DIT launches Masters in Opera - the first programme of its kind in Ireland


24 March 2014: DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama announces exciting new MMus Opera/Repetiteur to commence September, 2014

DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama announces the launch of a new MMus Opera/Repetiteur, the first of its kind in Ireland, commencing September, 2014. This one-year, taught Masters programme is designed to give advanced postgraduate singers and repetiteurs the highest level operatic training in preparation for entry to the profession. 

There is currently no dedicated professional education provision for aspiring opera singers in Ireland, despite having the expertise necessary to deliver such a programme, as well as significant opportunities for career progression through organisations such as Lyric Opera, Opera Theatre Company, Wexford Festival Opera, Wide Open Opera, Irish Youth Opera, among others. Up to now, promising young opera singers and repetiteurs have had to go abroad to train and gain professional experience, incurring huge living expenses and paying high fees. DIT Conservatory believes it is time for change.  

From the outset of the programme, students will be immersed in a proto-professional environment, through a range of experiences in which they can learn, make mistakes, take risks and grow as artists ready to enter the professional world. Students will have the opportunity to perform in two major operatic performances in venues like the National Concert Hall and DIT Gleeson Theatre, where they will work with directors, conductors and performers from professional opera companies. 

The MMus Opera will only accept 8-10 students each year, the very best of young opera singers and repetiteurs in Ireland and abroad.

Auditions will be held in May/June, 2014.

DIT students performing in ‘The Turn of the Screw’ at the DIT Gleeson Theatre in January, 2013

The Conservatory of Music and Drama was founded in 1890 as the Municipal School of Music, with 51 students. Today, it is the largest conservatoire provider of music and drama education in Ireland, with around 1200 students. The Conservatory offers high quality, performance-based study programmes in music from age 3 through doctoral study, an undergraduate programme in drama performance, research opportunities, and courses for adults.

The Conservatory has a commitment to excellence in arts education and research. It offers degree programmes in opera, classical and Irish traditional music, composition, musicology, music education, jazz, drama and (in association with partner colleges) rock and pop music, and film scoring. The Conservatory puts on a large and varied programme of public performances each year – around 100 public events in 2012 – in their own venues as well as the National Concert Hall, Hugh Lane Gallery, Pepper Canister, and more. Recent operatic performances include The Magic Flute (2008), Orpheus in the Underworld (2012), The Turn of the Screw (2013), as well as annual productions of opera scenes, and opera gala performances in the National Concert Hall. Conservatory alumni who have gone on to make international opera careers include: Patricia Bardon, Orla Boylan, Alison Browner, Sinead Campbell, Colette McGahon, Doreen Curran, Ann Murray, Suzanne Murphy, Ailish Tynan, John Molloy, Andrew Murphy, Jack O’Kelly, Ciaran Rocks, Paula Murrihy, Kim Sheehan. Recent vocal masterclasses have been given by: Nuccia Focile, Orla Boylan, Robert Dean, Constance Rock (University of Connecticut), Luigi Petroni (Milan).

Colette McGahon-Tosh, DIT MMus Opera/Repetiteur Programme Chair

“The Vocal Department at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama is looking forward to delivering this much needed programme into the Irish postgraduate education system. It is heartening to think that due to the availability of this exciting course, singers and repetiteurs wishing to pursue a career in opera can, at long last, do this to the highest level of excellence on home soil.”

Dr. Suzanne Murphy, Director, Irish Youth Opera

“I would expect to see the very real effects that this type of long-overdue course will have on the standard of Irish educated opera professionals. Dedicated work on recitative, proficiency and fluency of foreign languages, clear diction and vocal styles, studied on an intensive course is absolutely necessary to raise the level of talented young singers to a standard that is expected in the wider world of Opera.”

Cav. Vivian Oates, Artistic Director, Lyric Opera Productions.

“The proposed content of this Masters is exactly what every young singer needs to learn and study on a daily basis, as it will equip them with the skills they need to enter the operatic profession. Elements like movement and stagecraft, alongside annual productions of operas/scenes, will be greatly welcomed and should see this Masters compete with similar courses abroad. Ireland does not have an opera studio for young singers so this Masters will be the first of its kind here in Ireland and will also fill the gap of a much needed ‘opera studio.’”

MMus Opera Information & Application: www.dit.ie/conservatory/postgrad/opera/

Video 1 - Excerpt from the Conservatory’s annual production, A Night at the Opera, National Concert Hall (Jan 23, 2014), featuring DIT undergraduate opera students performing scenes from La Boheme.

Video 2 - Behind the scenes footage of A Night at the Opera, National Concert Hall (Jan 23, 2014).

Contact: Lisa Jewell, DIT Marketing & Communications Officer, lisa.jewell@dit.ie, 01 4027131

Contact: Claire Connell, DIT Conservatory, Events Manager, claire.connell@dit.ie, 01 4027857


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