About Bridget De Courcy
Bridget de Courcy is a vocal coach offering singing lessons to people of all ages. Based in North London, Bridget caters to the singing needs of people from the local areas, namely:
• Muswell Hill
• Camden Town
• Kentish Town
• Golders Green
• Crouch End
As well as people throughout London.
Biography – Bridget’s History
Bridget attended the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, during her final term the singing teacher arranged for her to audition with the principle of the Birmingham School of Music. She was offered a four year Singers scholarship. Two days later she was offered a one year acting contract to play a range of roles at The Everyman Theatre, Liverpool. She chose the latter. Throughout her successful acting career she continued her singing studies combining her work in Repertory and Film with Musicals, Concert and Operatic Productions.
Following a six month National Tour performing two Oscar Wilde plays Bridget decided to limit her acting work to study with a highly recommended singing teacher who advised she take two lessons a week over a two year period to acquire the skills to perform the classical repertoire. The Arts Council awarded her a small bursary toward her fees. Over years, different teachers had had contrasting opinions of Bridget’s vocal classification. Initially she was a contralto; later a mezzo soprano, then a coloratura mezzo, next a spinto soprano and finally a lyric soprano. This teacher negated all previous categorisations; she was, she was told, a dramatic soprano.
Initially the sound she was encouraged to produce was full, loud and exciting. But after eighteen months this new, ‘big’ voice began to feel thick and heavy and she struggled to support it. After two years, she developed a vibrato and the pitch was difficult to control. She described the sensation as trying to dance wearing hob-nail boots. Assured this was part of a process, she persevered.
Three years later, her physical health debilitated, her judgment clouded and confused, her voice collapsed. Her love of communication, of performance, was over. She was, she said, unwittingly trapped in an incomprehensible, lonely, shameful abyss.
One year later the internationally renowned Eduardo Asquez loved and respected for his teaching and for his unique talent in restoring damaged voices (the soprano Marie Collier being the most eminent) persuaded her to “sing” to him. It is said he was to work with Maria Callas during her vocal crises but, sadly, she died. This meeting and the work that followed changed her life. Confronting, intense and inspiring, note by note, phrase by phrase he re-established and re-aligned her voice. She learned from practical experience diagnostic and correction techniques and, with his support, regained the full use of her voice and continued to study and perform the lyric soprano repertoire.
Bridget was invited to teach singing at the Actors Centre in Covent Garden, London; she taught at the Centre for nineteen years developing the skills she studied with Eduardo. Working with so many diverse needs enabled her to develop her knowledge, fascination and love of teaching .
She “covered” for singing teachers at The City Lit and ran Opera Workshops for the Inner London Education Authority. She worked as music and drama therapist for Shape, an organisation funded by the Gulbenkian Foundation and the Arts Council of Great Britain.
Bridget works as coach, free-lance teacher and singers vocal therapist from her studio in North London. She has students from Camden Town, Kentish Town, Hampstead, Highgate, Golders Green, Finchley, Crouch End, Hendon, Nationally and Internationally.