Jonathan Santagada has been announced as the new Opera Conductor/Repetiteur on the prestigious Jette Parker Young Artists Programme (JPYAP), based at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Jonathan, the RNCM’s Sir John Fisher Foundation Junior Fellow (Repetiteur) within the School of Vocal Studies and Opera, was one of 12 from almost 100 candidates selected for the first round of auditions, and one of five for the second and final round.

Presenting to a panel which included the Royal Opera House’s Head of Music, David Syrus, and Music Director, Antonio Pappano, candidates were asked to prepare – as conductor and coach – excerpts from four operas and a complete act from an opera of their choice, to sight-read, sing a recitative, demonstrate their facility with language, and coach a singer on repertory given to them 30 minutes prior to audition.

Talking of the experience, Jonathan said:  ‘It was a challenging process, but I received a lot of help from the RNCM as I prepared for the audition, which helped enormously. The experience was fantastic, especially as I got to audition for Antonio Pappano in the final round, and I’m thrilled to have been selected.’

During his time as Junior Fellow (Repetiteur), Jonathan has worked as a member of the music staff on RNCM Opera productions, including Paradise Moscow and L’elisir d’amore. He is currently working on the Gluck double-bill of Orfeo ed Euridice and The Drunkard Cured, which will be performed in March at the RNCM and Manchester Cathedral.

Kevin Thraves, Head of Music Staff (School of Vocal Studies and Opera) said of Jonathan’s success: ‘This is an incredible achievement for Jonathan and he is fully deserving of this fantastic opportunity. It has been invaluable to have had such an exceptional Junior Fellow working alongside the music staff in the School of Vocal Studies and Opera over the last 12 months. He has contributed hugely during his time in Manchester and we all wish him every success at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.’

The JPYAP seeks to find extremely gifted individuals at the start of their professional careers, with a music degree and some experience in performance. Commencing in September, Jonathan now has the opportunity to join the music staff at the Royal Opera House on a two year contract, working on their forthcoming opera productions.