Bullied at the Royal College? Perhaps not…

Bullied at the Royal College? Perhaps not…


norman lebrecht

February 27, 2014

The crossover soprano Laura Wright has been complaining of her time at the Royal College of Music beneath the headline ‘RCM students bullied me because of my success’.

She claims other students were resentful of her winning a Radio 2 Chorister of the Year Award and whispered a lot. ‘I found quite a lot of … probably bitterness is the right word,’ is her strongest reflection on the college. She adds: ‘I heard people talking behind my back. The main gist was I was dumbing down classical music … It came across as a little bit jealous.’

Bitterness, dear, is not bullying. Nor is jealousy. Lots of people had a bad time in college, but that does not mean they were bullied. Bullying is a campaign of personal aggression that can lead to dire consequences. Its tragic victims come to light every day in the coroners courts.

Laura cannot accuse the RCM of tolerance for bullying on such flimsy charges, nor can the newspaper justify its headline. Bullying is a scourge that requires constant vigilance from college authorities. This is just a low-level publicity grab.



Laura Wright will sing God Save The Queen at the England v Wales match at Twickenham on March 9.


  • Hear, hear!

    When every social transgression gets labeled as “bullying”, the real problem gets lost in the morass.

    …And it *is* a real problem. There are people being hounded and harassed because of their sexuality, their skin color, or their religion, or sometimes just because they’re perceived as weaker or more vulnerable.

  • M.A. Steinberger says:

    She won a contest. Presumably with money and exposure part of prize. She ought to be happy. Rather she seems narcissistic to me. Seems to need unqualified adulation from all, whether or not ( probably not) she deserves it. Bullied? Not at all. Just trying to grab headlines.

  • Ben Thapa says:

    Hi Laura, I was at the RCM too in a not dissimilar situation, and I can see how it happened in all honesty. Rise above it and have the fun you deserve. x

  • Kirby Haugland says:

    I was at the RCM for two years doing trumpet and I didn’t see anything like this. Everyone was very supportive of others’ successes. I cannot speak for the college’s singers, but it saddens me to hear my school derided this way.

  • Roger Brent says:

    I happened to be a singer at the college for some of the time Laura was there. If it did happen it presumably happened whilst I wasn’t around as I certainly never heard it. As Kirby said above, people were generally supportive although also competitive.

  • K.T. says:

    Laura may well be exaggerating what happened.

    But what I observed, no offence,most of the local in college:

    1. dislikes americans secretly.

    2. praises the european ‘rising stars’, but do not agree with it.

    3. has no attempt to befriend with asians.

    4. is be-wedded with their own culture.

    5. envies each other’s success.

    And more, you name it.

    Besides, I suppose mental damage is probably more of a problem in atmosphere like this than everything else.

    Yes, college no doubt is a first class music school, with great musicians.

    But people?

    We all have a different answer to that.

    Haven’t said that, I’m sure similar things happen everywhere, every industry in the world.

  • K.T. says:

    Having said that *