Trainee Assistant Director

OperaUpClose is looking for a Trainee Assistant Director to support our Artistic Director, Robin Norton-Hale on our new production of Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine, which will premiere at Kings Place in London this summer. This is a paid position for emerging directors, offering on-the-job training that will further their skills and experience needed to create their own work.

La Voix Humaine will premiere and run for five performances at Kings Place in July and August 2017, then follow with a UK tour in autumn 2017 and spring 2018.

OperaUpClose is committed to being an equal opportunities employer. We are particularly keen to hear from people who may have been discouraged from applying for other arts traineeships for financial reasons. We encourage applications from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and disabled candidates.

The Role
Trainee Assistant Director

Job Description
The Trainee Assistant Director will attend all rehearsals, taking notes and assisting the director as required. S/he will undertake research for the director and designer as required. The Trainee Assistant Director may also attend performances in lieu of the director and take notes for her. The Trainee Assistant Director may be requested to undertake marketing, producing or other duties, but not at the detriment of their experience as an Assistant Director. The Director, Designer and Producer of the production will make themselves available to the Trainee in order to provide career and professional development advice.


Rehearsals will not be full time but hours will increase in frequency until opening night on Sunday 2 July. The Trainee Assistant Director will need to be available from the start of the rehearsal period w/c 12 June.

The schedule will be worked out to ensure that the hourly rate is no less than the London Living Wage.

The Production
An intense 50-minute tour de force for solo soprano, this one-woman opera is short in length, but not in emotion. Alone in her flat, Elle is unravelling. Cradling the phone, she tries to put on a brave face for her ex-lover on the other end of the line, but despair and loneliness overwhelm her.

This is opera at its rawest and most intimate, a deeply personal work by a composer going through his own heartbreak. Poulenc and Cocteau had shared the perils and pleasures of early-20th-century gay life – including Nazi occupation – for decades by the time the composer tackled his friend’s hit play, and the result is a perfect marriage of words and music.

Performed by soprano Sarah Minns (OperaUpClose’s Olivier Award-winning La Bohème, The Marriage of Figaro and The Elixir of Love) and Richard Black on piano, and directed by OperaUpClose’s Artistic Director, Robin Norton-Hale, this is a devastating musical portrait of a human being on the brink of disintegration.

Deadline: Midday, Monday 29 May

Start date: Week beginning Monday 12 June

End date: Sunday 2 July

How to apply: Please send a CV and a cover letter (no more than 1 side of A4) explaining why you would like to be a stage director, and how this position will help you achieve this, to