Mark Dobell (tenor)
Born 1959 between Dunstable and Luton in England, a suitable location for someone who has ended up being an itinerant singer of early music (Dunstable, famous for its composer: Luton, famous for its airport).
A rather predictable though by no means preplanned life for a singer of early music followed: Chorister at Westminster Abbey, Choral Scholar at Canterbury Cathedral).
After getting a First in English and Film Studies at the University of Kent at Canterbury followed by post-grad work in Film Theory and despite serious attempts to fly in the face of such an upbringing (taking in lecturing in Film Studies and Semiology, reviewing films, early acting promise squandered in walk-on roles), I ended up in the early music 'scene' in London.
More by luck than judgement, I was in the right place at the right time and joined Tallis Scholars in 1985. Similar good fortune followed in 1988 when I was a founder member of the Orlando Consort. Along the way there has been singing with Westminster Cathedral, Gothic Voices, Taverner Consort, Fretwork, Gabrieli Consort, Cardinall's Musick and many choruses. Also active in the pop/session/musicals world and general “gun for hire”, I’m happy and eager to experiment with different vocal styles from pop to musicals. Hobbies include watching movies, TV (I’m a great fan of Deadwood), reading, listening to jazz, beer, shopping, sport, running, weight training, and following the unpredictable progress of the English cricket team. I also plan holidays and write.
Writing: My first novel, Time Will Tell (Thames River Press) was published in 2012. It's set in the world of early music, both in the present day and in the C.15th where the behaviour of composers like Josquin and Ockeghem comes under close scrutiny. I have also published several academic articles - in Screen (on Hitchcock and sexual difference), Early Music (on contemporary performance practice, and a second article on ars subtilior repertoire), Tijdschrift van de Vereniging voor Nederlandse muziekgeschiedenis (on Ockeghem), Musical Times (on improvisation), book reviews for The Musical Times, and a chapter in The Cambridge Companion to Recorded Music.
Discography: never kept count. Recordings with which I would be happy to be associated are the Tallis Scholars' recording of Josquin's Pange lingua and La sol fa re mi masses, anything by Gothic Voices I've been fortunate enough to be involved with, and all of the Orlando Consort's recordings.
Teaching: In addition to part-time lecturing at Goldsmiths, University of Kent, University of Reading in Film and Semiology, I have given lectures and workshops in musicology at Harvard, Notre Dame, Peabody Institute, Vanderbilt University and at two annual meetings of the American Musicological Society. Having designed the soundtrack for La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc, Voices Appeared, I'm now studying for a PhD in music at the University of Nottingham.