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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
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Related Article(s)
Original Article:
Finding Artist Mentors
Staff Nicholas G. Russell, Linda Golding, The Reservoir; Daron Hagen, composer; Erie Mills, soprano
Making Connections
Opera artists experience a wide range of career paths. This session will provide:
  • Tips on identifying good mentors
  • Techniques for approaching mentors
  • Networking opportunities


Related Article(s):
Making a Career: Character Singing
Peter Russell ,
Voices1/1/1900
Just about every serious student of voice dreams of a prestigious career in starring roles on the world’s great stages. The reality, however, is that only a small percentage will succeed in achieving the loftiest heights as Violetta, Carmen, or Rodolfo at the Met and La Scala.
Changing Focus: Making the Switch from Performer to Administrator
Todd Schultz ,
Voices1/1/1900
Who will be the next generation of opera administrators? Finding qualified and enthusiastic new staff members can be very difficult, especially when companies are looking for a person with operatic knowledge and a dedication to working in and promoting opera. New staff members traditionally come from other arts organizations, or they come from the business world but have an interest or background in liberal arts. However, another source of employees may be right under the noses of today’s opera managers: the performers on our stages, in our rehearsal halls, and in our orchestra pits.
Alternative Paths for Singer Training
Jocelyn Dueck ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Another opening, another show! For most opera companies, regularly-scheduled mainstage performances are at the center of their activity. The rhythm of production influences all company operations, from marketing and fundraising cycles to the training and performing opportunities available for young singers. For companies that focus on new work, however, a regular mainstage season — with a set number of full productions in a fairly fixed schedule — is emphatically not the raison d’être. Instead, the public events offered in any given season vary according to the needs of the creative artists. With their orientation toward process rather than production, these companies provide a very different environment for singer training.
Singers Take a New Role
Anne Choe, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
ArtistLink4/9/2007
Career transitions in opera are not uncommon. Many of today's opera administrators began their study as musicians and went on to non‐performing positions within the field. A few people have had the opportunity to transition from successful and fulfilling performing careers into other areas. Several accomplished singers, including Sir Thomas Allen, Catherine Malfitano, and Peter Kazaras, are now parlaying their knowledge and experience into second careers as stage directors and offer their advice on transitioning from one artistic discipline to another.
Oh, the Places You'll Go (With a Little Help)
Megan Young, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
ArtistLink10/8/2007
Plato and Aristotle. Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot. Isaac Stern and Yo-Yo Ma. Jon Corzine and Barack Obama. Jay-Z and Rihanna. What could these people possibly have in common? Yes, these highly successful duos are from many walks of life and periods of time, but they do have a unifying thread — they all share a mentor-protégé relationship.

Finding Artist Mentors
Staff Nicholas G. Russell, Linda Golding, The Reservoir; Daron Hagen, composer; Erie Mills, soprano
Making Connections9/23/2008
Opera artists experience a wide range of career paths. This session will provide:
  • Tips on identifying good mentors
  • Techniques for approaching mentors
  • Networking opportunities

Crossing from Theater Directing to Opera
Staff Yuval Sharon, stage director, Ned Canty, stage director; James Marvel, stage director; Dona D. Vaughan, PORTopera
Making Connections9/24/2008
Being a stage director in opera requires a unique set of skills. Panelists who successfully cross over from theater to opera will discuss:
  • Working with opera singers vs. working with stage actors
  • Relationships with conductors and stage managers
  • Finding opportunities in both fields
Career Transitions for Singers
Staff Anne Choe, OPERA America, Ana De Archuleta, ADA-Artists; Jane Bunnell, DePaul University; Darren K. Woods, Fort Worth Opera
Making Connections11/19/2008
No two career paths are alike, and not every singer has a lifelong career at international opera houses. This session will explore:
  • Identifying your strengths and interests
  • Best ways to use your skills
  • Taking your career to its next logical stage

Having a Career Beyond the Young Artist Program
Staff Janice Mayer, arts consultant, Jesse Blumberg, baritone; Carol Kirkpatrick, author of ARIA READY: The Business of Singing; Leah Wool, mezzo-soprano
Making Connections3/25/2009
Young artist programs can be great stepping stones for early career singers but they are not necessarily the key to success. The singers on this panel will discuss:
  • Important steps to take after completing a program
  • Carving out your own career path without a young artist program
Charting a Course as a Young Artist
Michael Egel ,
ArtistLink5/11/2009
Navigating the various young artist programs that populate the American opera landscape can be daunting to singers and to those who support and train them. Every season new programs emerge, each offering different opportunities and experiences to participants and each requiring different experience and talent levels. Some programs are summer only and some year-round. Some are of the pay-to-sing variety and others offer a fee-based contract. Many programs are ideal for those still completing their formal education, while some are finishing programs designed for singers on the cusp of a professional career. “Am I ready for Program X?” “Am I too advanced for Program Y?” “Why isn’t Program Z interested in me?” “How much outreach should I do?”
For the Love of the Game: Considering a Career in Opera Administration
José Rincón, Artistic Services Coordinator, OPERA America ,
Original Content9/30/2009
Most opera administrators working today probably did not enter college with the goal of working for a nonprofit arts organization someday. I know this was the case for me when I began studying voice as an undergraduate. In fact, I was unaware of arts administration as a field until, as a college senior, I was offered a chance to design some marketing materials for a production of Orpheus in the Underworld. By that point, I knew I lacked the same hunger for a performing career as some of my music school colleagues, but I'd retained my passion for opera as an art form and wanted to devote my energy to instilling the same passion in others.
Strategic Planning for Independent Artists
Staff , Darren K. Woods, general director, Fort Worth Opera
Making Connections12/2/2009
In order to be successful as an independent artist, one must treat one's work as a small business. This session, led by Fort Worth Opera General Director Darren K. Woods, will give artists the tools needed to create business plans and reach professional goals in the opera field.
Composing Opera: A Backstage Visit to the Composer’s Workshop
Daniel Catán, Composer ,
Original Content4/14/2010
It gives me great pleasure to have the opportunity to speak with you this afternoon. The title of my presentation mentions a backstage visit to the composer’s workshop, and that is precisely where I intend to take you.

So I will start very simply; but we don’t have to start at the beginning. We will get there slowly, anyhow. I would prefer to start with Florencia en el Amazonas, my most recent opera.

Of all my three operas, this was certainly the most enjoyable one to write. From the start, which is finding a libretto to work on, it was a happy experience. But, first of all, how did I decide on the subject? How did I go about composing it? And how on earth did I get to the Amazon?
How to be a Teaching Artist
Thomas Cabaniss, Neil Ginsberg, Amy Kirkland, Camille Zamora ,
Making Connections1/4/2012
Teaching artists educate and engage with community members through work in schools, hospitals and other social services organizations. To be successful, teaching artists must possess a wide range of business and interpersonal skills in addition to talent and artistry. At this session for all opera artists, panelists will discuss the types of opportunities available to teaching artists and how you can obtain the skills needed for success.

Summer 2014 Magazine Issue
  • Summer Apprenticeships
  • Opera Tours for Board Members
  • My First Opera by Speight Jenkins
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