It is an honour to support the National Opera Studio, especially in everything they are doing to improve the diversity and reach of high quality opera. It plays an invaluable role in seeking out and nurturing the next generation of opera talent and providing them with the training, nurturing and platform to become world class.

Sue Walter
NOS Trustee

The Diverse Voices programme has been set up by the National Opera Studio in the light of its report Opera Training for Singers in the UK, with funding from Help Musicians UK and others, and with the support of major UK opera companies.

Diverse Voices will establish a supportive, challenging and creative network which will tackle the barriers to diversity and ensure that everyone has a voice in shaping a successful future for opera in the UK.

Across the arts and entertainment industry, there are visible and determined initiatives to create a much better balance of opportunities for all people in the UK. In the US, at the Oscars, the Tonys and the Grammys, there is talk and action concerning much fairer recognition of the talents and skills of women and people of a wide variety of backgrounds than has hitherto been achieved. That is also the case in the UK in connection with BAFTA, the Olivier Awards, and in the popular music industry. In January 2018, Arts Council England underpinned its commitment to diversity at a large conference held at Nottingham Playhouse where its data report Equality, Diversity, and the Creative Case was fielded.

There is also widespread agreement amongst organisations connected with professional opera training in the UK, that the art form is not sufficiently diverse in terms of the ethnicity or background of its performers, despite the recognition that a much more diverse sector could bring richness to opera, inspire future BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) opera singers, attract a more diverse audience, and overall, enhance and enrich the art-form itself.

We are delighted to announce that soprano Nadine Benjamin and counter-tenor, Michael Harper will be leading a group of ambassadors who will help spread the word far and wide about Diverse Voices.


Statement of Intent:

Though currently in the development process, we are keen to hear from those who may be interested in participating in the programme as an artist, partner, sponsor or in other ways.  

Please direct all enquiries to:

Natalya Best-Forbes

Team Administrator
[email protected]
+44 (0) 20 8874 8811

Header Image: Diverse Voices Gathering, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, November 2018