Royal Welsh College and WNO launch dedicated opera school
The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama is to set up a dedicated opera school, in partnership with Welsh National Opera.
The school will bring together existing opera strands at RWCMD, as well as a new master's degree in opera directing.
RWCMD already runs opera performance classes, which will form part of the school's offering, however it will also formalise opera connections with other courses such as design, stage management and arts management, as well as work with the college's conductors, instrumentalists and pianists.
Students will have the opportunity to work side-by-side with artists and staff at WNO and gain professional experience and training from the company. The partnership will also offer opportunities for emerging artists in WNO rehearsals and productions, and there are plans to tour small-scale productions.
RWCMD principal Hilary Boulding said the company and the college had worked closely together for many years, but this project symbolised a formal commitment to the relationship.
"There's a huge amount of work already going on, which is slightly under the radar, but we decided to actually foreground it and celebrate it. What we're trying to do is make sure that all the disciplines involved in opera are linked to in each of those areas," she said.
She added: "It's very much making sure that we take a holistic view of the industry's needs and we can respond."
The plans were announced at a season launch for WNO's 2017/18 season. Artistic director David Pountney described the partnership as a "no-brainer".
"As a world-class opera company, we need the best possible access to emerging talent, and there is no better way to gain that than by working directly with the growers. But we are keenly aware that the benefits flow both ways; that the close involvement of a professional opera company has the potential to add significant depth and relevance to the training," he said.
For more information about Opera at RWCMD, please click here.