Boxwood Festival Canada
Bel canto with Edmund Brownless
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
(click to enlarge)
Canto with Edmund Brownless
"A worker needs good tools" said one of his teachers. That's why Edmund
Brownless believes completely in bel canto. It is a sound, effective
and healthy way to sing. Bel canto teaches singers to use both
registers together. Singers have used both registers in just about all periods -
whether it be for medieval, classical or popular music today. Bel canto is
therefore the perfect technique for all singing styles. So
many young singers today ruin their voices by pushing up a weak lower
register. Bel canto encourages the strengthening of this and the upper
register, allowing singers to "belt" in a safe, natural way. If you
have a good technique (and there
are, as Marchesi once said, only two schools of technique: the good one and the bad one)
then you can sing anything. You don't change the technique - just the
These courses are aimed at anyone who wants to learn to sing better.
Whether you sing early music, are a coloratura soprano or prefer folk
music, then these courses in bel canto are for you. Edmund Brownless'
students in Frankfurt have gone on to careers in Early Music, Oratorio
and Lied, as well as Musicals - one studied Jazz-singing at the Hochschule
für Musik in Frankfurt and two others have been full-time voice teachers at
the same institution. Full marks for bel canto!
Edmund Brownless was born in Norwich, England and sang as chorister in
the choir of Hereford Cathedral. After emigrating to Nova Scotia he
studied with Prof. Marie McCarthy at Acadia University and with Prof.
Jan Simons at McGill University, where he received B. Mus. and M. Mus.
degrees in voice. Later, he studied with Richard Levitt at the Schola
Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland and had lessons with Cornelius L.
Reid in New York. He also participated in master classes with Alfred
Deller, Emma Kirkby, Nigel Rogers and Andrea von Ramm. As a soloist he
has performed throughout Europe and North America and sings on many
recordings, notably with the Bach Ensemble (Joshua Rifkin), Sequentia (Benjamin Bagby), Ensemble Gilles Binchois (Dominique
Vellard), and the Clemencic Consort (René Clemencic). From 1990-2021 he taught voice at Dr. Hoch's Conservatorium in Frankfurt am Main and is the
director of Das Consort Franckfort and the Vokalensemble Alta Musica.
Edmund Brownless has written a substantial article on vocal technique: "Thoughts on Simple
Singing: Towards a More Adequate Vocal Terminology" in: The Modern
Singing Master: Essays in Honor of Cornelius L. Reid.