Applications for the 2018/19 Young Artists' Programme are now closed.  The information on this page is for those involved in the 2018/19 auditions and may not be applicable for future audition years.  Auditions for our 2019/20 programme will be announced in August 2018, with applications opening in October 2018.  Check the website and follow our social media channels for the latest audition information.


General Information

Key dates for auditions and applications

Application Process

Audition Fee


Audition Structure



Cancelling and Rescheduling




Support and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



General information

There is no upper age restriction for applying to the NOS. However, applicants are reminded that the Training Programme is very intensive and is intended to benefit extremely gifted singers and répétiteurs who are at the beginning of their professional operatic careers. We receive over 250 audition applications per year and can accept a maximum of 12 singers and 4 répétiteurs onto each Training Programme. Although it is not a formal requirement, applicants are expected to have significant performance experience and to have been training, in some form, for a number of years.

The 2018-19 Training Programme is full-time and runs from September 2018 to June 2019



Key dates for auditions and applications

First Round auditions: between Saturday 27th January 2018 and Sunday 4th February 2018.

Final Round auditions: Monday 26th February 2018 and Tuesday 27th February 2018.



Application process

Deadline for applications: 11:59pm on Wednesday 20th December 2017. All applications must be submitted using YAP Tracker.


For singers in the UK and EEA

Shortly after you have submitted your application, you will be given access to the NOS’ audition timetable on YAP Tracker. Here, you will be able to pick one audition slot. Audition slots are given on a first-come first-served basis, so we advise you to apply as early as you can, especially if you have limited availability during our First Round auditions period. We are unable to offer auditions outside of our stated audition dates.


For singers outside of the EEA

On your YAP Tracker application form, you have the option to let us know that you are applying from outside of the EEA and that you would therefore like to submit a video audition instead of attending a First Round audition in person. Shortly after you have submitted your application, our auditions administrator will get in touch with you to give you guidelines and a deadline for submitting your video audition.

If your video audition is successful, you will be invited to attend a live audition in person at the National Opera Studio. This live audition will take place on Friday 23rd February (a few days before the Final Round of auditions) and will be structured exactly like a standard First Round audition. After your live audition, you may or may not be given a place in the Final Round of auditions taking place on Monday 26th February 2018 and Tuesday 27th February 2018.



Audition fee

As part of your application, you will be required to pay an audition fee of £75. This fee must be paid by entering debit/credit card details into the YAP Tracker application form.




References should be written by music or theatre professionals but not your current or former singing teacher(s). When completing the application form on YAP Tracker, you should enter the details of two referees. The website will then automatically send an email to each referee asking them to upload their recommendations directly to the website. References cannot be accepted in any other way.

Your references must be submitted by the deadline of Wednesday 10th January 2018.

You, as the applicant, are responsible for ensuring that your application is supported with references.



Audition structure 

There are two rounds of auditions: the First Round and the Final Round. Auditions last approximately 12 minutes.

Please arrive 30 – 40 minutes before your booked audition time.

You will be allocated a practice room in which to warm up for your audition. If auditions are running ahead of schedule, you may be called to your audition up to 15 minutes before your booked audition time. Please ensure you are adequately warmed up and prepared by this time, just in case.

The First Round panel will be made up of the NOS Director of Artist Development, the NOS Assistant Head of Music, and at least one member of the artistic staff of one of our six partner opera companies on each day.

The Final Round panel will be made up of at least three NOS staff from the following pool:  the Chief Executive, the NOS Director of Artist Development, the Head of Music and the Assistant Head of Music. The panel will also include representatives from each of our six partner opera companies: English National Opera, Glyndebourne, Opera North, the Royal Opera House, Scottish Opera and Welsh National Opera.




For each round, you should bring at least three audition pieces, of which:

all should be opera (no song or oratorio)

at least two languages should be represented

at least one should be in English

at least one should have been composed post-1970

 You may, if you wish, bring additional arias (up to a maximum of five audition pieces) from which the panel may choose. You are welcome to bring a post-1970 English aria.




The NOS will provide a highly qualified and experienced accompanist for all auditions. You will not be able to bring your own pianist with you for your audition or for your warm-up time. There will be no opportunity to rehearse with the audition accompanist. Please make sure you have a copy of all of your audition music prepared for the accompanist before you arrive at the NOS.



Cancellation and rescheduling

Should you need to cancel your audition, you must do so by emailing [email protected] as soon as possible.

If an audition is cancelled on or before Wednesday 10th January 2018, the NOS will refund £50 of the application fee to allow for costs incurred through YAP Tracker and administrative time. The audition fee will be non-refundable after this time.

If you need to reschedule your audition, please email

[email protected]. If it is possible to accommodate your request, we will aim to do so at no extra cost to you. If it is impossible for us to reschedule your audition, you must either keep your original time or cancel, in which case the NOS will be under no obligation to refund your audition fee.




Neither verbal nor written feedback will be given after the First Round. In the interest of fairness and owing to the high number of First Round auditions we encounter, this is a rule which applies to all First Round auditionees, and we are unable to make any exceptions.

Written feedback will be offered to all unsuccessful Final Round auditionees within one calendar month of the results notification.




If you do not hold a valid UK or EU passport, you should be aware that the Home Office/UK Border Agency now has rigorous conditions that need to be met before the necessary visa will be issued. Without this, you will not be able to come to the NOS. If this applies to you, you should think very carefully about the risks involved before you apply. If you are offered a place on the Programme, this will be a conditional offer and will only be confirmed if you are able to secure the necessary visa by 1st August 2018. See our visas page for more information.

It is vital that all applicants accepted onto our Training Programme have a good command of the English language. We reserve the right to request proof of your English proficiency and, if necessary, ask you to sit a test.



Funding and living in London

Young Artists do not pay fees to train at the National Opera Studio. The cost of training is generously covered by NOS donors, supporters and stakeholders. However, successful applicants will be expected to cover the cost of living in London for nine months during the Training Programme. London living costs are high, and as such you are advised to think seriously about your ability to support yourself during the Programme. As the Programme is full-time 5 days a week, it is very difficult for Young Artists to undertake regular paid employment. Your ability to undertake paid employment may also be affected by your residency status.

The NOS has a limited Bursary Fund which is available to those in need of financial assistance. Upon formal offer of a place, NOS Chief Executive Emily Gottlieb will discuss eligibility.

We regret that we are unable to offer financial support for travelling to and from NOS auditions.



Support and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

‘Frequently Asked Questions’ (FAQs) about auditions and applications are available here:


If you have a question about your application which isn’t answered in the FAQs, please email [email protected]If you require technical support with your YAP Tracker application, please email [email protected].


Header image: Bethan Langford and Joyce DiDonato © 2017 ROH / NOS.
Photographed by Roger Way