Teaching in two continents

Wilhelm Theunissen is a distinguished singing teacher. He was a lecturer of singing at the Free State Musicon in Bloemfontein and Head of the Youth Opera Studio at the Sand du Plessis Theatre in South Africa where he developed a programme to take classical singing into the townships. This eventually resulted in launching the careers of several opera singers, some of whom who were selected for the Jette Parker Opera Programme at the Royal Opera House and appeared as soloists for the Royal Opera House, Opera Frankfurt, the Lucerne Theatre, Opera Africa and Cape Town Opera.

Since moving to the UK in 2004, Wilhelm has worked extensively in British schools as a singing teacher and is currently Head of Vocal Studies at the Elgar School of Music. He has initiated several educational programmes and ensembles locally, including the Elgar Baroque Singers, the Elgar Young Voices, the ESM Opera Studio and an Art Song programme in collaboration with English composer Ian Venables.

Wilhelm's students have also found success in the field of popular entertainment getting as far as the X factor's Boot Camp finals. Most recently, tenor Luke Swatman's informal rendition of 'Nessun Dorma', which was captured on video, appeared on the internet to great acclaim, and he subsequently appeared on ITV's 'Good Morning Britain' being hailed as 'Worcester's Pavarotti'.

Academic and teaching background

North West University, South Africa (Formerly Potchefstroom University)
B.Ed(Honours) (1993)
(Dissertation - The Motivational Patterns of Music Students from an Attributional Theory Perspective)
Higher Education Diploma (1992)
BA-MUS (Music and History) (1991)

Private singing lessons

Munich, Germany (1998)
Venice, Italy (1996)

Positions Held

Head of Vocal Studies - Elgar School of Music (2015)
Events Manager - Elgar School of Music (2017)
Singing Teacher at RGS Worcester since 2005 (part-time)
Singing Teacher at the Elgar School of Music since 2003
Part Time Lecturer at Birmingham University (2003)
Lecturer in Singing - Bloemfontein Musicon (1995-2002)
Head of the Sand Du Plessis Theatre Youth Opera Programme (2000-2002)

Worcester’s Pavarotti on Good Morning Britain. Susanna Reid, Luke Swatman and Piers Morgan

Discussing the interpretation and understanding of art song with students

The importance of breath management and appoggio