**This course is currently sold out. We may be able to open up more places if there is the demand for it. Please write to [email protected] if you are interested in taking part**

Introduction from the Course Leader:

"I’m very excited to have devised and to be leading NOS’s very first summer short course dedicated to repetiteurs: the pianists without whom making opera wouldn’t be possible. Working in the theatre can be a hugely satisfying career – an amazing way to express yourself musically, and to work as a part of a team alongside exciting conductors and singers – and yet many pianists aren’t aware that this varied and rewarding role even exists, or could be available to them. We will tease out what makes a good repetiteur, and help you to improve your skills, under the guidance of world-class coaches. This course is aimed equally at those entirely new to repetiteur work and those who have already have some experience; we will meet you where you are, and challenge you accordingly. "

Andrew Griffiths, Head Coach and Music Consultant

Course Leaders

Andrew Griffiths, Head Coach & Music Consultant, National Opera Studio
Brenda Hurley, Head of Opera at Royal Academy of Music

Other coaching staff include

Susanna Stranders, Royal Opera House
Elizabeth Rowe, Vocal coach and repetiteur

Course Dates & Times

Monday 5 – Thursday 8 September 2022
10.30-17.30 each day, except 11.30-18.30 on Wed 7th Sep

Who is it for?

  • Experienced pianists interested in exploring operatic repertoire.
  • Solo pianists who would like to dip a toe into collaborating with singers
  • Song accompanists considering moving into operatic repertoire, OR
  • someone who already has some experience working in a theatrical setting, but who wants to broaden and deepen their skills.



Course description

This short course is designed for pianists interested in exploring the wonderful world of opera. You may be a solo pianist who would like to dip a toe into collaborating with singers, a song accompanist considering moving into operatic repertoire, or someone who already has some experience working in a theatrical setting, but who wants to broaden and deepen their skills. The course is led by Andrew Griffiths, the National Opera Studio’s Head Coach & Music Consultant, who has worked as a conductor and pianist at all six full-time UK opera companies.

Over four days, you will be guided in the various facets of the rewarding and varied role of repetiteur, including how to make a piano sound like an orchestra, how to coach a singer, how to follow a conductor, and how to accompany recitative.


The repertoire for the short course will include selected recitatives, arias and ensembles by Mozart, and scenes from Bizet’s Carmen and Verdi’s La traviata. Participants will be expected to prepare all the specified repertoire before the course (links to public domain vocal scores and full scores will be provided). Participants may also bring further repertoire of their own choosing, but this is not a requirement.

What will be covered in the course

The course will include at least the following elements:

  • Understanding what a repetiteur is, and what skills and qualities they need
  • Multiple individual coaching sessions in a masterclass setting (1 tutor per 4 participants)
  • Repertoire sessions in a group setting, exploring drama, characterization, gesture, pacing and more
  • Hands-on sessions on accompanying secco recitative (1 tutor per 4 participants)
  • Guided coaching: after watching the course leaders coach singers, participants will have the opportunity to coach singers themselves under the guidance of NOS tutors, and receive constructive feedback.
  • Discussion of how to approach accompanied recitative, including conducting
  • Presentation by Susanna Stranders about life as a repetiteur in a major opera house

    Number of places:



    • You must be at least 18 years old by the start of the course
    • You will be an accomplished pianist with an interest in exploring operatic repertoire. Prior experience of working in opera is not required, though applications are nonetheless encouraged from those who already have some practical experience; tuition and coaching will be tailored accordingly.

    Booking procedure:

    Within one week of receiving your payment, we will send you an email with a Booking Form. 

    By booking for a National Opera Studio short course, you agree to our Short Courses Terms and Conditions.

    Please note each participant will need to organise their own accommodation during the course.

    © Header image: NOS 2021/22 Young Artist repetiteur Chloe Kim accompanying a masterclass led by Andrew Watts. Photography by Fiona Hanson.

    Sorry, this event is now sold out.