Opera North Young Performers Studio

August 2024 - July 2025

Apply to audition

The Opera North Young Performers Studio is a year-long programme that seeks to inspire, nurture and guide ten talented young classical instrumentalists and singers from the North of England on their journey to studying music at a conservatoire or university. It aims to help dedicated young musicians who are facing barriers accessing musical training at an appropriate level, including supporting musicians from backgrounds that are currently under-represented in the professional classical music world.

The programme will include a mixture of group and one-to-one sessions, both in person at the Howard Opera Centre and online. It will be designed to complement participants’ existing music lessons, where applicable.

An individual learning plan and schedule will be created for each student, with support and oversight from Sarah Holloway Lloyd (Young Musicians Development Lead) and Marie Claire Breen (Vocal Animateur), and input and guidance throughout the year from Opera North’s professional performing company.

The Young Performers will:

  • Receive 1:1 coaching sessions throughout the year
  • Participate in chamber music sessions and perform in a public chamber music concert at the Howard Assembly Room
  • Work with an Opera North accompanist on solo repertoire, building towards a final recital in July at the Howard Assembly Room
  • Participate in performance classes to gain valuable performance experience and receive support and insight from other Opera North Young Performers
  • Receive online support from the Opera North Young Musicians Development Lead including support with conservatoire applications, tuition in core musical skills such as musicianship, personal statement writing, regular review of individual learning plan and goals
  • Receive support in creating recordings for auditions and applications
  • Have the opportunity to lead and inspire younger musicians through the Young Musicians Studio orchestral days
  • Attend Opera North rehearsals and live performances

We welcome applications from classical singers, as well as students who play the following:

  • Woodwind: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon
  • Brass: Horn, Trumpet, Tenor Trombone, Tuba
  • Percussion (including Timpani)
  • Piano
  • Strings: Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Harp
£1,600 per year (fully funded places available)*
  • Howard Opera Centre

Open to College, Sixth Form and University (Undergraduate) aged musicians at approximately Grade 6+ level on their instrument/voice, who aren’t already enrolled on a full-time Music degree or programme. Please refer to the FAQs section for more information.

Applications are particularly encouraged from young musicians from under-represented ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, as well as young people living with a disability or with caring responsibilities.

Application deadline
Apply by midnight, Friday 5 July

Please note that we may not be able to offer an audition to all applicants.

Audition date
Thursday 18 & Friday 19 July at the Howard Opera Centre, Leeds

How to apply
Complete the application form at the top of this page, making sure you’ve noted the requirements.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with the Young Performers Studio team via yps@operanorth.co.uk

*Two fully-funded places will be available, as well as partial bursaries, to support young people facing financial barriers. Payment plans will also be available, please see FAQs for more information.


Application & Audition

In order to apply, please complete the following three steps:

  • Fill out the application form
  • Ask your teacher to email a letter of support to: yps@operanorth.co.uk
  • Send an unlisted YouTube video link of you playing or singing 2 pieces of contrasting styles to yps@operanorth.co.uk. The entire video should be no longer than 10 minutes and can be a mixture of whole or partial pieces. Please note that your pieces do not have to be accompanied.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?

We encourage applications from young people at College, Sixth form and Undergraduate level who love singing or playing their instrument to a high standard (approximately Grade 6+ level), and who plan to apply to study music full-time in the future but are facing barriers to accessing the right support and/or tuition. 

Places are available for singers and the following instrumentalists:  

  • Strings: Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Harp 
  • Woodwind: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon 
  • Brass: French Horn, Trumpet, Tenor Trombone, Tuba 
  • Percussion (including Timpani) 
  • Piano 

What can I expect on audition day?

You will be asked to perform two contrasting, own-choice, accompanied pieces to a panel, as well as a prepared orchestral excerpt (if applicable). The panel will be made up of a specialist in your instrument/voice and a programme lead.

You will be asked a series of questions as part of the audition; these questions may be things like:

  • Tell us about your musical aspirations
  • What support do you feel you need to reach your next musical goals?

Are there bursaries available?

Yes, two places will be fully funded and there are bursaries available to those facing financial barriers. There will also be opportunity for a payment plan.

Where is the Howard Opera Centre?

Howard Opera Centre 
8 Harrison St, Leeds LS1 6PA 

Opera North Young Performers Studio

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