Seth Riggs

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Seth Riggs at the "Margareta Svensson Riggs and Seth Riggs Summer Vocal Workshop" in Varberg, Sweden July 26, 2013

Seth Riggs (born 1930)[1] is an American singer, actor, and vocal coach.[2][3] He has created the vocal technique "Speech Level Singing",[4] and has worked with performers such as Prince, Michael Jackson,[5][4] Stevie Wonder,[4] José José, Ray Charles, Madonna,[4] Cristian Castro, Johnny Hallyday, Sohyang, AGNEZ MO, Bette Midler,[4] Julio Iglesias,[4] and Barbra Streisand.

Early life, education, and career[edit]

Riggs started singing when he was about 7 years old, joining his neighborhood choir.[6] Riggs has been a vocal coach since 1949, when he was serving in the Navy as a gunner.[7][8] He "received his music education from Peabody Conservatory of Music and Manhattan School of Music", and also received a B.A. in drama from Johns Hopkins University.[9] At the Peabody Conservatory, he was a student of tenor Richard Cassilly,[10] and he also studied voice with teachers including American baritone John Charles Thomas and Italian tenor Tito Schipa.[9]

Vocal coach Roger Love studied vocal pedagogy in Riggs's studio. He became a junior partner in the studio, but soon founded his own studio and took some of Riggs' clients.[11] Riggs conducts workshops and masterclasses around the world together with his wife, Margareta Svensson Riggs.[12][13]

While traveling with Michael Jackson for the latter's 1987–1989 "Bad" tour. Riggs vividly recalled how Jackson would arrange to have sick children brought to his concerts, stating: "Every night the kids would come in on stretchers, so sick they could hardly hold their heads up. Michael would kneel down at the stretchers and put his face right down beside theirs so that he could have his picture taken with them, and then give them a copy to remember the moment". Riggs described how he was himself overwhelmed by these moments, and would end up "in the bathroom crying".[5]

Personal life[edit]

Riggs is married to singer Margareta Svensson,[14] The two met when Svensson came to Seth Riggs for singing lessons in 1995. In 2008, they became a couple, and four years later, in 2012, they married and their daughter Samantha was born.[15][16][17]


  • Singing For The Stars – A Complete Program For Training Your Voice (1992, Alfred Music)
  • American Idol Singer's Advantage: Male Version (2008, Hal Leonard Corporation)


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Seth Riggs Vault". Playbill. Retrieved 2016-10-05.
  3. ^ New China TV (2013-09-26), Michael Jackson's teacher trains Chinese teen star, retrieved 2016-10-05
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Singing seminar scheduled Aug. 28", The Herald-Palladium (August 20, 1999), p. 6.
  5. ^ a b Taraborrelli, J. Randy (2009). Michael Jackson: The Magic, The Madness, The Whole Story, 1958–2009. Grand Central Publishing, 2009. p. 348. ISBN 978-0-446-56474-8.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  6. ^
  7. ^ Vaziri, Aidin (May 1, 2005). "A Spacey Chat With Stars' Voice Coach". SF Gate. Retrieved 2016-10-05.
  8. ^ Beale, Lauren. "Voice coach to the stars Seth Riggs lists his home and studios for sale in Hancock Park". LA Times. Retrieved 2016-10-05.
  9. ^ a b "Voice Conference At COD, Feb. 1-2", The Desert Sun (January 29, 1974), p. 13.
  10. ^ Fred Rasmussen, "Richard B. Cassilly, 70. world-renowned operatic tenor", The Baltimore Sun (February 3, 1998), p. 9B.
  11. ^ "Vocal coach Roger Love helps put the sing in Hollywood performances". Los Angeles Times. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  12. ^ "Seth Riggs and Margareta Svensson Riggs on New China TV".
  13. ^ "Hollywoodfru på besök i Morgonskiftet - Morgon i P4 Jönköping". Radio Sveriges. July 29, 2013. Retrieved 2016-10-05.
  14. ^ "Hollywoodfrun sa ja till Seth, 81".
  15. ^ "Margareta Svensson: "Graviditeten var fantastisk"".
  16. ^ "Hollywoodfrun Margareta Svensson har fått barn".
  17. ^ "Margareta Svensson (43) fikk barn med Seth Riggs (81), Norwegian VG, published Aug 4, 2012".

Understanding the Speech Level Singing Method, by Seth Riggs

External links[edit]