Since 1994 Christopher Underwood, together with his colleague Timothy Dean, Head of Opera, hasled a team of dedicated vocal tutors, movement and language teachers, coaches and repetiteursat the RSAMD, in training the next generation of opera and concert singers.
In recognition of his contribution to the world of singing he was recently awarded one of thefirst two Professorships of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
This reflected in particular his expertise in French repertoire, and his studies with some ofthe major figures of the 20th Century in that field. Betty Bannermann, Pierre Bernac, Camille Maurane and HuguesCuenod.
His own successes as a singer in a number of competitions, including winning the Prize forFrench Song at the 1980 Paris International Competition, led to a busy concert career in Britainand Europe, but increasingly through his work as Assistant Head of Vocal Studies at the RoyalNorthern College of Music from 1986-1994, and subsequently as Head of Vocal Studies at the RoyalScottish Academy of Music and Drama, he has focussed on teaching and overseeing the development ofsingers for all areas of the profession. He has given masterclasses in Argentina, Iceland,Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Italy and France and the USA, and been on the Jury of InternationalSinging Competitions in Munich and London
His philosophy of singing is based on the importance of a correct and steadily developedtechnical foundation involving the whole person,inextricably linked with the singers’understanding of, and emotional connection with the composers’ musical statement, and the drama andpoetry of the text.
The increasing number of singers from all round the world who have studied at the RSAMD andwho are now making their mark in the profession, will, he hopes, be known for singing with clearvoice, secure technique and above all imagination and communicative intention.