Ken Querns-Langley, PhD
- Founder & Principle Vocal Instructor
Dr. Ken Querns-Langely is a Bel Canto specialist tenor with 16 roles including: Don Ottavio, Belmonte, Tamino, Almaviva, Idreno, title roles Roberto Devereux, La Clemenza di Tito & Otello (Rossini), roles in restored keys: Elvino Sonnambula & Percy Anna Bolena and adding Maria Stuarda, Mose, Elisabetta & Guillaume Tell. He has a PhD in classical vocal pedagogy, bel canto historical performance practice and the reconstruction of historical singing practice. He has performed over 30 productions of opera & musical theatre, 20 master classes, recitals and concerts. He created the role of Bartholomew in the world premiere of Copernicus and Curley in the regional premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men. Ken received academic and vocal prizes totally over $60k. He served as voice department chair, music director & professor of acting at the Pennsylvania School of the Performing Arts, and has 15 years teaching experience at his International Bel Canto Vocal Studio with students in Japan, Denmark, Lebanon, India, the UK and America. Ken is the founder and General Director of the London Bel Canto Festival.
Ken hold a PhD in musicology from the Royal College of Music London where he was a doctoral research scholar. He researched bel canto historical performance practice successfully reconstructed the historical pedagogy of the early 19th century tenors. The book based on his PhD 'The Pharyngeal Voice: a Practical Resource' will be forthcoming. In August 2015 Ken attended the Pan-European Voice Conference (PEVOC) in Florence Italy with the preeminent researchers and voice scientists where he presented a poster discussing his research on the voce faringea. He also attended PEVOC 2013 in Prague.
At the age of 8, Ken began singing with school and church choirs as a boy soprano, however peculiarly, he had vibrato and began performing as soloist. He continued singing throughout high school into university, where in 1992 he began formal vocal tuition with Spinto Soprano Suzan Munzer. Ms. Munzer studied with Madame Gregory, a voice teacher at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, who was in the tradition of Marcella Sembrich and Lamperti.
At university, Ken won the Presidential Scholar, Distinguished Scholar & Achievement Scholarships and was made an Honors Scholar. He was the only student to receive all four honors in his class, and received the W. W. Smith Foundation Scholarship and he went on to graduate with both a Master's and Bachelor's degree. As an undergraduate: in 1994 Ken originated the role of Bartholomew in the World Premier musical "Copernicus," in 1996 recorded a CD of Early Music as part of the Choir of St. Luke's of the Epiphany, sang as soloist in nearly 25 concerts and master classes, and performed lead roles in 5 musicals and theatrical performances.
In 1997, Ken changed voice teachers, and began vocal tuition with another Lyrico Spinto Dramatico Soprano, Georgyn Geetlein from the Metropolitan Opera. Ms. Geetlein taught him how to bridge his passagio, and within a week was singing full-voiced 'Bb,' and soon thereafter the voice opened to a top ‘D.’ Ms. Geetlein studied with Madame Gregory at the Curtis Institute, then with the famed MET soprano Rose Bampton, who was trained by Queena Mario at The Curtis Institute of Music (who studied with Sembrich), then by Francis Alda and Lotte Lehmann, each in the tradition of Mathilde Marchesi (trained in the antique Spanish Manuel Garcia tradition).
Before completing his MAH, in 2000 Ken travel to Vevey Switzerland to for two months to study French. After receiving his MAH in 2001, Ken moved to London to continue his post-masters academic pursuits, and his operatic training. Ken continued voice lessons in London and remained in there, training with varous teachers and coaches from the National Opera Studio and English National Opera. Also while in London, he covered the role of Rodolfo in La Boheme at New London Opera and covered Alfred, played Frosch and sang chorus in Die Fledermaus with the European Chamber Opera. At that time, he also traveled to Spain as a musical consultant for a major label album, and worked as a screen writer for a feature film with PVK Pictures, Ltd.
After his time in London, Ken spent nearly two years in Modena, Italy where, for obvious reasons, he became fluent in Italian. During his time there he had the opportunity to spend two months in Venezia where he began to study with renowned voice teacher, Sherman Lowe, who is purported to be the "greatest teacher currently in Italy", and with whom Ken periodically continues to study. Also in Venezia Ken became good friends and subsequently coached with, a pianist Roberto Bertuzzi from La Scala di Milano and La Fenice opera houses.
Returning to Philadelphia brought Ken the opportunity to study with new teachers and coaches, and to sing at Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the role of Curley in the Regional Premier of "Of Mice and Men," by Carlisle Floyd with Center City Opera. Also, with the same company at the Kimmel Center, he covered the Role of Rodolfo in La Boheme, and sang roles and chorus in Il Trovatore, Il Barbiere of Siviglia, Romeo & Juliet. He has also been on the Opera Company of Philadelphia stage in The Pearl Fishers, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Le Nozze di Figaro, Falstaff, Norma, Fidelio & L'Italiana in Algeri. Ken is now teaching in London and Copenhagen, but also teaches internationally via skype.