Course Leader: Mark Shanahan, NOS Head of Music

Other coaching staff include

David Sulkin OBE, Director of Artist Development
Ralph Strehle PhD, NOS performance coach
Matteo Dalle Fratte, Italian language coach
Della Jones, vocal coach
Karen Halliday, movement coach
Répétiteurs/Coaches from the NOS talent pool

Aimed atAll singers who are preparing for international or UK professional auditions, and those auditioning for postgraduate performance courses.

Course Description

This is a course designed to help you reimagine auditions, build your confidence, and examine your communication through critical and constructive self-analysis. We will take a healthy but forensic look at how we present ourselves in the unique environment of an audition and build strategies for coping with all eventualities.  You will bring at least three arias to work on with our leading coaches, in any combination of the following languages - Italian, German and English - in repertoire that you are preparing to audition with for forthcoming seasons.  This course focuses on you as an individual artist, and aims to help you examine what makes you interesting and how to communicate that to a panel in a pressurised situation. The course will combine vocal coaching, character and text analysis, movement and body language, communicative skills, self-talk, critical thinking, and will include a mock audition at the end of the week in front of a panel of industry professionals, who will give you individual feedback and talk about their roles in casting. Our aim at the end of your five days with us is that you’ll be able to present yourself and your repertoire with ease, fluency and assurance. 

The course will include at least the following:

  • Auditions masterclasses and one-to-one interpretation sessions with Mark Shanahan;
  • Peak performance coaching and building a mental strategy with Ralph Strehle;
  • Individual vocal coaching sessions with leading NOS coaches and pianists;
  • Character and text analysis with the senior team;
  • Language coaching in Italian and/or German;
  • Body language and movement work with Karen Halliday;
  • Daily talks on aspects of casting, self-promotion and professional development with NOS staff and industry professionals;
  • A mock audition, with feedback given, as a culmination of the course to a panel of industry professionals;
  • Access to the NOS Opera Library;
  • Access to our suite of practice rooms.

Number of places:  16


  • You must have, or be looking to apply for, a postgraduate-level degree or diploma in singing or opera, OR
  • Have studied, or be studying, singing via a non-traditional route OR
  • Already have some professional singing experience

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

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

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