Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Expanded notes from my Classical Singer presentation

Julie Baron at YAP tracker was nice enough to ask me to expand up on the outline that I used for my Classical Singer Convention presentation in June (I published those here).
YAP tracker is publishing the expanded version of those outlines on their site, and I am putting the link here, if you would like to check it out.


Thursday, July 26, 2012


I have been working on a "fleshing out" out of the outlines of my presentations that I did at the Classical Singer conference for YAP tracker (I will post them here as well).  As I was doing that, I was looking at some other notes of things that I have been writing about, and I was reminded anew about the whole "it's not the destination, it's the journey" thing.  Since I have now been doing this long enough now to have a healthy storehouse of retrospect, I will say that this is one of the most important things to remember as you approach your singing career.
Hanging in my office is a poster from my first professional opera job, which was Figaro in the Barber of Seville with the Springfield (Ohio) Civic Opera.  As I recall, I made $200 for 3 or 4 performances, and though I was thrilled at the opportunity, I am also fairly sure that I thought that this would be something that would fade in memory as I scaled much loftier operatic heights.
Well, you know what?  I have since had, and continue to have, some wonderful professional experiences, but that first experience is as vivid in my head today as when I did it.
Lesson here?  That seemingly insignificant concert, operatic performance, or other musical event that you are doing now, may be a very significant memory thirty years from now.....savor it!

Friday, July 13, 2012

How many languages do I need?

A question I receive a lot is - do I need to have the big four (Italian, German, French, English) plus perhaps another (i.e. Czech, Russian) for my audition list?

As with many of these types of questions, you may get different answers from different people, but for me the answer is - it depends.

Some fachs don't have obvious choices in certain languages for instance.  I think what is most important is having a list that shows you to the best advantage.  Obviously, you don't want to have a list with five Italian arias, or five English arias, but I have seen a list with something like 2 Italian, 2 French, and an English. 

I think a more important to remember is that regardless of language, your list should show musical, dramatic, and technical variety.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Summer is Planning time!

Now that my company, the Florentine Opera has moved its offices, I am able to get back to sharing thoughts about auditioning.
For those of you not busy in summer programs (and perhaps even if you are), this is a good time to get yourself organized for the autumn -  whether it is preparing roles or scenes you may be doing with a company, or preparing your audition materials for the fall/winter audition season.

Now that we are in the digital age, one does not have to prepare resumes and photos so far ahead of time, but it is still worthwhile to see if it might be time for a new publicity photo, and double check and update credits on your resume.

If you are going to have to submit mp3 files or cds/dvds in the fall, you should either consider doing a recording session this summer, or prepare the files if you have recently recorded material.  You never know when someone might ask for a recording with a short turn around time!

Wardrobe is another thing worth assessing - are your concert /audition clothes what they need to be, or do you need additions/subtractions, etc......the lull of summer is a good time to take care of that!

And finally, audition rep....have you been practicing/coaching it?  Are the new pieces you've added ready to go??  Now is the time to get that ready...The Fall will be here before you know it (hard to believe when most of us are "enjoying" temps around 100 degrees!)