Applications for our 2020-21 Young Artists Programme will open on Monday 16 September 2019.

General Information

Key dates for auditions and applications

Application Process

Audition Fee


Audition Structure



Cancelling and Rescheduling



Support and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Application Form



General information

There is no upper age restriction for applying to the NOS. However, applicants are reminded that the Young Artists' Programme is very intensive and is intended to benefit extremely gifted singers and répétiteurs who are at the beginning of their professional operatic careers. 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 2020-21 Young Artists' Programme is full-time and runs from September 2020 to June 2021.



Key dates for auditions and applications

Applications open: Monday 16 September 2019

Open Morning: Friday 08 November 2019 

Applications close: Wednesday 11 December 2019

First Round auditions: between Saturday 25 January and Tuesday 04 February 2020.

Final Round auditions: Wednesday 19 February and Thursday 20 February 2020.



Application process

Deadline for applications: 11:59pm on Wednesday 11 December 2019. All applications must be submitted using YAP Tracker.

New for the 2020/21 auditions. We will be giving all applicants the opportunity to either attend a live First Round audition in London, or submit a video audition.

We have created this option to assist those who would find it difficult to attend a live audition due to financial or time constraints, however we do encourage attending a live audition as the best opportunity to fully represent your talent.

Video auditions will be viewed in the same week as the live auditions by the same panels, with results released soon after.

Candidates who choose a live audition will be given access to the NOS audition timetable on YAP Tracker following submission of their application.  They will then have until Thursday 09 January 2020 to pick one audition slot. Audition slots are available 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.

Find out more about submitting your videos:

Video Audition Requirements



Audition fee

As part of your application, you will be required to pay an audition fee of £80. 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 Thursday 09 January 2020.

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



Live 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.

The First Round panel will be made up of at least two members of the NOS Artistic Team, and at least one member of the artistic staff of one of our six partner opera companies on each day.  Please note that there may be an element of question and answer (Q&A) and coaching within your First Round audition.

Successful First Round applicants will be invited to a Final Round audition on either Wednesday 19 February or Thursday 20 February 2020.  The Final Round panel will be made up of the NOS Artistic Team and 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 must 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 be from a contemporary opera (post-1980)

You may, if you wish, bring additional arias (up to a maximum of five audition pieces). You are welcome to bring a post-1980 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 for your audition or for your warm-up time. This is for the sake of consistency and to serve all applicants to the best of our ability, equally and without prejudice.

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] at your earliest convenience. 

If an audition is cancelled on or before Thursday 09 January 2020, 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.




If you do not hold a valid UK passport, you should be aware that the Home Office/UK Border Agency has rigorous conditions that need to be met before the necessary visas will be issued. Without such visas, you will not be able to come to the National Opera Studio. Please note that currently only Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent), Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) and UK Family Visas are currently accepted for study at the National Opera Studio. Please see our Visas page for more information. 

We are closely monitoring the situation regarding the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union and the effects that this will have on EU citizens’ freedom of movement and any potential visa requirements to train in the UK.  We will be updating this page with clarification of this position, as soon as it becomes known.

It is vital that all applicants accepted onto our Young Artists’ 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 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, 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 (visas).

The NOS has a limited Bursary Fund which is available to those in need of financial assistance. Upon a 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].



Application Form

Please note that you do not need to pay for a YAP Tracker membership in order to apply to the NOS. Free 'guest' memberships are available on YAP Tracker for those who only wish to have access to the NOS application form. When you sign up for the free 'guest' membership, you will be given a username and password to use every time you want to look at the status of your NOS application. Follow this link to get started: 

Applications are now open

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