Chorus

Become a chorus member

The York Opera chorus rehearsing for Puccini’s Turandot, York Theatre Royal 2017

The York Opera chorus rehearsing for Puccini’s Turandot, York Theatre Royal 2017

 
 

About our chorus

York Opera has a proud tradition of performing operatic works on the main stage at venues such as York Theatre Royal and The Joseph Rowntree Theatre. Our remit is to make opera accessible - which means that we sing mostly opera in English, and select works which contain a large chorus.

At times, our chorus can be up to 40 or 50 singers, all on stage at once, producing an almighty sound which our audiences come back for time and again!

Our chorus is made of up of the traditional sections; tenor and bass for male voice, and soprano and alto for female. For both male voice and female, you’re in good company - our appeal to young singers, and young actors is complemented by old hands, some of whom have been with us since our company was founded in 1964!

Being involved in the chorus is a great way to meet new people, and find a talent which you might never have realised you had. Many of our chorus members also become understudies, or even go on to auditioning for lead roles. Others simply enjoy singing and being on stage, and help with other parts of the production, such as props, publicity, or costume.

 
I joined York Opera after studying for a Masters degree in Public Health at the University Of York and I found it to be a most welcoming and friendly company.
— Annabel, Member since 2017
 

Who can sing in the chorus?

Absolutely anyone! We don’t discriminate and we are always delighted to welcome new members. As a large chorus, we have a lot of passionate opera devotees who will gladly take you under their wing.

We are always looking to add new members to the chorus - male voice, female, young, old - and you’ll find a warm welcome when you join. Our members come from a wide range of backgrounds, but share one thing in common - a love of opera.

As local opera group and registered charity, York Opera are unable to pay performers, and memberships are due annually. You can read about the details of our membership fees on our Membership page.

 
 
The York Opera chorus in Bizet’s Carmen, York Theatre Royal, 2018

The York Opera chorus in Bizet’s Carmen, York Theatre Royal, 2018

 
 

Do I have to read music to be in the chorus?

Our chorus is made up of a wide variety of different ability levels. If you find yourself struggling, there will always be those who are there ready to help you (and if you’re stuck you can always stand next to them!).

The important thing to remember is that for a full opera production, we would normally have around 3 months of rehearsals, during which there is plenty of time to familiarise yourself with the music.

Within our group we also have a number of music teachers, singing coaches, and accompanists, all of whom would welcome giving you additional help should you need it.

 
It can be hilarious and discovering the humour in rehearsals has been great fun. Now it’s our job to deliver that on the Theatre Royal stage.
— Jessica, Member since 2014
 

Do I have to act to be in the chorus?

Our Stage Directors have taught drama throughout their careers, and in total we must have well over 100 years experience in directing opera on stage. We don’t assume that you have had any experience of acting when you join, and provide you with plenty of support to understand what is happening on stage during the opera, and what you should be doing.

You’ll also find that there is a big difference between rehearsing once or twice a week in a rehearsal room, and the adrenaline of performing a full-scale opera, in full costume, with full set and full orchestra, on one of York’s premier stages - it’s what we live for!

 
 
Male Voice Chorus in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience, York Theatre Royal, 2017

Male Voice Chorus in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience, York Theatre Royal, 2017

 
 

How do I get involved?

To get into the chorus of one of our operas, there is nothing more you need to other than simply turn up.

Whilst we would encourage you to keep abreast of our latest production details to find out when we embark on our productions, it has been possible for chorus members to join us part way through an opera rehearsal.

There is no need to audition for the chorus, and you will be provided with a copy of the opera score with the English translation.

You can keep up-to-date by signing up to our Mailing List, checking out our What’s On page.

What are you waiting for? Come an join York Opera’s chorus now!