The Opera North Youth Company is the junior performing wing of Opera North and provides vocal and drama training for young people aged 8-19.

The Company meets weekly during school term time to take part in an exciting programme of performances and projects. It provides training in singing and stagecraft, delivered by a team of vocal and drama specialists.

Rehearsals take place at the Howard Opera Centre in Leeds, putting young people right at the heart of a busy Opera Company. Members are given unparalleled opportunities to attend rehearsals and performances, as well as gain an understanding of the full range of skills that make up an opera behind the scenes.

The Youth Company perform regularly with the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North and are invited to audition for roles in main stage productions.

A knowledge of opera is not a pre-requisite of joining the Youth Company and the majority of the young people who join the programme have never experienced live opera. We are looking for young people who are can show commitment and who are interested in exploring new and exciting ways to tell stories through their singing.


Applications for 2023-24 are now closed.

Details about upcoming taster sessions and our next round of auditions will be announced shortly. Register your interest for more information.


The Youth Company is split into three ensembles


Entry is by audition each summer and members are expected to commit to a schedule of weekly rehearsals and performances throughout the year. There is a natural progression from one ensemble to the next and many members remain with the company for the full range of the Youth Company.

Some members of the Youth Company use their training as a springboard to further study with a view to a career in the Arts, but membership also provides many transferable skills and friendships to last a lifetime.

” I honestly think I would be a totally different and lesser person if I hadn’t auditioned ten years ago. The opportunities and experiences that you have given me are among the very best in my life and I will be eternally grateful for that.” – Former Youth Company member

The Opera North Youth Company is generously supported by The late John Barchard and Dr. Claire Barchard, the Derek Hill Foundation, The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation, The Whitaker Charitable Trust, The Keith Howard Foundation and a grant from the Leverhulme Trust for Arts Scholarships.

Past Projects



In January 2022, the Opera North Youth Company performed the children’s opera Brundibar written by Jewish composer Hans Krasa.

Ariadne: A Digital Story

Ariadne: A Digital Story

In August 2021, the Youth Chorus explored the myth of ‘Theseus and the Minotaur’ and created a digital story.

Standing Together

Standing Together

The Youth Chorus composed a new piece around the theme of the holocaust, which was performed at Leeds Town Hall in January 2020 as part of the Holocaust Memorial Day.

Don't Call a Dragon a Worm!

Don't Call a Dragon a Worm!

In April 2019, the Children’s Chorus made their theatre debut at the Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond. The show was inspired byThe Magic Flute by Mozart.


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