BMusPerf (Vocal)

  • Application deadline
    1 December
  • Course duration
    4 years
  • Course accreditation
    Trinity Accredited Course
  • Course fee
    €3,000
  • Course fee (non-EU/EEA)
    €19,000
  • Course director

Course Introduction

An introduction from Kathleen Tynan, Head of Vocal Studies and Opera

At the RIAM Vocal Studies Faculty we aim to equip you with all the necessary skills to enable you to reach your full potential. Our faculty has a rich tradition of success amongst our graduates, who perform in opera houses and concert halls around the world.

Our dynamic BMus and MMus in Performance courses have been specifically designed to set you on the path to a successful performance career in the 21st century. We pride ourselves on our small intake of talented students and our supportive learning environment.

  • You will have two hours of singing lessons per week with a vocal teacher of international calibre.

  • You will also have weekly lessons with a vocal coach and accompanist.

  • RIAM singers are also guaranteed individual coaching sessions and masterclasses with our international visiting artists.

  • In addition we offer a wide range of classes to support your vocal, physical and musical development. These include group classes in Languages, Movement, Feldenkrais, Acting, Yoga, Song and Opera Performance and daily Sight-singing classes.

We are passionate about performance at RIAM. Our students are guaranteed a wealth of performance opportunities throughout their studies. We produce two fully staged opera productions per year in professional theatres directed by leading opera directors and conductors. We have also established performance collaborations for our vocal students with the Guildhall School, London, the Juilliard School, New York and the Liszt Academy, Budapest.

I am very happy to take queries from you. You can contact me on kathleentynan@riam.ie

Course Outline

 

For all four years of the course there are two singing lessons per week, individual weekly sessions with a vocal coach and accompanist and a variety of Performance Classes.  

Considerable importance is attached to these Performance Classes, which are masterclass-type sessions. Students choose and prepare repertoire which is then performed, under the expert guidance of a tutor. The classes build performance skills, confidence and experience and help build a strong supportive environment amongst peers.  

All singers participate in two performances annually with the RIAM Chorale.  

Singers in Year 3 and Year 4 have the opportunity to sing roles, understudy roles and participate in the ensemble of RIAM Opera productions.  

The Academic components of the Vocal degree develop and foster the singer’s very particular musical requirements. Throughout all four years, you will receive sight-singing and aural training classes, 5 days a week. This systematic approach guarantees the development of one of the most important skills in a singer’s tool-kit – the ability to read a score at sight. 

In Years One to Three, you will study a number of core modules: Harmony and Counterpoint, Aural training, Analysis and History. There are also shorter modules in Music Technology and Keyboard Skills. In Year four you have the opportunity to explore two specialist electives of your own choice: Dissertation, Composition, Music technology, Analysis or Conducting

Innovative professional practice seminars are incorporated into the degree to prepare students for a successful and healthy portfolio career in the 21st century. 

Year 1  

Italian is developed through both language classes and Baroque Performance Class. You will also study the International Phonetic Alphabet. During Song Class you will perform art songs in English, and Folk songs.  

You will have training in Movement, designed to prepare you for stage work and Yoga to assist with posture and ease of movement.  

Assessment 

  • Mid-year Technical Exam: (February) to include a baroque aria and a Vaccai vocalise in Italian.  

  • End of year: (June) a 15-20 minute Recital Exam including baroque songs and arias in English and Italian, art songs in English and folk songs in native languages. 

Year 2 

As the voice develops students undertake more demanding repertoire and start the study of German in language classes and coaching in Lieder.  

You will have the opportunity to perform repertoire in both Baroque Class and Song Class.  

You will continue to have classes in Movement and Yoga.  

In addition you will have classes in Acting for Singers and an Opera Ensemble Class.   

Assessment 

  • Mid-year Technical Exam (February) to include an Italian aria with a recitative, a German Lied and a Vaccai vocalise in Italian.  

  • End-of-year (June): a 25-30 minute Recital  Exam including baroque songs and arias in Italian and German, German Lieder and art songs in English. 

Year 3 

You will commence study of the French language and its repertoire –Mélodie.  

Song Classes are extended to provide performance classes for Lieder, Mélodies and English and American Song taught by specialist tutors. There is more scope for peer assessment in these classes as the whole group is involved in the discussion of performances with the tutors providing guidance in discussions as well as direct coaching.  

Acting Classes, Opera Ensemble Classes and Yoga Classes continue.

You may also have the opportunity to participate in a RIAM Opera production as a member of the ensemble or in a role if appropriate.  

You will also receive individual vocal coaching from the RIAM’s visiting international artists and the opportunity to sing in public Masterclasses. 

Assessment 

  • Mid-year Technical Exam (February) to include a German Lied, a French Mélodie and a Vaccai vocalise in Italian.  

  • End of year (June) a 35-40 minute Recital Exam including German Lieder, French Mélodies, art songs in English and operatic arias in Italian, German and French to include 18th and 19th century repertoire. 

Year 4 

Year four is the culmination of the undergraduate course and there are some additional classes in this year. You will have an Aria Class, to include both Operatic and Oratorio repertoire.  

The Song Classes in Lieder, Mélodies and English and American Song continue.  

Yoga Classes also continue.  

You will also have the opportunity to participate in a RIAM Opera production in a role or as an understudy if appropriate.  

You will also receive individual vocal coaching from the RIAM’s visiting international artists and the opportunity to sing in public Masterclasses. 

Assessment 

The mid-year exam is replaced by a Voice and Orchestra exam in May. This can be a vocal cantata, a song cycle for voice and orchestra or equivalent repertoire.  

In June you will sing a 50 - 55 minute Recital Exam. The programme should include all major vocal genres i.e. Baroque, Lieder, Mélodies, Art Song, 20th Century Song, Opera and Oratorio. Marks will be given for the construction of a balanced and interesting programme.  

For a more detailed description of the course requirements, please refer to the BMusPerf Vocal Studies Handbook

Performing Opportunities

 

We are passionate about performance at RIAM.  

  • Our students are guaranteed a wealth of performance opportunities in great venues throughout their studies.  

  • We produce two fully staged opera productions per year in professional theatres directed by leading opera directors and conductors.  

  • We have also established performance collaborations for our vocal students with the Guildhall School, London, the Juilliard School, New York and the Liszt Academy, Budapest. 

Career Destinations

 

In the past five years RIAM singing alumni have performed roles with the following opera companies:  

Irish National Opera; Wexford Festival Opera; NI Opera, Belfast; Wide Open opera; Opera Theatre Company; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Glyndebourne Festival Opera; English National Opera; Welsh National Opera; Scottish Opera; Opera North; Holland Park Opera; Garsington Opera; Early Opera Company; Metropolitan Opera, New York; Salzburg Festival; Bavarian State Opera; Vienna State Opera; Hamburg Opera; Staattheater Klagenfurt; Oper Frankfurt; Staatstheater Wiesbaden Oper; Landestheater Linz; BadischesStaats Theater Karlsruhe; Komische Oper Berlin; Semperoper Dresden; Theater Erfurt; Theater Freiburg; Deutsch Oper am Rhein, Düsseldorf; Oper Leipzig; Zurich Opera; Les Arts Florisants; Paris Opera; Aix-en-Province Festival; La Fenice, Venice; Teatro dell’Opera di Roma; La Scala, Milan; Maggio Musicale Fiorentino; Danish National Opera; Swedish National Opera; Teatro Real, Madrid;Tel Aviv Opera; Mikhailovsky Theatre, St. Petersburg 

In the past five years RIAM singing alumni have performed with the following orchestras…. Etc [content to follow ….] 

Why Choose Us

 

  • When you are selected to study at the RIAM you can be sure that you will receive the highest level of tuition from teachers who are passionate about what they do. 

  •   You will benefit from a bespoke vocal studies degree specially designed to equip you with all the necessary skills to enable you to reach your full potential.  
  • You will get access to world-class performers through masterclasses and individual coaching sessions.  

  • Being in a small class means that you will receive a vast number of performance opportunities in great venues.  

  • You will get the opportunity to perform roles in fully stage opera productions directed and conducted by leading opera professionals.  

  • You will be inspired to follow in the footsteps of our successful alumni: 

                      Tara Erraught, Celine Byrne, Claudia Boyle, Anna Devin, Naomi O’Connell,  Gavan Ring, Máire Flavin, Benjamin Russell, Gyula Nagy, Padraic Rowan and Rachel Kelly 

  • This is the best preparation you can have to get ready for a performing career in the 21st century. 

Entry Requirements

 

For your audition you will be asked to give a balanced and stylistically contrasting 15 minute programme to include the following: 

Song or aria in Italian from 17th or 18th century 

Song in English 

Own choice song or aria in any language 

There will also be a short interview and written examination 

[Include link to generic entry requirements page for Undergraduates] 

Course handbook