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Artist Development

Chorus Development Programme

Our Chorus Development Programme launched in 2022, following open auditions to select local singers to be part of the chorus development programme in the build-up to our major production of ‘La Traviata’ at the Grand Opera House in Belfast. The Chorus Development Programme is open to singers aged 18 and up.

The NI Opera Chorus is now a key part of our Artist Development Programme which runs throughout the year but with a particular focus between March and September each year as we build towards our main stage production. The NI Opera Chorus work with regular and guest coaches in the build up to these major, fully staged productions in the Grand Opera House, Belfast.

Members of the chorus have year-round opportunities for both solo and group performances with Northern Ireland Opera as part of the Artist Development Programme. In 2023, they performed ‘Chorus’ an evening of opera choruses on May 19th in the Harbour Commissioner’s Office in Belfast and the female members of the chorus took part in our performance of Mendelssohn’sA Midsummer Night’s Dream’ with the Ulster Orchestra at the UIster Hall in May 2023. They also performed two free pop-up performances in August 2023 on the Maritime Mile before appearing in our September 2023 production of Tosca’.

In February 2024 members of the NI Opera Chorus and our Artist Development Programmes performed ‘The Juniper Tree a fully-staged opera composed by Philip Glass and Robert Moran, with lyrics by Arthur Yorinks, in The Studio of the Grand Opera House and will be performing ‘CHORUS!’ in The Ulster Hall on 18 May.

Find out more about ‘The Juniper Tree’.

Find out more about the NI Opera Chorus here.

Chorus Reviews

The locally based NI Opera chorus is, post-Covid, new, recruited through open auditions earlier this year yet already able to produce the vital, full-bodied sound needed for Verdi’s beloved work. ‘ The Observer

‘Ravishing choruses, as hypnotic as the marquee arias, inject peroidic brio into the musical narrative.’ Theatre News

The NI Opera Studio

The Northern Ireland Opera Studio, (previously known as the Young Artists Programme) has been running since 2011 and to date has supported 39 emerging opera singers, helping prepare them for their future careers. It has offered its members a programme which includes studio-scale productions, recitals, and opportunities to be involved in main-stage productions. The singers have benefitted from individual coaching, masterclasses with leading international artists, as well as professional mentoring, career guidance, and language coaching. Additionally, the Studio members have played an active role in Northern Ireland Opera’s outreach work.

During 2023 and 2024 the NI Opera Studio is adapting and will be supporting a number of emerging artists, giving them the opportunity to develop their skills in areas which will help them in their professional careers. The range of disciplines includes two conductors, a repetiteur, a stage manager and singers across opera and music theatre. This programme will help NI Opera grow a stronger skills base. Throughout the year we’ll be showcasing their talents in a range of different performance opportunities and experiences.

Margaret Bridge, Conductor and Artist in Development with Northern Ireland Opera, rehearsing with the NI Opera Chorus. Photo credit Neil Harrison Photography

Find out more about the NI Opera Chorus and the Artist Development Programme in the link on the left.

We are grateful to the Garrick Club Charitable Trust for a generous grant towards our Artist Development Programme in 2024.

Thank you to D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust whose generous grant towards our Artist Development Programme will support tailored coaching for three opera singers in the build-up to our production of ‘Eugene Onégin’ in September 2024.