Opera North launches new female conductor traineeship

Submitted by master on Wed, 07/28/2021 - 17:40

Female conductors based in the UK are being called on to apply for an intensive new ten-week training scheme aimed at addressing the gender balance in conducting and classical music.

Successful applicants will be able to take part in two dedicated workshops with Opera North’s music director Garry Walker, as well as one-on-one discussions and lessons with Opera North staff and visiting conductors throughout the winter 2021/22 season. These will include principal guest conductor Antony Hermus; Sian Edwards, head of conducting at the Royal Academy of Music and an Opera North conducting regular; Opera North’s head of music David Cowan; chorus master Oliver Rundell; and music staff members Martin Pickard and Annette Saunders. We named Sian Edwards as one of the best female conductors working today.

Trainees will also be able to visit rehearsals and coaching sessions with Opera North’s orchestra and singers ahead of their upcoming productions of Rigoletto, Alcina and Carmen. They will also assist with sessions and rehearsals in primary schools across Leeds and with Opera North’s three youth choruses, youth orchestra and orchestra academy workshops.

They will also take on the role of assistant conductor for Youth Opera Project performances of Hans Krása’s Brundibár in Leeds and Newcastle in January 2022.

‘We are looking for someone with outstanding musical and communication skills, who may or may not yet have had much conducting experience, but wishes to explore a pathway into conducting by means of this immersive programme,’ says Garry Walker, Opera North’s music director.

The Female Conductor Traineeship will take place in Leeds from 29 November-17 December 2021 and 4 January-18 February 2022. A bursary of £350 per week + expenses will also be provided.