Andrew Henley

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Movies, TV and Music
Job title: Classical Singer
Subject of study: English
Year of graduation: 2012
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name


What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

After leaving Exeter I studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, first for a PGDip in Music Performance, then an MA in Opera Performance, and finally studied for a year as a Young Artist at the National Opera Studio. I now work as a classical tenor in opera, concert and choral music. My operatic engagements have included working with the Stadttheater Klagenfurt, Austria, Opéra de Lyon and Welsh National Opera. My recent and future concert engagements include working with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, City of London Symphonia, and the Moscow Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra. I also sing regularly as a dep in church choirs around London, particularly the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

The job of a professional singer combines the things I’ve always been most passionate about. Working in classical music allows you to explore music, language, literature and drama all at the same, as opera in particular is a synthesis of these art forms. There is a great deal of opportunity for travel to interesting places, as well as constant engagement with new people and cultures.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

I was a member of the University Choral Society, a music writer for Exeposé and a die-hard member of EUGNS – the Gilbert & Sullivan Society, who gave me the taste for drama and public performance.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

The course itself was fascinating, and the range of modules available let me broaden my literary horizons as well as pursue the areas in which I was most interested. The Anglo-Saxon and Milton modules were a particular highlight. I greatly enjoyed working with tutors who clearly were at the forefront of their fields in these areas.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

The campus is beautiful, the atmosphere of the city and university is great, the beach is close, the weather is normally gorgeous – what’s not to like?!

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

Being a choral singer as well as interested in English, Exeter felt like the perfect place to study, as in addition to being located in a beautiful cathedral city, the university’s English department was (and is) highly rated in national terms.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

The freedom and easy access to information afforded by my course was greatly beneficial to me. The discipline of self-motivation was one I acquired rather slowly, but by the end of my three years I felt very prepared to face the challenges of self-employment, where often the only timetable you are beholden to is your own!

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Embrace the opportunities offered by student societies! Those three years will go by before you know it, and there is such a wealth of different interests and activities to pursue while you’re there.

What are your plans for the future?

To continue exploring the opportunities offered by the classical music industry, and to hopefully one day begin working as a vocal teacher/mentor for prospective singers!


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Rebecca Verne

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