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Opera and Vocal Performance

In addition to numerous solo performance opportunities, RCM singers participate across the year in a busy series of operatic and choral projects, both at the RCM and further afield.

RCM Operas

The RCM International Opera School is acclaimed internationally for the quality of its performances.

Each year we mount three fully-staged productions, including one collaboration with the London Handel Festival. For each production we bring in a team of some of the world’s most acclaimed directors, designers and choreographers, offering students the full professional experience within a nurturing, supportive environment.

Every opera is normally double cast to maximise the number of students who can benefit from this vital experience.

'This brace of Bizet operas is one of the most rewarding and sumptuous-looking student shows I have seen in years. A professional company should remake it with some of these singers in the very near future.'

Hugh Canning, Sunday Times

'The Royal College of Music’s Albert Herring is up there with the best of them – an ensemble show bursting with character, detail, with an abundance of joy.'

The Arts Desk


Other Operatic Performances

In between these major operas, every year the RCM presents a number of innovative contemporary music projects.

Recent examples have included a celebration of the music of Jonathan Dove in the presence of the composer, as well as two presentations of new works by RCM composers, giving singers the chance to work with acclaimed contemporary opera director Bill Bankes-Jones.

In addition to these flagship performances, vocal students perform in regular opera scenes, again working with leading professional directors and accompanied by piano.

External Performances

Thanks to our international reputation for excellence, RCM students are often invited to perform at prestigious external venues across the UK and beyond.

Recent examples have included a performance of Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta Patience at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at the Bath International Music Festival.


We enjoy extremely productive relationships with a wide range of operatic institutions across the UK and beyond.

We have a particularly fruitful relationship with English Touring Opera, who offer RCM students the opportunity to cover key roles in their operatic productions.

Several RCM students have ended up performing on stage, and have also been subsequently hired by ETO for future productions.

The Britten Theatre

Uniquely, our opera training takes place within a fully functioning professional theatre.

Our Britten Theatre is not only an attractive and inviting space beloved of audiences, but is also the perfect space for developing voices – its “hatbox” shape means that we can fit in a large audience of 400, but young voices don’t need to strain to reach the back row.

Working in a space like this all year long is ideal preparation for the profession.

Choral Performances

The RCM Chamber Choir is one of our flagship ensembles, and performs regularly at the RCM and beyond.

The choir came to international prominence in 2012 as the grand finale of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant, watched by an enormous TV audience and gaining praise and attention worldwide.

RCM singers provide the kernel of the RCM Symphony Chorus, which performs alongside the RCM Symphony Orchestra and is trained by some of the UK’s best choral conductors, including David Hill and Neil Ferris.

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Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS. Tel: +44(0)20 7591 4300 Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS.
Tel: +44(0)20 7591 4300
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