Prepare for opera

Course Dates: 14/01/19 - 01/04/19
Time: 17:30 - 19:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: Hakan Vramsmo

Explore classical operatic repertoire in this advanced-level workshop. Learn which styles and repertoires suit your particular voice-type. You must have at least four years' classical vocal tuition and be able to learn new repertoire quickly.


What is the course about?

These ongoing workshops will introduce you to both operatic repertoire and the vocal skills and knowledge necessary to perform opera on stage successfully. Through these classes you will discover how acting and communicating through the operatic medium affects your singing and you will gain an overview of operatic voice-types and their repertoire. Tutor: Håkan Vramsmo [external website]
Accompanist: Clive Pollard.

What will we cover?

- Vocal coaching and guidance on technique with reference to the operatic repertoire
- Guidance on suitable repertoire for auditions and productions
- Performance technique and the art of communicating with an audience in the dramatic context
- The classification of voice types in opera.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Show improved listening skills and aural perceptiveness
- Perform studied arias and recitatives competently and from memory
- Demonstrate a greater knowledge of the operatic repertoire and its suitability
- Understand your voice type in an operatic context
- Show an understanding of the skills needed to perform this repertoire.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

For this course you will need a solid vocal technique and experience preparing and performing repertoire at least Grade 8 standard. An ability to read music is essential as you will need to prepare repertoire outside class time, however sight singing will not be required.
To benefit fully from the class, you must be able to learn and present arias from memory on a regular basis and to arrive in class with repertoire already prepared and bring copies for the accompanist and teacher. You will be expected to let your teacher know your repertoire in advance.
You will need to follow written and verbal instructions in English and engage in class discussions.

If you are new to Build singing classes, please take a moment to read our blog: Choosing a singing class at City lit which lists our full sequence of singing classes. You could also drop in to one of our advice sessions where we can hear you sing and help you choose the right course. Please bring a piece to sing with simple piano accompaniment.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The class begins with a short vocal “warm up” and specific technical exercises (not that you may wish to book a practice room at City lit before your class if you need more time to warm-up than this lesson allows).
Each class follows a practical workshop format, like a masterclass: this includes experimentation and discussion arising out of work in progress, allowing tutor and student interaction and the exchange of ideas.
Repertoire will be directed by the tutor for the most part and may include a variety of styles. Please let the tutor (and accompanist) know in advance if you have specific repertoire you would like to sing in class.
Demonstration and lecture.
You will be expected to experiment with repertoire and to present it in class already prepared.
You will be expected to practise for a minimum of one hour daily.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You must bring prepared aria to the first session which you can perform to the class. Futher repertoire choices will be made in conjunction with your teacher. You will also need to source your own copies of music to be studied during the course. Music may be purchased new or second-hand and/or available from local libraries. Westminster Central Music Library (Victoria) and the Barbican Music Library have very comprehensive collections. Suitable scores may also be available from

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You may take Prepare for opera modules as long as you wish; we recommend at least a full year of study at this level. You may then wish to consider City lit opera studio, or Advanced singers’ workshops. Please also consider acting or voice classes in our Drama department.

General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Book your place

Course Code: MF337B

Please choose a course date 

Mon, day, 14 Jan - 01 Apr '19

Duration: 12 sessions (over 12 weeks)

Full fee: £249.00
Senior fee: £249.00
Concession: £152.00

Or call to enrol: 222-66-889-99

Download form & post

Any questions? [email protected]
or call 020 7492 2630

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Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online . You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.