The Charles Santley Memorial Gift 2023: Declan Costello

Declan Costello has been awarded the 2023 Charles Santley Memorial Gift, an annual award made by the Company to singers, composers of vocal music, writers upon the subject of singing and researchers into the human voice. The award was endowed in memory of the baritone, Sir Charles Santley (1834–1922).

Declan’s research into Covid & Singing had a seminal impact upon singing globally in the pandemic. By persuading the UK government that he and a team should research it urgently, he provided the first scientific evidence that singing was no riskier than speaking, which directly led to governments reopening their performance sectors.

As a consultant laryngologist, Declan has extensive expertise in treating all aspects of voice disorders and hoarseness – from vocal cord nodules and cysts to polyps, papilloma, vocal cord paralysis and spasmodic dysphonia.

Perhaps uniquely, Declan Costello is both one of the UK’s leading voice surgeons and a semi-professional singer (a former St John’s Cambridge choral scholar under Christopher Robinson). Declan sings regularly with the Holst Singers, Polyphony and the Oxford Bach Scholars. He has a particular interest in treating voice disorders in performers. He is also one of the leading exponents of local anaesthetic laryngeal procedures, which can be particularly beneficial for patients with vocal fold paralysis. He regularly runs workshops for singers and performers on voice health and anatomy.

He is President-Elect of the British Laryngological Association, and has many clients in our major opera and theatre companies.