Performing is a personal choice. Think about it. Anyone can call themselves an opera singer, or any type of singer they want when singing in the shower, but until you actually get up on stage and perform that is where the real choice begins. I could extend that by saying to pursue opera as a career is also a personal choice. In a young singer’s career there are many opportunities to boast but it is only when we hit the high notes, get through a long passage in one breath, or have that amazing coaching session that we proudly scream, “I AM AN OPERA SINGER!”. Even so, screaming that is a very personal choice. There are paid opera singers and there are non-paid opera singers, there are amateur singers and there are professional singers, there are young artists and there are resident artists, there are those that pay to sing internationally at programs and those that sing at regional theaters. It makes no difference, we all do the same amount of work that goes into performing in an opera.
So how does a classically trained singer establish oneself as a successful opera singer? It’s simple. By being patient with our voice to grow, for our artistry to develop, and for providing ourselves opportunities to perform every chance we can. This means constantly being heard by voice teachers, coaches, managers, directors, etc. who will tell us when they think that we are ready, but we have to ultimately decide when we feel ready. This at first means choosing which auditions to go on and at what cost. It is a running joke among opera singers that if we had a dollar every time we heard, “You have an upcoming audition? You should audition for THE VOICE,” we’d not only be rich, but it would be great performance exposure for us as singers to showcase the end-part of what we do. (more…)