Estill & classical singing: a great recipe for opera sound

Estill & classical singing: a great recipe for opera sound

An online workshop invitation from Stefan Holmström:


From sourdoughs and sponges to Sussex pond puddings, many of us have tried our hand at baking during lockdown, with varying degrees of success. But whether the result was fab or a flop, the one thing most of us did was follow a recipe in an attempt to achieve a desired end.

It’s similar with singing. Through Estill Voice Training (EVT) and its scientific, anatomical approach, we can hone the individual elements of a voice quality and combine them to make the sounds we want to make when we want to make them, even if we are trying for the first time.

The benefit of this method is that we can learn a tried and true recipe that works instead of relying on imitation or crossing our fingers hoping for the best. And of course, once we know the recipe by heart, we can tweak it when needed.

In terms of classical sounds, the most important element is contact; without the vocal folds meeting properly, we won’t be able to make a pure, clear tone. Classical singing is also dark and bright at the same time. And it’s also sweet.

So your favourite aunt’s basic recipe for an operatic sound might look something like this:

1 tbsp contact
1 tsp sweetness
1 tsp twang
1 tsp sob

Mix well in an anchored body and pour out your heart with feeling!

Once you have mastered your aunt’s recipe, you can start to make it your own by, for example, playing with the equaliser table of your voice to achieve a different sound balance depending on the style and emotion you want to convey. You can also decide on how much vibrato you want and how sweet you would like the sound to be – e.g. early music sweet or romantic opera sweet?


Estill and Classical Singing, my online workshop on Saturday 6 March 2021 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, will be a playful session where we will look at classical singing from a fresh perspective.

Whether you are new to classical singing or an old hat, this workshop will offer you something that I was never offered in my training as an opera singer: a practical, step-by-step guide on how to actually do it.

Find out more about the workshop and book a place


Stefan Holmström is a professional opera singer and voice teacher working with singers of all ages and abilities with a wide range of goals. He offers online singing lessons and workshops from his studio in Brighton.

As an Estill Master Trainer (EMT), Stefan uses EVT as a baseline for safe and sustainable voice use. EVT is an efficient, scientific way to maximise voice control to achieve true performance magic!

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