Royal Opera House brandmark

Career Guidance

The Royal Opera House employs 900 people, most of whom work backstage.

Our Royal Ballet, Royal Opera, ROH2 and Orchestra management teams work in support of our performance staff and guest artists.

We construct and paint all our own scenery, and manufacture all our props. We make costumes, wigs, hats and jewellery. Customer service staff work in Box office, the ROH Shop and for Front of House.

We have departments that deal with music library, collections, education, facilities marketing, publicity, IT, finance, HR and fundraising.

And there are the stage technicians, stage managers, flys, lighting operators, running wardrobe, welders, sound and broadcast engineers...

The list goes on.

Getting started

There are various routes into a career working backstage in a place like The Royal Opera House. Some jobs require qualifications, some need formal training, others can be learned on the job.

  • The Conference of Drama Schools has published a guide to careers backstage, which you can download here. It contains an overall view of career structures within the different specialities and has details of training courses.
  • Getintotheatre.org helps you find out about the huge variety of careers in the industry, career opportunities, work experience and training.
  • You may like to consider applying for the Royal Opera House Apprenticeship Scheme.

A Career in Performance

The Jette Parker Young Artists Programme

If you are ready to embark on a career as a singer, conductor, répétiteur or stage director, you could consider The Royal Opera House Jette Parker Young Artists Programme.

Who can apply
  • Though there is no upper or lower age limit, the Programme is intended to benefit extremely gifted individuals at the start of their professional careers.
  • Singers, conductors or répétiteurs are expected to have some performance experience and to have completed training at an established music college (although this is not an essential requirement).
  • Stage directors are expected to have some experience in mounting productions, either as a director or an assistant director.
How to apply

If you'd like to apply for the next round of singers' or music staff auditions or for stage director interviews, please check the Auditions section of the Jette Parker page.

Classical Singers and Musicians

The Connexions-Direct jobs4u career database has information on working towards a career as a singer and as a classical musician.

Musicalchairs.info has information about job opportunities for classical musicians and for those interested in orchestra management.

Abo.org.uk, the website of the Association of British Orchestras, also has careers advice.

The Royal Ballet

You will find information about the Royal Ballet School, including how to apply, at royal-ballet-school.org.uk.