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RCM Opera Studio

RCM singer in a production of Die Fledermaus

The Royal College of Music Opera Studio is one of the leading advanced training courses in the world. It offers operatic training at the highest level for performers from around the globe. Many of the world’s leading singers have passed through our doors.

As part of an elite and carefully constituted group of exceptionally talented young singers, each student will benefit from rigorous training, sensitive to their individual needs and responsive to the demands of the profession. Our students  work regularly with a team of coaches, musicians and theatre professionals drawn from the senior ranks of the country’s leading opera companies, and perform in acclaimed productions in the first-class Britten Theatre.

Replicating professional conditions is the hallmark of the RCM’s approach to operatic training, in order to ensure a seamless transition into the world of work. There are three RCMOS opera productions each year and two sets of fully staged opera scenes in the Britten Theatre. You will have the benefit of rehearsing and performing with highly experienced, influential industry professionals, who occupy key posts at the great opera houses of Europe and beyond.

In addition to receiving regular core training you will gain unique artistic and professional insights through mentorship by internationally renowned artists including Sir Thomas Allen, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, David Pountney and Alessandro Corbelli. You will work with performance psychologists, key industry leaders and the Centre for Performance Science to assist you in taking full responsibility for the development of your professional career.

The RCM’s annual programme of events includes a popular Opera Scenes series, providing singers with additional opportunity to work with professional directors in the production of semi-staged scenes accompanied by piano.

Every year the RCM Opera Studio presents a number of innovative projects, including a regular collaboration with production company Tête-a-Tête and acclaimed director Bill Bankes-Jones, in which mini operas by RCM students are premiered.

Britten, Albert Herring

Watch the RCM's 2015 production of Britten's classic chamber opera, featuring RCM alumna Janis Kelly

Recent productions

La finta giardiniera (Autumn 2016)

Michael Rosewell conductor
Harry Fehr director
Yannis Thavoris designer
John Bishop lighting designer
Victoria Newlyn choreography

Mozart's rarely performed early comic opera was sung by RCM students in Italian to sell-out crowds over four nights. In it, Violante disguises herself as gardener Sandrina, escaping to a new life away from her murderous ex, Count Belifore. However, things do not go to plan when Belifore and his new girlfriend arrive.

A scene from the RCM's production of La finta giardinera

Hänsel und Gretel (Summer 2016)

Michael Rosewell conductor
Liam Steel director
Myriddin Wannell designer
Andy Purves lighting designer

The Olivier award-winning team of Liam Steel and Michael Rosewell joined forces for Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel in 2016. The title characters are kicked out of the house for misbehaving and find themselves lost in the woods. When they’re captured by a witch who delights in turning children into gingerbread, the cheeky heroes have to use all their cunning to escape in this dark telling of a playful opera.

A scene from the RCM's production of Hänsel und Gretel

Ariodante (Spring 2016)

James Bonas director
Laurence Cummings conductor
Molly Einchcomb designer
Rob Casey lighting designer
Ewan Jones choreographer

The RCM's March 2016 collaboration with the London Handel Festival saw a production of Handel's Ariodante. First performed at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, in 1735, it is the only Handel opera set in the United Kingdom.

A scene from the RCM's production of Ariodante

Past productions

Die Fledermaus (Autumn 2015)

John Copley director
Michael Rosewell conductor
Tim Reed designer
Kevin Treacy lighting designer
Stuart Hopps choreographer

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Albert Herring (Summer 2015)

Liam Steele director
Michael Rosewell conductor
Janis Kelly Lady Billows
Anna Fleischle designer

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Giove in Argo (Spring 2015)

Laurence Cummings conductor
James Bonas director
Molly Einchcomb designer
Rob Casey lighting designer

A collaboration with the London Handel Festival.

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Die Zauberflöte (Autumn 2015)

Michael Rosewell conductor
Jean-Claude Auvray director
Ruari Murchison designer 
Mark Doubleday lighting designer

View Flickr album