The Team

Our permanent team comprises our Artistic Director, Musical Director and Vocal Coach. In each production, we are joined by freelance coaches to meet the needs of the opera performed.

Caroline Coetzee, Artistic Director

CYO has been Caroline’s passion since 2011. An experienced opera professional, Caroline directs and leads all productions. Before starting CYO, she worked in opera and youth theatre in South Africa, Germany and the UK. With the Musical Director, she leads on the programme of work for children, teenagers and young adults, including key decisions about repertoire and the conceptualisation and delivery of dramatic and production elements.

Caroline is responsible for the artistic direction and strategy of CYO and the overarching development of CYO activities, and the recruitment and management of freelance coaches and volunteers. Alongside directing productions, she loves translating and adapting libretti to suit the requirements of youth opera performance.

Caroline studied theatre, singing and musicology at the Stellenbosch Conservatoire.

She delights in bringing her love of the arts to young people and new audiences.

Alastair Chilvers, Musical Director

Alastair gained his first opera conducting experience as a student with CYO when he conducted The Magic Flute in 2013. As Musical Director he works closely with Caroline on the development of CYO, as well as having responsibility for the musical direction, conceptualisation and delivery of all productions.

Alastair was the Lucille Graham Opera Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music, where he received a Master’s with distinction in piano accompaniment studying with Michael Dussek. He was a member of the acclaimed Academy Song Circle.

As a repetiteur Alastair participated in the Solti Accademia Peretti Masterclasses in Venice, where he worked with Richard Bonynge. He was a 2017 Iford New Generation Artist and Assistant Conductor for West Green House Opera’s 2016 production of La traviata. He is a Samling Artist.

Previously, he read Music at Queens’ College, Cambridge where he was Assistant Conductor for Cambridge University Music Society and received the University Instrumental Award for Chamber Music in 2011 and 2012.

In addition to his work with CYO, he tutors at Saffron Centre for Young Musicians and works for Jubilee Opera and W11 Youth Opera.


Julia Caddick, Vocal Coach

Julia is one of Cambridge’s foremost singing teachers and CYO’s vocal coach since 2011. Her aim is to give all singers a solid technique from which to improve their sound and enjoy their singing. Julia loves to enable each singer to discover their own individual voice.

Julia Caddick teaches classical singing up to Conservatoire entry level using CVT (Classical Voice Training) and Bel Canto, and Musical Theatre singing up to professional level (Estill).

While Julia’s main focus is providing individual coaching to soloists, she works with all singers. She is dedicated to ensuring that each singer, whether soloist or chorus develops in a manner appropriate to their age and ability, while learning to perform in the style appropriate to the work in hand.

Above all, Julia wants every singer she works with, to enjoy their singing in the sure knowledge that they are developing a healthy singing technique that will keep them singing for years to come.