Eleanor Forbes

Programme planning: A multi-genre approach

This presentation discusses the benefits of the multi-genre approach in the voice studio or college situation and describes the planning process of a project at the Jazz Institute Berlin. Whether as performer or teacher, the planning of concert programmes is a task that takes up a lot of our time every year. A song recital with a quirky title that grabs people’s attention and guarantees ticket sales? An end of term concert that caters for every student’s individual needs yet provides the right amount of challenge and fulfils pedagogical goals? Mixing and matching themes and genres is one way of developing innovative programmes that capture the imagination and involve collaboration with others.

Born and brought up in Scotland, Eleanor Forbes completed a degree in German studies at Aberdeen University before attending the Royal College of Music in London to study singing with Lyndon van der Pump. There she attended the opera school and won several prizes. She also took part in masterclasses and courses given by Elisabeth Grümmer, Peter Pears, John Shirley-Quirk and Gérard Souzay. Over the years she has appeared regularly as opera and oratorio soloist and recitalist with a large and wide-ranging repertoire. Operatic roles included Adina (L’Elisir d’amore), Contessa (Le Nozze di Figaro), Despina and Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Zerlina and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Elisetta (Il Matrimonio Segreto) and the Singer/Organist in the German premiere of Costinescu’s The Musical Seminar (Tatort Musik). Chamber music with flute and guitar (Trio Terpsichore) and themed programmes with an actress and a guitarist (Words & Music) added to her versatility as a performer. Her long teaching career has involved work with jazz, pop and musical theatre singers as well as classical, and many of her students have developed successful careers.  A board member of the German Voice Teachers’ Association, she is also a qualified teacher (CMT) of Estill Voice Training and has been a regular member of the jury panel for Jugend musiziert, Germany’s young musicians’ competition. Eleanor currently holds an honorary professorship from the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler Berlin, where she teaches a class in vocal technique in the Jazz Institute Berlin. She also teaches at the University of Music in Dresden and was a vocal tutor at Stage Entertainment’s Joop van den Ende Academy in Hamburg from 2011-2016. She has presented at conferences in Germany and abroad and is in demand as vocal coach to experienced professional singers, due to her extensive knowledge of healthy vocal function.