Every summer we bring together a group of talented and experienced amateur choral singers for a week of intensive choral study involving a challenging a cappella repertoire. But it’s not just about hard work and performance; we enjoy a week of convivial company, good food and wine in the heat of the Provençal countryside where lovers of choral music, some accompanied by partners and friends, can share their passion with like-minded others.

Rehearsing in the chapel

Beginning in 2009, we have so far attracted singers from UK, US, Spain and France, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and Sweden and have covered music from the Renaissance to the present day. The week is appropriate for experienced choral singers.

Errol chooses a repertoire for the week of works which are seldom performed due to neglect or their level of difficulty and with six hours rehearsing a day, and under his guiding hand, we always manage to deliver a creditable final concert to an enthusiastic audience.

2020. Like many arts events,  we have had to cancel our Summer Academy this year due to Covid-19. However, we’re preparing a short programme of virtual events to keep us all connected including a virtual aperitif and a recording of a short musical work. We’re looking forward to singing together again in 2021.

Relaxing over a glass of Rosé!

Here are some comments from the class of 2019:

The great thing about working with Errol is that it’s not “note-bashing” in the traditional sense. His expectations, which are mostly met, are that we know the notes already, and it is the interpretation, dynamic, pronunciation, emotion and message that he works on. That’s the difference that makes the difference.

I feel honored to have had the opportunity to sing under Errol’s direction. This was challenging repertoire for me and I know I grew musically as a result of being part of the Ristretto Summer Academy. Thank you, Errol, for your clear explanations, invaluable insight, and sense of humor … and easy-to-follow cues when we managed to get our heads out of our scores 🙂

I learnt a huge amount from Errol and it was great to see how the choir came together and performed so well at the concert. I really enjoyed working with him

This was for me a new experience in detailed rehearsal work. I felt that I had definitely moved up to the Premier League!

Wonderful: I always learn a lot about singing and about the music: even or perhaps especially when I know the piece well already. He has endless patience and good humour, and makes sure everything is as good as it can be.

Contact name : Kate Cobb
Email :

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