Students and graduates

Student stories

Sophie Pullen

Sophie Pullen completed a postgraduate diploma in Vocal and Operatic Studies and now works as a freelance soprano, as well as being a freelance Project Manager and running a research project on the first English female racing car driver with a secondary school in Sussex.

"As a freelance soprano I have worked with Clapham Opera Festival, Brighton Early Music Festival, Barefoot Opera Young Artists, Philharmonia Chorus, The Orchestra of St John’s – St John’s Smith Square, King’s Place, Dorchester Abbey, Hampstead Garden Opera, Cameo Opera, Warwick Arts Centre, Bexhill Choral Society, Buxted Symphony Orchestra and Benson Choral Society. I recently won the Förderpreis der Stadt Torgau at the Internationale Sängerakademie Torgau in Germany and will be singing Adina, Damon, covering Musetta, and 1st Trio member in Trouble in Tahiti in the coming months. Studying for the Postgraduate Diploma gave me confidence in myself and contacts within the profession. It also improved my technique, educated me on musicianship and prepared me for auditions and performance. One of the best things about being at Birmingham Conservatoire was the opportunity to perform in full-scale operas, playing Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi was probably the highlight for me. In the future I plan to audition for the festival operas and get onto a young artist programme somewhere in Europe."

International Students

Beibei Wang

Operatic soprano Beibei Wang, from Shenzhen in China, graduated from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, part of Birmingham City University, with an MA in Music in 2012.

Since then, Beibei has set up her own organisation called East-West Arts Initiative, which aims to introduce classical musicians to wider audiences through artist management, promotions and touring opera productions.

As the name suggests, her Initiative also provides a conduit for artists who are wishing to develop their career more widely abroad, especially between China and the UK – echoing Beibei’s own heritage and where she is now based.

As part of East-West Arts Initiative, Beibei is actively discovering new markets for singers, by introducing western singers into China and ensuring Chinese performers are receiving exposure in the UK.

To date, East-West Arts Initiative has led and participated in a range of activities within The O2 – the world’s busiest music area – Trafalgar Square and Cadogan Hall.

Our graduates

Katy Gilbert - Soprano

Since graduating in 2018, Katie has been developing her recital work, performing in concerts nationally with duo partners on classical guitar and piano she met whilst studying, and developing programmes and repertoire for the future.

She has also sung in the final of the London Song Festival's Schubert Competition, and teaches both privately and at school. Becoming a mum in spring 2019 has given her the space to really focus on new repertoire and adjust to her new voice. In the future she plans to audition for opera companies, and possibly go on to further study, while continuing to perform and teach.