CONTACT

If you have any questions or wish to make a booking please contact Rachel Haworth by email (singersabroad@gmail.com), who will supply you with an application form and payment details, and any further information you may require.  We endeavour to get back to all enquiries within 48 hours.

(c) 2019/20 Singers Abroad Ltd (Company number 11280120)

SIENA, TUSCANY, ITALY
TUESDAY 1 - SUNDAY 6 SEPTEMBER 2020

OVERVIEW

Singers Abroad holds its first ever course at Le Tolfe in Tuscany; a large historic 17-bedroom villa overlooking the Chianti hills and the enchanting medieval city of Siena. Housing some of Italy’s finest architecture, Siena’s intoxicating mix of art, culture and gastronomy creates an unforgettable feast for the senses – and a perfect backdrop to a singing course!

The course includes four days of singing under the direction of Graham Ross, leading to participation at Mass and a concert on the Saturday evening in the nearby Franciscan monastery, Basilica dell’Osservanza, which has an excellent acoustic for choral music. The repertoire for this course is ‘The composer chain’: a fascinating exploration of beautiful choral music spanning more than 500 years by composers who were taught by and influenced by each other. The music spans from Josquin's earliest motet and some of the dazzling poly-choral works of the Italian Renaissance school to works by fellow school-friends John Tavener and John Rutter. The programme is book-ended with two ravishing Marian motets, composed five centuries apart.

The course comprises a mix of serious chamber choir singing and time off between rehearsals to visit Siena, sample the excellent local Chianti wine, relax in the pool and gardens surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, or simply enjoy the serenity of the timeless surrounding landscape. There is an average of five hours singing per day, working towards the public Mass and concert on the Saturday evening.

Rehearsals, accommodation and all course meals take place on site, with spectacular panoramic views over the Sienese hills in every direction. Located 3km to the north-east of Siena, La Torre alle Tolfe (www.latorrealletolfe.com) is a 100-hectare working organic estate producing Chianti wine and oil. There is an excellent rehearsal space in the grounds of the villa, as well as a large living room with a Steinway grand piano. Bedrooms are serviced daily, and the villa has its own large unheated swimming pool, tennis court, boules court, billiards table and outdoor table tennis. Wifi is available in or near the dining room.

The course schedule allows participants time at leisure to explore the magnificent city of Siena on Thursday morning and Friday evening. With the exception of Thursday lunch and Friday dinner, all meals are included in the price of the course and are served with local wines. In addition, participants can enjoy an al fresco wine tasting on Thursday evening.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?

The Singers Abroad course is for those who love to sing together. With a maximum of only 30 singers on this course, participants should have a strong level of choral singing experience, good sight-reading skills, and have done some private preparation of the repertoire before the course begins. Singers of all ages can apply, either as individuals or with others. It should be noted that there are a very limited number of single rooms in the villa, and therefore this course is best suited to couples or friends willing to sharing a room.

The course runs from Tuesday evening, when we meet for a welcome reception and introductory dinner, to the closing performance at Mass and the concert and dinner on Saturday evening, with participants departing Sunday morning. Concert dress is white shirts/blouses with long black trousers/skirts. Participants should bring their own black folders for the concert. Non-singing partners are welcome to join us, subject to availability, at a discounted price. Participants may wish to extend their time in Tuscany with holidays in nearby San Gimignano, Greve in Chianti, Montepulciano, or Volterra.
 
Participants should bring their own copies of the repertoire: details of recommended editions and a link to scores that can be downloaded are circulated to participants after bookings have been confirmed.

 

BOOKINGS

Booking is now open for our summer course in Siena, Tuscany from 1–6 September 2020. We accept applications of all voice parts on a first-come first-served basis.

PRICINGS

The Singers Abroad course costs £995 per person sharing a room. It should be noted that there are a very limited number of single rooms in the accommodation, and that these will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. This course is best suited to couples or friends sharing a room. Subject to availability of rooms, there is a single-occupancy supplement of £38 per night. Non-singing partners sharing singers’ rooms are welcome, subject to availability, and pay a reduced fee of £845. A deposit of £250 per person is required when booking, which is non-refundable after the deadline of 1 May 2020. The full balance is required by 1 July 2020. There is an Early Bird 10% discount on the remaining balance for the first ten participants who pay in full by 14 January 2020.

 

What is provided in the cost?

The course includes:

  • five nights of bed & breakfast accommodation at Le Tolfe

  • a welcome reception on the opening night

  • musical tuition (in English) under the direction of Graham Ross

  • a Mass and concert in the nearby Basilica dell’Osservanza, a Renaissance Franciscan monastery with excellent acoustics

  • two visits to the medieval city of Siena

  • three group lunches and four group dinners with wine at the villa

  • a wine tasting on the Thursday evening before dinner

  • transfers to/from Siena and the Basilica dell’Osservanza

  • great music making and new friendships!

 

What is not provided in the cost?

The course does not include:

  • transportation to/from Le Tolfe

  • purchase of music

  • health/travel insurance: we recommend that all singers take out their own holiday and cancellation cover

 

Insurance

Singers Abroad Ltd is a company committed to customer satisfaction and consumer financial protection. We are therefore pleased to announce that, at no extra cost to you, and in accordance with '' The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018'' all passengers booking with Singers Abroad Ltd are fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form. The policy will also include repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Singers Abroad Ltd. This insurance has been arranged by Towergate Chapman Stevens through Zurich Insurance PLC.

 

Claims

In the unlikely event of Insolvency, you must Inform Towergate Chapman Stevens immediately on +44 (0) 1932 334140 or by email at tcs@towergate.co.uk. Please ensure you retain the booking confirmation as evidence of cover and value.

 

Policy exclusions: This policy will not cover any monies paid for Travel Insurance or any claim relating to Air Flights. If you have booked flights as part of your travel, you should ensure that the company with which you booked the flights has the appropriate CAA/ATOL bonds in place.

COURSE LEADER & CONDUCTOR

Graham Ross (www.grahamross.com) has established an exceptional reputation as a sought-after conductor and composer of a very broad range of repertoire. His performances around the world and his extensive discography have earned consistently high international praise. He is Fellow and Director of Music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he conducts the internationally-renowned Choir, and co-founder and Principal Conductor of The Dmitri Ensemble.

In demand as a regular guest conductor in the UK and abroad, his recent collaborations have included the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, London Philharmonic Choir, Aalborg Symfoniorkester, DR Vokal Ensemblet, Australian Chamber Orchestra and the BBC Singers.

In recent seasons his work has taken him to Sydney Opera House, Washington’s Library of Congress, Notre Dame Cathedral, Sagrada Familia and across Europe. At the age of 25 he made his BBC Proms and Glyndebourne debuts, with other opera work taking him to Jerusalem, London, Aldeburgh and Provence. He studied music at Clare College, Cambridge and conducting at the Royal College of Music, London.

OUTLINE SCHEDULE

Tuesday 1 September 2020

Check-in from 5pm onwards at Le Tolfe, Siena
7pm welcome evening drinks reception
Four-course dinner together at Le Tolfe

 
Wednesday 2 September 2020
Morning rehearsal
Lunch together at Le Tolfe

Afternoon rehearsal
Three-course group dinner at Le Tolfe

 
Thursday 3 September 2020
Free morning in Siena

Afternoon rehearsal
Wine tasting

Three-course pizza dinner together at Le Tolfe

 

Friday 4 September 2020

Morning rehearsal
Lunch together at Le Tolfe

Afternoon rehearsal
Free evening in Siena

 

Saturday 5 September 2020

Morning rehearsal Basilica dell’Osservanza

Lunch together at Le Tolfe

Free afternoon

7pm concert at Basilica dell’Osservanza

Four-course dinner together at Le Tolfe

 

Sunday 6 September 2020

Participants depart (check-out by 10am)

TRAVEL

Travel to and from Le Tolfe is organised by participants directly, and is not provided in the cost. However, with permission, we are happy to share details of participants’ travel plans amongst the group in advance to facilitate the option of booking group transfers to/from airports.

 

By air: nearby airports are Florence (BA, Vueling, Iberia; 45 minute drive), Pisa (BA, Ryanair, Easyjet; 2 hour drive), Rome (BA, Ryanair, Vueling, Alitalia, Iberia, Easyjet; 2.5 hour drive) and Bologna (BA, Ryanair, Easyjet; 2.5 hour drive). Car hire is available at all these airports.

 

By train: trains are available across Italy from most of the airports listed above, but these are likely to involve at least one change. Routing can be planned at: www.thetrainline.com/trains/italy

 

By car: Le Tolfe is located at La Torre alle Tolfe, 12 Strada della Tolfe, 53100 Siena. There is plenty of parking space available at the property.

REPERTOIRE

For this course Graham Ross has programmed ‘The composer chain’: a fascinating exploration of beautiful choral music spanning more than 500 years by composers who were taught by and influenced by each other. The music spans from Josquin's earliest motet and some of the dazzling poly-choral works of the Italian Renaissance school to the works of fellow school-friends John Tavener and John Rutter. The programme is book-ended with two ravishing Marian motets, composed five centuries apart.

 

The concert programme will include selections from the following:

Josquin des Prez Ave Maria … Virgo serena

Adrian Willaert Vecchie letrose 

Claudio Monteverdi Nisi Dominus 

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina Exsultate Deo 

Thomas Tallis Salvator Mundi I 

William Byrd O Lord, make thy servant Elizabeth 

Thomas Tomkins Too much I once lamented

Henry Purcell Hear my prayer, O Lord

Frank Bridge Music, when soft voices die

Benjamin Britten A boy was born 

Herbert Howells Here is the little door 

John Rutter Sing a Song of Sixpence

John Tavener Mother of God, here I stand

Philip Stopford Ave Maris stella