top of page

International Renaissance Course 2024

JULY 8-15, 2024  |  LISBON, PORTUGAL


Magalhães, Lobo, Cardoso

International Renaissance Course 2024

We are pleased to announce that our Renaissance course 2024 will be held in Lisbon, Portugal, July 8-15, 2024. The course will explore Renaissance polyphony by Portuguese composers, including Filipe de Magalhães (c. 1571–1652), Duarte Lobo (1565-1646) and Manuel Cardoso (1566-1650).


Hotel Mundial

Praça Martim Moniz 2, 1100-341

Lisboa, Portugal

Tel: +351 21 884 2000

Set in Lisbon’s historic Baixa Pombalina district, this 4-star hotel features a terrace with stunning panoramic city and São Jorge Castle views. Renovated in March 2016, rooms at the Hotel Mundial have air conditioning and traditional-style furnishings. The bright Varanda de Lisboa Restaurant offers local cuisine in an à la carte style. Both the restaurant and the rooftop bar offer sweeping views over Lisbon. The Mundial is 4 mi from Lisbon International Airport.


Monday, July 8 (5 pm check-in) - Monday, July 15 (10 am check-out). 


The primary course objective is to prepare a program of music by Portuguese Renaissance composers, including Filipe de Magalhães, Duarte Lobo, and Manuel Cardoso (1566-1650) which will be performed on Sunday, July 14, 2024, details TBA. 

Through this concentrated week of rehearsal, recording, and performance, singers will refine skills required for professional, small-ensemble singing: tuning, singing in time, sight-reading, one-on-a-part singing, execution, and breathing. Interpolated throughout the week are masterclasses/talks aimed to further explore these skills. 


Singers interested in consort one-to-a-part singing, are encouraged to participate in small groups. Small groups are invited to perform at the nightly informal “Small Group Sharing” sessions.   


We are working on organizing a mid-week trip to Evora, Portugal to sing in Evora Cathedral, details TBA. 

Evora Cathedral is the largest cathedral in Portugal, and one of the best examples of medieval Gothic architecture. It was completed in the 16th century, built with rose granite and has two massive towers. Evora Cathedral was home to the composers featured on this program: Filipe de Magalhães, Manuel Cardoso, and Duarte Lobo.

Screenshot 2024-02-14 at 10.13.11 AM.png





€1700 (shared)

€3000 (private room)*


€1500 (shared)

€2800 (private room)*

*limited supply

Participants in shared rooms will share a room with one other participant. Each participant in a shared room will have their own bed.

If selected, a deposit of 50% of fees is due upon acceptance, and the remainder is due by May 1, 2024. If you would like to make alternate payment arrangements, please contact Markdavin at

All deposits are non-refundable


  • Accommodations for 7 nights

  • Breakfast and dinner (drinks included) (lunch on one's own)

  • Singing course

  • Day trip TBA (dinner on own)

  • Onsite Photographer

  • A video recording of the concert and produced videos of selections from the program.


Repertoire is subject to change and will be finalized after the singers have been selected.


32 total singers—eight Sopranos, Altos, Tenors, and Basses—will be selected through an application process to participate in the course. Experience singing Renaissance polyphony is preferred but not required.


We have a few guest spots available for those that would like to enjoy the course as observers. Guests are welcome to dine with the singers, attend rehearsals and the nightly "sharing" performances, and join in on the general fellowship. Some guests may prefer to use the hotel as a home base for trips they might take during the day. Guests are responsible for planning how they will spend their time at the course.

DAILY SCHEDULE Subject to change

9:00 AM - Breakfast

10:00 AM - Rehearsal (FULL)

12:30 PM - Talk/Masterclass

1:00 PM - Lunch/Break

2:30 PM - Break - Sign up for small group sessions

4:00 PM - Rehearsal (FULL)

7:00 PM - Small Group Sharing

8:00 PM - Dinner

9:30 PM - Bar

Markdavin Obenza.jpg


Markdavin Obenza is a choral director, recording producer, singer, and composer. Markdavin is co-founder of the internationally acclaimed Byrd Ensemble (founded in 2004), specializing in the performance of Renaissance vocal music. He is the artistic director of the Byrd International Singers, a select group of singers from around the world who participate in an annual Renaissance course offered by the Byrd Ensemble.

Margaret Obenza


Margaret Obenza has managed the Byrd International Courses since they began in 2017. Margaret is a professional freelance singer and has sung Soprano for the Byrd Ensemble since 2006. 



Credit: Angela Sterling Photography

Doug Fullington is founder and director of the Tudor Choir, based in Seattle, Washington. As a countertenor, he has performed with the Tallis Scholars as well as the Tudor Choir, Byrd Ensemble, and Cappella Romana. Trained as a musicologist, Doug is also a dance historian, with a focus on 19th-century French and Russian ballet.

Lauren Kastanas.jpg


Lauren Kastanas is a singer, music director, and the Executive Director of the Seattle Girls Choir. Lauren founded contemporary women's a cappella group GIRL BAND in 2014 and currently directs Sorella, a contemporary vocal ensemble of Seattle Girls Choir. Lauren sings with Radiance and the Trinity Parish Choir.

Screenshot 2024-02-14 at 1.28.49 PM.png


Willimark Obenza has over 20 years of professional choral experience and has performed with The Tudor Choir, Radiance, and the Byrd Ensemble. An expert in gimbal and drone shooting, and photography, Willi is responsible for documenting the activities on the course.  Willi is also owner of photography studio, Willi Pixel. His love for photography was borne out of his love for the Pacific Northwest, which has culminated in a large collection of nature-themed photographs.

bottom of page