Guildhall School of Music and Drama Vocal Studies

By | 9th June 2017

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Guildhall School of Music and Drama Vocal Studies

Guildhall School of Music and Drama Vocal Studies

Vocal Studies

Individual Lessons and Coaching | Masterclasses | Opera Studies | Song Repertoire | Recitative | Oratorio | Contemporary Repertoire | Drama | Movement | Languages | Musicianship | Vocal Ensemble | Performance Projects
Guildhall School is renowned for its training of singers. At the heart of Vocal Studies is the development of each student’s individuality as a performer and artist. Through an intensive programme of one-to-one lessons, coaching, small-group work, repertoire classes, performance projects and rehearsals, you will be helped to build the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to find your own professional direction. Establishing and maintaining a healthy, consistent vocal technique is the focus of your regular one-to-one lessons, while the innovative array of classes and performance opportunities is designed to hone your understanding of musical style, languages, stagecraft, communication, musicianship and ensemble work.

Undergraduate

BMus

The four-year undergraduate programme is structured to establish firm foundations in the core disciplines necessary for a singer: Vocal Technique, Repertoire and Musicianship, Performance Craft and Languages.

Studies in Years 1 & 2 involve:
  • Individual singing lessons
  • Vocal repertoire classes and projects
  • Spoken and sung languages (English, Italian, German and French)
  • Performance craft (drama, movement and performance projects)
  • Sight-singing
  • Ensemble skills
  • Keyboard skills
  • Performance platform

In Year 3 the various subjects are integrated and greater focus is placed on putting disciplines into practice through rehearsal and showcase performance.

Studies in Year 3 involve:
  • Individual singing lessons
  • Individual coaching
  • Introduction to opera (staged/semi-staged opera repertoire)
  • Drama (spoken text)
  • Movement
  • Italian repertoire
  • Spoken and sung German
  • Spoken and sung French
  • Song repertoire
  • Historical performance
  • Performance platform

Year 4 is almost exclusively practical.

Studies in Year 4 involve:
  • Individual singing lessons
  • Individual coaching
  • Opera and theatre (opera scenes and production)
  • Stagecraft and Movement
  • Song repertoire (including English, French and German song)
  • Italian repertoire
  • Voiceworks (contemporary repertoire)
  • Oratorio
  • Classical specialism
  • Teaching skills
  • Audition preparation
  • Professional skills
  • Performance platform

Read more about the BMus course structure.

Postgraduate

MMus/MPerf in Performance

Read more about our Masters in Performance Vocal Studies specialism.

Artist Diploma

Read more about our Artist Diploma programme

MPhil/DMus, MPhil/PhD

Read more about our research programmes and the MA in Opera Making & Writing.
The breadth of studies available at postgraduate level allows advanced students to specialise in areas of interest and importance to them. You will be encouraged to explore your existing abilities while expanding your range and depth of experience. The emphasis for each student at this stage is on consolidating vocal-technical abilities as necessary, deepening understanding of style and performance practice, and building rehearsal and performance expertise in the School and in professional contexts. By the end of postgraduate study, each student will have developed their professional artistic profile, with intensive help and guidance from our internationally-renowned faculty and visiting artists.

The postgraduate course offers:

  • Individual singing lessons
  • Individual coaching
  • Opera and theatre (opera scenes and production)
  • Stagecraft and movement
  • Language support
  • Italian repertoire
  • German repertoire
  • French repertoire
  • English repertoire
  • Russian repertoire
  • Spanish repertoire
  • Dramatised poetry and song
  • Voiceworks (contemporary repertoire)
  • Historical performance (Baroque and classical repertoire)
  • Guildhall Consort
  • Audition preparation
  • Auditions and Q&A visits from established performers, artist agents, casting directors, Young Artist programme directors
  • Professional skills
  • Performance platform

Opera and Theatre involves all aspects of opera performance, such as drama, movement, stage-craft, role preparation, music ensemble, and the rehearsing and performance of scenes from operas. There is a link, as well, to the Opera Department, where students form a chorus for the Opera Department’s public productions each term. They also receive coaching on roles and repertoire and have occasional opportunities to take on roles and understudies in productions. Opera Scenes are presented in staged concert performances within the School and also at outside venues in London and throughout England.

Dramatised poetry and song puts song repertoire and poetry into a dramatic, theatrical context. Each year a small team of singers and pianists creates and performs an original stage work. The elective is both practical and creative, concentrating on teamwork and a professional level of engagement and performance. Repertoire is generally English song but may involve a variety of genres. Recent performances of these staged works have been given in the Barbican Pit Theatre, Theatro Technis and at the Cheltenham & Ludlow Festivals.

Voiceworks is the Vocal Department’s New Music strand. It offers singers the opportunity to collaborate with composers, writers, pianists and directors in the development of new works for voice, and also to perform more established contemporary repertoire. Wigmore Voiceworks is an annual project linking Guildhall School singers and composers with poets from Birkbeck College, which culminates in a concert of new songs at Wigmore Hall. Other recent Voiceworks projects have included: the Complete Songs of Olivier Messiaen at The Forge in Camden, coached by Jane Manning; Extraordinary Voices, a joint project with James Weeks and EXAUDI on experimental music, including a commission from Christopher Fox, performed at the Courtauld Gallery and in the Barbican Conservatory; the songs of Thomas Adès at LSO St Luke’s, coached and conducted by the composer; George Crumb’s Apparition at the City of London Festival; A Party for Ernst Krenek at the Austrian Cultural Forum.

Guildhall Consort, directed by Eamonn Dougan in collaboration with The Sixteen and the Historical Performance Department, is the School’s advanced vocal ensemble. Covering repertoire from the Renaissance to the 21st century, the Consort performs regularly throughout the year, either a cappella or with ensembles such as the Baroque Orchestra, offering students the opportunity to develop high-level consort-singing skills. Recent highlights have been a BBC-broadcast concert of works by Arvo Pärt, Bach Motets at St. Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield, a performance at St-Martin-in-the-Fields, and pre-concert events for The Sixteen at the Barbican Centre and South Bank Centre. Graduates of the Guildhall Consort are achieving success in a number of specialist vocal ensembles and moving quickly into solo roles.