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Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Professional Practice (Opera)

  • Award:

    Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Professional Practice

  • Awarding body:

    University of South Wales 

  • Location of study:

    Cardiff (RWCMD and Old Library) 

  • Start date:

    21 September 2025

  • Duration:

    12 months intensive

  • Course code:

    625F - UCAS Conservatoires


In this 12-month advanced programme, created in association with Welsh National Opera (WNO), you’ll delve into a rigorous combination of individual tuition, specialist classes and numerous performance opportunities in a range of settings.

Course overview

When joining the David Seligman Opera School, operatic performance will be the foundation of your experience. The majority of your study will centre on public performance in fully staged opera, involving periods of intense preparation and rehearsal. 

Through our strong ties with industry, you’ll be immersed in a professional operatic company environment from early on in your course. Working as part of the David Seligman Opera School; you will also have opportunities to observe and shadow selected WNO activities. 

Through a range of teaching approaches in an inspiring conservatoire setting, you’ll develop a mastery of the essential skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in today’s opera industry. 

Why study opera at the Royal Welsh College?

  • The 12–month training encompasses a combination of teaching approaches that enrich your specialist skills, while enhancing your employability – one-to-one tuition, coaching, groupwork, tutorials, lectures, seminars, practical classes and workshops alongside focused production periods.
  • Your programme of study won’t adhere to any single methodology or philosophy – instead, it brings many influences and approaches to your work so you can grow confident in identifying and understanding your own artistic vision.
  • You’ll learn professional operatic working practices with professional directors and repetiteurs, offering you insight into the inner workings of the industry and building familiarity with the operatic environment.
  • Our partnerships with the opera industry offer you opportunities to collaborate directly with Welsh National Opera – These opportunities include the annual WNO opera gala where soloists from the David Seligman Opera School are accompanied by the WNO orchestra, being coached and mentored by WNO music staff as well as the chance to observe and shadow selected WNO studio rehearsals. Not only will this help you to build a network of contacts, but you’ll also be able to develop a deep understanding of how the industry operates.
  • Our impressive list of tutors includes renowned vocal soloists and distinguished coaches. They offer you not only first-rate teaching, but mentorship and networking opportunities as well.
  • You’ll balance your individual tuition with fully integrated classes in stagecraft, which include movement and dance, and tuition in dramatic and interpretive skills. 
  • You’ll also have classes in the main operatic languages – Italian, French and German.
  • Performing is crucial to your training, and you’ll take part in ensemble projects, various performances and opera scenes presentations – including baroque and contemporary works as well as standard repertoire – to hone these skills.
  • Your study culminates in your taking a detailed study and preparation of a complete operatic role for presentation at a professionally equivalent audition and working session. This is usually assessed by a head of music from one of the main UK opera companies.
  • Your chosen programme of study will help you build the critical skills needed to make effective judgements concerning suitable repertoire and role choices for professional auditions.
  • You’ll have classes that focus on professional etiquette and opera protocol, helping you to develop an awareness of collaborative working practices.
  • You’ll also have intensive training in audition techniques, as well as employability seminars that focus on the professional skills needed to succeed in a portfolio career – such as those involving finance and social media.

Other course information

'I never imagined my career being what it is today and that is solely due to the opportunities I was allowed to experience during my time at the College.'
Joshua JonesGraduate and Baritone
‘RWCMD has its own unique stamp, and you feel that as soon as you walk into the building. What’s particularly striking is its openness, and I think that is because of the real commitment from staff and students to exchange knowledge in an atmosphere of tremendous support. You can see how the students would carry that through into their professional lives.'
Errollyn WallenComposer and RWCMD Artist in Residence

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