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MA in Opera Making & Writing Guildhall School of Music & Drama

UK

Course info

Summary

This Masters programme allows composers and writers to focus on how new opera is created, developed and performed. Part of an exciting partnership between Guildhall School and the Royal Opera House, the programme centres around the creation of a 25-minute chamber opera which is fully staged in Milton Court Studio Theatre.

The course admits three composers and three writers each year. During an initial induction module, students pair up into composer-writer teams. Each team develops a short opera scene, before going on to create full chamber operas. Two smaller projects allow you to follow your own creative pathway: in poetry, prose, dramatic or film script (writers), and in vocal or instrumental/ electronic works (composers).

The programme focuses on the collaborative nature of opera making, and each composerwriter team is supported by collaborative mentoring. Students also take part in one-to-one tutorials, production seminars and creative development workshops.

Led by Julian Philips, Head of Composition, Stephen Plaice, Writer-in-Residence, and Laura Bowler, composition professor, teaching is enriched through regular seminars with visiting professionals from the opera world including conductors and directors, singers and instrumentalists, designers and stage managers.

The programme collaborates closely with Guildhall’s award-winning Opera Department, led by Dominic Wheeler, with Guildhall opera singers forming the cast for the chamber operas created by composer-writer teams.

Practical experience of opera during the year is hugely augmented by the programme’s association with the Royal Opera House, which provides opportunities to see productions in rehearsal and performance, and to meet and network with key resident and visiting practitioners.

Additional programme features include:

  • One-to-one Principal Study tuition for both writers and composers
  • Regular mentoring sessions for the composer-writer creative teams from Drama Department professors
  • Weekly production seminars, with presentations from visiting writers, composers and directors
  • Two blocks of creative development time for composers and writers to workshop their new chamber operas as they develop
  • Observation of contemporary opera in rehearsal and production both on the main stage and in smaller spaces at the Royal Opera House
  • Performance opportunities for smaller-scale project work through the School’s Vocal Studies and Drama Departments
  • A professorial post of Writer-in-Residence, Stephen Plaice, appointed to lead the writing pathway, supporting and supervising writing students on the programme.

Student success

In the six years since its inception, graduates of the course have received commissions from the Royal Opera House, the National Opera Studio, Glyndebourne, Mahogany Opera Group, Danish National Opera, Pittsburgh Festival Opera and Boston Opera Festival, Carnegie Hall, the Eden Project and many more.

Course options

Here are the different ways in which you can study MA in Opera Making & Writing.

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees

£22,800.00 (23,51,120) per year

From

13-Sep-21

Venue

Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Silk Street,

City of London,

EC2Y 8DT, England

Entry requirement for international students

Composition Pathway: Applicants should normally have obtained an upper second class honours undergraduate degree in music with a composition specialism, or international equivalent. However, graduates in a different discipline will be considered provided the quality of their composition is equivalent to the expected academic standards for this FHEQ level 7 programme. Writing Pathway: Applicants should normally have obtained an upper second class honours undergraduate degree in an arts subject, or international equivalent. However, graduates in a different discipline will be considered provided the quality of their writing portfolio is equivalent to the expected academic standards for this FHEQ level 7 programme. Writing Pathway: Applicants should normally have obtained an upper second class honours undergraduate degree in an arts subject, or international equivalent. However, graduates in a different discipline will be considered provided the quality of their writing portfolio is equivalent to the expected academic standards for this FHEQ level 7 programme. Applicants who are not native speakers of English should have achieved a minimum overall score of 7.0 in the IELTS Academic Training examination with no individual component score below 6.0 (or equivalent).

* Please check with your chosen school for the exact entry requirements for your programme.

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