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Triggering the imagination: artist in residence Errollyn Wallen returns to RWCMD

We welcomed back Errollyn Wallen, artist in residence and one of our newest Honorary Fellows, last term.

First published: 19/07/2023

The College hosted the Welsh premiere of her new opera, The Paradis Files, leading on to the next stage of the residency, a new work celebrating the College’s 75th anniversary for 2024.

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‘The College feels like a place of true investigation into what the future of music will be like, in all its forms, asking the important questions of our time about music and drama.

It’s so inspiring to feel I’m a part of that, and it’s already enriching my life in really great ways.’  
Errollyn WallenRWCMD artist in residence

Errollyn worked with students, giving a masterclass on her new opera, and spent time with composition students who were presenting Atmospheres ‘22, a showcase of their latest work.

‘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 Wallen

'Wales is a place of such creativity that sees the arts as something for everyone to take part in. That ethos is a part of the College and sets it apart.’

We look forward to Errollyn coming back to Wales very soon, and to working with her on her new composition:

‘I’ve loved having the opportunities to meet and work with the staff and students, and to see the incredible range of talent here.

It’s important to me to share my experience of the projects I’m working on – which is part of the College’s ethos, alongside their teaching staff who are out there practising their craft as well as passing on their skills.’ 
Errollyn Wallen

As part of her residency Errollyn plans to come to the College each term, working with students across the music departments to develop her new work and engage with the local community.

Errollyn Wallen listening to a rehearsal of Chrome
‘Seeing the students’ performances has triggered my imagination, making me think about the variety of ways I can collaborate with them.

To be a part of such a great conservatoire can only be an honour and I’m thrilled to be the Royal Welsh College’s artist in residence.’
Errollyn Wallen

Errollyn Wallen’s The Paradis Files, from the UK’s leading disabled-led theatre company: A Graeae Theatre Company Production in partnership with BBC Concert Orchestra and Curve Theatre, opened this year’s Atmospheres festival.

The feature image shows Errollyn with new SU President and composition student Natalie Roe, and composition student Oliver Trigg.

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