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).

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.

singing school york

Developing voices

The De Costa Academy takes great pleasure in developing young voices, setting singers up for a future singing career and it's pupils are very active across the region.

York Minster Choir

The Academy has a long association with pupils singing in the Choir of York Minster, and several Minster Directors of Music have observed lessons in the Academy.

Students of the Academy have been some of the youngest to join the choir, becoming Head Choristers, and featuring as soloists on recordings and broadcasts. Pupil Sophie Gibson is just reaching the end of her time as a Senior Chorister; her brother remains in the choir, and seven–year–old Hattie Talbot has been offered a place as a probationer from September.

Theatre College and Conservatoires

The Academy has a fine record of preparing students for GCSE and A-Level exams and then auditions for Theatre College, Conservatoire or University. In recent years, pupils have gone to Italia Conti, Guildford School of Acting, Royal Central School, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland among others.

Students also take many of the leading roles in Musical Theatre and Operatic productions across York.

Associated Board Exams

The Academy is proud of its record that every student presented to the Associated Board (ABRSM) has succeeded in achieving their designated grade. Many pupils acheive results of Merit and Distinction; the highest mark received has been an incredible 146/150.

Never too late to learn

It is not just young voices that develop at the Academy. We have many students who don't start lessons until retirement age, and then have much success singing to a high standard on stage or with choirs and choral societies in Yorkshire. Age is never a barrier to vocal development.

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

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

01904 610 341