Whether you are an avid opera listener, a beginner singer, or have found us completely by accident, welcome! Edinburgh Studio Opera is a student-run legacy and introduces young singers into professional performance. We collaborate with experts in both directing and musicianship, and encourage performers with any level of experience to join – we’ve all been beginners at some point. Each year our team stages two productions, in tandem with spreading opera into the wider community. Our singers, whether their ambition is to continue professionally or not, all share a passion for opera, one that proves that it is not a dying art.

On the right, please find our introductory playlist to opera, featuring some well-known arias. We use this to curate music for our weekly busking sessions on the Royal Mile.

A word from our patron, Alan Oke (second in from right):

"I was delighted when I was asked to support the work of Edinburgh Studio Opera by becoming its patron. During a career of some 40 years, I have become increasingly aware of the diminishing number of opportunities for young singers at the beginning of their careers to gain vital performance experience. Companies such as ESO perform an invaluable service in this area, acting as a half-way house between college/university productions and the professional world."
Alan Oke

Following a successful career as a baritone, Alan made his debut as a tenor in 1992. Since then his career has covered much of the tenor repertoire for companies include Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Scottish Opera; Opera North; The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; English National Opera; Canadian Opera Company and The Metropolitan Opera as well as appearances at the Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, Brighton, Bregenz and Ravenna Festivals and the BBC Proms.

Our March performance is arguably our largest production of the year. We audition for a Production Team and cast in September, and rehearsals will usually begin shortly after. There are opportunities to be a part of the chorus, or for our more experienced singers, to be a principle role. This March, we are performing Die Fledermaus – get your tickets here

Following the (hopeful) triumph of end of year exams, a smaller cast is auditioned and selected to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Usually, the cast is of no more than ten. This production is featured alongside many other talented artists at the Edinburgh Fringe. The opera itself is usually written for us through our annual composing competition, and we are incredibly grateful to work with such amazing musicians.

You would be wrong in thinking that ESO is all serious performance – a large part of our sponsorship comes from busking! On weekends we organise for our singers to sing along the Royal Mile, which helps us with any stage fright, and gives us a unique opportunity to perform.

Towards the end of the first semester, ESO usually hosts an Opera Gala, which is an excellent additional performance opportunity for society members. It is used to garner interest in our March performance, and also raise funds to support our society. Even chorus members from our March production can have the opportunity to perform a solo!


If you would like to receive email notifications with details and ticket information for our concerts, performances and masterclasses, please fill in our Audience Member form now!

I was surprised to find that opera isn't as daunting or heavy as one might think. We all share a passion for performance and are all regular people, there isn't a hint of pretension which harbours a really welcoming environment.
Holly Gowen
President 2022-23