Glyndebourne Academy Participant Profiles

Who is Glyndebourne Academy for?

Glyndebourne Academy is for those young classical singers (16- 26 ) who have missed out on the chance to develop their vocal talent through lack of access to specialist knowledge, funds, or who have faced some other barrier which has prevented them reaching their full potential.

For some students, Glyndebourne Academy will prepare them for conservatoire entrance and professional training; for others, it will reveal what is still to be done before they can enter that stream.

For all it should be both challenging and stimulating.

Participants must demonstrate to a panel of experts that they have:

  • vocal quality which has professional operatic potential
  • a good “ear” for music and language
  • an ability to work on their own (after having been given guidance), in order to develop and consolidate skills
  • stamina to withstand intensive learning and singing – both physical and vocal
  • physical openness and good communicative instincts

To be considered, applicants should be between the ages of 16 and 26 at the time of auditioning although we will consider applications from singers aged between 26 and 30 who can make a very strong case for fitting the profile in all other respects.

What you might not know

If you have had very little input from teachers, you may not know what being an opera singer is all about, and what skills you will need to have. In Glyndebourne Academy we try to make this clear for all, so even if you don’t get on the course, you should still be much wiser after the audition process. We hope to select the students who show the greatest ability to improve across a wide range of skills – vocal, linguistic, dramatic, physical – and who will be able to work effectively to practice and develop these skills when left to their own devices.

Example participant profiles

Male 18 years old, bass-baritone. Late to music – voice developed from 15, but has not had a lot of musical tuition, and not much experience of the classical music canon. Uncertain as to what skills he would need to add to the ones he already has, particularly true of languages, as he has no training in them. Very good vocal potential; good stage instincts; engaging personality and open to learning.

Female 19 years old, soprano. Has had a very good grounding in music but suffered with health issues in late teens that inhibited development and crushed confidence. Health issues now resolved and ready to move forward, and make up for 2 years of lost time. Very quick learner, new to stage work but unafraid to try things out. Good ear for both music and language. Able to retain corrections in all areas of work.

Male 23 years old, tenor. Recently discovered operatic music; natural talent in both musicality and voice. All to do in language, stagecraft and reading musical notation. Possesses drive and willpower, and extremely supportive family. Hard worker; good ear; charismatic performer.

Female 17 years old, mezzo-soprano. Isolated geographically; not a lot of opportunities to engage with music as a performer. Super keen. Voice young and technically quite basic, but openness to criticism and ability to make corrections to all aspects of performing (eg: linguistic, musical, technical and physical) means that great strides will be made in a very short time. Good stage instincts, good ear.

Previous participant case studies

Who it is not for

  • singers who have already had undergraduate and / or postgraduate conservatoire training (either in the UK or in other countries), and who cannot make an exceptionally strong case for fitting the profile in all other respects
  • singers whose voices have not really settled and who therefore are unlikely to be able to withstand intensive training at this point in their development