The National Opera Studio is committed to ensuring the safety of all those who come through our doors.  As such, we are paying very close attention to the guidance coming out of the UK government at this time and have taken steps to ensure that the Studio remains a safe space for all Young Artists, staff and visitors. 

As the course approaches, we shall continue to take into account our Covid rules and government advice and adhere to the most up-to-date guidance. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us: [email protected]

**This course has now sold out** If you would like to put your name on the waiting list, please email [email protected]

Introduction from the Course Leader:

"If only the panel could see me on stage when I am in character

This is a common phrase used by artists when they audition.

This course has at its heart a singer who feels they are not able to be completely themselves in front of a panel. In addition, an important part of the course will be preparing you for the ever-increasing need to perform well on camera for video submissions.

This course aims to make singers feel comfortable on camera while honing their performances technically, musically, and dramatically.  

Repertoire is of course very important and this short course will give students the opportunity to observe themselves as much as the composer."

Mark Shanahan, NOS Head of Music

Course Dates & Times

Monday 26 – Friday 30 July 2021
10.30-17.30 each day

Who is it for?

Postgraduate level or professional singers at the beginning of their careers.


£565 (£525 if you book before 28 June 2021 with our Early bird discount)

Course Leader

Mark Shanahan, NOS Head of Music

Other coaching staff include

Dearbhla Collins, NOS Assistant Head of Music
David Sulkin OBE, NOS Director of Artist Development
Ralph Strehle PhD, NOS Performance & German Coach
Matteo Dalle Fratte, Italian language Coach
Della Jones, Vocal Coach
Karen Halliday, Movement Coach
Repetiteurs/Coaches from the NOS talent pool

Course description

This five-day short course led by world-class coaches from the National Opera Studio is 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 - whether that be auditioning to a panel in person or online.

You will bring two arias to work on with our leading coaches - one in Italian and one original English or foreign aria translated into English - 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.

With a joint focus on group teaching and extensive one-to-one tuition, the course combines vocal coaching, character and text analysis, movement and body language, communicative skills, self-talk, critical thinking, and will lead to the following two outcomes:

  1. A mock online audition in front of an online panel of industry professionals, recorded using the Studio's state-of-the-art recording equipment. This will be recorded and sent to you after the course.

  2. A mock in-person audition 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 in any context. 

What will be covered in the course

  • 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;
  • Two mock auditions, with feedback given, as a culmination of the course to a panel of industry professionals;
  • A professional audition aria video recording, which will then be sent to you after the course for your own use;

Also included:

  • Access to the NOS Opera Library;
  • Access to our suite of practice rooms.

Number of places:



  • You must have, or be looking to apply for, a postgraduate-level degree or diploma in singing or opera, OR
  • Already have some professional singing experience
"I'm so glad I took part in this course. I had been struggling with nerves, feeling that I was letting myself down in auditions. After attending, I had a thoroughly enjoyable audition season which led to paid singing work and other exciting opportunities. I highly recommend this course for singers who want to quieten the inner critic and take proactive steps towards becoming the performer they know they can be."

                                                                                                         Fiona, Course Participant, 2019

Booking procedure:

Within one week of receiving your payment, we will send you an email with a Booking Form. The form will be reviewed by NOS, after which we will confirm your place.

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.

Sorry, this event is now sold out.