Audition Guidelines – Singers

This page contains information about the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and the audition process for singers. Click on the links below to jump to the information you're looking for.

Being a Young Artist

Young Artists are employed on a full-time contract for two years, from September to August. Please note that the Anniversary Company assembled for the 2021/22 season is an anomaly to our usual practice which we plan to resume from the 2022/23 season, post-pandemic.

Singers receive a basic salary while training and performing plus an amount for each performance they sing or cover. Specifically JPYAP-led projects, such as our annual chamber opera do not attract extra fees. N/As may occasionally begranted for concerts and recitals only when compatible with Programme commitments, but not for full productions elsewhere.

Applications
The Application Process

Applications for the next round of auditions have now closed, and will reopen in a year.

Applications must be made via the YAP Tracker website.

The status of the application appears on the YAP Tracker website and it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure all elements of the application, including references, have been uploaded by the deadline.

A complete application must include all the following items:

  • The applicant's CV (no longer than two pages)
  • A recent photograph
  • A photocopy of the information page of the applicant’s passport, driver’s licence, birth certificate or identification card, showing date of birth. This information will not be made available to the audition panel, but is required to ensure that the Royal Opera House meets its legal obligations under the Asylum and Immigration Regulations 2004.
  • Two confidential references by industry professionals. The references must be written specifically for the application and uploaded by the referees directly to the YAP Tracker website before the deadline. More information about the letters of recommendation and what they should contain can be found here.
  • Recent audio recordings of the applicant’s voice, presenting three contrasting arias.

The recordings do not need to be of professional quality and is better to include a home-made recording than to miss the deadline trying to arrange a professional recording. We would prefer the recording to include a full single-capture of each aria without editing.

Please select contrasting pieces that show us the range and capability of your voice; pieces you have studied well and are within your capacity to sing well now.

Note: While having a pianist accompany you live is usually standard, we understand that given the current restrictions in place in many countries it might not be possible to record with a live pianist. If singing to a recording, please let us know on your application so that we are aware of the circumstances.

When to apply

Applications opened on Thursday 1 July 2021, and the deadline for receiving applications was Friday 30 July.

Up to 24 singers will be invited to live auditions held 6–18 September 2021 and 3–10 January 2022, for singers to join the Programme in August/September 2022 for two years, full-time.

Who can apply

Applicants should be singers of exceptional talent at the start of their professional careers. In most cases you will have some performance experience and have completed a music degree, although neither is essential. The Programme is not seeking any specific voice types and there is no fixed age limit for applicants. However, the panel will consider the stage you have reached in your career and how two years on the Programme would support your artistic and career development at this time. Applications for the Programme are accepted from all countries and all nationalities. The Programme is not seeking any specific voice types and there is no fixed age limit for applicants. The panel will consider the stage artists have reached in their careers and where they will be in terms of career development potential after two years on the Programme.

We’re looking for artists who are ready to sing and cover multiple roles across a 2-year period on the Royal Opera House’s two stages as contracted artists with the JPYAP.  In addition to having excellent technical facility, artistic flair and a desire to work assiduously, we are looking for individuals who bring a distinctive performing personality, artistic curiosity and an awareness of the social and cultural movements that shape the work.  The desire to contribute as an ensemble and company member is essential.

Permission to work in the UK

There is no obligation to have permission to work in the UK in advance in order to apply for the Programme. If applicants are offered a place on the Programme and require a visa, the Royal Opera House will apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship and write a Letter of Invitation to support that singer’s application.

Cost of applying

There is no application fee for the Programme; however, YAP Tracker charges a small administration fee (plus credit card charges where applicable).

Do I need to subscribe to YAP Tracker to apply?

No. All applicants have to log in with a user ID and password to upload their materials and submit applications, but free applicant-only accounts are available at www.yaptracker.com/register-applicant.

Can I use my friend’s account to apply?

No, YAP Tracker accounts cannot be shared. The system prevents duplicate submissions on any one account.

How do I complete a YAP Tracker application?

Once applicants have registered, they should log in and carefully read the application requirements. They should then upload all the required submission materials, and submit the form with payment.

What do I do if I have problems uploading my application to YAP Tracker?

If applicants have problems uploading any part of the application or have other technical issues with YAP Tracker, they should contact the YAP Tracker help team on help@yaptracker.com. The JPYAP Assistant is not able to help with technical questions.

How to submit recommendations

All applications must include two recommendations written by industry professionals. These should be a frank assessment of the candidate’s abilities, including any areas requiring refinement.

When completing the application form on YAP Tracker, the applicant should include the names and contact details of their referees. The website then sends an email to the referees asking them to upload their recommendations directly to the website. Recommendations cannot be accepted in any other way. Find out more about how the recommendation process works.

There is space on the application to include the names and contact details of up to four referees, which can be used if the first two referees are unable to supply a letter of recommendation by the deadline.

Deadline for recommendations

Two recommendations must be uploaded to YAP Tracker before the deadline of 30 July 2021, otherwise the application will be rejected. The applicants are themselves responsible for ensuring that their application is complete. The applicants should contact their referees in plenty of time to ensure they are happy to upload a recommendation in advance of the deadline. Applicants should check their application status regularly here to check that both their recommendations have been uploaded.

NB If recommendations are still pending, it may be because the request email went into the referee’s spam folder. The applicants are themselves responsible for contacting their referees to check if they have received the request email. If one or both recommendations is still missing close to the deadline, applicants may enter contact details of up to two additional people in order to ensure they reach the required number of recommendations. See the YAP Tracker website for instructions for resending a recommendation request, changing referees’ email addresses and adding or changing referees, and  email JPYAPAssistant@roh.org.uk to make changes to the referees if the application has already been submitted.

Contents of recommendations

Recommendations must be written specifically for this application. They should ideally contain the following information: how the referee knows the applicant, how long they have worked with the applicant, the applicant’s career potential, stage presence, musicality, command of languages, reliability, learning speed and working relationships with colleagues.

Length of recommendations

There is no set number of words, but referees should bear in mind that the selection panel have to review a large number of applications and therefore express themselves as concisely as possible.

Language for recommendations

References may be written in English, French, German, or Italian. References in any other language must be accompanied by an English translation (although this does not have to be officially certified).

Auditions
The Audition Process

Candidates for auditions will be selected following the applications process. Successful candidates will be invited for a period of 8–13 days at the Royal Opera House during which time they will have a practical taste of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and The Royal Opera. The schedule will include music, language and movement coaching as well as singing to a panel.

Singers must bring five contrasting arias and one art song of their choosing, and will also be asked to prepare a short scene which they will be given in advance.

A candidate may be invited to one of the following periods at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, WC2E 9DD London:

6–18 September 2021 or 3–10 January 2022.

Shortlisted candidates from the September audition may be invited to a final panel audition on Monday 10 January.

If there are times during these audition periods when an applicant is not available, this must be indicated on the application. This will not disqualify the applicant in any way, but helps greatly with the administration. Auditions are not available at any other time of the year.

Applicants should bring ten A4 copies of their list of five arias and one art song, and three copies of the music (vocal score) of all their offered repertory.

The pressing need for ongoing and immediate action to protect our climate as well as the devastating impact of the pandemic on many young artists’ finances has led to a review of our audition model.

On both counts, we do not wish to elicit large numbers of flights to be taken solely to audition. From the application process, we will invite up to 24 people to come to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London, to receive coaching, masterclasses, access to ROH rehearsals and events as well sing to a panel.

Location of auditions

Currently, all auditions are held in London at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

The audition panel

As at July 2021 the panel is expected to comprise some or all of the following ROH staff and external assessors : David Gowland (Artistic Director, JPYAP), Richard Hetherington (Head of Music, The Royal Opera), Elaine Kidd (Head of JPYAP), Yvonne Kenny (soprano), Peter Katona (Director of Casting, The Royal Opera) Oliver Mears (Director of Opera), Kate Wyatt (Creative Producer), Njabulo Madlala (baritone) and Antonio Pappano (Music Director, The Royal Opera).  A representative of Oak Foundation may also attend.

Bringing people to your audition

All auditions are closed and applicants may not bring friends, relatives, singing teachers, agents or their own pianist to the audition. The panel speak Italian, French and German as well as English.

Repertory for auditions

Applicants should bring five contrasting arias and an art song/Lied. The arias may include (but do not have to include) the three arias uploaded with the application. As a general rule, operetta arias are acceptable and arias from oratorios are not, although this depends on how ‘operatic’ they are. If in any doubt, please inform JPYAPAssistant@roh.org.uk  of any repertoire choice whose validity you wish to check.

Language for art songs

The art song must be in one of the following languages: Czech, English, French, German, Italian, Russian.

Accompanists

A pianist is provided for all auditions. Applicants may not bring their own pianist.

Dress code

Normal daytime audition dress is suitable. Please bring comfortable clothing for movement sessions.

Visas for attending auditions

Visa applications for attending auditions are not handled by the Royal Opera House. Applicants who are invited to audition and need a visa to do so can be sent a Letter of Invitation to take to the local British Embassy/Consulate to apply for a visa. Please contact JPYAPAssistant@roh.org.uk as soon as possible if this is required as soon as possible.

Financial assistance for attending auditions

The Programme is does not provide any financial assistance towards attending the auditions and does not refund travel or accommodation expenses for attending the  audition weeks however, we are open to conversations about financial support for shortlisted candidates to attend the final audition process in London in exceptional circumstances.  Please do not let that be a barrier to applying in the first instance.