Michael Harper Singing Retreat

Breath, Body and Voice – A Five Day Holistic Singing Retreat

30 October -4 November 2018

This singing retreat is the third five day event Michael has run at Hill Cottage. It is intended to help singers create more freedom and authenticity in singing. Michael has devised an approach based on a combination of  breathing techniques to free the mind of anxiety, exercises to realign the body in order to use the breath more effectively for singing, as well as both traditional and innovative vocal training methods. It is an opportunity to work closely with Michael for an extended period to achieve freer expression in singing.

“My aim is to discover and expose each person’s abilities to find the song in themselves whether it be opera, Lieder, folk song, soul, blues, jazz or any other style. There is a natural flow that is present in everyone.”                            

The group will focus on the breath, then spend time on stabilising the body by revisiting static posture and freedom in movement,  to uncover how the voice is used and how to work with the body to liberate it. Michael will also teach some songs from his extensive repertoire.

Each singer will have a one-to-one session with Michael within the group . This benefits both the individual and group who continue to learn via these short masterclasses. It is useful to bring a couple of simple song to work on during these sessions. Support pairs are encouraged to meet each day to discuss the general teaching and how to act on the individual advice that Michael gives.

Five days together can create a sense of community. Sharing meals and informal singing time in the evenings offers another important dimension to the retreat. The feedback from participants reflects the progress that everyone makes, as well as the impetus to continue developing their voices, as a result of concentrated time spent with Michael.

“Singing with Michael Harper invites us to let go of the anxieties that hold us tight and engage with his holistic approach to the use of body and voice. The result is a kind of alchemy which astonishes and delights in equal measure by enabling the discovery of the voice we possess but which we are so good at concealing. Five days with Michael are a joyful and enriching experience.”  David Riley

“This was a transformative week! Michael seems unique to me, in his ability to know what is going on in one’s body/mind and the blockages to true expression through singing. The way he worked with me was gentle, sensitive and compassionate. And to experience this in such a beautiful place care of Zarine and Jeremy feels a huge privilege – thank you.” Meretta Hart

 “Have come away with lots of exercises I can do – to improve my breathing and practice some movements which help me to sing out with confidence.” Jan Norton

“Inspiring and transformative…plus wonderful food and company. Thanks to everyone” Jackie Jones

Michael Harper is a countertenor, singing teacher and workshop facilitator.  He has worked internationally as a singer and teacher in the UK, U.S.A, China and many countries in Europe. He has sung at the Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House, the Geneva Ballet, the Megaron (Athens), and the Venice Dance Biennale.

As a teacher and workshop facilitator, he has worked with the Youth Music, SingUp, The Sage Gateshead, The National Theatre, and the Centre for Performance Research in Aberystwyth, the Asolo Song Festival, Pegasus Opera, The National Theatre (London) and choirs throughout the UK and in Germany.

He teaches masterclasses internationally; has singing studios in London, Bristol, Newbury, Frome, Newcastle and Oslo; and is Co-Creative Director for Sing for Water, London (The Mayor’s Thames Festival).

Michael’s singing retreat will take place in the Hall Barn which is an intimate space that also hosts meditation weeks and other group events. Arriving at 5.00pm on Tuesday evening with dinner and a short session and continuing from 10.00am-5.00pm on Wednesday to Saturday and  10.00am- 4.00pm on Sunday. Participants can stay in shared twin rooms in Alder Barn and Ash Barn or single rooms in Rowan Cabin and the new Studio.

Cost of the Retreat – Tuesday evening – Sunday 4.00pm

Workshop, full board and accommodation in a:

Single Rooms in the Studio and Rowan Cabin £400 (6 places)

Single Ladder Accessed Crog Loft in Ash and Alder Barns £360 (2 places)

Shared Twin Rooms in Ash and Alder Barns £350 (6 places)

Accommodation and Food The food will be vegetarian. There are 12 residential places for this retreat. Participants will be asked to help with clearing up and keeping the space alive and welcoming.

Please contact Zarine for more information or a booking form info@hillcottageretreats.co.uk