Update from the Chief Executive - Monday 25 May 2020

The National Opera Studio is committed to ensuring the safety of its Young Artists, Coaches and Staff.  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 who come through its doors.

Our staff are currently working from home, with some on furloughed leave as we temporarily reduce our operations, and we remain in good spirits and settling into new ways of replicating ‘office life’.

Since the Easter break we have swung into a remote coaching schedule that sees both Young Artists and coaches flex new skills and try out new ways of learning via video links on a variety of sites and applications. Our amazing coaches are embracing this with energy and determination, and we are trying out new things all the time to enhance the learning and teaching experience. We have even been able to utilise the skills of some of our country’s most renowned artists, such as the incredible Sir Mark Elder joining a coaching session for our répétiteurs on conducting Strauss operas.

Although we have had to cancel many of our events over the past couple of months, there is some good news on the horizon. We continue to work towards our 2020 commission, 12:42 – a collection of 12 new arias written with and for our singers, involving 42 creative artists, and thanks to the generous support of the project’s sponsor, The Nicholas John Trust, we have been able to source the equipment necessary for us to adapt this into a film project. This project will respond to the current situation as well as provide a digital platform for all our artists and give the project a long-lasting and far-reaching legacy. Director of Artist Development, David Sulkin OBE explains more:

We will record all the arias on film when we can gather in small groups again at the Studio. Then, with the help of the film-maker and musician, Alisdair Kitchen, we will also produce a documentary film about the writing and composition processes in the context of the shock of the closedown as a result of COVID-19; highlighting the feelings of bereavement experienced by the Young Artists and making a statement that human creativity cannot be bowed by rogue infections! 

I would like to thank our Young Artists, coaching team, friends and supporters for their incredible patience, resilience and flexibility while this situation has unfolded, and we are doing everything possible to ensure that our Young Artists can fully benefit from their remaining time on the Programme.

Supporting the Studio at this difficult time

Despite careful planning, the loss of ticket income and lunchtime concert donations greatly affects the NOS’s ability to meet its income targets.  You can help the Studio today by making a donation to support our work.



Emily Gottlieb
Chief Executive