Individual biographies

Mark Dobell (tenor)


Like many professional singers I started young, joining my father’s church choir at the tender age of six. I became a chorister at Westminster Abbey before taking up a music scholarship at Bedford School. Somewhere along the line I was encouraged not only to be a viola player but also a countertenor. Some might see this as a little cruel - I have often been the butt of related jokes - but the fantastic music department there helped me to ignore the insults and I was eventually awarded a choral scholarship at New College, Oxford.

With the help of my singing and music teachers at Bedford and New College, I left university with a job lined up at St Paul’s Cathedral in London and the slightly scary prospect of singing for a living. I now combine being a Vicar Choral at the cathedral with singing in various choirs and consorts, as well as performing solo engagements. I’m a member of the Ex Cathedra Consort and I feature regularly with other groups, such as the King’s Consort, the Monteverdi Choir, I Fagiolini, and The Cardinall’s Music.

When I’m not on tour or singing at St Paul’s, I like to spend time at home with my lovely wife, Julia. I enjoy gardening and photography and we both spend far too much time watching HBO series, with advice from Don who is a bit of an expert.


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What am I listening to?

You are listening to Ave mundi rosa, a piece from the fourteenth-century, typically English in its use of sweet parallel harmonies. It is the latest in our ongoing series of recordings for Hyperion, a survey of English choral music from the late thirteenth to the early fourteenth centuries. You can hear more on the Hyperion website, read the engaging liner notes, and order or download tracks or the entire album in a number of formats.