JPA Programme – Find out more

Programme Content

The Programme provides a bridge to a career with the world’s leading opera companies for up to a dozen salaried artists.  In their two-year employment they work alongside leading international artists and experts in musical style and interpretation to prepare repertory for staged performance, concerts and recitals. Singers may also cover roles, getting ready to step into another artist’s shoes at short notice.  All the while they receive coaching and mentoring to further their technical abilities and help evolve their artistic identity.

JPA music staff learn from the world’s leading conductors as repetiteurs on Royal Opera productions, often conducting players offstage, or serving as assistant conductors, preparing cover casts. They accompany their peers in JPA recitals and have podium opportunities in concerts and staged performances with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House or guest musicians.

The JPA Stage Director works as assistant director to a broad variety of international directors, instructing cover casts and taking responsibility for the dramatic integrity of a run of performances. They may stage a chamber opera on the Linbury stage and/or opera scenes on the Main Stage of the Royal Opera House.

All artists regularly perform and deliver projects for other ROH departments, including the Learning and Participation, and Development teams.


The Programme is committed to ensuring its activities are accessible to those historically disadvantaged in the sector. It regularly offers short courses, coaching, training and development opportunities to artists beyond those on fixed term contracts to ensure we invest in a wider, more diverse pool of emerging talent for the opera industry of the future.

Work with Vocational Students

The Programme keeps in contact with the main UK Conservatoires where its leaders offer coaching and masterclasses.  

Royal Opera rehearsal processes are made accessible to those with a vocational interest in attending. Opportunities are posted each Season and applications open three times a year.

Programme alumni train as mentors for those graduating into the profession.

Courses and training events

Women Conductors

Inspired by the pioneering work of Alice Farnham to facilitate the career profession of women conductors, JPA has run many courses for emerging conductors. Experienced Royal Opera and guest conductors share their skills to help them move quickly and surely towards the next level of their careers.

60 women conductors have benefitted from JPA courses to date as both participants and observers.

Stage Directors

In autumn 2019 the programme began work to enable stage directors to delve into the specific demands of opera. Training continued online with the LockDown/SkillUP initiative which also ran for women conductors. Many participants have gone on to be employed both at the Royal Opera House and in the wider industry. The Programme continues to support former trainees with appropriate development and employment opportunities. This season two of the three stage directors joining the JPA Programme came through this training.


Programme Staff

Head of the Programme

Elaine Kidd

Artistic Director

David Gowland


Angelique MacDonald


Thomas Marshall

Project Co-Ordinator

Elliott Henry

JPYAP Assistant

Isobel Lawson


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Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation, a charitable company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales (Company number 480523) Charity Registered (Number 211775)