Michael De Costa (1941-2021)

Michael De Costa in concert

Michael De Costa in concert

Operatic baritone, and founder of
The De Costa Academy of Singing

Michael De Costa was schooled in the 'bel canto' singing technique by the acclaimed teacher Arthur Hinchcliffe in Halifax, and by John Hargreaves at Sadler’s Wells. He was thus a descendent pupil of two extremely illustrious singing teachers, Manuel Garcia and Edgar Herbert-Caesari.

Since making his professional operatic debut as Amonasro (Aïda), Michael performed in a wide variety of roles, mainly specialising in the Italian Romantic repertoire and the operas of Verdi. His repertoire included the title roles in Macbeth, Nabucco and Rigoletto, Il Conte di Luna (Il trovatore), Giorgio Germont (La traviata), Renato (Un ballo in maschera), Iago (Otello) and Zaccaria (Nabucco). He has also performed the roles of Tonio (Pagliacci), Valentin (Faust) and Escamillo (Carmen) as well as appearing in a variety of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas.

Michael De Costa pedigree

Michael De Costa teaching pedigree

Michael De Costa was a Principal Baritone for English National Opera and also worked with many other major opera companies throughout Britain. He was also a regular soloist in opera galas at the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall. He was a soloist in Carl Orff's Carmina Burana in Bahrain, where he was privileged to meet several members of the Bahraini Royal Family. Michael also travelled to Ukraine to perform for Odessa State Opera and give masterclasses at Odessa State Conservatoire.

Since stepping down from full-time performing, Michael focused on the development of his teaching career at the highly successful De Costa Academy of Singing in York, which he established in 1988 to develop the 'bel canto' school of vocal production in the north of England.

Michael was the expert in voice production for the development of the electrolaryngoscope, a pioneering device developed by Professor David M. Howard at the University of York. The technology provides a real-time electronic display to show characteristics of the singing voice, in order to give visual feedback for use in professional vocal development. As part of the research, pupils at the Academy were analysed as part of the initial pilot studies.

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