Benjamin Appl and Gary Matthewman masterclasses in Dublin

24 November 2015

As part of their Music Network tour, baritone Benjamin Appl and pianist Gary Matthewman hosted voice and piano masterclasses with music students of the Royal Irish Academy of Music and DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama on 18 November 2015.

Following an introduction from Kathleen Tynan, Head of Vocal Studies and Opera at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Benjamin Appl's masterclass began with four duos from RIAM and DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama.

Appl worked with the students on many elements of performance including: narrative and characters in each song; emotional context; German pronunciation; breath control; tempo, and stage presence. A short Q&A session followed; an opportunity for students to benefit from the knowledge and experience of a world-class performer.

Matthewman hosted masterclasses with four different duos, focusing on energy of breath, the meaning of motifs and harmonic lines in piano, internalisation of character, and staging of songs. He also discussed the relationship between singer and pianist, and the importance of a mutual understanding regarding emotion and reasoning behind every element of a song.

With thanks to Ciara Higgins (Head of Artistic Programming at the Royal Irish Academy of Music); Kathleen Tynan (Head of Vocal Studies and Opera at the Royal Irish Academy of Music); Mairead Hurley (DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama); and David Mooney (Head of Department of Keyboard Studies at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama).

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Student reaction:

"I enjoyed learning more about German pronounciation and singing in German. The interpretation aspect of the masterclass was also very interesting." - DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama student

"Getting a detailed critique from someone very experienced in this repertoire was very helpful." - RIAM student

"The professional and informed teacher had many beneficial points to give." - DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama student

Read more about the tour here.