A male student, wearing a dark patterned shirt and a blazer, singing on stage with red curtains behind him

Vocal & Opera

Vocal and operatic study at the Royal College of Music is designed to cater for your individual talents and aspirations.

We have an outstanding reputation for producing international classical artists, and students will receive training specifically designed for exceptional young singers preparing for a successful performing career.

As a student-centric institution we aim to keep the individual’s needs at the core of both our one-to-one and class provision. Students will work on developing a secure and flexible vocal technique and our comprehensive range of class provision will enhance all aspects of your craft. Our students graduate able to present themselves with confidence, authority and autonomy in a professional context.

One-to-one lessons

One-to-one lessons are at the very heart of every RCM student’s learning experience. The Vocal & Opera Faculty is proud to have an impressive team of internationally acclaimed vocal professors, repertoire and operatic coaches. Our world-class professors offer students not only first-rate teaching, but also mentorship and networking opportunities.

Our close links with the wider music industry provide exceptional options to develop your career.

Meet our vocal professors

Meet our opera professors

There are creative opportunities to explore modern and period works in regular collaborations with the Composition and Historical Performance faculties. We initiate cross-faculty song, chamber music and thematic-based projects working with distinguished artists both within and outside of the RCM.

The RCM Opera Studio is one of the world’s leading advanced training courses in the world. Based in our purpose-built and fully functioning Britten Theatre, its nurturing environment offers training at the highest level for performers from around the globe and we host a number of fully-staged operatic productions a year. All our opera productions are attended by international press and agents, and are often streamed on opera international platforms, such as Medici TV.

Performance opportunities

Students in the RCM’s Vocal & Opera Faculty perform in operatic performances, recitals, oratorio performances and much more. They benefit from regular collaborations with our Composition and Historical Performance faculties. There are also opportunities for external collaborations with production company Tête à Tête and projects with English National Opera.

RCM singers have performed on the world’s greatest operatic and concert hall stages including the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, Wigmore Hall, Metropolitan Opera New York, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Theater an der Wien, Royal Festival Hall, Carnegie Hall, Bavarian State Opera, Paris Opera and the Royal Albert Hall.

In addition to performances within the RCM, further opportunities exist for external work through our extensive contacts in the music business and the engagements offered by the RCM Creative Careers Centre.

Vocal students benefit from regular masterclasses given by international artists and coaching from the répétiteurs of London’s world-renowned opera houses.

Recent visiting artists

Our students enjoy regular masterclasses with high-profile visitors including:

  • Sir Thomas Allen
  • Sophie Bevan
  • Dame Sarah Connolly
  • Danielle de Niese
  • Joyce El-Khoury
  • Angela Gheorghiu
  • Sumi Jo
  • Gerald Finley
  • Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
  • Simon Keenlyside
  • Gregory Kunde
  • Ann Murray
  • Brindley Sherratt
  • Roger Vignoles
  • Edith Wiens
  • Roderick Williams

Recent directors for operatic productions have included:

  • Sir Thomas Allen
  • Olivia Fuchs
  • Stephen Barlow
  • Polly Graham
  • Liam Steel
  • Bill Bankes-Jones

Student successes

RCM vocal students are regularly recognised at international singing competitions including:

  • Kathleen Ferrier Awards
  • Wigmore Hall/Bollinger International Song Competition
  • International Competition of Belcanto Vincenzo Bellini
  • BBC Cardiff Singer of the World
  • Grange Festival International Singing Competition
  • Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions
  • Royal Over-Seas League Singing Competition
  • Cesti Competition
  • Tenor Viñas Competition
  • Göttingen Competition
  • London Mozart Competition

Many progress onto internationally renowned Young Artist Programmes including:

  • Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Programme
  • Houston Grand Opera Studio
  • National Opera Studio
  • Bayerische Staatsoper Studio
  • Frankfurt Ensemble
  • l'Atelier lyrique de l’opéra de Paris
  • ENO Harewood Young Artists
  • Zürich Opera Young Artists Programme
  • Jette Parker Artists Programme
  • Welsh National Opera Associate Artists

RCM singers have gone on to perform with renowned companies across the globe, many performing principal roles on the world’s greatest operatic stages. Such destinations include:

  • Barbican
  • Bayerische Staatsoper Studio
  • Carnegie Hall
  • Deutsche Oper Berlin
  • English National Opera
  • Garsington Opera
  • Glyndebourne Festival Opera
  • Grange Park Opera
  • Houston Grand Opera
  • La Scala, Milan
  • Liceu, Barcelona
  • Lyric Opera of Chicago
  • Metropolitan Opera, New York
  • Oper Frankfurt
  • Opéra Bastille
  • Opera North
  • Royal Albert Hall
  • Scottish Opera
  • Royal Festival Hall
  • Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
  • Theater an der Wien
  • Théâtre des Champs-Elysées
  • Théâtre du Châtelet
  • Vienna State Opera
  • Welsh National Opera
  • Wigmore Hall

Celebrated alumni

  • Louise Alder
  • Sir Thomas Allen
  • Sophie Bevan
  • Alfie Boe
  • Sarah-Jane Brandon
  • Sally Burgess
  • Paul Charles Clarke
  • Dame Sarah Connolly
  • Roderick Earle
  • Gerald English
  • Dame Anne Evans
  • Helen Field
  • Gerald Finley
  • Michael George
  • Martyn Hill
  • Jason Howard
  • Ruby Hughes
  • Jacques Imbrailo
  • Ben Johnson
  • Della Jones
  • Dame Gwyneth Jones
  • Rosemary Joshua
  • Janis Kelly
  • Andrew Kennedy
  • Jonathan Lemalu
  • Jenny Lind
  • Valerie Masterson
  • Pumeza Matshikiza
  • Vuyani Mlinde
  • Robert Murray
  • Ian Partridge
  • Sir Peter Pears
  • Dame Joan Sutherland
  • Camilla Tilling
  • Sarah Walker
  • Elizabeth Watts
  • Catherine Wyn-Rogers
  • Lawrence Zazzo

Career development

The RCM’s Creative Careers Centre, which is recognised internationally for its innovative approach to supporting young musicians, provides an unparalleled service to current students and recent alumni. The dedicated team partners with leading consultants, reputable arts organisations and local communities, delivering unique career-building opportunities and a direct route to the music industry. 

The work of the Creative Careers Centre allows students to discover their professional identity, gain hands-on experience and new skills, develop an entrepreneurial mind-set and build a fulfilling professional portfolio. 

Extensive performance and teaching opportunities are available, as well as valuable guidance on CV and biography writing, concert programming, communication skills, project management, marketing and publicity, online promotion, financial matters and how to develop a business idea.

Find out more about the Creative Careers Centre 


The Royal College of Music is proud to offer its students fantastic practice and performance facilities with resources to support teaching and learning. We continually improve our facilities to ensure RCM students have the best opportunities.

Explore our facilities with a video tour of the RCM

Key facilities at the RCM include:

  • The Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall - our primary performance venue for orchestras and large ensembles.
  • Our 400-seat Britten Theatre, home to the RCM’s thriving International Opera School.
  • A new Performance Hall, offering an alternative space for ensembles, with a retractable stage, Fazioli grand piano and variable acoustics.
  • Intimate spaces for solo and chamber performance in our Performance Studio and Parry Rooms.
  • Sound-proofed Amadeus Music Pods for private practice.
  • A purpose-built percussion suite – you can watch a video tour on YouTube.
  • Over 160 pianos, including 60 grand pianos and 20 early keyboards, as well as organ rooms.
  • A Blüthner Practice Suite which holds ten Blüthner Model A upright pianos.
  • Instrument surgeries including luthier services.
  • RCM Studios: a commercial-grade facility, enabling live broadcasts around the world.
  • Digital Innovation Lab: advanced recording and mixing suite.
  • RCM Library with more than 200,000 scores, books and recordings in its lending collection, as well as access to more than 400 music journals.
  • Recently refurbished RCM Museum, holding more than 14,000 instruments, portraits and images, as well as a climate-controlled performance space and the associated Wolfson Centre in Music & Material Culture | Royal College of Music (rcm.ac.uk)

Find out more about RCM facilities

Contact the Vocal & Opera Faculty

If you have any general queries about vocal at the RCM please contact our Vocal & Opera Faculty Administration team. If you have any queries about auditions or the admissions process, please contact our Admissions team.

Vocal & Opera Faculty Administration

General enquiries about the operation of the faculty and consultation lessons



Admissions and general audition enquiries

+44 (0)20 7591 4362


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