental idea behind the Singing Nest. A community, a chorus, an ensemble of like-minded people who love to sing.
If you’ve been on a Singing Holidays event before you will be fast-tracked and invited to subscribe to the Singing Nest. If you’re interested in becoming a Singing Nest Friend but haven’t received an invitation, please register your interest and we’ll put you on our waiting list ready for the next hatching!
To create a worthwhile experience we have restricted the availability of Singing Nest memberships. We believe limited numbers create unlimited possibilities. Every perk focuses on the importance of the individual within a small group of like-minded friends.
Sound and Silence
Thirty annual meditation and bodywork sessions to keep us supple, sane and breathing deeply.
Cloud 9 is our Singing Nest chorus which will include 30 weeks of online rehearsals each year. Cloud 9 is not purely classical but a combination of genres. The focus is on voice, ensemble, repertoire and interpretation.
Cloud 9 will include Zoom Live rehearsals and Q&As. The Q&As will be a great opportunity to touch base and respond to any Cloud 9 queries. The Nest is small, so we’re always on hand to help.
So, Cloud 9 isn’t just online. When we can meet physically, The Singing Nest will be arranging a series of Cloud 9 workshops and performances including a London production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with professional musicians & soloists.
Cloud 9 Teachers
We are very fortunate to have three hugely talented and diverse experts running our Cloud 9 Zoom rehearsals. Timothy, Danilo and Lizzie bring a huge amount of experience and talent to each of their live sessions, taking us through diverse genres and teaching us the skills necessary for good ensemble singing.
Timothy is a Grammy Award® winning countertenor who has sung in over 1500 concerts with The King’s Singers. He’s led masterclasses and workshops for ensembles and choirs including Voces 8, The Real Group and the Calmus Ensemble.
Lizzie Deane has performed with some of the great soul, funk & blues artists of the last 30 years. Her sessions are as entertaining as they are instructive. Music is learnt primarily by ear with a focus on freeing us up physically. Learning music aurally rather than visually is a must-have skill for any singer of any genre.
Danilo is a superb teacher and chorus master from Wiesbaden in Germany. Where Timothy specializes in a cappella and the key elements of good ensemble singing, and Lizzie on confidence building and aural learning, Danilo is a master at teaching scored music. They are the perfect complementary combination of talents for our Cloud 9 sessions.
They’re also lovely and not scary in the slightest, so don’t panic!
Cloud 9 Ensemble expert
Cloud 9 Repertoire expert
Cloud 9 Repertoire expert
Cloud 9 Rehearsals
Cloud 9 rehearsals will focus on Dido and Aeneas, a cappella folk and contemporary popular music. While Danilo helps us learn Purcell’s wonderful choruses, Timothy will focus on the key elements for good ensemble singing including breathing, posture, listening, vowel matching, colours, balance, blend and text. With Lizzie Deane, we’ll be exploring a wide range of popular music from Jazz to Swing, and from music theatre to contemporary pop.
After each Cloud 9 Zoom session there will be a short Q&A with both Danilo, Timothy and Lizzie respectively, so you can directly raise any queries you may have from the rehearsals.
Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be. The Nest is small and cosy, and we’re always on hand to help you if you’re feeling out of your depth. The Nest is totally inclusive – meaning you don’t have to read music. Even if you’re clinging to the shower curtain of insecurity, we’re always there with a warm towel of singing comfort for you to snuggle into.
This is where it all gets very exciting! As a Singing Nest Friend and therefore a member of Cloud 9, you will be at the heart of a future London production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas conducted by the brilliant Robert Dean.
The Singing Nest Dido and Aeneas will be like no other. With a collaboration of professionals from the classical and folk scene, we intend to produce a unique piece of fusion theatre. Cloud 9 will be the chorus within this exciting production.
There will be three Dido UK workshops in 2021 and one more workshop prior to the performances in London. This will be a very special opportunity to perform in a professional production with some of the most talented musicians from two musical worlds.
My Dido and Aeneas
By Robert Dean
Purcell’s mini-opera Dido and Aeneas has always held a special place in my affections. I originally got to know it in a recording made by the young Janet Baker, cementing a lifelong passion for, and addiction to, her voice and artistry.
I first heard it live at the Proms when I was a teenager and was then eager to conduct it myself where the opportunity presented itself whilst I was at University. Subsequently, I was I able to conduct it on a number of occasions and in that time have seen and heard the authentic brigade taking it over and each time giving it a facelift for better or for worse.
What can never be removed is Purcell’s ability to distil a momentous event in Virgil’s Aeneid to an hour’s duration with clarity, imagination and profundity; one has only to think of Dido’s lament “When I am laid in earth” as being the emotional highlight of the opera followed by the cathartic chorus “With drooping wings”.
The chorus plays an important and significant role as courtiers, witches or sailors commenting on the action as well as participating in it. Each time I conduct it, there is always something new to find in the text and the music.
It is pure genius!
Got a question?
Just like on our singing holidays, reading music isn’t a necessity. We will supply you with all you need to learn your musical line so you don’t need to worry about reading a stave. If you can read music then wonderful. In many ways, not reading music can give you a certain advantage! Either way, we’re always on hand to guide and help you into shallower waters if you ever feel out of your depth.
A Singing Nest Friend (SNF) membership is by invitation only. This means you must have received an invitation from Singing Nest in order to apply. If you’ve been on a singing holiday with singingholidays.com you will be immediately eligible for an invitation.
If you’re interested in receiving a Singing Nest invite, please contact us.
A Singing Nest Friend subscription costs £90 every 3 months payable by direct debit. You can cancel your SNF membership at any time. There is, however, a minimum subscription contract of 3 months. Please read our terms for more details.