Anthony Dawson was a chorister in Canterbury Cathedral and then won scholarships to the King’s School, Canterbury and to St John’s College Cambridge where he was a tenor choral scholar under the legendary George Guest. He won a foundation scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where he completed his post-graduate studies before embarking on a career in singing, which began with Benjamin Britten’s English Opera Group and the BBC Singers. He subsequently sang with the English Music Theatre Company, English National Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and London Opera Players.
In 1980, Anthony was awarded the Peter Pears Bursary, which allowed him to study at the Britten/Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies at Snape, Aldeburgh, with Sir Peter. That summer Jane and Anthony, and their baby son, Ben, lived in a flat in Beth Welford’s house (Benjamin Britten’s sister) in Aldeburgh, and became immersed in the music and the world of Benjamin Britten.
After a period in music management, working at the BBC, at the National Centre for Orchestral Studies, and then establishing an opera department at Magenta Music International, Anthony returned to full-time music-making and teaching, becoming Head of Singing at Sevenoaks School. He was Musical Director of the Sackville Singers for 25 years, and founded the Sackville Children’s Choir / Children’s Theatre, in 1991. He produced an annual children’s musical at the Stag Theatre in Sevenoaks for more than a decade, which gave many youngsters their first stage experience. Many of these children have gone on to have professional careers including Douglas Booth, Pip in BBC tv’s Great Expectations.