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What’s On: Spring Essentials

23 January 2020

Filed Under:

Musical Theatre

We welcome in the new year with our Spring What’s On Guide to unmissable performances, showcasing the quality and diversity of the artistic programme right here on your doorstep this term.

Among the many exciting events on offer at the College, we welcome back BBC Young Musician, present four brand new plays in our annual NEW writing season, celebrate 250 years of Beethoven, and much more, as well as a host of free events.

RWCMD students and staff can get free tickets for many of our performances, and others are just £3, thanks to support from Liberty Living.

Ask at Box Office or visit The Hub for full details.

Prizewinner’s Recital: Rachel Goode
Tues 28 Jan, 1.15pm, Dora Stoutzker Hall

Break up your lunchtime routine with an outstanding performance from soprano and 2019 winner of the Sir Ian Stoutzker Prize, Rachel Goode. Her recital will be filled with drama, romance, fantasy and a sprinkling of humour.

Why is it essential?
Winning the Stoutzker Prize which celebrates outstanding potential and achievement in a young musician, this is another chance to see recent grad Rachel, who made her Welsh National Opera (WNO) debut this summer and performed with maestro Carlo Rizzi and the WNO at this year’s Opera Gala at RWCMD.

Wed 29 Jan & Wed 26 Feb, times and locations TBC, see website for details

Banish the January blues with an evening of baroque music in Cavillium Baroccum, before enjoying February’s Musicals Through The Ages, a musical journey from the 1860s to now, including favourites such as Sweeney Todd, West Side Story and My Fair Lady.

Also in Feb is Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, beautifully adapted featuring a small ensemble conducted by student Stefano Boccacci. An actor narrates the story and dance students from University of South Wales perform to complete the collaboration.

Why is it essential?
REPCo is our student-led arts company, where students learn ‘on the job’. These shows bring together our music and drama departments, and they would love your support.

New to REPCo? Watch our video:

Beethoven: Musical Superhero
Tues 4 Feb, 11am, St David’s Hall

Join our new Orchestradventure! which brings the life and incredible story of Beethoven to life as his legendary music is linked to modern masterpieces from our favourite films.

This interactive journey is specially devised to capture the imagination of schoolchildren through the power of a live symphony orchestra.

Why is it essential?
Hear some of the very best music ever from the legendary composer, played by your very own RWCMD Symphony Orchestra in the acoustically excellent surroundings of St David’s Hall.

The College joins BBC NOW, St David’s Hall, Sinfonia Cymru and WNO, paying tribute in Cardiff’s Beethoven 250, hosting events across the city celebrating his life works.

Concerto Competition Final
Mon 24 Feb, 6pm, Dora Stoutzker Hall

Our top instrumentalists compete for a chance to appear as a soloist with a College ensemble in our annual competition.

Why is it essential?
Come and support your friends! Join harpist Mared Pugh Evans, violinist Jose Matias; Sarah Jenkins – composer of 2019’s And The Sun Stood Still – on clarinet, and Tabitha Selley on cello.

Last year’s winner, pianist Yuki Minami, performed Tchaikovsky at St David’s Hall with the RWCMD Symphony Orchestra.

Composer Sarah Jenkins with Conductor in Residence David Jones at And The Sun Stood Still rehearsals.

The Wearable Art Show
Wed 26 Feb – Fri 28 Feb, various times, Bute Theatre

This avant-garde catwalk show brings together the College’s designers, composers and lighting students, bringing art to life for the most unique and inspirational fashion show you’ll ever see.

Why is it essential?
Come and see your fellow students perform out of their comfort zones as our theatre designers become their own catwalk models. With all the costumes made from recycled and scrap materials, it’ll be unlike anything else this spring. Get up close and personal with the costumes in the free Linbury Gallery Exhibition afterwards – until 26th March.

Welsh Impressions: St David’s Day Celebration
Fri 28 Feb, 1.15pm, Dora Stoutzker Hall

Springtime in Wales is synonymous with daffodils, newborn lambs and, of course, St David’s Day. To mark the occasion RWCMD presents a collaboration with Ty Cerdd highlighting the incredible voices of Morfydd Owen, Meirion Williams and Mansel Thomas.

Why is it essential?
Not only is it a chance to get an early start on celebrating St David’s Day, but you can also hear our very own Zoe Smith present her solo piano work Welsh Impressions. She’s joined by RWCMD grad and soprano Jessica Robinson.

RWCMD Head of Postgraduate Programmes and pianist Zoe Smith

BBC Young Musician 2020
Sun 8 March – Sun 15 March, 7pm, Dora Stoutzker Hall

We host five category finalists and the semi-final of the celebrated BBC Young Musician competition at the Dora Stoutzker Hall. You’ll hear the very best young talent in the country across keyboard, woodwind, brass, percussion and strings before the finalists compete for the overall title in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall in May.

Why is it essential?
The College is hosting special fringe events around the 42nd BBC Young Musician, a free AmserJazzTime featuring 2018 composition winner and saxophonist Xhosa Cole, followed by an unmissable Saturday lunchtime set and masterclass from brass living legend David Childs.

Xhosa Cole performing at BBC Young Musician 2018

NEW: 2020
Tues 17 March – Thurs 19 March, times and locations TBC, see website for details

Our ground-breaking new writing festival is back for its seventh year. NEW:2020 brings together four of the most exciting emerging writers and directors to work with the Richard Burton Company. The four brand-new plays will premiere in Cardiff before moving to London.

Why is it essential?
It’s a huge collaborative effort featuring 33 actors, four writers, four directors and a host of design and stage management students. Be the first to see these challenging, provocative and inspiring new plays.

Spring Awakening
Tues 24 March – Sat 28 March, various times, Sherman Theatre

Youth and rebellion erupt on stage this Spring as we present a visceral new production of this rock musical Spring Awakening, based on the controversial play by Frank Wedekind at the Sherman Theatre.

Why is it essential?
The Musical Theatre students hit the stage running with the fabulous Christmas on Broadway, now it’s time to catch them in their first full performance of the year. Don’t miss this Tony award-winning musical about the lies we tell our children and their fatal consequences.

Cosi Fan Tutte
Wed 25 March – Fri 27 March

The singers of the David Seligman Opera School bring Mozart’s enduring comedy about love and fidelity to the Dora Stoutzker Hall. Sung in Italian with English subtitles, The School for Lovers, to give the opera its alternative title, gives us some of Mozart’s most beautiful arias and ensembles –and it covers all bases as it’s packed with both pathos and humour.

Why is it essential?
Catch our talented opera students before they follow in their predecessor’s footsteps into the opera world. And don’t forget, running alongside this, there’s Miss Haversham’s Wedding Night, also featuring our opera students, and bringing to the Dora all the gothic vengeance of a woman scorned.

Free events

And of course, there are always FREE events throughout term!

Kicking off the free schedule is the Gridding Up Exhibition in the Linbury Gallery from 6 Jan. Second-year Design for Performance and Scenic Art students scale-up small images to create giant paintings using traditional methods – they are literally unmissable!

Soundbar returns for two new dates – 23 Jan and 19 March – as the composition department perform new and existing electronic pieces.

Musical fans are in for a treat with vocal favourites performed at Cabaret at the College on 5 Feb and 4 March.

Saturday 15 Feb is a percussionist’s dream as Big Bash Saturday hits RWCMD. Patrick King and Owen Gunnell lead the morning workshop for percussionists aged 10 and up, followed by a massed Samba workshop for beginners and experts alike.

There’s more Ty Cerdd collaboration in the Weston Gallery with Finding A Voice on 29 March, where months of composition work is debuted by an ensemble of RWCMD performers.

Last but never least, our ever-popular AmserJazzTime is back at 5.30pm on Fridays. Some of Wales’ best young musicians take to the stage in the Carne Foyer, so grab a drink and enjoy some brilliant jazz.

For more details on the above events and even more shows, head to our What’s On page.

AmserJazzTime always draws big crowds in the Carne Foyer

Even if  you’re not a student at RWCMD, but you are a Liberty Living tenant in Cardiff, you can still get your hands on £3 tickets for selected performances.

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