The school will provide professional experience for designers, stage managers and arts managers, alongside training for singers and instrumentalists.

Photo of Welsh National Opera production
RWCMD Opera Students appearing in WNO’s production of The Magic Flute’

The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama has launched a new opera school in collaboration with Welsh National Opera (WNO), specialising in both performance and production.

The school, based at the Royal Welsh College, is to build on training and residency relationships between the two institutions. It will offer opportunities for trainee composers and conductors as well as a new Masters programme for opera directors, and it will tour small-scale productions.

“This is an exciting new stage in the relationship between Wales’ national opera company, and its national conservatoire, formalising a partnership that has grown ever more fruitful over the last decade,” said Hilary Boulding, Principal of the Royal Welsh College.

“Working together, the Royal Welsh College and WNO will provide an opera training school that will enable emerging artists to train alongside some of the leading figures in opera today.”

Integrated approach

The “fully integrated” opera school will train designers, stage managers and arts managers alongside singers and instrumentalists.

Production roles will be available with the Welsh National Opera and the organisation’s in-house workshop, Cardiff Theatrical Services, which supplies scenery to performing companies around the world.

The new opera school will also provide opportunities for singers and instrumentalists within WNO rehearsals and productions, and with the WNO orchestra.

“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,” said David Pountney, Artistic Director of WNO and Fellow of the Royal Welsh College.

“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.”