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7th April, 2015

Doctoral studentship in collaboration with the Royal Opera House

Jointly funded studentship offers one composer every two years the opportunity to be Composer-in-Residence at The Royal Opera over a three year period

The Guildhall School’s flagship doctoral studentship, in collaboration with the Royal Opera House, is now open to applicants for its second ever appointment.

The Composer-in-Residence studentship began in September 2013 with Philip Venables as the first composer. Jointly funded by the Guildhall School and the Royal Opera House, the studentship offers one composer every two years the opportunity to be Doctoral Composer-in-Residence at The Royal Opera over a three year period. During this time the composer will research and write a major work for the Linbury Studio Theatre which will be staged in the final term of Year 3.

The studentship is targeted at composers who have some experience in composing for opera. The principal supervisor is the Guildhall School’s Head of Composition, Dr Julian Philips, who was the first ever Composer-in-Residence at Glyndebourne. Philips is partnered by Associate Director of Opera for The Royal Opera House, John Fulljames, as well as a second supervisor from the Guildhall School’s distinguished composition department.

John Fulljames commented on the unique offering: “The wider Guildhall School and Royal Opera House partnership [which is manifest in two programmes – the MA in Opera Making & Writing, and the Doctoral Composer-in-Residence] is important because learning to write opera is a very complex thing, and it’s often rushed. I think that having a framework within which you can learn how other people have written opera, and take time trying out the making, has huge value. Guildhall has fantastic Opera and Composition departments, and it’s the way the two departments work together that offers a unique opportunity for opera makers to acquire the skills and experience needed to make this strangest and most complex of art-forms.”

Philips added, “I’m delighted that we’re now embarking on the search for our second Guildhall School-Royal Opera House Composer-in-Residence. The result of an important conservatoire-opera company partnership, this scheme constitutes a major contribution to our contemporary operatic culture, giving composers access to an array of important resources and the artistic care and support to help them create new work of distinction and innovation.”

Current Doctoral Composer-in-Residence Philip Venables, who is now in his second year, writes of his experience on the programme so far:

“So far this programme has been a real journey of discovery, exploring what I really want to achieve with my operatic work and also what is possible on a logistical level with a large producing house like the ROH. It’s a luxury to have the time and resources to take this journey, in a very supported environment at both institutions, but on another level, absolutely vital to creating original and engaging new opera.”

Find further information on the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and Royal Opera House Doctoral Composer-in-Residence programme.

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