One of the world’s top performing arts schools opens its doors next week as part of a festival celebrating the city’s most interesting, iconic and unusual buildings. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is participating in the annual Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival to give visitors an insight into life at Scotland’s national conservatoire.
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, which is celebrating its 170th anniversary in 2017, is one of Europe’s most multi-disciplinary performing arts higher education institutions, offering specialised teaching across music, drama, dance, production, film and education. Ranked third in the world for performing arts education, it is also one of Scotland’s busiest performing arts centre, with five venues that stage more than 500 performances each year.
Free guided tours of the Renfrew Street building will take place at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm between September 11 and 17. With most tours almost sold out, advance booking is advised. Tours can only be booked online.
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland tour highlights include:
- The New Athenaeum – a stunning proscenium arch theatre which has launched the careers of many stars of stage and screen.
- The Creative Campus – a new purpose-built learning and teaching complex launched earlier this year as part of the Royal Conservatoire’s 170th anniversary celebrations.
- The Stevenson Hall – the largest performance venue within the Renfrew Street building which houses a full pipe organ. It’s where the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Symphony Orchestra performs, and is frequently used for broadcast recordings.
- The Alexander Gibson Opera School – Scotland’s first and only opera school.
Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, with its instantly recognisable building in Glasgow city centre, is a special place with a unique atmosphere. We hope visitors enjoy exploring our institution, which is not only a world leader in delivering performing arts education, but is one of the country’s busiest arts venues. Hopefully our visitors will be tempted to attend future performances across all of our art forms.”
The Royal Conservatoire’s prominent Renfrew Street building, designed by architect Sir Leslie Martin, has developed throughout its lifetime to respond to the diverse and ever-changing needs of the student body. The Doors Open Days tours will include the New Athenaeum Theatre which is named after the original Glasgow Athenaeum building that first housed the Conservatoire in its early days. It is the principal auditorium for dance, drama and opera productions with an orchestra pit that can accommodate up to 50 musicians. The theatre is equipped with advanced stage technology and flying apparatus which ensures production arts and management students are trained to the highest standards.
The Creative Campus complex is another highlight – a contemporary two-level rehearsal facility which has increased practice room provision by 50% within the Renfrew Street building. Launched in January this year, it gives students essential practical resources as they develop their potential. There are 27 acoustically separated rooms for individual practice and one-to-one teaching and two large ensemble rehearsal spaces. The facility supports performers of all ages and backgrounds, from undergraduate students and the young performers of the Junior Conservatoire to lifelong learners who study at the Royal Conservatoire at evenings and weekends. Tours will also take in The Whittaker Library which contains one of the most comprehensive collections of performance materials for music, dance and drama in the UK and internationally.
For more information on the Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival visit glasgowdoorsopendaysfestival.co.uk/