Since 1994 Christopher Underwood, together with his colleague Timothy Dean, Head of Opera, has led a team of dedicated vocal tutors, movement and language teachers, coaches and repetiteurs at 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 the first 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 of the major figures of the 20 th Century in that field. Betty Bannermann, Pierre Bernac, Camille Maurane and Hugues Cuenod.
His own successes as a singer in a number of competitions, including winning the Prize for French Song at the 1980 Paris International Competition, led to a busy concert career in Britain and Europe, but increasingly through his work as Assistant Head of Vocal Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music from 1986-1994, and subsequently as Head of Vocal Studies at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, he has focussed on teaching and overseeing the development of singers 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 International Singing Competitions in Munich and London
His philosophy of singing is based on the importance of a correct and steadily developed technical foundation involving the whole person, inextricably linked with the singers’ understanding of, and emotional connection with the composers’ musical statement, and the drama and poetry of the text.
The increasing number of singers from all round the world who have studied at the RSAMD and who are now making their mark in the profession, will, he hopes, be known for singing with clear voice, secure technique and above all imagination and communicative intention.