RNCM at the National Opera Studio

RNCM mezzo-sopranos Hanna-Liisa Kirchin and Heather Lowe, and repetiteur Eda Seppar have all been offered places to study at the National Opera Studio (NOS), commencing in September.

Established by the Arts Council as a link between music colleges and the main UK opera companies, the NOS offers professional training of the highest quality to singers and repetiteurs, providing tailor-made performance opportunities and invaluable coaching from some of the industry’s leading artists.

‘There are very few places available at the NOS and I’m proud and privileged to have been offered one,’ said 2013 alumna Hanna-Liisa, who studied with Susan Roper and performed lead roles in RNCM Opera productions, including Handel’s Xerxes and Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria. ‘The NOS is one of those organisations that always seems so far away when you are studying, and to have actually reached it feels wonderful. The audition was a tough and long process but it really is a fantastic step forward and one that I hope will open more doors and possibilities in the future.’

Fellow mezzo Heather Lowe, who is set to graduate this year with an MMus in Solo Performance and performed the role of Orfeo in RNCM Opera’s production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, reiterated: ‘I’m very excited to be starting at the NOS after only just completing my Master’s at the RNCM. It was a great surprise and one that was so unexpected but incredibly exciting. It’s been a pleasure studying with Ann Taylor and I’m looking forward to continuing my studies with her during my time at NOS. My late teacher Barbara Robotham was very keen for me to apply to the Studio, and knowing that she would have been so pleased means I hold this opportunity very close to my heart.’

After completing the course both Hanna-Liisa and Heather will join a fantastic list of NOS vocal alumni, including fellow RNCM graduates Barry Banks, Alice Coote and Joan Rodgers. Estonian Eda Seppar, currently in her second postgraduate year studying with Kevin Thraves, Head of Music Staff within the School of Vocal Studies and Opera, will also add her name to an impressive list of alumni, including early music specialist and RNCM Tutor in Historical Performance, Roger Hamilton.

‘I’m very honoured and extremely pleased to have been chosen as one of NOS trainees for the upcoming yearm,’ said Eda. ‘Their repetiteur programme had been in my sight for a long time, but I never really dared to believe I could become part of something that exciting and exceptional. But it would never have happened without the support I received from the RNCM, the School of Vocal Studies and Opera and, of course, Kevin Thraves. His guidance as a tutor and mentor has been absolutely invaluable and this is as much his achievement as mine. I will be proud to be associated with the RNCM when taking the next big step!’

Kevin added: ‘To be selected as a trainee for the NOS is an amazing achievement. Eda has worked incredibly hard during her two year MMus Repetiteur course and has fully immersed herself into life at the RNCM. We spent a great deal of time in her lessons preparing the repertoire for her NOS audition and it is great news that she has been accepted as a trainee to start in September. There is a huge amount of international applicants for the few select places at the National Opera Studio and I wish Eda, together with Hanna-Liisa and Heather, every success in London. I am sure that she will have a bright future ahead of her as a repetiteur.’

The RNCM’s School of Vocal Studies and Opera continues to go from strength to strength. Earlier this month it was announced that acclaimed bass Sir John Tomlinson, winner of the 2014 RPS Gold Medal, will join in September as International Chair in Singing. Read more about his appointment here.

13 May 2014