British Youth Opera

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The British Youth Opera (BYO) is an opera company in the United Kingdom, it aims to give young singers, instrumentalists, conductors, directors and production staff experience through its annual September performances, and through a workshop and masterclass series.


British Youth Opera was started by Denis Coe, MP in 1987, who believed at the time that there was a lack of experience on offer for opera singers who were completing their vocal training to actually perform, he felt there was a gap which was being addressed for orchestral musicians and actors, but not for opera singers. Alumni have gone on to professional careers, and on to advanced training courses at the Royal Opera House and the National Opera Studio. Alumni include Lucy Crowe, Rosemary Joshua, Sally Matthews, Peter Auty, Christopher Maltman, Matthew Stiff, and Mark Stone.[1]

The company performed the first London performances of Flight by Jonathan Dove in 2008.[citation needed]

Funding and partnerships[edit]

Since 2002 British Youth Opera has been core funded by Arts Council England, in addition to raising funding from trusts,[which?] foundations[which?] and individual donors. British Youth Opera is a registered charity. Charles, Prince of Wales is its patron. The president is Sir Thomas Allen,[2] and vice-presidents include Dame Felicity Lott, José Cura and Bryn Terfel.

The Opera works in collaboration with music colleges and conservatoires, and with Southbank Sinfonia, it is sponsored by London South Bank University in the form of accommodation, rehearsal space and services. Its annual September performances are held at the Peacock Theatre, in London.


  1. ^ "Silver service: British Youth Opera". Classical Music. 6 October 2012. Archived from the original on 29 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "Cutting it at the opera". The Guardian. 6 December 2003. 

External links[edit]