Testimonials & Updates


Recent success for RNCM student who came for lessons. At competitions, his acting had been found to be in need of work. He came to me and in three lessons, he won the Alexander Young Prize, (2023). Three lessons and his acting and understanding of his aria improved to the point of winning! I’m very happy I was instrumental in making this happen!!

Do you have important auditions coming up?

Very happy for my student Charlotte Hoather who won the Odin Voice Competition 2022 category VII.  She also has won the Pendine Voice of the Future Competition 1st Prize at the Llangollen Eistedfodd 2018.  Beyond a great voice and beauty, dedication and professionalism are paying dividends. 

Following her graduation from the RCM in June of 2108, Charlotte has worked continuously and has been in 11, yes Eleven, professional opera productions and performances, with consistently excellent reviews. 


So pleased and excited for Alex as he starts his Fest contract at Theatre Basel in Switzerland in the Autumn of 2020. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy!


“Norman is a coach who cares about and invests in the people he works with, both as performers and as individuals.  I would thoroughly recommend working with him!”

– Alex Banfield


After completing his Fest contract at the State Theatre of Schleswig-Holstein., Roger is now singing in the Theater Regensburg company.   Well done Roger!

There is a clip of Roger singing Daland in the Media section which we worked on together.



“His knowledge and preparation are unprecedented and I am always happy to go through the process of finding the character and core of the aria and role with him, I recommend to everyone his “Acting for Opera Course” and his book as an introduction and I look forward to our next project “. 

– Roger Krebs – Bass

Brava to soprano Dusica Bijelic for winning the Audience Prize at her theatre Beilefeld in Germany where she continues her FEST contract.  Dedication and professionalism pay off. 


“Working with Norman was an amazing experience. He has prepared me very well for my audition so I got my Fest contract at the Bielefeld Opera House. 🙂 I’m so grateful to Norman for giving me so many important tools that I am still using”.
– Dusica Bijelic – Soprano – former ROH Jette Parker Young Artist

Absolutely delighted for Mezzo Soprano Ylva Gruen who has joined the Ensemble of Landesbühnen Sachsen.


“He has a lot of experience and knowledge about all the crucial things connected with auditioning process, experiencing the pieces you sing and emotionally getting through your role.  I recommend working with him before going to auditions, to prepare yourself mentally for all what is expected of you”

– Nela Šarić – Soprano, Belvedere Finalist, 1st prizes Riccardo Zandonai International Competition and 2017 Stuart Burrows International Voice Award, among others.


“Norman’s passion as a fan of the art form coupled with his intuition for how singers think make working with him a very enjoyable experience full of self-discovery”.

– Shanul Sharma – Tenor – Canto Lirico and 2017 Rossini International awards at the Concorso Internazionale Musicale Citta di Pesaro, and the Bolshoi Opera and the Australian Opera


“The seemingly easy question he asked (what is an artist?) marked me profoundly and I’m not exaggerating when I say that I keep his answer every day very present in my profession, namely in the profession of story-telling. Briefly said, in a very short time Norman Cooley gave us some essential tools to have a clear idea of what and how we want to express on stage and to feel more comfortable as singing actors.”

– Annina Gieré – Soprano


“Working in such a supportive environment my confidence has come on leaps and bounds and I now feel I can take all the skills I have learnt to bring roles alive in the future.  It is with Norman’s continuous guidance that I had a choice of colleges this year and am delighted to say I have been offered and accepted a scholarship on the Vocal/Operatic Masters Programme at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.   I very warmly recommend Norman”.

– Hannah Morley – Mezzo Soprano


“Upon finishing a successful audition, the agent remarked how natural, elegant and unforced my acting was. She felt it fit the audition experience in that it was totally in the spirit and service of my selections. Norman Cooley absolutely helped me achieve this.”

– Jacqueline Bruce, Berlin-based Soprano


And heartfelt congratulations to RAM PG soprano Sarah Gilford for starting her professional career with a fest in Klagenfurt, Austria,  followed by an excellent performance at the Cardiff Singer of the World, and now a major role in Werther at the ROH with Jonas Kaufmann.


“As well as teaching systematic approaches to acting for opera, Norman has a wonderful skill to draw out expressive energy that is perhaps hidden under the surface. Both in group and individual context, his insightful, sensitive and honest approach combined with   safe atmosphere to try, I was able to explore emotions and senses that   I didn’t even know I had!”– Wakana Gong – Soprano



“It was a great honor to collaborate with Norman Cooley this week for his Berlin masterclasses on opera acting. His teaching and book are highly recommended and we hope to welcome him back to Berlin very soon”.

Tim Ribchester – Berlin-Based Conductor and Coach





“Norman’s performance coaching work here was very well designed and adapted closely to the requirements of the course. He was happy to work with colleagues to adapt and refine and his work with the students was pitched at the correct level. The course developed over the two years and students worked in the second year to build on the topics covered in the first year. This was largely to teach the vocal students dramatic and interpretive skills to prepare them for the operatic stage. His teaching was very successful with the students; their skill set improved dramatically and it gave them a firm basis on which to build for their first stagework in opera chorus during Year Two.

He is a constructive, positive and collaborative colleague.”

Prof Lynne Dawson – Head of the Vocal Faculty – Royal Northern College of Music



“Ich habe Norman vor 3 Jahren in London per Zufall kennengelernt. Seit dem bin ich mit Ihm immer wieder im Austausch um meine Rollen tiefgreifender zu erleben und dem Publikum zu vermitteln um was es geht. Norman hilft ungemein dabei diese über die Visualisierung gesteuerten Empfindung selber zu erleben und weiterzugeben. Sein Wissen und seine Vorbereitung sind Beispiellos und ich freue mich immer wieder mit Ihm den Prozess des Findens zu durchleben. Ich kann jedem seinen “Acting for Opera Kurs” sowie sein Buch als Einführung empfehlen und freue mich schon auf unsere nächsten Projekte”.

– Roger Krebs – Bass – München – Deutschland


“Norman is enthusiastic, informative and encouraging. I regard Norman as a mentor – he gives me useful advice and inspires me to be the best artist and version of me I can be. He has helped me to gain confidence and determination”.

– Lucy Elston – Soprano




“Norman helps to free us from the chains of our ‘practice’ and lead us through the gateway to our ‘performance’ “. 

– Shannon Roberts – Berlin-based Soprano






“I have realised through working with Norman the essential skill of using my imagination to create new colours in the voice and communicate the text effectively for an audience.  It has improved my confidence on stage and how I view my relationship with my teachers and coaches in lessons.  I would have no hesitation in recommending him.”

– Charlotte Hoather –  Soprano 





“The class has given me the skills to really start to play with my repertoire. Whether in the practice room, in rehearsal or in performance, I now feel that I now have a basic box of tools to help communicate what my character is saying.  I can’t recommend the course enough to singers starting out in the profession as well as those singers working professionally who want to develop their acting skills.”  

– Erika Madi Jones – Soprano

“I will definitely be recommending this training to my students and colleagues. It was great to get some training from an actor/director. I will be applying all the tools learnt to singing in general, not just opera. .”

– Ella Fontaine – Mezzo Soprano


“The Opera Chorus Coaching Workshop we held hosted by Norman Cooley was a great success. Our chorus members were given the opportunity to explore the potential that their own individual characters could bring to an ensemble.  We look forward to working with Norman again.”

– Cork Operatic Society


“Your tailor made workshops were pitched very well and allowed useful participation  and discussion for all singers alongside the practicals.  We look forward to working with you again!”

– Elaine Way, Soprano and Artistic Director, Opera Foundry




“I’m a bass singing professionally and internationally, and I found this workshop very helpful.” – Ugo Rabec – Bass

“So it was great to work with Norman on the things that we should know, but don’t, like the importance of correct gesture, of coming to each performance as if it were the first time you’d sung that work, to be spontaneous and able to react to circumstances and to move around the stage looking the part.  It’s a great value day packed with information, don’t miss out!” 

– Julia Williams – Soprano



“It is wonderful value for money and great fun. So much information to process and apply. A very inspiring day.”

– Heather Lupton – Mezzo soprano

nvcooley@hotmail.co.uk       020 8812 4703       07880 493989