MA in Opera Making & Writing
In association with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
One year full-time
On occasion, we able to consider applications submitted after the deadline. If you are interested in applying, please contact Antoine Kaiserman.
This Masters programme allows composers and writers to focus on how new opera is created, developed and performed. Part of an exciting new partnership between Guildhall School and the Royal Opera House, the programme is led by Julian Philips, Head of Composition, with support from Stephen Plaice, Writer-in-Residence, and Laura Bowler, composition professor.
The programme is coordinated in close collaboration with the School’s award-winning Opera Department, its Technical Theatre Department and the Associate Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House. It enables you to acquire first-hand experience of the day-to-day workings of the Royal Opera House. At the same time, you will receive individually-tailored one-to-one tuition from the School’s Writer-in-Residence, Stephen Plaice, or from a member of the School’s world-class Composition Department. Through mentoring and observation, you will gain valuable insight into how to work successfully in opera with conductors and directors, singers and instrumentalists, designers and stage managers.
Specifically focusing on operatic composition and the theatre, the core programme activity supports writers and composers to work collaboratively on the creation of a new chamber operatic work (20-25 minutes in duration). This piece will be rehearsed, produced and premiered by the Opera programme in Guildhall School’s new Milton Court Studio Theatre. Additional projects allow writers to focus more specifically on their own creative practice – whether poetry, prose or dramatic script – and composers to develop their craft in writing for the operatic voice. For both writers and composers, this programme offers valuable performance opportunities for new work across Guildhall School’s Music, Acting and Technical Theatre Departments. All students will become equipped with appropriate expertise in the professional context of new opera.
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 support, supervise and mentor writing students on the programme
- Electives including Electro-Acoustic Music, Aesthetics, Research and Writing for Performance