About us

I will never forget singing with CYO – never ever!

Cambridge Youth Opera (CYO) broadens the creative horizons of young people through opera. We work with children and young people to create age appropriate activities to the highest possible standard.

We are an open access, community organisation and a registered charity. We do not charge for participation.

Our activities include everything that goes to make up an opera, onstage and backstage. Many of the young people who take part have never experienced opera before. We welcome a diverse range of children and young people from across the community in which we work, bringing together young people living parallel lives in a shared love of the arts.

CYO is a place where my child has been accepted for herself, where she felt safe. The relationships and friendships she has formed have meant at least as much to her as the development of her performance ability.

By providing easily accessible, exciting activities, we open up what is often considered an exclusive art form, cultivate the arts as a natural part of daily life, and grow the confidence of our participants. We believe that opera is ideal for this, as it encompasses such a variety of elements and the opportunity to thrill, move and amuse both participants and audiences.

I went prepared to make patronising excuses: “not too bad for kids” and the like. In fact, this double bill from the Cambridge Youth Opera turned out to be positively good. Positively good full stop.

From 2018 – 2021, we have embarked on an ambitious strategy to extend our activities, with the aim to

  • engage with younger children through primary schools, reaching the broadest range of children and providing them with routes to future activities, through CYO and other providers, including their schools
  • maintain our high quality work with teenagers, building their confidence and providing them with a safe and welcoming environment to explore their creativity and develop new skills and experience
  • provide opportunities for young artists at the start of their careers to develop their potential and gain valuable experience as leaders and mentors across our activities