Applications for our 2019/20 Young Artists Programme are now closed.

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 2019-20 Young Artists' Programme is full-time and runs from September 2019 to June 2020.



Key dates for auditions and applications

Applications open: Monday 01 October 2018

Open Morning: Friday 09 November 2018 (book here)

Applications close: Wednesday 19 December 2018

First Round auditions: between Sunday 03 February and Sunday 10 February 2019.

Final Round auditions: Monday 18 February and Tuesday 19 February 2019.



Application process

Deadline for applications: 11:59pm on Wednesday 19 December 2018. 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. 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 pre-screening audition, ahead of attending a First Round audition in person. Shortly after you have submitted your application, our auditions administrator will contact you with guidelines and a deadline for submitting your video.

If your pre-screening 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 15 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 18 February and Tuesday 19 February 2019.



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 17 January 2019.

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.

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

Successful first round applicants will be invited to a Final Round Working Session on either Saturday 16 February or Sunday 17 February.  For further information about the working sessions, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below.

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 10 January 2019, 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 or EU passport, you should be aware that the Home Office/UK Border Agency has rigorous conditions that need to be met before the necessary visa will be issued. Without such a visa, you will not be able to come to the National Opera Studio. Please 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 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.

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: 

Please note that applications are now closed for the 2019/20 Programme.


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