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									ENO Opera Works
Frequently Asked Questions 2010 - 2011

What is ENO Opera Works?
ENO Opera Works is a unique and flexible training opportunity for talented pre-
professional singers who wish to embark on a career singing opera, whatever
their background or previous experience. ENO Opera Works is different from
courses available at music colleges, in that it offers singers a wide spectrum of
professional development opportunities in the context of a full-time producing
opera company. Although singers are not offered stage roles at ENO as part of
the course, singers gain access to the company and its resources.

Why should I choose Opera Works?
Opera Works enables singers to develop their vocal and dramatic skills in a
professional environment, with unprecedented access to professionals working in
opera, insights into the world of professional opera and valuable opportunities for
dialogue with key people within the Company. There are exclusive opportunities
to engage with the work of ENO, including the chance to see ENO productions
and get involved in the innovative learning and participation work of ENO Baylis.
We believe this makes Opera Works unique and sets it apart from other courses
that are available at music colleges or universities.

For those who take on the course, there are rich rewards and incredible
opportunities. Opera Works singers have said the course is ‘inspiring’, ‘exciting’
and ‘an invaluable professional development opportunity’.

How is the course structured?
There are five key elements to ENO Opera Works:

1. Core modules
The intensive weekend modules are at the heart of the course. Three modules
take place between September and March. Each module is made up of an “input”
weekend and a “response” weekend.

At an input weekend, singers undertake a professional development session on
the Friday afternoon. This may be with a key member of ENO staff (from
departments such as Casting, Stage Management, Staff Directors) or with an
external guest tutor (e.g. performance psychologist, Feldenkrais practitioner,
established singers and artists working with ENO). The weekend comprises two
days of workshops with guest tutors, focusing on a specific non-vocal discipline
or skillset such as creating a character, text and spoken word, movement and
physicality.




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Prior to a response weekend, singers are allocated repertoire to learn. On the
Friday afternoon of a response weekend, the group undertakes a music call to
sing through and gain feedback on this repertoire. Over the following two days,
singers take part in workshops exploring the skills they learnt at previous input
weekends in the context of music and singing. The group works with the course
director and a guest conductor.

2. Coaching
Singers receive monthly one-to-one coaching sessions from September to
March. On alternate months these are with Jane Robinson (ENO’s Head of
Training and Vocal Director of Opera Works) or with a member of ENO Music
Staff. Monthly coaching takes place during the working week.

Singers undertake two additional one-to-one coaching sessions with Jane
Robinson in April and May to work on showcase repertoire. Again, this is during
the working week.

3. Consultation session and mock audition
Each singer undertakes a consultation session at the beginning of the course
with Vocal Director Jane Robinson and ENO’s Head of Casting John McMurray.
This is an important opportunity to consider your professional aspirations, your
repertoire and obtain feedback on your singing.

In March, singers return to do a mock audition with Jane and John. This presents
an opportunity to receive feedback on your progress on the course and discuss
your next professional steps.

Both sessions are during the working week.

4. Dress rehearsals
Opera Works singers receive tickets to dress rehearsals for ENO productions at
the London Coliseum. This is an important part of singers’ learning on the
course. It presents an opportunity to see compelling, high-quality theatrical
productions created by imaginative stage directors and designers from across
the arts and performed by leading British and international artists. We aim to
reflect on dress rehearsals and integrate them into learning on the course. Dress
rehearsals take place during the working week.

5. End-of-year showcase
The course culminates in an end-of-year showcase performance in early June.
Jane Robinson and John McMurray select showcase repertoire following the
mock auditions in March; workshops and rehearsals take place over selected
weekends (including bank holidays) from April-June. An audience of colleagues
from ENO and other UK opera companies attends alongside members of the
public.




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What are the course dates?
A provisional list of course dates can be downloaded from our website at
http://www.eno.org/explore/about-eno/working-with-eno/opera-works.php.

How much time does the course take?
Opera Works is a part-time course, but does not consist of a regular timetable or
number of hours per week. A number of singers have successfully combined the
course with full-time employment and other commitments. You can look at the
provisional course dates for 2010-2011 on our website at
http://www.eno.org/explore/about-eno/working-with-eno/opera-works.php. Please
consider your other commitments and availability carefully before applying for the
course.

Who can take part in Opera Works?
Opera Works is a course designed for pre-professional singers who want to
embark on or develop their career in opera. The course requires no formal
training or background in music. Rather, we look for pre-professional or emerging
singers who produce an operatic sound, have a good solid vocal technique,
potential for and commitment to pursuing a career in opera.

Can I take part in Opera Works whilst studying/working/managing my
family life?
The modular structure has been developed because we recognise that many
talented singers are in full-time employment, live outside London or have family
commitments. Although Opera Works is designed to be compatible with other
studies, employment or family life, we expect students to commit fully to their
attendance at Opera Works sessions. Please see the provisional course dates
2010-2011 from our website at http://www.eno.org/explore/about-eno/working-
with-eno/opera-works.php and carefully consider your commitment before
applying for the course.

Do I need to live in London to take part in Opera Works?
No. Applications will be accepted from those living outside London and several
singers have successfully completed the course while living further afield.
However, singers will be expected to acknowledge time and money spent on
transit when applying for the course and to consider carefully the feasibility of
their involvement.

I’m a singer from outside the United Kingdom – can I still apply for Opera
Works?
Yes. We welcome applications from singers from outside the United Kingdom
though singers must be resident in the UK for the duration of the course.

Singers must inform ENO at application stage if they are not an EEA National or
require permission from the UK Border Agency to reside in the United Kingdom
and must agree to provide promptly all necessary information and documentation



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required by the UK Border Agency. In the event that permission to reside in the
UK is required but not granted, singers will not be able to undertake the course.
ENO will offer assistance with these arrangements where possible.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be asked to sing in English at
their audition.

I don’t have any formal training - can I still apply for Opera Works?
Yes. We recognise that many talented singers have not been able to follow
traditional music training routes and therefore Opera Works does not require
formal qualifications; operatic vocal talent, a sound technique, commitment and
potential for progression are the main criteria for acceptance onto the course.

What level do I need to be at to take part in Opera Works?
Although no formal qualifications are required for Opera Works, the standard is
high. It is roughly equivalent to postgraduate level at music college.

What are the minimum/maximum ages for Opera works?
Whilst there are no official age limits for the course, it is unlikely that a singer will
be ready to embark on this challenging course before the age of 21. As the
course acts as a pre-professional training course, a career in opera must be a
viable and realistic aim but there is no upper age limit for Opera Works.

How much does Opera Works cost?
The fee for Opera Works 2010-11 is £1,500. The fee includes the full program of
professional development, coaching and training during the course, plus course
materials. The fee can be paid in three installments throughout the year. The first
installment of £500 is due upon acceptance of a place, the deadline for which is
16 August 2010.

We are grateful to the Behrens Foundation, the Idlewild Trust, the Mercers'
Company and the Radcliffe Trust for their generous support of Opera Works.

I cannot afford the course fee. Do you offer bursaries?
No. We consider Opera Works to be good value for money. The course is
already subsidised by well over 50% by ENO and its supporters, and we are
unable to offer any further financial assistance. Previous Opera Works singers
have successfully secured sponsorship for the course and ENO will help singers
with this where possible.

Who runs Opera Works?
The course is produced by ENO Baylis, ENO’s Learning and Participation
Department. ENO Baylis is part of the Company’s Artistic Department alongside
Producing, Casting, Planning and Company Office. ENO Baylis also works
closely with the Music Department on Opera Works. The course is overseen by
ENO’s Head of Casting John McMurray and Head of Music Martin Fitzpatrick.



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The two Opera Works course directors are theatre and opera director Martin
Constantine and ENO’s Head of Training Jane Robinson.

How challenging is Opera Works?
The course is demanding, not least because it requires singers to engage with a
wide range of performance skills and ideas, including drama and text, movement
and physicality. Students are expected to develop work in their own time
between the intensive weekend modules, and to reflect on their development by
contributing to ENO Baylis projects, events and digital media. A provisional list of
2010 – 2011 course dates can be found on our website at
http://www.eno.org/explore/about-eno/working-with-eno/opera-works.php.

How can I get involved with the work of ENO during the Opera Works
course?
As an Opera Works singer, you will attend ENO dress rehearsals and become
ambassadors for our award-winning, innovative work.

Will taking part in the course lead to my being cast in a role at ENO?
No. In the past, some Opera Works singers have gone on to work with the
company in a professional capacity, although this is not guaranteed.

What other opportunities does Opera Works offer?
Because Opera Work is produced by ENO Baylis, ENO’s Learning and
Participation Department, the course offer unique opportunities to get involved
with our innovative program of projects and events at the Coliseum and beyond.
Subsequently, you may be required to undergo a Criminal Records Bureau
check; please call Emily Cook on 020 7845 9583 if you wish to discuss this.

All singers on Opera Works will be required (with our support) to document their
participation on the course through digital media such as audio-visual resources
and blogs, which will be shared with ENO audiences and the general public.

How do I apply?
The application form can be downloaded from our website at
http://www.eno.org/explore/about-eno/working-with-eno/opera-works.php or by
emailing baylis@eno.org. Your application must be returned by post to Emily
Cook, ENO Baylis, English National Opera, London Coliseum, St Martins Lane,
London WC2N 4ES.
You must include:
• A reference from a professional in the arts to support your applications (e.g.
    teacher, performer). This must be included in your application as any
    applications received without a reference cannot be accepted.
• A passport-sized photograph
• A cheque for £35.00, made payable to English National Opera
• Two copies of your application form (one of which may be a photocopy)




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When can I apply?
Applications are welcomed from mid-April 2010. The deadline for applications is
12pm on Monday June 14th 2010; please allow adequate time to submit your
application as we are unable to accept forms after this date.

When are the auditions?
First round auditions will take place in central London on: Friday 2, Monday 5,
Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 July 2010. If shortlisted, you will be asked to
attend a group workshop on Saturday 24 July to further ascertain your suitability
for the course.

What should I prepare for the auditions?
You must prepare three operatic arias; at least one of which must be in English.
It is unlikely you will be asked to sing all arias.

Will I receive feedback on my audition?
Unfortunately feedback cannot be given at any stage during the audition process.
All applicants will be contacted with the outcome of their audition.

I can’t make the audition dates, can I still apply?
Applicants are advised in the strongest possible terms to attend an audition if
they wish to be considered for Opera Works. Applicants who cannot attend
auditions on 2, 5, 6, 7 July may submit with their application a CD recording of
three operatic arias, at least one of which must be in English. In the event that we
wish to pursue your application, we will ask you to come to sing to a member of
the panel at an alternative time. All shortlisted applicants should be available for
recall workshop audition on 24 July.

I’ve applied for Opera Works before and not been accepted. Can I apply
again?
It is ENO’s policy with general Company auditions not to see a candidate again
for a further two years if they’re unsuccessful at their initial audition. In our
experience this is the amount of time it takes for a singer to make significant
enough progress to warrant a further audition. We have in general adopted this
policy for ENO Opera Works, other than in a few exceptional cases where
students have undertaken major new training opportunities. If you are applying to
Opera Works again, please highlight what progress you have made since your
last application.

How competitive is the application process?
ENO Baylis ran a pilot scheme for Opera Works in 2007-08; 2010-11 will be the
third annual course. Demand for places has grown each year and for the 2009-
10 course we received over 7 applications for every available place.

How many singers are accepted for Opera Works?




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We wish to work with 20 singers on the course. We are likely to offer up to 23
places to account for those who have to withdraw due to other commitments or
offers of work.

What have previous Opera Works singers gone on to do following the
course?
The aim of Opera Works is to support singers to make progress in professional
operatic careers. Previous singers have undertaken a range of roles following
their involvement in Opera Works, including principal and cover roles at ENO,
cover roles and chorus at Glyndebourne, further training both in the UK and
abroad, roles with a range of smaller opera companies, as well as successes in
various competitions.

Opera Works isn’t for me – what else can ENO Baylis offer me?
ENO Baylis offer a wide range of events, projects, online resources and
opportunities. For the latest ways to get involved, please visit
www.eno.org/explore

I have a question about Opera Works that is not answered here. What
should I do?
If you have read all the FAQs and still have an unanswered question, please
contact Emily Cook, ENO Baylis Assistant Producer on 020 7845 9583 or
ecook@eno.org




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