Professorial Staff - Musical Theatre
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Faculty of Music
King Charles Court
Old Royal Naval College
Simon Masterton-Smith trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Arthur Reckless and at the London Opera Centre under Pieter van der Stolk. While with the English National Opera, he was coached by Denis Dowling and Josephine Veasey.
Since Simon got his first pantomime job after Arthur sent him to audition during his first term at Guildhall, he has worked in many different areas of the entertainment industry, including opera and musicals as well as pantomime, recordings, television and film. He sang at Glyndebourne Festival, Summer Season and played both the village idiot and God in his first West End musical, Beyond the Rainbow. Simon commented: “I’ve even had a go as a Rock Ballad singer in West Berlin!”
Qualifications And Background
West End musicals include Evita, Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Roland Cassard), Sweeney Todd (Judge Turpin) and Aspects of Love (George Dillingham) – he did that last one again in Lincoln. Simon was a founder member of the New D’Oyly Carte Company at the Savoy, and spent several years at the Coliseum with English National Opera: Pacific Overtures (Shogun’s Mother) – coached by Stephen Sondheim – Die Fledermaus (Frosch), Street Scene (Harry Easter), and Orpheus in the Underworld (Mars).
Trips abroad include: Paris for Curlew River, the Batignano Festival in Tuscany, United States and Ludwigshafen with English National Opera, and Opera Omaha and Portland Opera for My Fair Lady (Col Pickering). Back home, he did a short season at the Royal National Theatre in a new opera, Baby Doll, as Archie Lee. With Modern Music Theatre Troupe, he had some quick changes in Stephen McNeff’s The Wasteland at the Covent Garden Festival and also in Hay-on-Wye, where, according to Simon, “it rained so hard we couldn’t hear the orchestra in the big plastic tent!”. He has also worked with Music Theatre London and Charles Court Opera.
Alongside his career in show business, Simon has been teaching as part of the Vocal Faculty at Trinity Laban since the BA Musical Theatre course was in its second year, and has seen it evolve into one of the most prestigious Musical Theatre courses in the country. He also teaches at Court Theatre Training Company, teaching young actors how to sing. Many of Simon’s past students have gone on to success on the West End and international stages, in films and on television. Simon also has a large private practice and is a member of the Association of Teachers of Singing.
His system for enabling students to develop a strong technical base is a mixture of the discipline of Bel Canto mixed with the raw energy of Hüsler. “If a singer has great strength in the body, the throat can look after itself”, he explains.
Simon says he is lucky to have been able to meet and work with the greats of the entertainment industry, including Sir Tom Allen, Leslie Crowther, Arthur Askey, Sir John Tomlinson, Lynda Baron, Michael Ball, and Sir Mark Elder.
Qualifications / Educational Background