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Mary King

Job Role: Head of Vocal Studies

Department: Vocal


Mary’s solo singing career encompassed a wide range of operatic and concert repertoire with a specialisation in the contemporary classical canon. As a teacher, coach, broadcaster and writer, her professional experience covers many genres of music.

Focussing on the training of singers, she designed English National Opera’s The Knack course which ran for 12 years; worked in drama, music theatre, classical and contemporary classes for the WAPPA in Australia, and now as Vocal Talent Consultant at Glyndebourne where she has devised a training scheme for singers of potential who have faced barriers to making a path into classical music.

She created and was director of Southbank Centre’s Voicelab which led to diverse projects, from chorus mastering Bernstein’s Mass for performances in the Royal Festival Hall conducted by Marin Alsop, through to community singing events with thousands on the banks of the Thames, as well as professional casting (Carmen Jones, Sweeney Todd, Lost in the Stars) and collaborations with Elbow; Billy Bragg; Paco Pena and Bobby McFerrin.

Equally at home in Musical Theatre, she has taught at the Royal Academy of Music, and Arts Ed as well as being voice coach on many West End shows.

She is known as a regular broadcaster on both radio and television, and as a regular pundit on BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. She has authored a series of coaching books for Boosey and Hawkes and also co-wrote The Singer’s Handbook, published by Faber.


Mary has had a long involvement with outreach and teaching, working with all the major companies in the UK as well as running training programmes both at home and abroad. During Mary's long association with English National Opera. She devised and ran a highly successful performance skills course, 'The Knack', for eleven years, and between 2004 and 2006 she was also an Artistic Associate for the company.

Between 2007 and 2013 she created and led Southbank Centre’s ‘Voicelab’, a role which embraced everything from casting professional projects to creating and training numerous choirs and small ensembles. From 2013 onwards she has taught regularly at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in Perth. Currently she teaches at the Royal Academy of Music on the Musical Theatre course, (and where she also runs an annual programme: Vocal Workout Weekend) and the Arts Educational School (ArtsEd). In 2017/18 Mary worked as Vocal Coach for the Actors Touring Company on their acclaimed production of Aeschyus’ The Suppliant Women at London’s Young Vic and was Vocal Director for performances of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS at London’s Southbank Centre.

Mary is currently Vocal Talent Consultant at Glyndebourne where she has trained children for GFO performances of Carmen, The Cunning Little Vixen, The Damnation of Faust, La Boheme and where she is director of the Glyndebourne Academy – a biennial programme for talented singers who have faced barriers to their progression as professionals of the future. She works as a vocal coach for a number of West End shows including Oklahoma! (Young Vic); My Fair Lady (Coliseum) and Little Night Music and Into the Woods for Opera North. She also offers 1-1 vocal teaching for professional singers

Notable Achievements

Mary is increasingly widely known through her work on television and radio. She was one of the driving forces behind Channel 4's award-winning Operatunity, and on Musicality, also on Channel 4. She has appeared on BBC TV as the expert analyst for the Cardiff Singer of the World competitions since 2003 and is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3.

She is also in demand as a writer. In 2007 The Singer's Handbook (Faber) was published, co-written with Anthony Legge. This has been followed by a series of selected vocal repertoire collections with coaching notes, The Boosey Voice Coach (Boosey & Hawkes).

Mary is an Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, an Honorary Fellow of Rose Bruford College and a Fellow of the Northern College of Music.

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