Winter Vocal Intensive in Nyland

Winter Vocal Technique Intensive in Nyland's Courthouse-- 6-11 March 2017

Kashu-do Opera Studios, organizes several masterclasses throughout the year in idyllic settings that encourage the singer artistically and humanistically leading to the Härnösand Opera Academy and Festival.  The first masterclass of the season is a Vocal Technique Intensive featuring  Internationally renowned pedagogue, Dr. Jean-Ronald LaFond and the emerging soprano-voice teacher, Anna Niedbala. The Vocal Technique Intensive gives the singer the opportunity to concentrate on technical balance intensively for a week, including daily voice lessons and evening masterclasses. Kashu-do (歌手道):  The Way of the Singer is a philosophy of vocal artistry developed by Dr. Jean-Ronald LaFond.  In short, it is a process that opens the developing singer to the awareness of the many elements that must be mastered in order to achieve true competence as a vocal artist.  


After the Fall 2016 "Intensive" participants wanted to know directly afterwards when they could sign for the next course.  It is here!!!  









Dr. Jean-Ronald LaFond has been active as a pedagogue for 30 years and currently advises over 100 active professional opera singers throughout Europe and lovers of singing throughout the world.  His  studio locations include Vienna, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Berlin and Gothenburg. He is also the artistic administrator of Härnösand Opera Academy and Festival, now preparing for its fourth year. He also teaches a full operatic curriculum at the Opera Studio at Härnösands Folkhögskola in Sweden. "Despite his enormous technical knowledge at the forefront of vocal pedagogy, his teaching is clear and easy to understand, perceptive and constructive, demanding and individually flexible. In addition to his musicality, his immense talent for languages and his patience he is,  in a friendly but firm way, both a model and a fundamental support along the way for each singer who wants to improve. I would recommend Dr. LaFond at the highest level to anyone who wants to work seriously and consistently with one of the world's best voice pedagogues"--Nadine Weissmann, dramatic mezzo (Bayreuth Festspiele, Teatro del Liceu, Komische Oper Berlin, etc…)


Anna Niedbala has appeared as a mezzo-soprano at Sarasota Opera, Baltimore Opera, Chicago Opera Theater and Minnesota Opera and recently made her European debut at the Salzburger Landestheater in the soprano role of Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito. Having worked with Dr. LaFond and the Kashu-do method for over 5 years, Ms. Niedbala is emerging as a talented voice teacher and director in her own right.  She has recently taught and directed at Härnösand Opera Academy and Festival in Sweden. She teaches privately in Dortmund, Germany.  "Anna Niedbala has both large and dark tones for the expansive role and makes clear both the vulnerability and hurt of the scorned [Vitellia]; moving and truthful in  true Mozart style" -Salzburger Nachrichte


The Viennese pianist Ekaterina Nokkert studied at the Conservatory of Vienna with Univ.-Prof. Thomas Kreuzberger (piano) and with Carolyn Hague, Angelika Kirchschlager and Birgid Steinberger (collaborative piano and vocal coaching). She has performed in Austria, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, both as a soloist and collaborative artist. Ekaterina Nokkert is a laureate of several competitions in the field of art song (Lied), such as the International Competition for duos in Sofia and the A. Dvorak competition in the Czech Republic. In 2015 she released a CD with soprano Katrin Targo, with songs by H. Wolf, A. Berg and S. Barber. Since 2015, she works as a musical director for „Oper in der Krypta“, rehearsing and performing operas. After a well-received performance series of Puccini ́s „Madama Butterfly“ her next opera projects include productions of Bellini ́s „I Puritani“, Gounod ́s „Romeo et Juliette“ and a cycle of Mozart ́s three Da Ponte Operas „Don Giovanni“, „Cosi fan tutte“ and „Le nozze di Figaro“. In addition to her work as a performer, Ekaterina Nokkert is a dedicated teacher and coach, currently teaching piano and chamber music at the Prayner conservatory in Vienna.



Application and Registration:

To apply, please click on the "Go to Application Form" button at the bottom of this page and follow directions (application fee: 300 SEK).  Once accepted, students will receive information about payment and confirming their participation in the course. Application Deadline: 1 March 2017 or until all spots are filled (10-16 spots)

Participants will receive:

  1. A voice lesson every day
  2. Participation in daily masterclasses
  3. Short seminars on specific subjects
  4. Morning Tai Chi
  5. Round table discussions on technical issues
  6. Recital by participants on Saturday, 11 March, 2017
  7. Recital by Dr. LaFond, Ms. Niedbala and course Vienna-based pianist/Coach Ekaterina Nokkert on Friday 10 March, 2017


The 1-week Workshop costs 6.500 SEKRoom and Board:

 Participants reside in simple guest rooms (shared bathroom and shower in the hall) at the Courthouse (double occupancy for a symbolic fee (suggested 200 SEK per night—6 nights, 6-11  March (Arrival 5 March, departure 12 March) 2017. A kitchen is available if participants wish to prepare their own meals  In previous classes participants took turns in groups of 2 to cook for each other creating a really genial atmosphere.  A convenient supermarket (ICA-Rosen) is nearby. Dallas Pizza offers a variety of common dishes at very reasonable prices.  Hola Folkhögskola nearby will be on break but their kitchen will be open.  They provide excellent lunches.  If participants wish more prestigious accommodations it is possible to book double or single rooms at Sandslåns Hostel nearby (participants would be transported back and forth between their accommodations and the Courthouse.

Who should apply:

The course is open to singers of all levels.  Singers are treated individually commensurate with their level of experience (Maximum 16 participants). Click on the application button below to apply. Once accepted  payment information will be provided.

Travel to Nyland:

By car or by bus: The E4 travels from south to north through the High Coast.  From E4 take route 90 towards Kramfors and Lunde and follow signs to Nyland. Daily busses from Stockholm to Kramfors with The busses are of a high standard.

By train:

By air: Kramfors (Höga Kusten) Airport is at a 5  minutes distance from Nyland.  There are direct flights from Stockholm-Arlanda, Those traveling from outside of Sweden should arrive at Arlanda and then to connect to Höga Kusten Airport. 

For traveling advice assistance and other details, contact: Dr. Jean-Ronald LaFond:


Enjoying Nyland’s peaceful environment: 

The picturesque  little village of Nyland borders the Ångerman River leading to the Baltic Sea.  It offers lovely walks by the water as well as hikes in the nearby hills and forests—As with all Kashu-do Workshop settings, Nyland provides an environment that inspires artistic work.

Nylands Tingshus (Courthouse), a former municipal courthouse is home to Kashu-do Opera Studios, Courthouse Music and other artistic entities under the umbrella of the company iOpera AB. Managed by celebrated Swedish Composer, Fredrik Högberg and international voice pedagogue, Jean-Ronald LaFond, “The Courthouse” has become synonymous with artistic activity.  The superior acoustics of the the “Courtroom” (turned into a concert hall), equipped with high definition recording equipment (including a green screen) makes it a popular destination for recording projects.




Commentary from participants of the Winter Intensive:  

"The price is too low for the amount of information we got! I would be willing to pay 8000 SEK for this course."

"I found myself in this course.  The quiet, peaceful environment almost charms you to surrender and experience your true self!"

"Dr. LaFond and Anna Niedbala are a seamless team.  One takes over where the other one pauses.  It's as if they read each-other's minds and the student's inner thoughts together! They teach the student, not just the voice!

"(Pianist-coach) Brendon Eldredge is a conductor-pianist with a profound wealth of information. A very special musician!

"I want to work with these three people whenever the opportunity presents itself!"