From Couch to Chorus: The Festive Edition

11 Nov–14 Dec 2020

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Always wanted to learn how to sing opera?

Now’s your chance! Join us for a five-week series of festive workshops where you’ll learn all the best singing tips and tricks from a professional choral director. By the end of the course, you will be able to sing excerpts from Puccini’s famous opera La bohème, as well as Humperdinck’s Evening Prayer from Hansel & Gretel for sopranos and altos, or Sullivan’s ‘The Marquis de Mince Pie’ if you’re a tenor or bass.

In the final culmination session, singers from all vocal parts will come together for an online festive concert including Christmas carols and a final sing-through of the pieces with singers from the Chorus of Opera North.

This course is open to singers of all levels, from complete beginners to experienced choir-goers. There’s no requirement to read music and you’ll be provided with all the resources you need to help you experience what it’s like to sing in an opera chorus – from the comfort of your own home!

The workshop is ‘pay as you feel’ – you will have the opportunity to donate however much you like in the checkout stage and before or after each workshop.

Fancy more of a challenge? Join us for our two-week Fast Track course, where singers of all voice types will come together to get to know the music at a faster pace.

Pay as you feel

Dates & times
There is one session a week per voice type which will last approximately 1 hour. Please see details below.

Not sure what voice type you are?
Please contact and we can help advise which voice type would suit you. Please only sign up to one voice type to ensure we can make as many places available to participants as possible.

From Couch to Chorus and our wider education programme is kindly supported by the Emerald Foundation.

Step 1

Sign up to From Couch to Chorus by clicking the sign up button at the top of the page and selecting your voice type – Soprano, Alto, Tenor or Bass. If you’re not sure what your voice type is, please email and a member of our team will get in touch. At the checkout stage you will be given an opportunity to donate.

Step 2 

Workshops are split out by voice type. You’ll receive an email before your workshop each week with the Zoom meeting link and other resources to help you with your singing. On the day of the meeting, make sure Zoom is downloaded on your laptop, tablet or mobile and click the link to enter the workshop.  

Step 3 

Can’t make a session or want to practice in the evening instead? After each workshop, you will be sent the Zoom recording so you can recap the lesson or go over it at a time that suits you. At the end of the five-week course, you will be given the opportunity to meet fellow members from all voice types at a festive online sing-through with singers from the Opera North Chorus.

Dates & times

Soprano 11.30am – 12.30pm GMT Wednesdays: 11 Nov – 9 Dec
Alto 10am – 11am GMT Wednesdays: 11 Nov – 9 Dec
Tenor 11.30am – 12.30pm GMT Thursdays: 12 Nov – 10 Dec
Bass 10 am – 11am GMT Thursdays: 12 Nov – 10 Dec
Culmination Sessions: Monday 14 Dec | time TBC


Do I need to warm up?

No, warm up exercises will be included at the beginning of each session.

I can’t make the session timings due to work – can I still join? 

If you can’t make the daytime sessions due to other commitments, we’ll be sending the Zoom recordings after each workshop so you can catch up at a time that suits you.

I haven’t received my confirmation email or Zoom links – what do I do? 

If you have not received your confirmation email within 24 hours of signing up the membership, please check the following areas before contacting the Box Office:

  • Junk or Spam folders
  • Check you are opted in to hear from us via email – this can be checked in Your Account in the ‘Contact Preferences’ section
  • Check you have completed the membership sign up process correctly – you should receive a receipt of ‘purchase’ within 1 hour of signing up

How do I download Zoom? 

To download Zoom onto your desktop, follow this link: 


  1. Click the link
  2. A web page should open. If you have Zoom on your device, click launch If you don’t have Zoom, follow the below steps

If you don’t have Zoom on your device:

  1. Click join from your browser. If you can’t see this option, click on the download & run Zoom button, and then click join from your browser at the bottom of the screen
  2. Follow the on screen instructions to enter your name and/or email address, and prove you’re not a robot
  3. You will then be taken to the Zoom call

I’ve downloaded Zoom, how do I join the Zoom call? 

To join the call, please click the link from your email, which should open in your web browser. Your browser will then prompt you to open Zoom (if you have it installed on your device) or to join the call from your browser. Alternatively, you can open the Zoom application, click ‘join a meeting’, and enter the meeting ID and password.

Why can’t I hear the other singers in the session?

Unfortunately, the time delay on Zoom means it’s impossible for everyone to sing at the same time. To solve this, everyone is muted during sessions so you can sing along and learn at home without distraction.

I can’t see the music properly on Zoom – how do I fix this? 

There are two View settings on Zoom – ‘Gallery View’ and ‘Speaker View’. Please make sure you select the ‘Speaker View’ setting on Zoom once the workshop has begun, to ensure that you see the session properly. You change your View settings by clicking the icons in the top right-hand corner of your screen. Sometimes, other participant’s faces can cover the right-hand side of the screen when the sheet music is being shared on-screen. If the faces are obscuring your view of the music, you can remove them by either minimising the thumbnails, or clicking ‘View Options’ at the top of the screen and selecting ‘Side-by-Side’ mode.

From Couch to Chorus: The Festive Edition

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