Richard Estes

VoiceTeaching Philosophy

Classical singing relies on the development of the underlying physiology upon which good singing rests. This must be the first priority of the teacher. The student’s fundamental vocal capacities must continually improve. It is through the systematic conditioning of the vocal physiology that one’s best and most reliable singing technique emerges. Pitch range must be extended at both high and low range. The development of consistent amplitude and timbre is the fundamental standard.

The approach is classical—open throat, lowered, stabile larynx, and firm, buoyant breath support. Dedication to a physical regime of vocal exercise is necessary. Just as in other physical endeavors such as athletics, the initial capacities are not the final ones. The singer must learn to guide his or her technique through sensation rather than sound. The mind must be sensitive to the body’s activity.


David Guzman

David Guzman, tenor, New York City (former voice student)
“I recently sang for Maitland Peters, Chair of Voice at Manhattan School of Music who told me I should be really grateful to you because I have the right technique. He was very impressed that my larynx is down and my throat is open through the whole range. I proudly told him that I learned everything from you at TCU. Thank you for teaching me the right things and for caring about me.”

Audio Sample
Una Furtiva Lagrima (Donizetti)

Zapryanka Mladenova

Zapryanka Mladenova, soprano, Pittsburgh, PA (former voice student)
“I studied voice, opera, and acting technique with Mr. Estes for 3 years and my impressions couldn’t be more positive. His approach to the voice and to the singer as a complete artist is more than professional. While I studied with him, he helped me discover in full meaning, the breathing process, the easy approach to the high voice, which is one of the most important things for every voice, to extend my voice in its full range. His teaching technique and personal approach to me left a strong impact on my life and I am thankful to God for sending me Mr. Estes in my professional and personal path.”

Audio Sample
Rusalka's Song to the Moon (Dvorak)

Emily Forester

Emily Forester, Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance 2008

Audio Sample
Con que Lavare (Rodrigo)


Sharee Seal, dramatic soprano, New York City (former opera student)
“Richard Estes is the right voice teacher to have if you are interested in pursuing a professional career in opera. In my time with him I not only learned about the art of opera and performance practice, but also how to free my voice and be more consistent with support. Professor Estes is exceptional in that he is extremely knowledgeable about the opera profession, whereas many liberal arts institutions lack such a high level of expertise.”


Suzanne Vinnik, coloratura soprano, New York City (former opera student)
“I really loved my experiences in TCU Opera. They will be the best thing I take away from TCU. Last year I know you worked very hard to get our productions together and bring the OPERA America Singers’ Workshop to TCU. You taught me so much over the years. I learned a process to map out all my characters. All the directors at Opera North complimented me on my characterizations. I was well prepared!”