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
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.