Vocal and Operatic
The Department of Vocal and Operatic Studies offers extensive tuition for aspiring professional singers. Our comprehensive course of study has been designed to allow you to follow your individual preferences, while providing you with the broad base of experience needed in the profession today.
Developing your skills
Therefore, in addition to your individual lessons, you will have regular individual vocal coaching, as well as Baroque and contemporary music classes.
You may choose a related singing specialism (such as Baroque singing) as your second study, providing you with even greater exposure to a particular specialist area.
Other core activities through which you will develop your performance skills will include masterclasses with visiting professionals; repertoire and performance classes covering Lieder, French and English song, oratorio, etc; and language tuition in French, Italian, German and Russian.
Staged works and other performance opportunities
All students undertake a theatrical training programme including drama and stagecraft and if you are interested in pursuing musical theatre, you will be able to take advantage of specialist coaching in this area.
Students who have attained an appropriate level of skill are auditioned for fully staged performances of operas, Baroque operas and musicals, which involve intensive periods of musical and dramatic preparation.
Birmingham Conservatoire is distinct in providing operatic performing possibilities at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, and since 2001 our students have enjoyed the use of the fully equipped Crescent Theatre situated nearby in Birmingham’s canal-side development, Brindleyplace.
Two other important departmental activities are our ‘Liederabend’ evenings of song – constructed around the works of particular composers or poets – and our annual Opera Scenes, which consistently sell out.
These events, in which the whole department participates, are open to the public and take place once a term. Numerous other performance opportunities are offered by the Conservatoire’s four choirs and full schedule of public concerts, stage works and competitions.
There is a real atmosphere of inclusiveness within our Department. Our stage activities are open to the entire Department, postgraduate and undergraduate alike. Naturally, the more experienced singers will be those given lead parts, but there are also many smaller roles and chorus parts which offer developing singers the opportunity to gain fundamental stage experience.
We consider it essential that you learn in an environment which, although inevitably competitive, is one in which there is understanding and support between all students.
Everything we do contributes to the different elements needed to become a professional singer and it will be for you to seize and capitalise upon the many opportunities here.
We always take care that, while your skills are developing, you remain within the limits of your technical abilities and are not presented with demands that may cause you to overextend yourself.The choice of stage works is always a challenge, but we try to find works with as many parts as possible and, additionally, double-cast our shows.
During your time as a vocal student, you will have the opportunity to perform in a great variety of stage works: mainstream opera, historically informed performances and musicals.
All our staged performances are conducted, prepared and directed by visiting specialists who, in addition to staff members, will be vital contributors to your educational experience.