The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama has been named as the best in the UK for drama training, and in the top five specialist conservatoires of music, according to The Guardian University League Tables published yesterday.
Since opening its award-winning £22.5 million buildings in 2011, including the first purpose built chamber recital hall in Wales, the College offers state-of-the-art facilities, a professional public performance experience and exposure to an impressive line-up of world-class visiting artists.
The intensive training mirrors the most up-to-date practices of the creative industries, with strong links to professional organisations such as Welsh National Opera, and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. In recent years numerous College graduates have gone on to world-renowned companies like the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre, as well as working in TV, film and radio, and the full range of fields within the music profession
RWCMD’s recently appointed International Chairs of Music and Drama, including Michael Sheen, cellist Paul Watkins and trumpeter Sergei Nakariakov, are committed to supporting the next generation of performers at the College with regular visits and masterclasses. Other recent visitors include Sarah Chang, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Louis Lortie and screenwriters David S. Goyer and Paul Abbott.
Wales’ great heritage in performance has been acknowledged in the naming of its newest theatre space, The Richard Burton Theatre. “We offer a unique experience here, with very few places available to only the most talented students,” says Sean Crowley, Director of Drama. “Final year students from acting, design and stage management combine to form the Richard Burton Company, working together in a professional context to produce an extraordinary breadth of performance styles.”
Later this month the College welcomes BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and in September hosts World Stage Design, a major international stage design exhibition, with BBC Young Musician of the Year returning in 2014. This year RWCMD has already hosted an International Harp Festival, and launched its own three-day Jazz festival.
“We are delighted with these excellent results, although not totally surprised, as this just proves something that we’ve believed for a long time, and it’s all credit to our fantastic students and the staff at the College. The Guardian list highlights the unrivalled staff/student ratio across music and drama, which allows us to nurture each artist as an individual. The nature of our training is based on preparing students for a tough industry, and helping them to fulfil their potential in their chosen profession, and we now have the perfect environment in our award-winning new performance and training facilities to give the students the learning experience they deserve.”
Hilary Boulding, Principal