Singing Teacher & Vocal Coach
WelcomeOlivia Whelan is an internationally acclaimed soprano opera singer with over 20 years experience of working with some of the world's leading opera houses, orchestras and conductors.
She is a knowledgeable and inspiring singing teacher and vocal coach to singers and actors of all ages, ability and styles. Her students range from successful established professional pop, opera and musical theatre artists to amateurs who sing for fun.
Olivia has an impressive track record in solving vocal problems, deterioration and re-training. She also works with a range of celebrity personalities and business people at building their presentation skills, vocal projection and confidence.
For more information about Olivia Whelan's opera career visit www.oliviawhelan.com
2016Harrogate International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival
Good luck to Olivia's student Mehreen Shah (soprano) who will be playing the female lead role of Yum Yum in the Bournemouth Gilbert & Sullivan Society's production of The Mikado at the prestigious Harrogate International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival during August 2016.Jul
2016West End Masterclass Success
Congratulations to Olivia's talented 15 year old student Mia Ponticorvo who has been selected to join the prestigious West End Masteclass course in London from September 2016. This highly prestigious course is a weekly Sunday masterclass in the heart of London's West End where a small hand-picked group of talented performers train and prepare for a successful career in Musical Theatre coached by West End performers and top industry professionals.Jul
2016Singing Exams & Festival Successes
Congratulations to all of Olivia's students on their extremely high marks in their Trinity and ABRSM examiations this summer. Congratulations also to those students who won their classes at the Bournemouth Music and Drama Festival.Jun
Congratulations to two of Olivia's students on their successful and critically acclaimed performances as the lead roles in the recent sold out production of Spamalot at Christchurch Regent Centre during June 2016. Mark Everitt (baritone) is playing the lead role of King Arthur and Rossano Sal (tenor) is playing Sir Galahad. Beg, steal or borrow a ticket to this outstanding sold out production!Mar
2016Drama School & Conservatoire success
Congratulations to Olivia's students who have successfully been offered places at Conservatoire and Drama school. Particular mention must go to Ruth Mills (soprano) who was offered on the spot an unconditional place at the Welsh Conservatoire of Music and Drama for her masters degree. Ruth will be commencing her 2 year course in September 2016.Apr
2016Mantovanni Orchestra - Gala Concert
Congratulations to Rossano Sal (tenor) on his outstanding performance as the Guest Singer with the Mantovanni Orchestra at Bournemouth Pavillion in April 2016. His performances of Nessun Dorma, Con Te Partiro (Time to Say Goodbye) and popular Neopolitan songs ringing around the Pavillion theatre will be remembered for many years and his standing ovation was richly deserved!Oct
2015Bournemouth Gilbert & Sullivan Society - Ruddigore
Congratulations to two of Olivia's students on their successful and critically acclaimed performances as the lead female roles in Bournemouth Gilbert & Sullivan Society's production of Ruddigore at Poole Lighthouse during October 2015. Ruth Mills is playing soprano lead Rose Maybud and Roseanna Bowen is Mad Margaret. Also starring in this new production in a featured role is another of Olivia's students - Tanya Lerchenborg.Sep
2015Music Conservatoire & Stage School
Congratulations to all students starting at Music Conservatoire and Stage School this term. Good luck to you all as you embark on the next chapter of your careers at the Royal Northern College of Music, the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and Arts Ed.Aug
2015BBC's The Voice
Congratulations to tenor Rossano Sol who has been selected for the BBC's 2015 series of The Voice. Fans of this wonderful tenor can also watch him live performing a selection of classical and musical theatre songs as the Guest Soloist with the Mantovani Orchestra during Easter 2016 at Bournemouth Pavillion Theatre.Jul
2015WINNER - Bournemouth Music & Drama Festival Competition
Congratulations to soprano Roseanna Bowen who has won the overall prize of Adult Singer of the Year at the Bournemouth Music & Drama Festival Competition. She also won the Opera Aria class, Gilbert & Sullivan solo class and the Stage Musicals Duet class where she performed with another of Olivia's students, the tenor Rossano Sal. Well done to you both!Dec
2014Panto - Sleeping Beauty
Olivia's student Kelli Maybank will be starring as Prince Charming in the pantomime Sleeping Beauty at the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham between November 2014 to January 2015.Nov
2014Music Conservatoire Auditions
Good Luck to all students auditioning over the next few weeks for a place on the undergraduate and postgraduate vocal & opera courses at the main music conservatoires (including Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Royal Academy of Music, Royal Northern College of Music and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland).Oct
2014Bournemouth Gilbert & Sullivan Society
Olivia's student, 22 year old Roseanna Bowen will be starring in the lead role of Mabel in Bournemouth Gilbert & Sullivan Society's production of the Pirates of Penzance at Poole Lighthouse Theatre between 22-25 October 2014. Joining her in this production in a featured role will be another of Olivia's students - 21 year old baritone Aaron Hayes.Sep
Congratulations to those students who have successfully auditioned and been invited to join Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Bournemouth Bach Choir.Aug
2014New album launch - Australia
Olivia's new album CASTA DIVA was the featured album of the week and received its official Australian radio launch.Jun
2014New album launch - Casta Diva
Olivia's new album CASTA DIVA features some of her favourite arias including Casta Diva from Norma, Vissi d'arte from Tosca, Pace Pace from La Forza del Destino and È strano!...Sempre libera from La Traviata.Apr
2014Album & Tour
Olivia's student and acclaimed indie singer/songwriter and guitarist, Pete Uhlenbruch will be touring Germany and the Czech Republic with his new album Owls of the Swamp - Atlas which features 10 new haunting and atmospheric songs. The album is available through Labelship and can be downloaded from itunes.Feb
2013Film Advisor - Quartet
Olivia Whelan was invited to be the opera adviser for the international smash hit film Quartet starring Dame Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly and directed by Dustin Hoffman. The film tells the story of four retired opera singers growing old disgracefully!
ServicesSINGING TEACHER - VOCAL COACH - MENTOR
Olivia Whelan is more than just a singing teacher. At her studio (based in the beautiful beach resort town of Bournemouth) her students are carefully selected after an initial intense consultation lesson where she quickly identifies the strengths and weaknesses of each student and builds a short and long term bespoke programme of tuition to enable each student to realise their ambitions.
topics covered include:
- SINGING LESSONS
- VOCAL COACHING
- VOICE THERAPY (spoken or sung)
- MUSIC STYLES:
opera & classical
indie & rock
jazz & blues
- VOCAL TECHNIQUE
- VOICE PRODUCTION
- BREATHING & SUPPORT
- VOCAL PROBLEMS (spoken or sung)
- MUSIC & DRAMATIC INTERPRETATION
- PERFOMANCE SKILLS
- ACTING & STAGECRAFT
- AUDITION TECHNIQUE
- CAREER DEVELOPMENT
- MARKETING & PROMOTION
- POSTURE & RELAXATION
- STAGE SCHOOL & DRAMA SCHOOL AUDITIONS
- CONSERVATOIRE & MUSIC COLLEGE AUDITIONS
- ABRSM & TRINITY MUSIC EXAMS
- PRESENTATION & LECTURE TECHNIQUES
- BODY LANGUAGE TRAINING
- LECTURER & MENTOR
Case StudiesOlivia Whelan has worked with an extensive range of students - each with different levels of experience and varying tuition requirements.
One size does NOT fit all!
Please browse the list below to see a sample selection of some recent student case studies.
Case Study 1 - Opera Singer
A university music student came for a consultation lesson having been singing alto in her local choir and frustrated that her voice got tired quickly and her throat was always sore after singing. Olivia immediately identified that the student was actually a soprano with a rich and powerful 2 1/2 octave range voice but she had never been taught how to breathe, support or project her voice through a relaxed and natural vocal technique. Olivia built a programme of basic and advanced vocal technique, intense breathing and support training combined with introduction to acting, musical interpretation, foreign language skills and confidence building. This student is now building a highly successful career as a professional opera singer and taking on lead roles in Mozart, Puccini and Gilbert & Sullivan.
Case Study 2 - Musical Theatre
A professional classically trained actress came for a consultation lesson looking for advice and help on how to sing because she had never been taught at drama school and needed to sing in forthcoming productions. Olivia discovered that this actress had an outstanding natural and powerful voice but lacked any confidence when it came to singing. By working together on building a solid vocal technique, re-training her breathing to be richer and deeper, combining dramatic interpretation with musical interpretation and increasing both her confidence and vocal stamina this student has now developed into an outstanding musical theatre actress with an impressive yet relaxed "belting" voice and is taking on lead roles in a wide variety of both acting and musical theatre productions throughout the UK.
Case Study 3 - Songwriter & Guitarist
A professional singer/songwriter came for a consultation lesson wanting help to build his vocal stamina for a forthcoming international album tour. Olivia realised that although he was a natural born musician, he lacked any training or knowledge of how to sing and hid behind his outstanding guitar playing so that his voice was more of a background accompaniment. By focusing on his confidence, basic technique and musical identity as a lead singer (without his guitar!) he has discoverd an extra octave to his voice and found that his songwriting can be more challenging because he is no longer restricted by any vocal limitations. He is currently working on and recording a new album that embraces his new vocal and musical abilites with an international tour to follow in mid-2015.
Case Study 4 - Speech Therapy
A teacher at a local school had been recommended by both a Speech Therapist and E.N.T. consultant through their local NHS trust to work with Olivia because the student's vocal chords were not opening and closing properly causing constant vocal fatigue (during both singing and speaking), raspy speech and constant soreness of the throat. Olivia quicly identified that this student was forcing their speaking voice into an uncomfortably higher pitch when speaking to younger chidren and not supporting their voice when trying to speak louder. Within a few weeks, Olivia had introduced basic singing and speech production techniques, re-trained the student in how to breathe correctly, improved their posture and physical stance and taught the student how to project both their singing and speaking voice in a relaxed, effective and comfortable way. At a 6 month hospital check-up, the endescopy (camera looking at vocal chords) revealed that the vocal chords were functioning correctly and cleanly and the student no longer suffered any vocal problems. The student has enjoyed her lessons so much that she has decided to continue her singing studies for her own pleasure and is currently working towards her ABRSM Singing Grade 8 exam in autumn 2016.
This is what her students say...
“I came to Olivia for a few ‘emergency’ lessons because I had been given a solo to sing in my choir and I did not feel at all confident about this, as I knew my technique was very poor. 14 months later I am still learning so much from her and thoroughly enjoying the lessons. She is a fantastic teacher, taking me on and out of my comfort zone in many ways, but only at a rate that I can handle, with the result that I have improved far more than I ever thought possible, and indeed have changed my whole approach to learning songs. She is helping me to gain a solid technique with graded exercises that are building my stamina, tone and agility, and has helped me so much with interpretation and communication through singing songs that I never would have previously thought of looking at. It does not matter that my style and interests are very different from hers; she is very knowledgeable and interesting, able to work with many different genres and she encourages me to branch out and try different types of song. She is a holistic teacher and the lessons always make me feel better; a couple of times I have been in a very dark place when I arrived, and Olivia used the music to work her therapy on me. She is professional, inspiring, systematic and above all, caring; the qualities of a top-range teacher. I cannot recommend her highly enough...”,
Liz R (Music Teacher & Piano Tutor)
“Over the past year and a half I have learnt and developed more than I could have ever imagined. I never realised the voice I had and now know why a professional teacher is so important. Olivia has given me so much confidence in and outside of singing and I'd recommend her to anyone who is looking to develop their voice...”
Sophie B (Aged 16)
“I chose Olivia to teach my 3 daughters for their singing lessons after years of wasting time and money on other singing teachers. The girls really look forward to their lessons and have developed a great relationship Olivia whom they respect very much. During their time with Olivia they have learnt many skills on voice technique and have grown in confidence. She is very committed in getting the best out of them and encourages them to sing a wide range of songs. We are happy with the lessons and Olivia is very approachable and welcoming...”
Nahid P (Mother - Daughters aged 14, 15 & 18)
“I came to Olivia on the recommendation of one of her previous students. After 8 years of struggling with serious speaking problem, I had seen all the leading speech therapists, voice coaches and E.N.T specialists throughout the UK with no success - I even had Botox injected into my vocal chords! By the time I contacted Olivia I was at my lowest ebb and had given up on any chance of ever recovering my speaking voice. However, at our first consultation session, Olivia immediately identified that the problem was not vocal but caused by a diaphragm spasm that was significantly affecting my breathing and therefore preventing me from producing any sound when I spoke. Over the past 18 months, through careful guidance, specially designed exercises and constant support, Olivia has managed to achieve what no one else could do – to give me back my voice and the positivity and confidence I feel at the end of every lesson is phenomenal!...”
Dean M (Pharmacist)
RecordingsPlease mute the 'SOUND CONTROL' for this website (which can be found in the bottom right corner of your screen) before selecting tracks from Olivia's latest album CASTA DIVA
D'amor sull ali rosee
Il Trovatore (Verdi)
Pace, pace mio dio!
La Forza del Destino (Verdi)
La Traviata (Verdi)
Bournemouth Symphony Chorus 90th Anniversary
Child of our Time
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Policy last updated on 1 July
©2016 Olivia Whelan & Maestro Artists.
All rights reserved. Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form.
* Olivia's latest album 'Casta Diva' was launched in Summer 2014 *
With her sumptuous dramatic coloratura soprano voice, consummate musical artistry and compelling stage presence, Olivia Whelan (née Keen) has built an impressive reputation as one of the most exciting and engaging artists within the current generation of opera singers. Her rich, distinctive and lustrous voice (spanning an impressive 3½ octaves range) combined with her impressive vocal agility and fine acting skills, continues to enchant audiences throughout the world.
Olivia was born in 1975 and studied at Chetham’s School of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal College of Music. She has won numerous international singing competitions and the recipient of many awards including: winning the Dame Eva Turner Singing Competition, the Miriam Licette Award, 2nd Prize in the Frederic Cox Singing Competition and was selected as the UK representative to compete in the finals of both the Hans Gabor Belvedere International Singing Competition in Vienna and the Llangollen International Young Singer of the World Competition
Olivia was also honoured to be awarded scholarships from the Peter Moores Foundation, the Countess of Munster Trust, the Ian Fleming Trust, the Sybil Tutton Trust, the Wingate Foundation, the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal College of Music to assist her in her operatic training and development.
Her internationally acclaimed operatic roles include Fiordiligi (Così Fan Tutte) in Aix-en-Provence, Edinburgh Festival, Brighton Festival, Scottish Opera and British Youth Opera; Violetta (La Traviata); Tosca (Tosca); Mimi (La Bohème) with the Hallé Orchestra; Contessa (Le Nozze di Figaro) at Kazan Opera House in Russia, Europe and the UK; Mila (Osud) in the European premiere at Garsington Opera; Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus); Female Narrator (The Rape of Lucretia) in the RNCM’s multi-award winning production; and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Holland Park Festival, Longborough Festival Opera and throughout the UK.
Her concert experience includes Mozart’s Requiem with Brian Kay conducting the Manchester Camerata; Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Choral); Dvořák’s Stabat Mater; Verdi's Requiem; Elgar’s The Apostles at Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre; Dvořák’s Te Deum at Durham Cathedral; Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle and Stabat Mater; Beethoven’s Misa Solemnis with the Highgate Choral Society (part of the Highgate and Hampstead Festival); soprano soloist at the Aix en Provence Festival opera gala and numerous international concerts and opera galas.
Olivia was honoured to have been invited as the Guest Soloist at Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Last Night of the Proms at both the Bournemouth International Centre and the Brighton Centre; and critically acclaimed for her performance of Beethoven’s notorious concert aria Ah! Perfido conducted by Vassily Sinaisky. Olivia is also a regular on the recital platform and made both her South Bank and Wigmore Hall recital debuts to much acclaim as well as highly successful international recital debuts in Canada and the U.S.A.
TV, Radio & Film
Olivia regularly features on TV and radio including a Radio 3 broadcast of Handel's Messiah with the Halle Orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester; an ITV broadcast of Tippett’s Child of our Time with Robert Tear, Kokoro Ensemble and the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus to celebrate their 90th anniversary; a live Radio 3 broadcast of the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho's Chateau de L’ame with Kent Negano conducting the Halle Orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall and a televised masterclass with Sir Thomas Allen.
Olivia was recently invited to be the opera advisor for the international smash hit film Quartet starring Dame Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly and directed by Dustin Hoffman. Released in 2013, this film tells the story of 4 retired opera singers growing old disgracefully and features a who's who of British actors.
Never one to keep still, Olivia is in high demand on the lecture circuit as a presenter and guest speaker giving lectures, seminars and after-dinner speeches on a wide variety of topics including The History of Opera, Motivation, Understanding Body Language, PR & Marketing and The Art of Giving a Presentation.
In her spare time, Olivia is passionate about sharing her extensive knowledge and experience. She is regularly invited to give public masterclasses and is also a singing teacher and vocal coach to a small number of personally selected professional singers in the opera, musical theatre and pop music genres, where she works with them on core technical elements (e.g. vocal technique, breathing and support) but also exploring musical and dramatic interpretation, performance skills, marketing and career development.
Olivia lives in Bournemouth with her husband, ten year old daughter and her West Highland Terrier dog called Figaro!
singing teacher - voice coach