Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama’s 75th Birthday Celebrations

By Afton Wooten

Throughout the year the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama will be celebrating its 75th birthday with several public engagement events, additions to its campus, and more.

The year’s long lineup will highlight the school’s transformational journey since it started at Cardiff Castle in 1949 and draw attention to its successes. The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama will recognize alumni, host composer Gruff Rhys, and produce opera classics “Julius Caesar” and a double bill of “Gianni Schicchi” and “La Bella Dormente nel Bosco.”

The “big birthday” kicks off the celebrations on Feb. 7, where the reimagining of the newest addition to its campus, Cardiff’s historic Old Library is revealed. Plans include both restoring and reimagining the functional and substantially net zero heritage space, creating flexible performance and workshop spaces, within a widely accessible cultural, artistic, and educational hub in the heart of Wales’ capital city. The Old Library project enables the college’s work to be opened up to the public and make music and performance an integral part of the city center. The plans offer a boost for music education, and the performing arts, and will enhance and develop the city’s music sector.

The school will also be promoting a “Big Birthday Appeal,” providing opportunities for everyone to contribute to the key projects to help fulfill the College’s highest priority birthday wishes. These include building its fund for bursaries and scholarships, developing more residencies and partnerships with communities and industry, creating more live performances, and further developing a greener and more accessible conservatory.

Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles remarked, “Congratulations to the Royal Welsh College on your contribution to the cultural life of Wales over the last 75 years and I wish you all the best for an exciting future ahead. The plans for the Old Library will provide a valuable opportunity for communities to access the arts and be inspired by the unique projects which will be available for everyone to enjoy.”