Students from Wales International Academy of Voice have performed at Covent Garden


Students from University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s Wales International Academy of Voice (WIAV) gave a concert in St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden on Friday. Twelve students from the academy travelled to London to perform in the church, known as The Actor’s Church. The programme included arias and duets from famous operas such as The Pearl Fishers by Bizet and The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart. 

Wales International Academy of Voice is based in Cardiff and is part of the UWTSD group. It attracts students from all over the world to study with Welsh tenor Dennis O’Neill CBE, who tutors on the programme. Students who complete their studies at WIAV go on to have careers in opera and performance all over the world. The Academy provides a world-class institution within one of the UK’s leading centres of higher education and an opportunity to lead in a field in which Wales is historically pre-eminent and globally admired.

Deirdre McCabe is studying for an MA Advanced Vocal Studies “It’s really nice to get the opportunity to cement what you know and to grow from there, it gives you so much more confidence to move forward. A lot of us have a set group of arias that we’ve been working on but we spend time perfecting each one for each performance, getting into the character.”

St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden has come to be known as the ‘Actor’s Church’ because of its long standing connection with the theatre community. Deirdre said: “It’s an absolutely beautiful venue, we’re so blessed with the acoustics. Each performance we give just gives us so much more confidence.” 

According to Euros Rhys Evans, WIAV’s Academic Director, ‘WIAV is delighted to have this association with the St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden and grateful for the opportunity it gives our students to perform in the heart of London, within close proximity of the world famous Royal Opera House.”

Shanul Sharma has been studying at WIAV since October 2016. He said: “I’m loving it, especially working with Dennis O’Neill, he’s a very exact and precise teacher. As singers, we love performing. And it’s great to be in St Paul’s Church as well, it’s wonderful that the University can put these concerts on.”

WIAV’s next concert is on 17th February in the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea, where the students will be welcoming Pembrokeshire choir, Bella Voce. Tickets are available from  or directly from WIAV. For more details please ring 02920 493 139. 

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