How to apply
Before applying, please read the Opera Works 2015/16 prospectus (pdf).
Your application must be returned by post to ENO Baylis, English National Opera, Lilian Baylis House, 165 Broadhurst Gardens, London NW6 3AX. Email applications will not be accepted.
Please include the following in your application:
- Two copies of your completed application form (one of which may be a photocopy)
- A small publicity photograph/headshot
- A reference from an arts professional (eg singing teacher, vocal coach, director)
- A copy of your CV
- Confirmation of your application fee payment (copy of the confirmation email or screen shot). The non-refundable £45 application fee (plus a £1.75 transaction fee) is only payable via the link to the left. Please choose your preferred audition date (top left of this page) to proceed
Audition times and dates
Morning sessions run from 10am-1pm, afternoon sessions from 2-5pm and you must be available for the whole three hours. Although we endeavour to allot you an audition within your preferred session we cannot guarantee this.
Closing date for applications
The deadline for applications and accompanying payments is 5pm on Friday 1 May 2015.
Please allow adequate time to submit your application as we are unable to accept forms or payment after this time, and we cannot accept applications by email.
We cannot accept applications without references, so please ensure you send both together, or your application may not be accepted.
Please allow plenty of time for your referee to write your reference, and be clear about the deadline.
Why do Opera Works ask for a reference?
Opera Works is always over-subscribed. Last year nearly 8 people auditioned for every place. If we have not heard you sing before, these letters help determine whether or not we will offer an audition. Your application form is important, but an excellent reference from a professional known to and respected by ENO can differentiate between two similar candidates.
They are equally important for people who have sung to us before but have not previously been accepted onto the course. We need to see from your reference how you have improved since your previous application, as well as why we should hear you again.
The references also inform our decisions following the initial auditions. We invite approximately 30 singers to the recall auditions. At this point we are looking at more than just vocal quality, and these references can offer interesting insights into you as a fully-rounded performer.
What information in particular are you seeking from a reference?
We recommend all referees tell us about your:
- stage presence
- command of languages
- career potential
- working relationships with colleagues
We also encourage them to include any other aspects they feel are likely to influence your application.
Who should I ask for a letter of recommendation?
The most appropriate reference would come from a professional coach or conductor.
If you have a musical relationship with someone who knows ENO or the Opera Works course, that can be helpful. Otherwise, choose someone who knows you well and has the most information to share that will influence your application, to ensure you have the best chance possible.
Allow your referee time to reflect on you as a singer and performer. Please note that many referees provide references for several people during each cycle of applications for Opera Works.
Most importantly, check that your referee thinks that you are suitable for the course.
What makes a good recommendation?
Ensure that your reference mentions your weak points. This is a training programme so we presume a reference that does not mention them is hiding something, as we know you must have some.
Try to include recent information – we can’t tell very much from someone who has only coached you once, or only years ago – we are more interested in hearing about your journey and your progress.