Take part

Balancing the Score 2023

A development scheme to support composers from underrepresented backgrounds.

We are delighted to announce that we are now accepting applications for our Balancing the Score initiative.

Balancing the Score looks to showcase and develop the talents of composers from backgrounds currently underrepresented in the world of operatic composition.

The scheme will offer two composers the chance to spend three years immersing themselves in life at Glyndebourne, attending rehearsals and meeting professional opera makers and performers. Participants will be introduced to commissioning opportunities at Glyndebourne, access development opportunities with high profile partners, and will receive mentorship from Glyndebourne’s Artistic Director Stephen Langridge. Throughout the programme there will be continued engagement with local communities (both around Glyndebourne and across our Tour venues) and the young people who engage with our Learning & Engagement programme.

This part-time residency will last for three years and starts in February 2023. The successful candidates must be based in the UK. Each composer will have the opportunity to:

  • Increase their knowledge of how an international opera house functions.
  • Investigate different approaches to the creation of new opera and music theatre through engagement with the historical forms of opera.
  • Observe the opera rehearsal process.
  • Attend industry insight sessions delivered with partner organisations.

The applicants will have a post-graduate degree level qualification in composition or equivalent professional experience, with a demonstrable interest in learning more about opera, even if they have not yet had significant experience in composing opera. They will be proactive in seeking out the many informal learning opportunities that come from being onsite at Glyndebourne and our tour venues. Some pre-existing engagement with opera, theatre, or multimedia work, of writing for the voice, and of practical skills as a pianist and/or vocalist/instrumentalist capable of improvising is desired. Due to the high level of collaboration work, applicants should also demonstrate their interest in engaging with the community and young people, and give examples of self-generated opportunities outside of a formal learning environment.

The successful candidates will receive an annual bursary of £1,000 to cover expenses and time spent at Glyndebourne and will have the opportunity to apply to a Research & Development fund to create works during the period of the residency.

Glyndebourne is privileged to be collaborating with its resident orchestras, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, to provide opportunities for Balancing the Score composers.

The recruitment process involves the submission of a personal statement, CV, and portfolio of work, followed by an interview. As a company, Glyndebourne is aware that operatic repertoire being performed on stage often does not reflect the diversity of the UK population and this programme supports the sector’s efforts to address this. After a highly successful first iteration of the programme, exclusively for female composers, we have now decided to expand the scheme and actively encourage applications from those from a range of backgrounds currently underrepresented in the world of operatic composition, and priority will be given to those applicants in the review process*.

Key Dates
  • October: Deadline for applications
  • November: Interviews
  • December: Successful candidates contacted
Applications for Balancing the Score 2023 have now closed

For more information about our previous Balancing the Score composers and the work completed during their residency, please see our webpage here.

* These might, for example, relate to the 10 protected characteristics listed in the Equalities Act 2010, namely: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. We are also interested to hear from those with backgrounds not listed as a protected characteristic, for example, socio-economic and educational.


Image credits: Header image: Pay the Piper 2022, photo by Richard Hubert Smith.

Pay the Piper was an opera composed by the last Balancing the Score cohort including composers Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade, Anna Appleby, Cecilia Livingston and Ailie Robertson.

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