Lynette Alcantara by Keith Heppell

Ms Lynette Alcántara

MA (Cantab) BMusEd BA AMusA FISM

A classical mezzo soprano, voice teacher and conductor, Lynette’s passion for singing has led her to perform in concerts and recording studios around the world. She now focuses on sharing her love of all things vocal with her many students.

Lynette Alcantara by Keith Heppell

Born in Australia, Lynette studied musicology, music education and classical voice at Monash and Melbourne Universities. Scholarship/prize successes included winning the national Liederfest Scholarship, enabling her to move to the UK in the early 90s to further her vocal studies: she has worked as a professional singer ever since. Lynette has sung as oratorio soloist and with the Dunedin Consort, English National Opera, Opera North and The Monteverdi Choir. With the latter, she recorded numerous CDs including singing the solo Shallow Brown on Gramophone Award winning disc The Music of Percy Grainger, & Schubert's Ständchen on the album Voices in the Night.

For almost 25 years she was a staff alto with The BBC Singers, the UK’s only full-time professional chamber choir, giving around 50 concerts/broadcasts per year in the UK and abroad and performing annually at the BBC Proms. She has sung for leading conductors including Pierre Boulez, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir James MacMillan, Dame Jane Glover, Marin Alsop, Sir Stephen Cleobury, David Hill and Sir Andrew Davis. She now freelances when her Cambridge teaching commitments allow. 

In Cambridge, Lynette enjoys a portfolio career of conducting and teaching. As part-time Director of Music at Wolfson (since 1998) she conducts the College Choir and Chamber Singers, overseeing all things musical, including the many concerts the college hosts each term. Lynette's work at the Faculty of Music has included leading the Vocal Pathway of the MMus in Choral Studies, teaching voice to Masters' students, lecturing on Vocal Health to conducting students and examining. She regularly leads choral outreach days on behalf of the University.

For ten years she was vocal coach for the Cambridge University Musical Society (CUMS) Chorus (now Cambridge University Symphony Chorus) and has also been guest chorus-master for the Cambridge Philharmonic Chorus and Saffron Walden Choral Society. She has worked as a choral outreach animateur for The BBC Singers, The King's Singers, Britten Sinfonia, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Sing Up, Cambridgeshire Music and the University of Cambridge.

She worked as the King's College Chorister Outreach animateur during the national SingUP programme and led singing workshops and teacher development sessions in twenty-three Cambridge state primary schools. In 2010 she founded and still runs children's music charity, KJV Community Children's Choir which offers free choral education to over one hundred Cambridge children each week. The choir has performed at Wolfson College, Great St Mary's Church, in King's College Chapel, at West Rd Concert Hall and at a fundraiser at Trinity College which raised £1.5 million towards a new children's hospital. In August 2022 she was appointed as Director of the Song School at Our Lady of the English Martyrs (OLEM), recent performances include J.S Bach's St Matthew Passion.

Singing students have gone on to work for Glyndebourne, Voces 8, Tenebrae, The BBC Singers and study at the National Opera Studio and post-graduate courses around the world. Current university students include Choral Scholars at Wolfson, Sidney Sussex, Fitzwilliam and Queens’ Colleges. Child pupils include the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Young Girl Chorister of the Year. Lyn taught singing to the boy trebles of the world-famous King’s College Choir from 2008 until 2020 preparing them for solos on CD, TV and radio, including the annual BBC TV & radio Christmas broadcasts, and performances for Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Lynette is a Fellow of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and a member of the British Voice Association, Association of Teachers of Singing, EQUITY and Association of British Choral Directors.

Research interests

Lyn’s main research interests lie in voice science and its application to vocal pedagogy. Her work at the Faculty of Music and with her many voice pupils aims to increase understanding of vocal anatomy and vocal health to improve efficacy of vocal teaching (both by singing teachers and choral conductors) and to prevent vocal injury. Work with her community children’s choir has demonstrated how choral singing can positively impact primary-aged children’s academic and personal development, as well as vocal development.

She has lectured on vocal health and pedagogy at the Faculty of Music since 2011, and was the Vocal Pathway Leader and Co-ordinator of the MMus in Choral Studies.

Lyn has worked as an outreach choral animateur for many years; for Sing Up (the National Singing Programme), for King’s College Choir Chorister Outreach, The BBC Singers, Aldeburgh Music, The Britten Sinfonia, The National Youth Choir, The King’s Singers and BBC TV programmes and The Proms. Her children's music charity, KJV Community Children's Choir offers free choral training to Cambridgeshire children aged 7-17.