Neil Howlett’s thirty years experience as a successful teacher of all voice types has accompanied a profound study of eighteenth and nineteenth century vocal teaching resulting in a personal method based firmly on the historic Italian School. He believes the ideal voice should be even throughout a range of over two octaves, agile and strong, capable of a good clear trill in all voices and with clear resonant diction. In addition, it should be able to swell and diminish, and colour tone at will. Such a voice will be resonant, ringing and beautiful. ‘Strive for the quality and the quantity will come’ – an old Italian maxim.
Neil has a particular interest in the rehabilitation of voices with problems. The improvement of any voice is the removal of vocal faults, he says. Eliminate them all and you have the perfect singer! All vocal problems at bottom are muscular, and the correct retraining of muscles will remove them.
After forty years experience on stage in a wide range of repertoire, Neil can also offer individual coaching in the characterization and interpretation of operatic roles. His keen observation of the excellent and the not so excellent has resulted in a deep insight into how to do it!
- Private teacher of all voice types and freelance lecturer
- 1974 – 1992 Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London
Professor of singing
Lecturer and examiner in vocal pedagogy
- 1991 – 1992 Trinity College of Music, London
Producer of opera workshops
French Song masterclasses
Lectures in career building
- 1992 – 2000 Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester
Head of Vocal School (1992-1996)
Director of Repertoire Studies (1996-2000)
Introduced technical standards for undergraduate course
Lectured in vocal pedagogy, history of opera and the ‘bel canto’ tradition
Presented masterclasses in operatic repertoire, Italian song and Lieder
Produced operatic excerpts
- Former students in opera houses and opera studios as well as teaching throughout Europe
- Speaks German, French and Italian, with working knowledge of Spanish and Russian
- Particular interest in the rehabilitation of voices with problems
- Individual coaching in the characterization, expression and interpretation