Diverse Voices is an Arts Council England-supported National Lottery-funded program. Its aim is to enable young people from all backgrounds and cultures in the UK to develop their ambitions and skills in the opera profession.

Outreach Work

Our outreach work is designed to encourage young people from diverse backgrounds to explore the possibilities and opportunities of a career in opera. While our primary focus is on developing skills in solo-dramatic singing, our work continues to place great emphasis on introducing young singers to the world of music theatre.

Our work has predominantly developed in two key areas: encouraging younger voices to try opera singing and working with developing voices to make strides toward solo singing for theatre.

In our home borough of Wandsworth, we have been working closely with Wandsworth Music Hub (WMH), who are now one of our key outreach partners. Our work has provided a specialist focus on developing interests and skills in solo singing for musical theatre and opera. Between January and March 2023, we ran over 20 workshops for local secondary schools, exploring classical singing vocal techniques in preparation for WMH’s concert at the Royal Albert Hall. This project involved over 200 secondary school singers and over 500 primary school singers, allowing us to work with a variety of ages and abilities. Some of our alumni and GTP Young Artists sang as soloists for the concert, providing an excellent demonstration of vocal achievement for the school pupils to aspire to.

Wandsworth Music Hub's concert at Royal Albert Hall, support by National Opera Studio 

For the 2023/24 year, we have developed a series of in-school workshops designed to introduce pupils from global majority backgrounds to operatic singing techniques. This work is targeted toward older pupils who already have a keen interest in singing and is designed to help them explore new vocal possibilities. During these coaching sessions, we explore how solo dramatic singing differs from singing with a microphone or in a choir. We aim to build on what young people already know and like about their singing and encourage participants to explore the possibilities and potential of their own voices.

Also in 2023/24, in addition to working with faith, community, and youth choirs, we are supporting several solo singers who are well on their way to becoming exceptional artists. Among other forms of support, we will provide musical and movement coaching sessions and development opportunities, all designed to aid each singer’s career progression.

If you are interested in developing a partnership with us, please email [email protected]

Discovering Opera

For the past 5 years (excluding 2020), we have run Discovering Opera, an in-house short course dedicated to the principles of the Diverse Voice Program. Each year, we work with 16 musical theatre/acting undergraduates from global majority backgrounds to give them a free introductory course to the world and techniques of operatic singing. The principal aim of this course is to allow participants to further inform their ‘legitimate’ musical theatre voices through 6 days of intense coaching. The outcome is always extremely positive, and we work hard to promote individual and vocal growth in a welcoming space.

“I came into this experience with a completely open mind… I can truly say I can see how much I’ve grown technically over such a short period of time”

– 2023 Discovering Opera Participant

“Over the course of the six days, I have learned to be daring, be curious, and be honest with myself. This course really made me step out of my comfort zone when approaching different techniques that the coaches suggested, but I’m so glad I allowed myself to indulge in the process and not worry about the outcome”

– 2023 Discovering Opera Participant

“In both the dance and music industry, it is very rare to be in a room where everyone is from the global majority (including the coaches and repetiteurs). The space that was created for us to work in was inspiring”

– 2023 Discovering Opera Participant