Audition FAQs – Singers

What is the structure of the Programme? Young Artists are employed on a full-time contract for two years, from September to August. It is not currently possible to be a Young Artist for just one year. Singers receive a basic salary while training and performing plus an amount for each performance they sing or cover. N/As are granted for concerts and recitals only when compatible with Programme commitments, but not for full productions elsewhere.

Who can apply for the Programme?

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.

Do applicants need permission to work in the UK to apply for the Programme?

There is no obligation to have permission to work in the UK in advance in order to apply for the Programme. If non-EEA applicants are offered a place on the Programme, the Royal Opera House will apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship and write a Letter of Invitation, which the singer then uses to apply for a visa.

What material is needed to apply?

A completed application through YAP Tracker. This requires a CV, photograph, audio recordings of three contrasting arias, a scan of the information page of the applicant’s passport or other ID showing date of birth, and two confidential recommendations. Please refer to the Guidelines for further information.

What repertory is required for the application?

Applicants must upload audio files of three contrasting arias. The recording does not need to be of professional quality – in fact, a home-made recording may give a more accurate impression of the singer’s voice. It is better to include a home-made recording than to miss the deadline trying to arrange a professional recording.

What does it cost to apply?

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

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, including CV, photograph, documentation of date of birth and audio recordings on their profile page, complete all the remaining required field and submit the form with payment. Take great care to enter the required information in the correct fields, especially when entering contact details and completing monitoring forms.

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 The JPYAP Auditions Coordinator is not able to help with technical questions.

Who should write the recommendations?

Recommendations should be written by music or theatre professionals (including, but not limited to, directors, agents, established singers, accompanists, heads of music colleges etc.) but not the applicant’s current (or former) singing teacher. If either of the recommendations is from a singing teacher, the application will be rejected. There is no upper limit to the number of recommendations one person may write for different applicants.

How are recommendations submitted?

When completing the application form on YAP Tracker, the applicant should include the names and contact details of two 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. Further information about how the recommendation process works can be found here.

What is the deadline for recommendations?

Two recommendations must have been received from the referees directly before the deadline, 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. If recommendations are still pending, it may be because the request email went into the referee’s spam. 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 when the deadline is close, 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 here. If the application has already been submitted, please email to make changes to the referees.

What should recommendations contain?

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.

How long should recommendations be?

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.

What language should letters of recommendation be written in?

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

Where are auditions held?

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

When are auditions held?

Auditions for singers to join the Programme in September 2019 will be held in January 2019. Auditions are in three rounds. Applicants must make themselves available for each round of auditions. If there are times during the audition period when an applicant will not be 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.

Who will be in the audition?

The audition panel for Round One will comprise David Gowland (Artistic Director, JPYAP), Elaine Kidd (Head of Programme, JPYAP), Mark Packwood (senior music staff, The Royal Opera), and Yvonne Kenny (international soprano). Round Two is made up of two parts: a ten-minute coaching session with David Gowland and an audition, where the Round One panel will be joined by Peter Katona (Director of Casting, The Royal Opera) and Oliver Mears (Director of Opera). For Round Three, the Round Two panel will be joined by Antonio Pappano (Music Director, The Royal Opera), Richard Hetherington(Head of Music, The Royal Opera) and a representative of the Oak Foundation may also attend.

Can applicants bring a pianist, agent, relative or friend?

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.

What repertory can be presented for the audition?

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; arias from oratorios are not, although this depends on how ‘operatic’ they are. If in any doubt, please contact

What language can the art song be in?

English, French, German, Italian, and Russian art song are all acceptable for the art song choice. If applicants wish to present an art song in another language, they should check with the Auditions Coordinator at

Who will accompany the audition?

Edward Batting will accompany all auditions. Applicants may not bring their own pianist.

What do applicants need to bring for the audition?

Applicants should bring music of all their offered repertory for the pianist. They should also bring a list of their five arias and art song in sufficient copies for the panel.

What audition wear is appropriate?

For Rounds One & Two, normal daytime audition dress is suitable. As Round Three is held on the main stage, singers may choose to wear concert dress.

How do applicants from non-EEA countries obtain a visa to attend the audition week?

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 as soon as possible if this is required.

Is financial assistance available towards attending the audition week?

The Programme is unable to provide any financial assistance towards attending the auditions and does not refund travel or accommodation expenses for attending auditions.