Costa Blanca Choirs Nigel Hopkins CV

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Nigel Hopkins


Hear Nigel Sing - link

Curriculum Vitae:

Born in Royal Leamington Spa in England, Nigel was introduced to
music as a chorister in the choir of All Saints church in his home town.
It was soon discovered that he posessed a fine treble voice and an
aptitude for sight-reading and musicianship. His love of liturgical music
continued into early adulthood when he joined the famous choir of the
Collegiate church of St. Mary, Warwick. With them, as tenor soloist, he
travelled on concert tours in the United States of America, Germany,
Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and Holland. Professional performances
in oratorios followed through great demand, and he became a much
sought-after soloist throughout the UK

Nigel's musical interests spread in several directions and he soon found
himself performing in opera, musical theatre and the concert platform,
excelling in all genres. At the request of a well-known Operatic Society
for whom he had performed several times as principal tenor, he took
over as conductor and musical director of the group. His success in
this field was instantaneous, and he became sought-after by other well
established musical groups, including musical theatre societies and a
championship Male Voice choir (Coventry Phoenix MVC) with whom he
won many competitions.

Operatic experience

Nigel's operatic performances including the principal tenor roles in
such works as Rigoletto, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, Carmen, Don
Pasquale, Magic Flute and Cosi Fan Tutte. His roles in the Puccini
operas Madame Butterfly and La Boheme won critical acclaim, and he
repeated these many times as a freelance professional performer.

Oratorio experience

Nigel performed most of the standard oratorio repertoire, and he
became much in demand for his performances of Messiah, The
Crucifixion, and Elijah. His London debut in 1980 at St. Martin in the
Fields, Trafalgar Square featured the Bach Magnificat conducted by the
world's greatest Bach conductor, Dr Max Pommer of Leipzig, and was
greeted with rave reviews by the London press.

Orchestral / Choral conducting experience

Nigel has great experience conducting some of the famous orchestras
in the UK, and several world-class soloists. During his own Promenade
Concert series, lasting five years, he conducted the East of England
orchestra, English Symphony orchestra (twice) - whose principal
conductor was Yehudi Menuhin - and the award-winning London
Sinfonia. Soloists under Nigel's baton included Julian Lloyd Webber
(Elgar Cello Concerto), Peter Donohoe (Grieg Piano Concerto), Carlos
Bonell (Rodrigo Guitar Concerto, and Roger Coull (Bruch Violin
Concerto).

Along with many performances with his own Midlands
Festival Orchestra, including very many choral concerts, Nigel also
gave conducting Master Classes for emerging conductors, passing on
his experience and knowledge to many young professionals.

Children's Choir and Teaching Young Voices

Nigel is one of the most experienced conductors/teachers of children in
the UK. His love of teaching children commenced almost by accident. In
1980 Nigel was conducting a run of Rodgers & Hammerstein's 'Sound of
Music' for a two week period in his home town of Leamington Spa. He
required two teams of seven excellent child soloists, and auditioned 132
children from which he picked and trained the 14 children required. The
show was a huge success, with many accolades for the children and
their trainer. However, Nigel realised that in choosing these children, he
had rejected nearly 120 others who wished to sing. As a result of this he
advertised for children to join a children's choir (Royal Leamington Spa
Children's Choir) and accepted 84 children from the auditioned singers.
This choir went from strength to strength, became the major musical
group in the town, and ventured on four different European tours to
both Germany and Spain in the 28 consecutive years that the choir
sang.

Whilst performing in Germany the country's press and TV named the
choir as the 'Little Ambassadors of Leamington Spa' as they were
astounded at both their behaviour and their musical prowess.

Choral Groups

During the 1980s and 1990s Nigel, whilst still maintaining his demand as
a professional soloist in all musical genres, formed and conducted his
own groups of singers; also his own professional orchestra (Midlands
Festival Orchestra) which he has since handed over to his very talented
son, Matthew, who is presently director of music at Nottingham Trent
University in the UK.

For 30 years now Nigel has been a vocal tutor of excellence. He has
specialised in teaching children from the age of six years upwards, and
making them proficient in vocal technique and performance technique
in which he has himself excelled for several decades. Many of his
former pupils have established singing careers in both opera and the
West End. One of Europe's most sought-after operatic sopranos, Emma
Bell, spent her first seven years of singing education in the RLSCC (as
above). Others are presently leading principals in the West End or on
the world's Cruise Ships.

Choral Workshops

Nigel has organised and conducted innumerous choral or solo
workshops. In the UK he would run courses for choral society members
- and their conductors - on music ranging from Mozart, Faure and Rutter Requiems, Messiah, Crucifixion, Vivaldi Gloria, etc. to musical theatre music. During these workshops Nigel would always hold a soloists' Master Class, using his great experience as both performer and vocal teacher in both vocal and performance techniques. Many members of regular choral groups are grateful to Nigel for starting them off singing in these workshops.

For several years Nigel lectured at Warwick University as a choral
lecturer with his self-made and written course, "Choral Singing for the
Beginner" which introduced many to the joys of choral singing.
In 2001 Nigel took his well-known Children's Choir (RLSCC) to Spain
where they performed in the famous Montserrat Monastery and
Barcelona Cathedral. In 2007 he then took his UK mixed choir, 'Let's
Sing' to Spain for a concert tour. This proved such a success that local
groups asked him to return the following year to give a workshop which would improve their standards of choral singing. This resulted in the formation of the International West End Choral Workshop - Spain, which has for five years now been an annual event.

Move to Spain

In 2009 Nigel moved to Spain to live where in no time he has established
four high-standard choral groups. These include a 70 strong mixed
chorus which performs a musical/popular music repertoire, Cantemos!
Youth Choir with many different nationalities among its members, the 35 strong Orihuela Costa Male Voice Choir, and 'In Harmony', a very high
quality auditioned chamber choir who sing basically liturgical music
and secular song.
Nigel has a private teaching practise which is mostly talented teenagers
and the better adult soloists who live on the Costas. He regularly sends
pupils back to the UK for examination as that service is not currently
available in Spain.