Working in partnership to create new knowledge, enhance skills and inspire creativity, that strengthens learners, makers and places. Explore our work with Higher Education institutions, recent projects, and how you can get involved.


Our Research Agenda was created to spark new ideas and encourage interdisciplinary work, through a range of forums, Sandpits and Creative Labs. Recent and ongoing projects include a research strand around Performing Violence, and the DARE Art Prize.

The inaugural DARE Art Prize was launched in 2016; it encourages and challenges artists and scientists to work together on new approaches to the creative process. Artists are invited to demonstrate a desire to engage with scientific researchers from the University of Leeds, leading to the creation of new work.

The annual £15,000 prize is part of a programme in celebration of the tenth anniversary of the DARE partnership between Opera North and the University of Leeds. Applications have been received from artists around the world with the hope of working with researchers from a broad spectrum of scientific fields, aiming to create work in the media of music, sculpture, interactive installations and holograms.

Anna Ridler- Drawing with Sound

DARE: Opera North and the University of Leeds

DARE is the pioneering collaboration between Opera North and the University of Leeds, the first of its kind.

We bring the very best of both organisations together to play a positive role in shaping the future of arts and learning regionally, nationally and internationally, achieving success beyond anything either party could hope to achieve alone.

Through this ‘third organisation’, Opera North is committed to working with academics at the highest level to create new opportunities for student learning at the heart of a leading opera company, for research relevant to the contemporary cultural sector, and for new work and new thinking that challenges perspectives and enriches intellectual and artistic life.

Events curated in partnership with the University of Leeds and hosted at the Howard Assembly Room include the Liberty Lectures series and the DARE International Film Series.

For more information visit

Pettman DARE Fellowships

Are you ambitious to have a positive impact on the way professional music organisations connect with communities? Do you have the commitment to start your career through practice-led study guided by mentors from the music, operatic and academic sectors? A Pettman DARE Fellowship in Music Education Project Management could be for you.

Find out more

Leeds Conservatoire

Building on the long history of collaboration between two of Leeds’ leading musical institutions, the formal partnership between Opera North and Leeds Conservatoire offers students on the conservatoire’s Classical Music degree programme direct links to the industry.

Opportunities include playing side-by-side with the Orchestra of Opera North; observing the orchestral and opera production and rehearsal process; working with conductors and chorus masters on repertoire; and having access to workshops and masterclasses with visiting artists.

Opera North and Leeds College of Music staff and students celebrate their new partnership © Richard Storrow

University of Hull

Since 2014, Opera North has worked with the University to connect with communities, nurture future talent and create sector-relevant knowledge.

Opportunities include a bespoke public programme of performances on campus including the premier of La petite bohème; a bursaried internship in partnership project management; playing side-by-side with the Orchestra of Opera North; and a research sandpit on the theme of how universities and arts organisations make a civic contribution.

Sébastien Guèze as Rodolfo and Gabriela Iştoc as Mimì, 2014 © Robert Workman

Placements and opportunities

Opera North Higher Education believes in training and opportunities for students right across the academic spectrum, as well as opportunities in performance and music. We strive to support students to forge skillsets in education, publishing, press and marketing, fundraising and finance amongst others.

Salome: A research project

Charlotte Armstrong is a PhD candidate in the Department of Music at the University of York. Her research is funded by The White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH), and concerns representations of disability and ‘degeneracy’ in twentieth-century opera. Charlotte carried out a research placement with Opera North in 2018, working primarily on the concert staging of Salome.

Read some of Charlotte’s work on Salome below:

Salome: Usurping the Gaze

Salome‘s stage history

Jennifer Holloway as Salome (2018) © Robert Workman

Masterclasses and talks

Partner universities are presented with the opportunity to engage with Opera North’s world class resources to provide unique and tailored masterclasses to their students.

Masterclasses can be organised with our music staff from orchestra to chorus as well as with our administrative teams where opportunities to learn and engage with our fundraising, planning and marketing teams are also available. Recent masterclasses include:

Singing and audition masterclasses and a CV writing workshop with the University of Hull

Music and Drama students spent a day with Opera North’s Head of Music and a principal singer, participating in and watching a singing masterclass on campus.

They then spent a further day with our Chorus Manager learning about and practicing the audition process before developing the CV writing skills essential for the next stage of their career.

“I am ambitious to work in the theatre, and it was really valuable having the chance to talk with people experienced in casting. These workshops have taught me so much about what I should be doing. And what I shouldn’t!”  Student participant 2018

Get in touch

Phone: +44 (0)113 399 3207


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