Professional Experience Scheme 24/25: Opera North (Percussion)

Applications are now open for the Orchestra of Opera North (Percussion) Professional Experience Scheme.

Applications are now open for the Orchestra of Opera North (Percussion) Professional Experience Scheme.

Open to: third and fourth year undergraduates and all postgraduates enrolled at the RNCM in 2024-2025 who are not on the Orchestra of Opera North’s extras list. You can not re-apply if you have completed the Scheme in any previous years.

Deadline for application: 1pm, Thursday 27 June 2024

Auditions at RNCM: Friday 4 October 2024
Full details:
Application form: Moodle

Our Professional Experience Scheme with the Orchestra of Opera North is designed to give RNCM Wind, Brass and Percussion students first-hand experience as an orchestral musician in professional opera productions.

The Scheme

All applicants will receive an audition at the RNCM early in the Autumn Term which take place at the RNCM on Friday 4 October 2024.

All applicants are expected to prepare a selection of operatic excerpts for the audition, details of which can be found on Moodle.

Following the audition, selected students will take part in a side-by-side workshop with the Orchestra’s full Percussion section, conductor and repetiteur. This provides an opportunity to look at a wide range of operatic repertoire, and to gain immediate invaluable feedback and guidance from professional players.

A small number of students are subsequently invited to join the entire Orchestra of Opera North, taking part in and observing rehearsals in Leeds in preparation for their production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute (timpani only). Students who make sufficient musical progress during this time may then be invited to take the seat of a player for one full performance.

Key information relating to all RNCM Professional Experience Schemes, is outlined within this document. If you require additional support or guidance, please email Abby Flood, Ensembles Administrator.

M 07976 556983

E [email protected]


Stage 1

Friday 4 October
Auditions at the RNCM.

Students will receive written feedback from these auditions.

Stage 2

Tuesday 12 November, 1100-1400
Side-by-side workshop at the RNCM for those students invited after audition – with full Opera North Percussion section, conductor and pianist.

Students will receive verbal feedback during this session.

Stage 3 (Timpani only)

Opera North’s Opera Production (Mozart’s The Magic Flute)

Orchestra-alone Rehearsals and Sitzprobe (TBC – 04 Feb 2025)
RNCM students who have been successful at Stage 2 will listen and play alongside ON players in the Orchestra-alone and Sitzprobe rehearsals of The Magic Flute.

Please note: dates and times are subject to possible alteration, and all successful students may not be required for all dates.

Stage and Orchestra and Dress Rehearsals (during period 06 – 07 February 2025)
RNCM students will play in place of ON players in the Stage and Orchestra rehearsals. This is done on a rotational basis and ON players will observe from the pit or auditorium.

The Dress Rehearsal and First and Second performances will be performed by ON players. After this, students may be chosen to undertake a performance later in the run.

Stage 4 (Timpani only)

RNCM students who are selected will be asked to play in one performance in either Leeds (Grand Theatre) or Salford (The Lowry). This will take place during the period 12 February – 14 March 2025 (exact date TBC).

Professional experience schemes: key information

  • You can apply and audition for multiple RNCM Professional Experience Schemes and all applicants are guaranteed an audition.
  • You can not re-apply if you have completed it in any previous years.
  • If you are on an orchestra’s extras list, you cannot apply to take part in their Professional Experience Scheme.
  • You will not receive any payment for involvement in RNCM Professional Experience Schemes.
  • Successful auditionees cannot undertake freelance work with the orchestra until all Professional Experience Scheme dates have been completed.

Auditions are a key part of Professional Experience Schemes and it is considered unprofessional to cancel at short notice. As such, any applicant withdrawing at less than 72 hours’ notice prior to audition will be ineligible to apply to that orchestra again.

Orchestras within the Professional Experience Schemes vary in their provision of accompanists at audition. All Opera North auditions are unaccompanied.

Postgraduates Only
If you intend to use the Professional Experience Scheme for the Professional Placement module please keep copies of all Professional Experience Scheme applications (CV, covering letter and application pro forma) as you will be required to submit them at the end of the year as part of your Professional Placement portfolio.

You can choose to use the Professional Experience Scheme for the Professional Placement module (dependant on reaching the appropriate stage) but you do not have to choose the module in order to undertake the Professional Experience Scheme.

For questions about Professional Placement modules, please contact Andrea Vogler [email protected].