Late applications may be accepted.


Application forms can be downloaded from the links below.

General Application Form


Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Application Form

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Application Form

Royal Northern College of Music Application Form

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Application Form

British Youth Opera is the UK's foremost training opera company. We offer valuable opportunities for young singers to receive professional training in all aspects of opera through our workshops, and to take part in rehearsals and performances in our annual summer season. 

BYO's purpose is to offer operatic experience to singers who have a serious aim of pursuing careers in opera performance.

In the summer season productions, singers participate as principals, covers, chorus or a combination of these. 


Each opera has a single cast of principals who sing at all performances. Rehearsals start with a week of music preparation, working with the conductor, vocal coach, and language coach if appropriate. Production rehearsals then follow for several weeks during which the director, movement director and designer create a production around the company, with continued coaching.

In the final days of rehearsals, the company moves into the theatre for a series of rehearsals on stage with both piano and orchestra, followed by a dress rehearsal in preparation for the first night. There are three performances of each production.

Covers (Understudies)

Each opera has a full cast of covers who sing if a principal is sick and who perform a cover showing of 60 to 75 minutes duration on stage with orchestra. The cover cast is thoroughly rehearsed by the Assistant Conductor and Assistant Director as well as having coaching. Watching the rehearsals with the principal cast during the day, covers have their own rehearsals in the evening, and their own stage rehearsals in the theatre.


Rehearsals start with music sessions after which the chorus will work with the production team to create the chorus scenes in the rehearsal room before moving to the theatre.

Opera workshops

BYO’s opera workshop programme gives singers an opportunity in an intimate and closed environment to explore roles, character, the relationships between text and music, creativity and interpretation without the pressure of performance. These usually last for five days and numbers are limited so as to ensure the best experience for those involved.


Who should apply?

It is not necessary for singers to have previous stage experience, but they should be receiving regular singing lessons and have a serious interest in pursuing a career in opera.

  • To that end, in selecting singers for audition, BYO will give preference to applications from singers of any nationality who are studying full-time at a music college in the United Kingdom.
  • BYO will also consider applications from singers who are about to start, or who have recently finished, such study in the United Kingdom.
  • BYO may, at our discretion, consider applications from other singers resident in the UK, where such applications contain evidence that the applicant has a serious aim of pursuing a career in opera performance, is at the start of his or her career, and is new to the profession.
  • All applications must be counter-signed by the applicant's singing teacher, confirming that the applicant would benefit from and is suitable for a training place with BYO.
  • British Youth Opera regret that we are unable to provide feedback on auditions, and reserve the right to alter the proposed programme. 


Financial matters

BYO charges no fees. Every singer who gains a place on a summer season production or in one of our workshops benefits from a fully-funded placement, and a small subsistence is paid to every participant in the summer season.

Accommodation in London can be provided for a limited number of successful applicants who do not have a London base and would otherwise be unable to participate.