Provides individual tuition at an international level and is designed to add dramatic, language and interpretative skills to refine the students' existing talents.
Government funding available
To take into account
There is no age limit and you do not have to have studied at a music college to apply to the NOS. We welcome applications from people with disabilities. The principal requirement is that you have the musical and vocal talent expected for this advanced level of training.
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- There is a strong emphasis on one to one coaching throughout the course.
- Singers will explore different styles and periods of opera.
- The course emphasises the importance of working as part of an ensemble.
- The course accelerates the development of young singers’ performing skills and increase their repertoire.
- Students will develop greater vocal and physical stamina as the number of hours they are required to sing each day will be gradually increased.
- The course includes stagecraft, acting and movement sessions.
- The regular coaches are all professionals drawn almost exclusively from the British and European opera houses; the course aims to produce skilled all round performers of immediate use to the companies.
- Close links are maintained with the six main UK opera companies and special auditions are arranged with them for trainees.
Singers learn three complete roles during the course as well as several supporting roles and numerous operatic extracts. The aim is to ensure that trainees complete the course with roles that they are ready to sing in their entirity. Should any of these core roles be part of the performance repertoire of the UK opera companies, it may be possible for trainees to shadow that role with the relevant company.
The NOS also arranges individual coaching sessions on core roles with celebrated professional singers. These internationally successful artists are in the unique position of being able to pass on valuable insight and advice based on years of experience in performing these roles at the highest level.
Ensemble calls and workshop productions
In addition to individual calls, trainees work together on scenes from selected operas. Ensemble calls develop an awareness of how to work with colleagues in a performing situation. The scenes then go into production using simple costumes and props. Eminent directors are engaged to rehearse these scenes.
Each singer receives individual coaching in Italian, French and German. Russian and Czech language coaching is available when required.
Individual and group stagecraft and acting sessions
Classes are given in stagecraft and acting in order to improve acting skills, posture and stage presence.
The NOS has audio recording equipment, which will enable professional high-quality CD’s to be made of trainees’ performances during the course.
Masterclasses are given by renowned singers and conductors at regular intervals throughout each course.
Recent masterclasses have been given by: Sir Richard Armstrong, Susan Bullock (NOS alumna), Graham Clark, John Copley, Joyce DiDonato, Gerald Finley (NOS
alumnus), Anne Murray and Graham Vick.
Musicianship and Keyboard Skills
All singers have fortnightly sessions on musicianship and keyboard skills to facilitate their learning. Work on sight-singing and general musicianship is offered if appropriate.
Classes and advice are given on operetta, audition techniques, vocal health and stage fighting.
During the course, there will be staged performances of opera scenes which will be presented in the Blackburn Hall at the NOS to which representatives of the opera companies and artists’ agents will be invited. These performances will offer students the chance to work with a variety of experienced directors and conductors and are also open to the public.
Contemporary Opera Scenes
Staged performances of extracts from contemporary operas take place in the Blackburn Hall at the NOS.
A concert of repertoire from Baroque operas will be performed during the course.
The NOS presents a series of lunchtime recitals on Tuesdays between November and March. Trainees are given the opportunity to perform both an operatic and a song/ lieder recital to the general public.
Concerts and Residencies with opera companies
The 2010/11 course will feature residencies with Welsh National Opera and with Scottish Opera. These collaborations give trainees the opportunity to become part of a professional opera company for a week and allow Company
Managements to monitor the trainees’ progress. Trainees will give a concert accompanied by the Orchestra of WNO and a staged performance of operatic scenes with the Orchestra of Scottish Opera.
Trainees will have two concert opportunities to sing to an invited audience of artists’ agents.
At the end of the course there will be an opportunity to perform with orchestra in a larger theatre or concert hall to a wider audience and to the opera companies and artists’ agents.
Intensive one-year course, running from September to June.
A selection, usually of 12 singers and 3 repetiteurs, is made by a panel drawn from NOS staff and senior representatives of the six major UK opera companies. The successful applicants will be those who believes has the potential for future development. It should be stressed that the selection does not guarantee work with the companies at the end of the course, but it does ensure that trainees' progress is closely monitored.
Preliminary auditions take place 8-12 February 2010. For your audition you are required to prepare three operatic arias, including one in English or English translation, that are contrasting in style. An official accompanist will be available to play for you. You may bring your own accompanist with you if you wish.
Final round auditions take place 25-26 March 2010.
You may bring the same arias to the final round audition. Facilities for warming up prior to your audition are available.