CAR 1. Using text to create character

Period of the EOA module in 2022-2023

  • September – December 2022 (c. months)
  • Term dates: Monday 20th September to Friday 10th December

Developing the use of spoken word in an operatic context to explore and inhabit character, examining the relationship between text and music and how this synthesises to facilitate authentic delivery on stage.

The module is in two parts:

  1. Creating an advanced awareness of and emphasis on acting, movement and improvisation skills, through intensive and detailed study and delivery of set texts (drawn from poetry, plays and literature as well as operatic libretti) to create and inhabit character. Core methodology of this work will be based on Stanislawski.
  2. Focusing on attaining a deep understanding of the challenges of delivering recitative in opera, across a range of composers, styles and languages. This will be delivered through working sessions, coaching, staging work and a summative performance.

Instruction will be English; recitative may be studied in any of the principal singing languages. Students also take supporting classes shown below.

This module responds to the current needs of the industry (UK and Europe) to produce operatic graduates that are able to convey text clearly and convincingly, particularly in English, linking with Welsh National Opera through the RWCMD’s Seligman Opera School.

Name(s) of the professor(s) of this module

  • John Fisher, Artistic Director of the Seligman Opera School
  • Martin Constantine, Head of Opera Directing
  • Angela Livingstone, Head of Opera & Vocal Performance
  • Alma Sheehan, performance coach
  • Music Staff of Welsh National Opera

Possible extras:

  • Movement & drama classes
  • Language classes
  • 1:1 singing lessons (these may be focused on English repertoire – operatic, oratorio and song)
  • Vocal coaching
  • Involvement in the College’s end of term opera gala (opera scenes accompanied by orchestra) may be available, depending on the requirement of voice type and repertoire (tbc in September)

Minimum and maximum number of students:

1 – 2


  • Text project: 20 hours
  • Recitative project: weekly classes (6 hrs per week), intensive production week (30 hrs) leading to in-house showing
  • Drama & movement: 2 hrs per week Languages: up to 3 hrs per week
  • 1:1 singing lesson: 1 hr per week
  • Coaching: 1 hr per week

Entrance examination:

  • Submission of unedited video, performing 3 contrasting arias, 1 in English, 1 in Italian and 1 own choice language
  • Deadline: 15th April 2022

Description of the final examination:

  • Continual assessment across project (50%)
  • Performance in recitative project (50%)

Total expenses of the EOA module per student and what is included/excluded in this price:

Module is available within an Erasmus exchange, for students at Masters level in vocal/operatic training.

Students must provide their own accommodation, meals and travelling costs.

Module Code : CAR 1
Institution : Cardiff
Dates : September – December 2022 (c. 3 months)
Student : Singer
Language : English
Activity : Performance
Module Type : Professional training