Giving Voice is an established international event that has the aim of advancing the appreciation and understanding of the voice in performance through practical research and a celebration of its many and varied manifestations throughout time and culture. It brings together those who have an interest in the voice but who will not necessarily meet in the course of their practice: academics and practitioners; performers from a variety of disciplines; teachers of spoken voice and singing teachers; those with an experimental interest and those who favour traditional methodology; those from the world of medical knowledge of the vocal mechanism and those interested in the spiritual dimensions and healing properties of voice work.

Giving Voice explores the voice through a series of themed meetings during which there are workshops, lecture demonstrations, discussions and performances and sometimes a symposium. These have usually taken place in April biennially and attract a wide range of participants from the performing arts but also from voice therapy, laryngology, teaching, linguistics, communication studies etc. as well as the general public. Despite an increasing focus on the ‘visual’ in contemporary theatre and performance practice, there is a growing interest in the performance body being ‘all ears’ (listening, receiving, sourcing), working beyond ‘the tyranny of the eye’ and within the notion that ‘the voice is the muscle of the soul’.

Giving Voice springs from a strong belief in the voice’s ability to communicate beyond language and cultural difference, and that working with the voice can allow people, from wherever they come, to enjoy and value the riches of difference as well as the recognition and celebration of a common humanity. At its heart is the idea of koinonia, in the ancient Greek sense of choros and congregation, encountering ourselves and each other through the voice.

Comments on previous Giving Voice Festivals

“It is a challenge to put into words the joyous wonder of a week at ‘Giving Voice’ ”

“Each time I attend I am impressed with the quality of the presentations, workshops, and performances. This festival is by far one of the best offered internationally. The work that you do is cutting edge and draws some of the best practitioners and scholars from all over the world. I do not find at other conferences and festivals the same level of discourse and experimentation, the wide range of work and body of knowledge. Thank you!”


There have been twelve editions of GIVING VOICE since 1990

• 1990 First explorations – Cardiff

• 1994 A Geography of the Voice 1 – Cardiff

• 1995 A Geography of the Voice 2 – Cardiff

• 1996 An Archaeology of the Voice 1 – Cardiff

• 1997 An Archaeology of the Voice 2 – Aberystwyth

• 1999 A Divinity of the Voice – Aberystwyth

• 2002 The Voice Politic – Aberystwyth & Cardiff

• 2004 Towards a Philosophy and Psychology of the Voice – Aberystwyth & Cardiff

• 2006 Myths of the Voice – Aberystwyth

2008 Breath Inspiration Voice – Aberystwyth

2009 Harmonic Accord: Encounters Through Song – Wroclaw, Poland

2010 Hearken! Do you Hear An Angel? – Teatro Era, Pontedera, Italy

220 practitioners and 2000 delegates have come from over 35 countries to participate in the twelve Giving Voice Festivals spanning 25 years.