Guy Withers is currently studying for his Vocal Masters at the Royal Academy of Music. Around his studies and singing engagements, he continues to work as the Artistic Director of Indomitable and Festival Director of The Waterperry Opera Festival.
The School of Music immediately struck me as a friendly and positive place to study. Dr Timothy Taylor (former Head of Undergraduate Studies) took real notice of my interests and ambitions as a student and I felt I had found my home.
The fact that the city also had a conservatoire, two music-making Cathedrals with scholarships available, and a major opera company was also a major pull.
I had a wonderful time singing at Cardiff University. The department has a very strong history of choral and ensemble singing and I learnt a great deal from peers and teachers. Highlights included founding the Operatic Society and all the concerts with the University Chamber Choir.
After graduating I moved to London to pursue a career in professional singing, but I also had ambitions to make my own work. I quickly founded Indomitable, a contemporary performance collective that explores music, theatre and opera and develops outreach programming. I split my time between running an arts organisation and developing my singing career.
I have worked with a number of major opera companies including English Touring Opera, Opera Holland Park, Mahogany Opera Group, Aix-en-Provence Festival and Iford Arts. In theatre, I have developed work with Complicite and Bath Theatre Royal. In addition, I have a passion for developing outreach, including working with OHP’s Inspire Programme, Glyndebourne Education & RAM’s Open Academy.
My time at Cardiff University was so important in creating the person I am today. During my time at The School of Music I found what now really drives me in my musical life.
I hope to further develop my skills in acting, physical theatre and puppetry so that I am better prepared for the shifting cultural landscape of opera in the UK. I really enjoy exploring contemporary opera and theatre-making, and I aspire to make more work like this with my own company and with others in the future. One day I would love to perform as a soloist at a major opera house.
My advice to incoming music students is to make the most of what the department and the city has to offer. There are fantastic members of staff that are there to support you if you need it. Dream big and work hard. Enjoy your music-making and have the initiative to create opportunities for yourself.