ROH Youth Opera Company
The Royal Opera House’s Youth Opera Company is a 50-strong group of diverse, talented children aged nine to 13 years old.
Members come from across Greater London and from a wide variety of backgrounds. What they have in common is real potential as singers and actors; potential that they discover and develop through being part of the Company. They generally meet once a fortnight, at the Royal Opera House, for a full day of workshops and rehearsals.
How did it start?
Youth Opera Company was established in 2010, following an extensive series of workshops involving over 400 children; they had discovered a passion for singing through school projects run by the Royal Opera House and other organizations with a commitment to learning and participation. The aim was – and remains – to keep our recruitment base as broad as possible and to give opportunities to everyone, irrespective of whether they have previous experience of opera or not.
Who can join the Company?
We hold annual auditions for the Youth Opera Company, which are by invitation only. We invite children to audition through Music Hubs and key partner organisations. This enables us to work with children with outstanding potential who have established an interest in singing through existing projects, but who do not necessarily have access to ongoing provision at an advanced level.
What does the Company perform?
The Youth Opera Company works on at least one major performance project of its own each season. In addition to this, some members of the Youth Opera Company also take part in productions with The Royal Opera.
We recently asked a few members of the Company to tell us about their experiences.
“I really enjoyed working on the film Watchers in the Wings as it was so different to anything I have done before. During most scenes we had to repeat things many times, whereas on stage you only get one chance to get it right.”
Emily, aged 11 (Current YOC Member)
“When you’re singing with the Royal Opera House Chorus it makes you want to achieve more because they have such great voices,’. ‘It makes you want to do your best when you’re with them. We aspire to sing like them one day.”
Blaize, aged 14 (YOC Graduate 2015)