Joint scholarships for RNCM and WAAPA

The RNCM and Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University (WAAPA) are deepening their partnership through substantial joint scholarships.

Worth £10,000 (A$18,600) each, the financial support will enable two of WAAPA’s graduating classical music students to undertake a year of postgraduate study at the Manchester conservatoire, commencing in 2020.

The new initiative is part of an ongoing collaboration between the RNCM and WAAPA, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in 2017. Since then, both institutions have been engaged in collaborative research and performance opportunities, as well as placements and exchanges for staff and students.

The Edith Spielgeltent at WAAPA (credit Stephen Heath Photography)

‘The RNCM has enjoyed a strong relationship with WAAPA for a number of years, and I am thrilled that we are developing this further through two substantial joint scholarships alongside smaller bursaries and opportunities for staff and student exchange,’ says Professor Linda Merrick, RNCM Principal.

‘International partnerships such as this form a significant part of conservatoire training, enabling us to share best practice, explore collaborative projects and further enhance the student experience.’

The inspirational training provided by the RNCM’s School of Vocal Studies and Opera is renowned the world over and has, for many years, been a highly sought-after postgraduate destination for WAAPA graduates.

Following her undergraduate course at WAAPA, soprano Samantha Clarke wrapped up her postgraduate studies at the RNCM with a 2017 Gold Medal, the highest accolade a student can receive while studying at a conservatoire. During her time in Manchester she performed lead roles in Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Handel’s Theodora, and was recently signed by Askonas Holt for worldwide general management.

Samantha Clarke (left) and Daniella Sicari (centre) with Sarah Gilford in RNCM Opera’s production of Cosi fan tutte

Fellow WAPPA graduate, Australian soprano Daniella Sicari, applied to the RNCM for postgraduate training because of the range of performance opportunities on offer: self-devised lunch-time recitals, opera scenes, opera production auditions and external opera company residencies and mentorships.

The 2018 graduate said: ‘The RNCM is known for its friendliness and welcoming nature; this is absolutely true and it made such an impact on my time there. The people I met inspired me and I learnt many important lessons from the teachers and guest artists who visited the College.’

Based in Perth, WAAPA is recognised worldwide as a leading performing arts academy. Its ongoing relationship with the RNCM is helping to strengthen its international profile further, as a world-class provider of music education.

Professor David Shirley, Executive Dean of WAAPA, said: ‘Our continuing relationship with the RNCM and the unique opportunities afforded by the joint scholarship scheme represents a very exciting phase in the development of the partnership between WAAPA and the RNCM. I am delighted with this wonderful initiative and I very much look forward to further collaborations in the future.’

Full details of the inaugural RNCM/WAAPA scholarship winners will be announced in December this year.

23 May 2019