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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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Original Article:
Opera Ed 101
Paula Winans, Director of Education, Lyric Opera of Kansas City ,
Voices
When you are hired to sing at an opera company, singing your best is certainly a priority, but not your only consideration. In this volume of Voices, our series highlights expert advice on various components of working well with the company who hires you. Our last issue focused on the relationship between you — the singer — and stage management. This issue's article looks at the relationship between you and the company's education department.

Related Article(s):
Measuring Up to Your Obligations
Diana Hossack ,
Voices1/1/1900
If you are a responsible singer, you arrive at your contracting company with your role learned and ready for rehearsals. Companies want to be equally prepared for rehearsals. It’s hard to imagine a singer arriving and a company not having determined the cuts or selected a set. The chaos and costs associated with this would be astronomical.
Instructions for Accurate Measurements
Kristopher Castle ,
Voices1/1/1900
For the sake of accurate measurements, performers should wear tight-fitting clothing and remove all articles from their pockets. Bulky sweaters or jackets, large belt buckles, and obtrusive pieces of jewelry should all be removed.
The Progress of a Singer's Career: A Manager's Perspective
Susan Meyer ,
Voices1/1/1900
No matter what profession we are in, we will inevitably encounter difficulties at some point in our professional lives. For singers, these difficulties can range from having vocal problems to being stuck with a career that does not develop satisfactorily. It is not uncommon for an artist’s career to hit a plateau where either the type or the level of the engagements, or indeed the fees, do not change for the better.
Complementary and Alternate Therapies for Singers
Megan Young, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
Voices1/1/1900
In this information age, it's downright difficult to dodge the constant deluge of advertisements telling us how we can live longer, lose weight, gain weight, lose wrinkles, gain energy, and find inner peace, all from calling a 1-800 number and swallowing a magic pill (at the low, low price of only $60 a bottle!). Unfortunately, there is no magic pill that will instantly transform you from a mercurial, vulnerable singer to a balanced, self-assured conqueror of the musical stage. But there are a multitude of complementary and alternative therapies that, when practiced with care and patience (along with regular check-ins with your primary care physician), can help you to achieve a better balance in your life, both professionally and personally. You are your instrument, after all, and taking care of your instrument should be your highest priority!
Making Early Opera Sing
James Bash ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
One of the major recent trends in opera has been the resurgence of operas written before the time of Mozart. The gems of Monteverdi, Gluck, Handel and others are being dusted, polished and displayed, dazzling opera fans across North America. A handful of companies — such as Toronto's Opera Atelier or Washington, D.C.'s Opera Lafayette — specialize in this repertoire.
Creating and Performing Educational Programs
Kathy Erlandson Soroka ,
Voices1/1/1900
As young singers await their big career opportunities, they may lose sight of the opportunities they have now to practice their craft and share generously with audiences. Young singers often forget the most important part of being an artist — connecting their humanity to the music and to their audiences.
Reflections on an Audition Season
Kristen Cowdin ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
Since the dust has settled on the fall audition season, I’ve quit frantically counting the minutes it will take me to get from one audition site to the next and back again. Being back at my desk affords me time to follow up with opera company administrators and the singers themselves. It’s also a chance for me to reflect on the audition process, about which I learn a little more each year. As an artist manager, I’m most directly involved with managed artists seeking mainstage roles; however, there are a lot of lessons that apply to unmanaged singers, or even those seeking admission to their first young artist programs.
Auditioning for and with an Artist Manager
Janice Mayer ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
Through my work as an artist manager, I observe my artists perform many company auditions each year, in addition to the auditions I hold twice a year to fill out my roster. The process to obtain an audition with a manager is different than obtaining a company audition, but many of the same tenets apply.
Auditions: Fast and Frequent or Slow and Selective?
Diana Hossack ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
Our cultural desire for instant gratification, along with the belief that more is better, can affect singers’ expectations and behaviors related to auditioning. Yes, audition information can be procured while sitting on your sofa and there are enough auditions that take place in New York in the fall and winter to feel like you are auditioning in bulk. However, by taking the time to lay thorough groundwork for the upcoming audition season, you can enhance your chances for success.
Aria Talk
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
Have you ever wished you could find at least one audition aria that people haven’t heard from every other [fill in your Fach]? If that’s your predicament, this regular column may prove helpful. In each issue of Voices, "Aria Talk" will offer information on arias that are all viable alternatives, and will include at least one taken from a contemporary work.
Informed Choices are the Key
Nicholas Muni ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
If I get nothing else across in this article, I hope to leave the reader with a very strong sense that auditions consist of a myriad of choices.

If you are not making choices, you cannot have the best chance of success.
Get Hired: The Audition and Beyond
Greg Trupiano ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
“If you were holding auditions, what qualities would you look for in a singer?” This is an excellent question for you ask yourself when you approach a company for an audition. I am sure you would come up with a description of a polite, focused, prepared, articulate, thoughtful, and punctual colleague. Add to that technical expertise on how to sing and the talent of a truly emotional singer who is able—without a costume, make-up, lights, or scenery—to transport the listeners to another place.
Is No News Good News?
Kelley Rourke, Diana Hossack ,
Voices1/1/1900
“Ultimately, the best feedback is the call offering a job,” says Susan S. Ashbaker, director of artistic administration at Opera Company of Philadelphia. But what happens when that call does not come, and a terse rejection letter comes in its place? Or no response comes at all? Can or should the singer seek additional information? Can or should the company provide that information?
When the Mail Leads to Chunky Monkey
Sara Jane Patterson ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
Most singers dread the mail after an audition. When that thin company envelope arrives, you think, “They should have saved the stamp.” Once again, a piece of paper leaves you in career limbo and the whole cycle of rejection with Ben and Jerry’s begins again. “What did I do wrong? Did I do anything right? What are they looking for? They don’t know a good thing when they hear one! Oh shoot, that A was flat! I am going back to live with my parents!”
50 Years of Experience
Megan Young, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
Do you sometimes wish that you could simply snap your fingers and end up singing roles at the world’s premier opera houses? Most singers probably have similar secret wishes; however, an enormous amount of time and effort (and a certain amount of luck) is required to actually achieve success in the opera world. Auditions are a major part of getting ahead in the business, and most of today’s prominent singers went through the same schedule of auditioning that you find on your calendar this season.
That Which You Cannot Control...(And That Which You Can!)
Darren K. Woods ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
As humans, we do what we can to control our circumstances, shooting for the best possible outcome. As singers, we have been told that control means presenting the most polished and prepared performance possible in an audition. Many of you have read The Ten Audition Commandments in this publication, in which we discussed at length the practical tools that can help an artist develop into a person who can successfully audition: things like carefully selecting repertoire, working with a drama coach, proper attire, good resumes and headshots, and many others. However, the successful audition depends on controlling the things that you can, as well as learning to cope or even put a positive spin on the things which you cannot (or simply don’t know).
The Art of Being Yourself
Francesca Zambello ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
As a general rule, I won’t direct something unless I have a hand in the casting. You can’t do your job as a director without having a cast who you believe in.
Accompanist as Audition Ally
Megan Young, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
Be kind to your accompanist! Your pianist has the ability to make or break your next audition and, as a singer, it is in your best interest to do everything in your power to encourage your musical partner.
Auditioning Today Or Desperately Seeking Singers Who Have it All
Nova Thomas ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
In October of this year, I attended my first OPERA America meeting, a congregation of opera professionals dedicated to singer training. It was indeed fine company to keep — around the table were representatives of some of America’s most important opera companies, apprentice and young artist programs, and universities and conservatories. While many important topics were discussed, auditioning — specifically, how auditioning has changed in the past few years — held center stage.
Performing an Effective Audition
Staff ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
Congratulations! You have sent an effective cover letter and résumé, and your materials have helped you score an audition. This month’s audition advice column focuses on presenting your best possible audition, including selecting repertoire and presenting yourself at the audition. The following remarks are excerpted from “Performing an Effective Audition” sessions at various OPERA America Singer Workshops.
You Never Get a Second Chance
Jennifer Spitulnik ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
It’s an old saying, but it’s still true: You never have a second chance to make a first impression. How can you make sure that an audition panel’s first impression of you is favorable? First, realize that there are certain things that will predispose the audition panel positively or negatively toward you. Second, realize that, while some things are within your control, you can’t please everyone all of the time.
Both Sides Now
Sheri Greenawald ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
As a singer, I always hated auditions—I think they may be the hardest part of what we do. It is a stilted, artificial situation. How can you ignore the physical aspects of the process, the reality of the space you’re in? As an actress, I was accustomed to using the elements around me, and there is just no getting around the fact that in auditions, you’re on an empty stage with people sitting out in the theater (or across the room) holding pads of paper.
Give a Performance
John Anderson ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
An audition doesn’t have to be a tension-filled, unnatural situation. It can, and always should be, a performance. You, the artist, need to get out of yourself and into the character you are portraying. When singers audition for management, I always look for this sort of artistry as well as a voice.
Preparation and Presentation
Timm Rolek ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
I want to work with smart people. In an audition, while my focus is on the voice, I am trying to assess a singer’s intelligence and musicianship. Several aspects of the audition give me a great deal of insight. I always stress the elements of preparation and presentation when I do audition seminars or master classes, because these are the keys to an informed performance.
Weather the Winter
Jennifer Spitulnik ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
Whether you will be traveling to New York or make your home there, you will need to be prepared for the “audition season.” This article maps out strategies for making the most of your time and setting yourself up for a successful experience, as well as helpful planning resources. Though the focus is on auditioning for training programs, you can apply these ideas to all types of auditions.
Variations on a Theme
William Florescu ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
Having been a singer myself, I see things everyday that I wish I had known when I was out there auditioning. For starters, I appreciate now that while many people have the same basic criteria for their singers, each person you sing for has his or her own unique preferences for the voice and the art form.
Prepare and Let Go
Chantal Lambert ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
My heart goes out to every young singer whom I have the opportunity of hearing because I remember how fragile I was when my whole future depended upon auditions. Unfortunately, auditioning is not something you can avoid. No matter how artificial the situation may feel, I am afraid you need to find a way to not only make it part of your routine, but to also have fun doing it!
Ask the Hard Questions
Sylvia McClain ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
More than ever, a large amount of help and advice about auditioning is available to young singers the United States. Web sites, magazines, workshops, institutes, summer programs, and other forums for information provide a great deal of insight into the auditioning process. Searching for all of this information may obscure some basic areas of preparation that are less obvious, and often ignored. These are questions that you need to ask yourself as soon and as often as possible. You will need to answer them over and over again in every stage of your training, and continue asking them throughout your career.
Positive Communication
Pelham Pearce ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
The most important thing to me is how you sing. Obviously, I gain a first impression not so much from how you’re dressed as what your bearing is when you walk in. However, there are a lot of singers who have a real problem with auditions: They’re not comfortable until they get on the stage and are performing. So, while your entrance into the room gives a first impression, I really wait until I see what you brought that day and how you present it. I am predisposed positively by someone who acts like they want to be there, someone who “sings happy.” That may sound strange, but a lot of times people don’t act like they want to be there.
What's Standing Between You and Your Next Engagement?
Diana Hossack ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
You sent your materials weeks ago for the upcoming audition, but you haven’t heard anything yet. The auditions are in less than a month. Should you purchase a plane ticket to New York? What are they doing with your materials you wonder? How does your resume hold up against the other applicants? You think, “If they would only grant me an audition, I know I’d have a chance.” Well, that might be true, but in an era where there are literally hundreds of singers auditioning for the same few opportunities, the difference between being heard is the effectiveness of your publicity materials.
Auditions! Yikes!
Sandra Bernhard ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
I say the word “audition” and it strikes terror in singers’ hearts. The mere mention of auditions seems to cause moans and groans and heavy sighs. There are no easy answers for audition anxiety. There are no easy ways to get over the fear and trepidation of doing auditions. Auditions are a necessary evil. Auditions are a way of life. Singers will have to go through the audition process for a very long time — if not forever — in their careers.
Contract Basics: Sign Before You Sing
Elizabeth R. Koepcke ,
Voices1/1/1900
As a professional vocalist you need to be a businessperson as well as an artist. It pays literally—for you to be knowledgeable about basic contract principles and to be comfortable with the process of contract negotiation. Contracts don’t have to be scary, and singers need not associate negotiations with the onset of unpleasant physical symptoms. Knowledge is an excellent alternative to antacids.
An American in France: Nice Work If You Can Get It
Michael Rice ,
Voices1/1/1900
My story is an old one: The young, hungry singer in the right place at the right time. My Franco adventure began while I was covering in a New York City Opera production directed by the artistic director of Opéra de Nice. He pulled me aside one day after a cover rehearsal (which he attended — a first for me) and asked me what kind of repertoire I sang. I passed my biography on to him, and two days later he offered me the role of Buonafede in Haydn’s comic romp, Il mondo della luna. It’s safe to say it was the easiest audition I ever had, not having one at all! In the future I plan on getting all my jobs like that, though I’m not sure most companies will agree.
The Impact of a Weak Economy on the American Singer
James Busterund ,
Voices1/1/1900
In March of 2000, the United States stock market reached the pinnacle of an unprecedented 18-year bull market. The market had experienced a once-in-a-century buying mania that had been fueled by the euphoria over a “new economy” and business opportunities related to the Internet. Many individuals and businesses prospered. Opera companies and orchestras were no exception. Charitable giving surged resulting in expanded concert and opera seasons and burgeoning payrolls.
Time Management
Carol Kirkpatrick ,
Voices1/1/1900
Three of the most important resources in life are TIME, ENERGY, AND MONEY. Energy and money can be regenerated, but time cannot; therefore, it is the most precious commodity there is. This minute, hour, day, month, year can never be duplicated again. Learning to be in the moment will help you to use your time more efficiently. Often, finding the time to practice or study music seems impossible, especially when you hold a fulltime job, or are going to school full time. It is difficult, but it can be done.
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.
European Views on North American Singers
Ronni S. Levine ,
Voices1/1/1900
In January 2005, singers from around Europe came to Como, Italy, to compete in the preliminary, semifinal, and final rounds of As.Li.Co., Associazione Lirica e Concertistica Italiana’s Competition for Young Opera Singers of Europe. Each year, As.Li.Co. auditions hundreds of young singers throughout Europe for principal roles in the Circuito Lirico Lombardo’s mainstage season. Each year, top professionals in the field of opera in Europe come together to identify some of Europe’s most promising young talent. From over 140 singers this year, two were chosen as winners of the competition and three as honorable-mention awardees.
Singers and Sleep
Alan S. Gordon ,
Voices1/1/1900
When opera singers learn about sleep, it can be a real awakening. Sleep deprivation among singers jeopardizes their creativity, their productivity, their safety, and their well-being. The importance of restorative sleep to vitality and health and the dangers of even short-term sleep deprivation warrant a central place in the consciousness of every performer, regardless of the current stage of their career.
What to Expect at Your Voice Center Visit
Dr. Ingo Titze ,
Voices1/1/1900
It is a good idea for all performers to have baseline voice evaluations, even if they have never experienced vocal problems. This includes a complete medical history, endoscopic evaluation of the vocal folds under stroboscopic light, and assessment of the speaking and/or singing voice when the voice is healthy.
Allergies and the Voice
Dr. C. Gaelyn Garrett ,
Voices1/1/1900
Healthy voice use should first begin with a basic understanding of voice production. Normal voicing begins with airflow from the lungs moving past the vocal folds (also known as vocal cords), triggering vibration and resultant sound. The sound is then modulated by the structures above the vocal folds, which include the tongue, mouth, lips, and nasal and sinus cavities, producing what we recognize as the human voice.
Understanding Your Voice: Disorder Prevention
Dr. Kimberly Steinhauer ,
Voices1/1/1900
Voice health follows overall health. Prevention of voice disorders requires individuals to value all aspects of their voices. Voice health follows the overall health of your body — things that help you stay healthy in general also preserve the quality and function of your voice. Additionally, healthy living can enable improved recovery in the event of a voice disorder.
Technique Meets Technology: The Modern Opera Singer
Kelley Rourke ,
Voices1/1/1900
“Opera diva becomes Esther Williams performing in Cirque de Soleil!” That’s how mezzosoprano Mary Phillips describes her Rhinemaiden experience in Seattle Opera’s recent Ring Cycle. As opera companies make greater use of technology in live productions, singers often find themselves learning techniques they never imagined during basic training—in Phillips’s case, diving and flipping high above the stage floor.
Relationship Between Singers and Conductors
Stephen Steiner ,
Voices1/1/1900
The relationship between a singer and a conductor is one of the most important in a singer’s career, and also one that takes a bit of thought and preparation. This process is not without its challenges, but through relying on a bit of common sense (and at times a good sense of humor), you will almost always find your way down the right path. Following are some considerations as you begin to negotiate your way.
Serving the Production
Kelley Rourke ,
Voices1/1/1900
Every production is a collaboration, but none more so than a new production, when the physical production may, literally, be built around the singers. While such an experience offers a wonderful creative opportunity for all involved, it can also involve more trial and error, as the members of the creative team test their ideas in the rehearsal room and onstage.
Pianists are Key to Auditions: Weighing Your Options
Diana Hossack ,
Voices1/1/1900
Auditions are a fact of a singer’s life, but beyond that, there are few certainties about the audition process. A singer may or may not be familiar with the audition site; has little control of the audition day, time, or the timeliness of the audition; often doesn’t know who will be sitting on the audition panel; and while the singer does select the repertoire, one is never sure which piece the panel will request. Then there are the unknown factors of what the day will bring in terms of health and nerves.
Singing the Same Tune
Matthew Shivlock ,
Voices1/1/1900
The placing of artists in opera houses can, at times, be as fraught with drama as the works enacted on stage. The relative ease of travel and the growing supply of good opera singers have created a culture of maneuverability and choice surrounding the engagement of singers. With choice comes complexity, and this complexity can result in unnecessary misunderstandings between artist managers and artistic administration.
Playing Your Part Offstage
Lisa Bury ,
Voices1/1/1900
In this article, Lisa Bury shares important advice for artists involved in donor events. Although the perspective of this article is based on events hosted by Lyric Opera of Chicago, Lisa’s practical advice is applicable to any situation in which social etiquette is of utmost importance.
Stage Manager: The Best Friend A Singer Can Have
David Grindle ,
Voices1/1/1900
When you are hired to sing at an opera company, singing your best is certainly a priority, but not your only consideration. In this volume of Voices, a series highlights expert advice on various components of working well with the company who hires you. This issue’s article looks at the relationship between you

the singer — and the stage manager.
Aria Talk
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
Soprano
Charles Gounod, Mireille (1864), Mireille’s “Air de la Crau,” Act IV, sc. ii: “Voici la vaste plaine”

“Je veux vivre” and the “Jewel Song” seem almost inevitable at auditions. If you’d like a change, check out another Gounod gem, Mireille. This opera’s neglect is a shame, particularly as regards the glorious title role.
A New Stage for Artists
Thomas May ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
The long-dominant model of what defines a performing artist's career is undergoing a rapid paradigm shift. Teaching artists are poised to replace the divas of stereotype with a new approach to the art of performance — both on and off stage.
Your Recorded Heritage: Mozart
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
This article initiates an ongoing series focusing on singers who flourished pre-1960. One listens to singers of the past not to copy, but for enjoyment, inspiration, and food for thought. Ignoring great recorded singing is like an actor ignoring now-legendary documented performances of Laurence Olivier or Katharine Hepburn. In other words, you miss out on your heritage. Fortunately for us, the singing of historically-important artists on disc is there for the taking. Voices readers need little assistance to locate recordings highlighting today’s greats, but perhaps the information included here will prompt you to investigate those of an earlier vintage. We’ll proceed through the repertoire composer by composer, beginning with Mozart. I remind you that these are the choices of only one listener, chosen from a field of extraordinary richness.
Your Recorded Heritage: Rossini
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
Our ears are convinced by much of the legato singing we hear in early Rossini recordings: Its elegance wears the years lightly. Coloratura, however, is another story: Once we get past 1920, florid Rossini (especially as far as male singers are concerned) is rarely handled with the astonishing expertise to which we’ve grown accustomed in the decades since Marilyn Horne initiated the “Rossini renaissance.” Major artists today are also expected to ornament Rossini with a degree of authenticity that was not part of the operatic scene when the singers cited in this article were making records. There is nonetheless a good deal to be learned from pre- 1960 Rossini recordings as regards individuality and beauty of timbre, grace of phrasing, and sheer force of personality.
Your Recorded Heritage: Bizet
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
Georges Bizet’s Carmen has a distinguished recording history in both complete performances and excerpts. From this ever-popular work, as well as the composer’s Les Pêcheurs de perles, there are considerable lessons to be learned from the early decades of recording in terms of balancing elegant vocalism with dramatic urgency. Many singers have gotten by in Bizet with beauty at the expense of text, but a Solange Michel or a Charles Dalmorès demonstrates indisputably that Bizet does not come alive unless the text is commanded in depth.
Assessing Your Career: Defining and Moving Beyond Plateaus
Staff ,
Voices1/1/1900
Emily Golden, Mezzo-soprano
Neither personal nor vocal development is static, so from time to time one has to take stock of short- and long-term goals. Some roles that I sang as a beginner, for example, are no longer appropriate to my voice and/or personality. This has prompted me to explore heavier roles, such as Eboli and Amneris, which suddenly seem to "fit." This simultaneously recharges my own creativity and encourages others to maintain interest in my work. The renewed musical exploration that comes with study is a welcome contrast to the over-familiarity of signature roles. For me, Carmen is a case in point: With over 250 performances under my belt, I need to guard against falling into a rut; similarly, those who have seen me in this role, no matter how many years ago, might erroneously believe they know the sum of my work. Performers and spectators alike need to guard against stasis, so a plateau of any kind should serve more as a springboard than a stopping place.

Opera Ed 101
Paula Winans, Director of Education, Lyric Opera of Kansas City ,
Voices1/1/1900
When you are hired to sing at an opera company, singing your best is certainly a priority, but not your only consideration. In this volume of Voices, our series highlights expert advice on various components of working well with the company who hires you. Our last issue focused on the relationship between you — the singer — and stage management. This issue's article looks at the relationship between you and the company's education department.
In Pursuit of the Perfect Press Packet
Mary Lou Falcone ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
As a publicist, it’s my job to promote my clients and keep their best interests in mind. But not every singer has a publicist around to help them with such things! To get the most out of your singing career in its early stages, putting your own press kit together is a great (and necessary) way to promote what you have to offer. Here are some helpful tips for preparing your press materials.
The Singer/Coach Relationship
Staff ,
Voices1/1/1900
From the selection/engagement process to the coaching itself and beyond, what contributes to a productive coaching session?
The Singer Who Performs
Jay Lesenger ,
Audition Connection1/1/1900
When young artist programs select their roster for upcoming seasons, they often engage in a process with several stages. The screening process is beneficial to the company; instead of spending time and money on an endless procession of live auditions, program directors can focus on artists who have the requisite skills for the program. But the process is also beneficial to you.
OPERA America's Action-Oriented Think Tanks
Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
OPERA America's Conference is the largest and most visible annual gathering of the opera community — but it is not the only time opera stakeholders come together. Throughout the year, OPERA America convenes meetings of industry leaders around specific topics. Although the discussions vary in size, scope and regularity, they share a common commitment — a commitment to action. Participants not only discuss challenges, they identify steps they can take, from the incremental to the profound, to advance the field.
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.
Learning to Lead
Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Those who aspire to a career in law attend law school; those who aspire to a career in medicine attend medical school. Legendary leaders in the opera field have taken a variety of paths to their professional destinations — destinations that were, for some, unexpected. Whether they entered the field as stagehands or sopranos, most of these successful leaders have shown a knack for managing their own education, often identifying and seizing learning opportunities in the most unlikely situations.

Until fairly recently, few of opera's senior managers had formal academic training in management. As more and more colleges and universities offer study in the business of the arts, aspiring and established arts managers are increasingly taking advantage of them. However, there appears to be no consensus on a single "best way" to acquire the myriad skills it takes to run an opera company — or a department within one. Interviews with a number of senior managers within the opera field revealed a variety of approaches to managing one's education — both inside and outside the classroom.
Preparing the Professional Singer for the 21st Century
Susan Ashbaker, et al ,
Voices1/1/1900
At the recent convention of National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) a number of experts from across the field gathered to answer questions about the business of singing. The panel included Susan Ashbaker, director of musical and artistic administration, Opera Company of Philadelphia; Diana Hossack, artistic services director, OPERA America; Donald Nally, chorus master, Opera Company of Philadelphia; Stanford Olsen, tenor; Charlotte Schroeder, artist manager, Colbert Artists Management; and Karen Tiller, general director, Opera Festival of New Jersey. The panel was moderated by Laura Brooks Rice, singer and associate professor, Westminster Choir College. In an effort to share the insightful conversation that took place, we offer this excerpt.
Best Aria Forward/ Choosing the right audition repertoire is an art in itself
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices8/11/1999
Choosing the right audition repertoire is an art in itself

The arias you choose can make or break an audition, so preparing your list requires considerable thought and more than a little soul-searching. Important issues related to aria choice are covered in these comments from Ken Benson, Artist Manager (Columbia Artists Management, Inc.); Ian D. Campbell, General Director, San Diego Opera; Neil Funkhouser, Artist Manager (Neil Funkhouser Artists Management); Gayletha Nichols, Director, Houston Opera Studio; and Peter Russell, Director, Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Metropolitan Opera.
Singers and North American Repertoire
Kelley Rourke ,
Voices12/1/1999
The operatic tradition has long traded in exoticism—over the centuries, audiences and artists alike have been drawn to faraway places, mythological figures, and ancient regimes. In North America, one of the more recently established venues and breeding grounds for “the extravagant art,” opera often has been far removed from the everyday experiences of its artists and audiences. But as the century comes to a close, a quick look around yields evidence of a sea change: Opera companies, large and small, are regularly programming North American repertoire, and today’s singers are finding that a mix of old and new works is an artistically satisfying—and professionally viable—way to conduct a career.
Soprano
Bedrich Smetana, Och, jaky´ zal!… Ten lásky sen”
Act Three; &ldquo Prodaná nevesta/The Bartered Bride &rdquo (Marenka)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices8/1/2000
Soprano
Bedrich Smetana, Prodaná nevesta/The Bartered Bride (1870), Act Three: Marenka’s recitative and aria, “Och, jaky´ zal!… Ten lásky sen”

If you already sing Rusalka’s “Song to the Moon” but crave more Czech repertoire, give Marenka a try. Even if The Bartered Bride isn’t produced quite as frequently as it once was, this soulful lament should be a staple for any lyric soprano able to deal comfortably with a Czech text.
Soprano
Gilbert & Sullivan:
Princess Ida, Act 2: “Minerva!…Oh, goddess wise” (Ida) and
The Yeomen of the Guard, Act 1: Monologue, “’Tis done, I am a bride” (Elsie)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2002
Princess Ida, Act 2: “Minerva!…Oh, goddess wise” (Ida) and
The Yeomen of the Guard, Act 1: Monologue, “’Tis done, I am a bride” (Elsie)
Baritone
Massenet, Jules: Le roi de Lahore
Act 4: Recitative and Aria, “Aux troupes du Sultan…Promesse de mon avenir” (Scindia)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2002
Act 4: Recitative and Aria, “Aux troupes du Sultan…Promesse de mon avenir” (Scindia)
Bass
Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai: Sadko
Act 1: Song, “O scaly groznye drobjatsja s rjoyom volny” (Viking Guest)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2002
Act 1: Song, “O scaly groznye drobjatsja s rjoyom volny” (Viking Guest)
Make the Most of Your Audition
Susan Ashbaker, Artistic Administrator, Opera Company of Philadelphia ,
Audition Connection6/1/2002
When you come to audition for Opera Company of Philadelphia, I want to hear your best work, and I want you to succeed. Make the most of your audition. Present yourself in the best way you can, putting your strengths forward. Afterwards, recognize intrinsic value of auditioning, and learn from the experience.
Mezzo-Soprano
Thomas, Ambroise: Mignon (1866)
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Elle est là, près de lui…Elle est aimée!” (Mignon)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2002
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Elle est là, près de lui…Elle est aimée!” (Mignon)
Soprano
Blitzstein, Marc: Regina
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Mr. Marshall’s such a polite man… Music, music, music” (Birdie)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2002
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Mr. Marshall’s such a polite man… Music, music, music” (Birdie)
Mezzo-Soprano
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: La finta giardiniera
Act 2: Aria, “Dolce d’amor compagna” (Ramiro)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2002
Act 2: Aria, “Dolce d’amor compagna” (Ramiro)
Soprano
Dvorák, Antonín: Rusalka
Act 2: “Ó marno to je!” (Rusalka)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2002
Act 2: “Ó marno to je!” (Rusalka)
Tenor
Tippett, Sir Michael, The Midsummer Marriage
Act 1: Aria, “I don’t know who they really are” (Mark)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2003
Act 1: Aria, “I don’t know who they really are” (Mark)
Mezzo-Soprano
Cherubini, Luigi: Medea
Act 2: Aria, “Solo un pianto” (Neris)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2003
Act 2: Aria, “Solo un pianto” (Neris)
Soprano
Massenet, Jules: Thaïs
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Père, qu’il en soit ainsi…L’amour est une vertu rare” (Thaïs)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Original Content4/1/2003
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Père, qu’il en soit ainsi…L’amour est une vertu rare” (Thaïs)
Tenor
Gluck, Christoph Willibald: Alceste
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Ô moments délicieux!...Bannis les craintes et les alarmes” (Admète)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2003
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Ô moments délicieux!...Bannis les craintes et les alarmes” (Admète)
Baritone
Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich: Mazeppa
Act 2: Arioso, “O Maria!” (Mazeppa)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2003
Act 2: Arioso, “O Maria!” (Mazeppa)
Give a Performance
John A. Anderson, Executive Vice President, Herbert Barrett Management ,
Audition Connection6/1/2003
An audition doesn’t have to be a tension-filled, unnatural situation. It can, and always should be, a performance. You, the artist, need to get out of yourself and into the character you are portraying. When singers audition for management, I always look for this sort of artistry as well as a voice. Ask yourself if you are merely singing notes, or if you are conveying the meaning of the text as well with a modicum of gesture and facial expression. It doesn’t matter if you are alone on the stage (if you are on a stage at all!) or that there are only one or two people out there to hear you. Sing a good performance. That is what will get you the job or a slot on a manager’s roster.
Soprano
Weber, Carl Maria von: Euryanthe
Act 1: Recitative and Aria, “Betörte, die an meine Liebe glaubt…Er konnte mich um sie verschmähn!” (Eglantine)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2003
Act 1: Recitative and Aria, “Betörte, die an meine Liebe glaubt…Er konnte mich um sie verschmähn!” (Eglantine)
Mezzo-soprano/Contralto
Handel, George Friederic: Partenope
Act 1: Aria, “Io seguo quell fiero” (Rosmira)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2003
Act 1: Aria, “Io seguo quell fiero” (Rosmira)
Baritone
Marschner, Heinrich: Hans Heiling
Act 1: Aria, “An jenem Tag” (Heiling)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2003
Act 1: Aria, “An jenem Tag” (Heiling)
Tenor
Leoncavallo, Ruggero: La bohème
Act 3: Aria, “Musetta! O gioia della mia dimora…Testa adorata” (Marcello)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2003
Act 3: Aria, “Musetta! O gioia della mia dimora…Testa adorata” (Marcello)
Soprano
Verdi, Giuseppe: Un giorno di regno
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! Non m’hanno ingannata!…Grave a core innamorato…Se dee cader la vedova” (Marchesa del Poggio)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2003
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! Non m’hanno ingannata!…Grave a core innamorato…Se dee cader la vedova” (Marchesa del Poggio)
Mezzo-Soprano
Thomas, Ambroise: Hamlet
Act 2: Recitative and Arioso, “Toi, partir!…Dans son regard plus sombre” (Gertrude)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2003
Act 2: Recitative and Arioso, “Toi, partir!…Dans son regard plus sombre” (Gertrude)
Tenor
Weber, Carl Maria von: Oberon
Act 1: Aria, “Von Jugend auf in dem Kampfgefild” (Huon)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2004
Act 1: Aria, “Von Jugend auf in dem Kampfgefild” (Huon)
Soprano
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Mitridate, re di Ponto
Act 1: Aria, “Parto: Nel gran cimento” (Sifare)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2004
Act 1: Aria, “Parto: Nel gran imento” (Sifare)
Mezzo-soprano/Contralto
Donizetti, Gaetano: La fille du régiment
Couplets: “Pour une femme de mon nom” (Marquise)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2004
Couplets: “Pour une femme de mon nom” (Marquise)
Tenor
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: La finta giardiniera
Act 1: Aria, “Che beltà, che leggiadria” (Count Belfiore)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk7/1/2004
Act 1: Aria, “Che beltà, che leggiadria” (Count Belfiore)
Bass-Baritone
Strauss, Richard: Arabella
Act One: “Wenn aber das die Folge wär. Gewesen” (Mandryka)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk7/1/2004
Act One: “Wenn aber das die Folge wär. Gewesen” (Mandryka)
Coluratura Soprano
Offenbach, Jacques: Robinson Crusoë
Act 2: Grande valse, “Conduisez-moi vers celui que j’adore” (Edwige)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2004
Act 2: Grande valse, “Conduisez-moi vers celui que j’adore” (Edwige)
Mezzo-soprano/Contralto
Handel, George Frideric: Serse
Act 3: Aria, “Crude furie degli orridi abissi” (Serse)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2004
Act 3: Aria, “Crude furie degli orridi abissi” (Serse)
Bass-Baritone
Gluck, Christoph Willibald: Iphigènie en Aulide
Act 2: Aria, “O toi, l’object le plus aimable” (Agamemnon)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2004
Act 2: Aria, “O toi, l’object le plus aimable” (Agamemnon)
Tenor
Mascagni, Pietro: L’amico Fritz
Act 3: Recitative and Aria, “Ed anche Beppe amò … O amor, o bella luce del core” (Fritz)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2004
Act 3: Recitative and Aria, “Ed anche Beppe amò … O amor, o bella luce del core” (Fritz)
Soprano
Massenet, Jules: Sapho
Act 4: “Ces gens que je connais...Pendant un an” (Fanny)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2004
Act 4: “Ces gens que je connais...Pendant un an” (Fanny)
Mezzo-Soprano
Cilea, Francesco: L’arlesiana
Act 3: Aria, “Esser madre è un inferno” (Rosa)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2004
Act 3: Aria, “Esser madre è un inferno” (Rosa)
Coluratura Soprano
Gounod, Charles: Mireille
Act 1: Valse-ariette, “O légère hirondelle” (Mireille)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2005
Act 1: Valse-ariette, “O légère hirondelle” (Mireille)
Bass
Handel, George Frideric: Orlando
Act 1: Aria, “Lascia Amore e siegui Marte!” (Zoroastro)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2005
Act 1: Aria, “Lascia Amore e siegui Marte!” (Zoroastro)
Mezzo-soprano/Contralto
Rossini, Gioachino: Tancredi
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “O patria!...Tu che accendi questo core…Di tanti palpiti” (Tancredi)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2005
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “O patria!...Tu che accendi questo core…Di tanti palpiti” (Tancredi)
Soprano
Poulenc, Francis: Les mamelles de Tirésias
“Non, Monsieur mon mari…Envolez-vous, oiseaux de ma faiblesse” (Thérèse)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2005
“Non, Monsieur mon mari…Envolez-vous, oiseaux de ma faiblesse” (Thérèse)
Tenor
Smetana, Bedrich: Prodaná nevesta (The Bartered Bride)
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Az uzríš…Jak morna verít” (Jeník)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2005
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Az uzríš…Jak morna verít” (Jeník)
Baritone
Massenet, Jules: Don Quichotte
Act 1: Recitative and Aria, “Les femmes, Chevalier….Comment peut-on penser du bien” (Sancho)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2005
Act 1: Recitative and Aria, “Les femmes, Chevalier….Comment peut-on penser du bien” (Sancho)
Soprano
Donizetti, Gaetano: Maria Stuarda
Act 2: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “E chè! Non ami chè ad insolita gioia … O nube che lieve per l’aria … Nella pace del mesto riposo” (Mar

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2005
Act 2: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “E chè! Non ami chè ad insolita gioia … O nube che lieve per l’aria … Nella pace del mesto riposo” (Maria)
Mezzo-Soprano
Handel, George Frideric: Alcina
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Disgombra il mio pensiero … Mi lusinga il dolce affetto” (Ruggiero)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2005
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Disgombra il mio pensiero … Mi lusinga il dolce affetto” (Ruggiero)
Baritone
Bellini, Vincenzo: Beatrice di Tenda
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Qui m’accolse oppresso…Non son io che la condanno” (Filippo)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2005
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Qui m’accolse oppresso…Non son io che la condanno” (Filippo)
Tenor
Donizetti, Gaetano: La fille du régiment
Act 2: Romance, “Pour me rapprocher de Marie” (Tonio)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2005
Act 2: Romance, “Pour me rapprocher de Marie” (Tonio)
Soprano
Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich: Charodeika (The Enchantress or The Sorceress)
Act 4: Aria, “Gde zhe ty, moj zjelannyj?” (Kuma)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2006
Act 4: Aria, “Gde zhe ty, moj zjelannyj?” (Kuma)
Bass
Verdi, Giuseppe: Luisa Miller
Act 2: Recitative and Romanza, “Ah! Tutto m’arride…Il mio sangue, la vita darei” (Count Walter)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2006
Act 2: Recitative and Romanza, “Ah! Tutto m’arride…Il mio sangue, la vita darei” (Count Walter)
Mezzo-Soprano
Leoncavallo, Ruggero: La bohème
Act 1: Arietta, “Mimì Pinson, la biondinetta” (Musette)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2006
Act 1: Arietta, “Mimì Pinson, la biondinetta” (Musette)
Tenor
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Act 2: Aria, “Wenn der Freude Tränen fliessen” (Belmonte)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2006
Act 2: Aria, “Wenn der Freude Tränen fliessen” (Belmonte)
Baritone
Janáček, Leos: The Cunning Little Vixen
Act 3: Monologue, “Nerikal jsem to?” (Forester)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2006
Act 3: Monologue, “Nerikal jsem to?” (Forester)
Bass
Donizetti, Gaetano: Lucia di Lammermoor
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! cedi, cedi, o più sciagure…Al ben de’ tuoi, qual vittima” (Raimondo)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2006
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! cedi, cedi, o più sciagure…Al ben de’ tuoi, qual vittima” (Raimondo)
Soprano
Bellini, Vincenzo: Beatrice di Tenda
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! se un urna… Ah! la morte a cui m’appresso” (Beatrice)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2006
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! se un urna… Ah! la morte a cui m’appresso” (Beatrice)
Mezzo-Soprano
Verdi, Giuseppe: Oberto
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, “Riccardo! E chi gli resta…Oh, chi torna l’ardente pensiero…Più che i vezzi e lo splendore” (Cuniza)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2006
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, “Riccardo! E chi gli resta…Oh, chi torna l’ardente pensiero…Più che i vezzi e lo splendore” (Cuniza)
Tenor
Britten, Benjamin: Gloriana
Act 1: Lute Song, “Happy were he” (Earl of Essex)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2006
Act 1: Lute Song, “Happy were he” (Earl of Essex)
A Foot in the Door
Megan Young, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
ArtistLink2/12/2007
It seems fair to say that everyone in the opera world is aware of the existence of young artist programs -- the training grounds for tomorrow’s operatic power players. But many people don’t realize that apprentice programs are not just for the people who want to be on stage. A wealth of training opportunities are available for those who want to learn what it’s like behind the scenes in the areas of administration, coaching, conducting, and technical/production.
Chicago Opera Theater: Opera for All Student Program at Von Humboldt Elementary School
Deborah Oberschelp, Chicago Opera Theater ,
EducationLink2/20/2007
Chicago Opera Theater (COT) offers a broad range of educational enrichment for all ages. Students in primary grades through high school benefit from COT’s Opera for All program in Chicago Public Schools (CPS). What makes COT’s Opera for All unique is its year-long presence and participatory emphasis. In the past seven years a team of teaching fellows has taught classes in opera, theater, voice, chorus, and violin to over 3,000 CPS students. Classes are taught weekly within the school day and culminate in a student-based opera production starring both children and COT Young Artists.
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.
Opera: A Life-Long Learning Experience — Hinckley Elementary Students Create an Original Opera
Lisa Kramer Reichel, Opera Cleveland ,
EducationLink4/16/2007
Opera Cleveland isn't the only opera in town! Travel south on I-71 a little way, hang a left on Route 303 and you'll come upon Hinckley Elementary School. You may be scratching your head at this point, but yes, as music teacher Michael McClintock stated, "We are no longer Hinckley Elementary, we're The Scientific Opera Company of Hinckley."
The Santa Fe Opera: Kids Uncover Santa Fe's Past
Dolores McElroy, Press Office Associate, The Santa Fe Opera ,
EducationLink5/21/2007
"We're just gonna stare at a rock all day?" demanded Matthew, a second grader at Carlos Gilbert Elementary. The offending rock is a granite memorial perched atop a hill that looks out over modern-day Santa Fe and its low-lying adobe buildings and churches. The memorial commemorates the 4,555 Japanese men who were interned at Camp Santa Fe from 1942 until 1946.
What I Did This Summer (What Did I Do This Summer?): Your Guide to Staying Productive During the Summer
Anne Choe, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
ArtistLink7/10/2007
It is the middle of July. If many of you are like me, that statement strikes a bit of despair and wonderment in your hearts and minds. "The summer is half over! What happened to all my grand plans for the summer?" I had some pretty lofty goals for myself including losing 10 pounds (always at the top of my list), boning up on my knowledge of operatic repertoire, advancing my Italian and French skills, and breaking 90 in my golf game. Unfortunately, my better judgment fails me and I opt for fried goodness rather than salad, Knocked Up rather than Fidelio, and going for the green rather than laying-up. But it's not too late! I can still achieve the things that I'd like to by setting realistic goals, creating an advanced plan, and defining the steps needed to achieve the goals I've set for myself.
Indianapolis Opera: Making Connections between Music and Art
Andrea Johnson, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink7/16/2007
During the last week in June, Indianapolis Opera presented their summer professional development workshop for teachers, designed around OPERA America's MUSIC! WORDS! OPERA! (M!W!O!) curriculum. The M!W!O! curriculum, written for grades K-12, introduces the conventions of opera through the study of an operatic masterpiece and gives students the tools to create and present their own original opera. But this particular week-long workshop was in no way typical — Patty Harvey, Indianapolis Opera's education director developed a unique collaboration with the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) that enhanced the teachers' study of opera while introducing them to new teaching techniques.
University of Louisville Opera Theatre: An International Marriage — A Unique Opera Exchange between the University of Louisville and a Polish Conservatory
Carrie Page, Publications and Media Relations, University of Louisville ,
EducationLink8/20/2007
When it comes to a Mozart opera, the complicated plans of the characters are a tea party compared to the actual execution of a stage production. Throw in two casts at two schools separated by an ocean, and you can begin to guess the challenges faced by the University of Louisville Opera Theatre as they mount a collaborative production of Le nozze di Figaro with the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland.
The Crane School of Music, State University of New York-Potsdam: New Opera Teaches and Reaches New Audiences
Carleen Graham, Professor of Opera, The Crane School of Music, State University of New York-Potsdam ,
EducationLink9/17/2007
"The principal was really blown away when she found out that I sang in a production with a major operatic artist!"

"My sponsor teacher loved the study guide I helped create in class and we devised a similar one I used for student teaching."

"I think what sealed the deal for me [high school music teaching job] was the fact that I had worked on so many productions and knew how to build sets, costumes and stage manage full-scale productions."

These are a few of the comments from undergraduate students who participated in The Crane Opera Ensemble's premiere of The Sailor-Boy and the Falcon, an opera composed by Paul Siskind to a libretto by Alan Steinberg, based on The Sailor-boy's Tale, a short story by Isak Dinesen. The November 2006 performances featured professional mezzo-soprano and alumna Stephanie Blythe, singing with students of The Crane Opera Ensemble and Orchestra at The State University of New York-Potsdam (SUNY-Potsdam).
Funding Education Programs
Waddy Thompson, Director of Development, Symphony Space; Peter McDowell, Director of Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink10/15/2007
Opera education directors will often limit themselves to creating programs as funds become available. If your education programs are good (and we're sure they are!), find ways to be proactive about finding funds, within the organization or from outside.
The Making of The Refuge
Laura Chandler, Editorial Director, Houston Grand Opera ,
EducationLink11/19/2007
The best ideas arrive on butterfly wings; they alight for a moment and then they are gone, unless they are captured, thought about, mulled over. They are not sharply defined at first; rather, they take shape gradually. They don't always bend to the will of the captor; instead they escape, fluttering and sometimes soaring above. They don't always bend to the will of the captor; instead they escape, fluttering and sometimes soaring above. HGOco, Houston Grand Opera's (HGO) new initiative for creating partnerships within the community; Song of Houston, HGOco's ongoing project to tell Houstonians' own stories in music and words; and The Refuge, the first work in the Song of Houston project all began with a flutter, but they have already taken HGO in directions the company never dreamed.
Soprano
Verdi, Giuseppe: Luisa Miller
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, "E segnar questa mano... Tu puniscimi, o Signore... A brani, a brani" (Luisa)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2007
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, "E segnar questa mano... Tu puniscimi, o Signore... A brani, a brani" (Luisa)
Luck of the Draw?
Anne Choe, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
ArtistLink12/10/2007
A successful career in any art form relies on a balance of skill, determination and luck. Alone, each of these elements will only get an artist so far. Much like poker, an essential part of the game is luck and, more importantly, how you let good luck or bad luck affect you. We see the affects of luck in the entertainment world all the time — artists and athletes fail because of their inability to get past a bad break. The Academy Awards® is a good example — Movie X, which was nominated last year but didn't win, is a far better example of filmmaking than Movie Y, which won this year — Movie Y just happens to be better than all the other dross that showed in theaters that year. Sometimes, it's simply a "right time, right place" scenario.
Opera's Flexibility in Connecting with Education
Paula Fowler, Director of Education and Outreach, Utah Symphony and Opera; Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink12/17/2007
The idea of opera as an inclusive art form is not a new one. Opera touches on several aspects of the performing arts, and can be a very powerful tool when integrated with scholastic curriculum. So how exactly can you successfully align opera with other content areas?
Tenor
Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich, Pikovaya Dama (The Queen of Spades) (1890)
Act 1: Arioso, "Ya imeni yeyo ne znayu" (Ghermann)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2008
Act 1: Arioso, "Ya imeni yeyo ne znayu" (Ghermann)
Opera Reaches Out
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink1/21/2008
The field of education and outreach within the world of opera is a rich landscape of companies with ties to their communities, education, teaching artistry and advancement of all kinds. For those who have an interest in creating or improving their programs, read on and learn about what some our members are doing.
Opera and Black History Month
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink2/18/2008
In 1976, February was declared to be Black History Month in order to celebrate and honor the history and contributions of African-Americans. Opera companies all around the country have focused works and programs around this commemoration.
Mezzo-Soprano
Cherubini, Luigi: Médée
Act 2: Aria, “Ah! nos peines” (Néris)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk3/1/2008
Act 2: Aria, “Ah! nos peines” (Néris)
Costumes Make the Mezzo
Staff ,
ArtistLink3/10/2008
Everyone in the theater business knows that costumes have a major effect on how a show looks; but in the opera world, costumes can also change the way the singing actor performs. No one is more aware of this than the singer. How, then, does one approach the tricky business of costuming singers, and how can singers help make the costuming process as stress-free as possible? On February 26, Daniel James Cole, designer; Marsha LeBoeuf, costume director at Washington National Opera; Jay Lesenger, general and artistic director of Chautauqua Opera; and Jodi L. Zanetti, wardrobe supervisor at Glimmerglass Opera discussed this topic as part of OPERA America's ongoing Making Connections series in New York.
The Internet as a Tool for Learning
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink3/17/2008
As technology and the Internet become more enmeshed in everyday life, new developments have been coupled with education initiatives. Arts organizations and opera presenters are adopting and integrating new trends, as well as expanding current uses of technology, to fulfill their missions.
Dramatic Voices
Staff ,
ArtistLink4/14/2008
Opera singing has not changed over the centuries, but opera houses, orchestras and the scope of repertoire are constantly growing and evolving. A great deal of mystery has surrounded the “dramatic voice,” and early career artists have many questions about their career path, choosing repertoire and training. In an effort to assist singers and educators to sift through the vast amount of information, OPERA America will soon add a Web page dedicated to dramatic voices, consisting of frequently asked questions and responses written by Roger Pines, dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago. The following is a sample of the upcoming Web page’s content:
Holocaust Remembrance through Opera and Education
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink4/21/2008
Composers have paid tribute to significant people and events through their operas, and companies have produced the works to educate audiences about history while entertaining them. Various works include John Adams’s Nixon in China, Adolphus Hailstork’s Rise for Freedom: The John P. Parker Story, Philip Glass’s Appomattox and Virgil Thompson’s The Mother of Us All. Other topics recent works have focused on are World War II composers and victims of the Holocaust.
Bass
Verdi, Giuseppe: I Lombardi alla prima crociata (1842)
Act 1: Cavatina and cabaletta, "Sciagurata, hai tu creduto… O speranza di vendetta" (Pagano)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk5/1/2008
Act 1: Cavatina and cabaletta, "Sciagurata, hai tu creduto… O speranza di vendetta" (Pagano)
Opera from a Sistah's Point of View
Janet Jarriel, JEJ Artists ,
EducationLink5/19/2008
Soprano Angela Brown's voice is not her only asset — she is a tremendous advocate for diversity within opera. Her program, Opera from a Sistah's Point of View, is the result of her sincere desire to bring opera and classical vocal performance to diverse audiences. She has shared her program with schools, churches and civic organizations around the country, and through opera companies' education initiatives. JEJ Artists's Janet Jarriel recently conversed with Brown about the topic.
Opera as Theatre up North
Jocelyn Dueck ,
ArtistLink6/9/2008
An abundance of summer training programs for singers exist in North America and beyond. Among them is The Banff Centre's Opera as Theatre Program. This institution, amid numerous others, is highlighted in the Organization Directory of Opera Source, OPERA America's comprehensive career resource for administrators, singers, technical/production professionals, teachers and all creative and performing opera artists. For information about The Banff Centre and more, visit Opera Source today.
New Opera for Young People — Creating a Repertoire
Stephen McNeff, composer ,
EducationLink6/16/2008
Most composers write music for young people at some point, and authors and poets also write for that audience, yet the Cornish poet Charles Causley said there was no such thing as "children's" poetry. Writer Philip Pullman, who came to prominence through the Whitbread Prize, startled critics as a "children's" author succeeding in an adult world. Pullman barely recognizes that there is a divide — "Children deserve the best," he says.
Education Offerings from OPERA America's Opera Conference 2008
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink7/21/2008
This year, OPERA America's 38th Annual Conference was held in Denver, CO. The Conference, which took place within and beside the second National Performing Arts Convention (NPAC), was an enormous week of events and activities. For a complete list of the sessions and panelists discussed below, please visit operaamerica.org and download the program book.
Opera Education Programming for State and Federal Education Standards
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink8/18/2008
Since the signing of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, arts educators from all backgrounds have experienced a reduction in the amount of time spent with their students. In fact, 30% of school districts with at least one identified school — those with students most responsive to the benefits of the arts — have decreased instructional time for art and music, according to Choices, Changes, and Challenges: Curriculum and Instruction in the NCLB Era from the Center for Education Policy. For those who service the field of education through the arts, this has required some creativity on how to make better and more significant use of their time with students.
Audition Season is Coming. Are You Ready?
Anne Choe, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
ArtistLink9/15/2008
If you're a singer, there's a good chance you'll be performing an audition or two (or 17) this fall. Here are some helpful hints to get you through this exciting, albeit exhausting, time of year.
The Significance of Opera Camps
Susan Hungerford, Production Associate, Education and Opera Camp Project Director, Opera Pacific ,
EducationLink9/15/2008
Opera Pacific's mainstage productions, extensive community outreach programs and energetic Guild Alliance combine to create a cultural resource for all of Southern California. More than 670,000 people have enjoyed Opera Pacific's productions at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, while over 575,000 young people have discovered the world of opera through the company's in-school presentations, student previews and nationally-recognized Opera Camp.
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
Why Family Opera?… And how what we do Might Work for Your Company
Grethe Barrett Holby, Executive Artistic Director, Family Opera Initiative/Ardea Arts ,
EducationLink10/20/2008
I think the best way to begin is to tell a story.

I had fallen in love with opera. Late. By mistake. Because of Scott Joplin's Treemonisha. And because of Philip Glass and Robert Wilson's Einstein on the Beach. And then Marc Blitzstein's Regina. It took some time to venture in and love the classics. In the beginning, it was the excitement of recognition, or being delighted to sing along or of being stunned by a work that broke all expectations. But as I was drawn in, I found it was hard to bring my friends with me. People didn't want to come. What was wrong with this picture? Were the people wrong? Or was the art form not speaking to the people?
Performing in Your Community
Staff , Grethe Holby, Family Opera Initiative; Anne Ricci, Opera on Tap; Camille Zamora, Sing for Hope;
Making Connections10/29/2008
Engaging new audiences and reaching out to your local community are important parts of being an artist. Hear from panelists who:
  • Created performing opportunities
  • Helped other organizations through fundraising and benefit concerts
  • Performed in unique venues to reach a wider market
Baritone
Puccini, Giacomo: La fanciulla del West
Act 1: "Minnie, dalla mia casa" (Jack Rance)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk11/1/2008
Act 1: "Minnie, dalla mia casa" (Jack Rance)
Education Programs: The Big Picture
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink11/17/2008
Opera companies throughout North America produce rewarding educational opportunities for local schools and their communities. The same companies often introduce these audiences to opera — if not the arts as a whole — for the first time. With so many varied programs, it sometimes helps to take a step back and see the big picture of opera's potential in education and community programming.
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

Mezzo-Soprano
Monteverdi, Claudio: L'incoronazione di Poppea
Act 1: "Disprezzata Regina" (Ottavia)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2008
Act 1: "Disprezzata Regina" (Ottavia)
Bass
Strauss, Richard: Die schweigsame Frau
Act 3, finale: "Wie schön ist doch die Musik" (Morosus)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2008
Act 3, finale: "Wie schön ist doch die Musik" (Morosus)
Selecting Audition Arias
Wendy Nielsen ,
ArtistLink12/8/2008
I often joke with singers that we are all waiting for our letter from God that reads:

Dear Wendy,

Your five audition arias should be:
  1. Mi tradì (Don Giovanni)
  2. Embroidery Aria (Peter Grimes)
  3. Vissi d'arte (Tosca)
  4. Song to the Moon (Rusalka)
  5. Es gibt ein reich (Ariadne auf Naxos)
Love, God
Choosing A Training Program
Staff Laura Brooks Rice, Westminster Choir College, Peter Kazaras, Seattle Opera; Justina Lee, Maryland Opera Studio; William Powers, Pittsburgh Opera
Making Connections12/9/2008
Singers have an array of choices when it comes to training programs. This panel will discuss:
  • Different types of training programs
  • Knowing when you’re ready for a training program
  • Making the most of your time at a training program

Putting Your Best Foot Forward in an Audition
Staff Anne Choe, OPERA America, Ken Benson, CAMI; Lauren Flanigan, soprano, Lenore Rosenberg, Metropolitan Opera
Making Connections12/10/2008
One of the most important aspects in a young singer’s career is the audition. This session will feature advice on:
  • Performing an effective audition
  • Repertoire and attire
  • Processing audition feedback
There's No Place like the Opera for the Holidays
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink12/15/2008
It's the time of year when thoughts are focused on humanity, kindness, giving, family and — of course — music! An essential part of the holidays, music can be heard almost everywhere. While everyone has their holiday music of choice, for opera listeners that choice is often Amahl and the Night Visitors
Baritone
Barber, Samuel: Vanessa
Act 3: Aria, “I never should have been a doctor, Nicholas” (Doctor)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 3: Aria, “I never should have been a doctor, Nicholas” (Doctor)
Baritone
Bellini, Vincenzo: Il pirata (1827)
Act 1: Aria, “Sì, vincemmo…Ma che vostra è la mia gloria…Sì, vincemmo” (Ernesto)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Aria, “Sì, vincemmo…Ma che vostra è la mia gloria…Sì, vincemmo” (Ernesto)
Baritone
Donizetti, Gaetano: Les Martyrs
Act 2: Aria, “Valeureux habitants de l’antique Arménie…Amour de mon jeune age” (Sévère)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Valeureux habitants de l’antique Arménie…Amour de mon jeune age” (Sévère)
Mezzo-Soprano
Chabrier, Emmanuel: L’étoile
Act 1: Rondeau, “Je suis Lazuli” (Lazuli)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Rondeau, “Je suis Lazuli” (Lazuli)
Contralto
Chabrier, Emmanuel: L’étoile
Act 1: Rondeau, “Je suis Lazuli” (Lazuli)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Rondeau, “Je suis Lazuli” (Lazuli)
Contralto
Cherubini, Luigi: Medea
Act 2: Aria, “Solo un pianto” (Neris)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Original Content1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Solo un pianto” (Neris)
Contralto
Cherubini, Luigi: Médée
Act 2: Aria, “Ah! nos peines” (Néris)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Ah! nos peines” (Néris)
Contralto
Cilea, Francesco: L’arlesiana
Act 3: Aria, “Esser madre è un inferno” (Rosa)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 3: Aria, “Esser madre è un inferno” (Rosa)
Contralto
Handel, George Frideric: Alcina
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Disgombra il mio pensiero … Mi lusinga il dolce affetto” (Ruggiero)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Disgombra il mio pensiero … Mi lusinga il dolce affetto” (Ruggiero)
Contralto
Leoncavallo, Ruggero: La bohème
Act 1: Arietta, “Mimì Pinson, la biondinetta” (Musette)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Arietta, “Mimì Pinson, la biondinetta” (Musette)
Contralto
Monteverdi, Claudio: L'incoronazione di Poppea
Act 1: "Disprezzata Regina" (Ottavia)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: "Disprezzata Regina" (Ottavia)
Contralto
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: La finta giardiniera
Act 2: Aria, “Dolce d’amor compagna” (Ramiro)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Dolce d’amor compagna” (Ramiro)
Contralto
Thomas, Ambroise: Hamlet
Act 2: Recitative and Arioso, “Toi, partir!…Dans son regard plus sombre” (Gertrude)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative and Arioso, “Toi, partir!…Dans son regard plus sombre” (Gertrude)
Contralto
Thomas, Ambroise: Mignon (1866)
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Elle est là, près de lui…Elle est aimée!” (Mignon)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Elle est là, près de lui…Elle est aimée!” (Mignon)
Contralto
Verdi, Giuseppe: Oberto
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, “Riccardo! E chi gli resta…Oh, chi torna l’ardente pensiero…Più che i vezzi e lo splendore” (Cuniza)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, “Riccardo! E chi gli resta…Oh, chi torna l’ardente pensiero…Più che i vezzi e lo splendore” (Cuniza)
Bass
Verdi, Giuseppe: Jérusalem (1847)
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta: "Vous priez vainement… Oh, dans l'ombre, dans le mystère… Ah! viens, demon" (Roger)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta: "Vous priez vainement… Oh, dans l'ombre, dans le mystère… Ah! viens, demon" (Roger)
Baritone
Rossini, Gioachino: Il turco in Italia
Act 2: Recitative and aria, “O sorte deplorabile!...Se ho da dirla…Ah! se nel mondo” (Geronio)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative and aria, “O sorte deplorabile!...Se ho da dirla…Ah! se nel mondo” (Geronio)
Baritone
Verdi, Giuseppe: Attila (1846)
Act 2: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta, "Tregua è cogl'unni… Dagli immortali vertici…È gettata la mia sorte" (Ezio)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta, "Tregua è cogl'unni… Dagli immortali vertici…È gettata la mia sorte" (Ezio)
Baritone
Verdi, Giuseppe: Ernani (1844)
Act 3: Recitative and Aria, "Gran Dio!… O de'verd'anni miei" (Don Carlo)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 3: Recitative and Aria, "Gran Dio!… O de'verd'anni miei" (Don Carlo)
Bass
Verdi, Giuseppe: Il trovatore
Act 1: Narrative: “Di due figli…Abbietta zingara” (Ferrando)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Narrative: “Di due figli…Abbietta zingara” (Ferrando)
Bass
Wagner, Richard: Lohengrin (1850)
Act I: Prayer, "Mein Herr und Gott" (King Henry)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act I: Prayer, "Mein Herr und Gott" (King Henry)
Soprano
Charpentier, Gustave: Louise (1900)
Act 2: Aria, "Oh! moi, quand je suis dans la rue… Une voix mysterieuse" (Irma)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, "Oh! moi, quand je suis dans la rue… Une voix mysterieuse" (Irma)
Soprano
Verdi, Giuseppe: La battaglia di Legnano (1849)
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, "Voi lo diceste, amiche… Quante volte come un dono… A frenarti, o cor, nel petto" (Lida)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, "Voi lo diceste, amiche… Quante volte come un dono… A frenarti, o cor, nel petto" (Lida)
Tenor
Giuseppe Verdi: Ernani (1844)
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta, "Mercè, diletti amici… Come rugiada al cespite… O tu che l'alma adora" (Ernani)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta, "Mercè, diletti amici… Come rugiada al cespite… O tu che l'alma adora" (Ernani)
Tenor
Lortzing, Albert: Der Wildschütz (1842)
Act 2: Aria, “Mich faßt der Schmerz” (Baron Kronthal)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Mich faßt der Schmerz” (Baron Kronthal)
Tenor
Giordano, Umberto: Siberia
Act 2: Aria, "Orride steppe" (Vassili)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, "Orride steppe" (Vassili)
Tenor
Haydn, Franz Joseph: L'anima del filosofo ossia Orfeo ed Euridice
Act 1: "Cara speme!" (Orfeo)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: "Cara speme!" (Orfeo)
Celebrating African-American Culture through Opera
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink1/19/2009
The arts play a vital role in celebrating and educating people about African-American history. This year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is hosting an exhibit, Provocative Visions: Race and Identity. The University of Denver’s Lamont Symphony Orchestra will participate in the program, Dream, celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr., including a performance by singer Denyse Graves. Additionally, this year's tribute to African-American history is deeper due to the election of the first African-American president. 2008 was a pivotal moment in the history of not only our country, but Black culture.
Public Speaking
Staff , Marc A. Scorca
Making Connections1/27/2009
Public speaking is a craft that is invaluable to all professionals. This session will address:
  • Overcoming anxiety
  • Discussing your work in a clear, articulate manner
  • Speaking extemporaneously
Embracing the Past: The Value of History’s Great Opera Recordings
José Rincón, Artistic Services Coordinator, OPERA America ,
ArtistLink2/9/2009
I can trace my love for great opera recordings to one recording of one aria: Joan Sutherland’s “In questa reggia” from the 1972 recording of Puccini’s Turandot with Zubin Mehta conducting. As a high school student just beginning to discover my own voice, the beauty and power of Sutherland’s performance was unlike anything I had ever experienced and it inspired me to search for other treasures in the vast canon of opera recordings. By the time I entered the Crane School of Music I had compiled a list of personal favorites: Pavarotti’s Duke of Mantua, Schwarzkopf’s Marschallin and Popp’s Susanna, to name a few. Listening to these recordings not only reminded me why I loved to sing but also gave me a sense of the illustrious lineage of opera singers whose talent and artistry are an integral part of the art form’s history.
Learning a Role Inside and Out
Staff Lenore Rosenberg, Metropolitan Opera , Valerie Beaman, Acting for Opera; Lauren Flanigan, soprano; Jonah Nigh, OPERA America
Making Connections2/24/2009
Delving into a new role is not as simple as starting from page one. Experts will discuss:
  • Creating a strategy for learning a role
  • Resources and research materials
Weathering the Economic Crisis
Stephanie Golden ,
EducationLink3/16/2009
With the fundraising climate at its worst since 1998 (according to a December 2008 report by Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy), how can community arts education (CAE) organizations best meet the challenges of the economic downturn?
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
A Summary of Opera Education in North America
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink4/20/2009
As the leader in conducting research and analyses for the field of opera, OPERA America produces annual benchmarking surveys that examine every aspect of the field, from finance to upcoming repertoire. The Opera Education Survey Report focuses on the educational activities of OPERA America’s Professional Company Members.
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?”
Education and Community Service at OPERA America’s Opera Conference 2009
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink5/18/2009
While planning for this year’s annual Opera Conference, something unexpected happened — the economy turned upside down. The next few months brought news of closing companies, reductions in productions, staff layoffs and a swath of other issues. Prior to this, OPERA America had chosen the theme Making Opera Matter, which was fitting and helped respond to the field.
A Standing-Room-Only Community Project
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink6/15/2009
Last month, EducationLink summarized activities at Opera Conference 2009. The theme, Making Opera Matter, was especially relevant for education staff at opera companies, as much of the focus was on expanding educational initiatives to engage communities.
Learning to Work Together: Opera Companies and Academic Institutions
Staff ,
Opera America Magazine7/1/2009
In some cities, collaboration means local opera patrons experience a greater range of repertoire than they might otherwise. Opera Company of Philadelphia has developed a partnership with The Curtis Institute of Music to co-present one production each season, beginning with Golijov's Ainadamar in 2008. "We have always had a very strong relationship with Curtis," says David B. Devan, executive director of Opera Company of Philadelphia. "We learned there were certain pieces they wanted to produce for their singers, but the school didn't have the resources. It dawned on me that conservatories don't have a lot of marketing horsepower, but we were in a position to provide them with a substantially larger audience. We came up with an arrangement whereby Curtis would produce the show and we would market it as part of our season and then hand over the revenue, allowing them to pay their bills."
Letting the Lion Roar — Words of Wisdom on Developing and Maintaining the Dramatic Voice
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Opera America Magazine7/1/2009
Singers with dramatic voices — those who will someday sing heavy Verdi and Wagner roles — present a special challenge for both academic and professional training programs. At meetings of OPERA America's Singer Training Forum, challenges related to the nurturing of these rare artists are a frequent topic of conversation.
Allergies and the Voice
C. Gaelyn Garrett, M.D, Medical Director, Vanderbilt Voice Center, Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center ,
ArtistLink7/9/2009
Healthy voice use should first begin with a basic understanding of voice production. Normal voicing begins with airflow from the lungs moving past the vocal folds (also known as vocal cords), triggering vibration and resultant sound. The sound is then modulated by the structures above the vocal folds, which include the tongue, mouth, lips, and nasal and sinus cavities, producing what we recognize as the human voice. The vocal folds vibrate very quickly, from 80 to 800 times a second, depending on the vocal pitch. You can imagine that a significant amount of friction can be produced by this amount of vibration, unless there is something to reduce that friction, which, in this case, is mucus lubrication provided by glands in and around the larynx.
The Importance and Value of Program Assessment
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink7/20/2009
Education stakeholders have long been aware of how crucial evaluation is to the success of programming. In the age of testing and assessment, arts educators should know this better than most, especially when the 2008 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in arts and music, The Nation’s Report Card: Arts 2008 Music & Visual Arts, showed marginal student achievement.
Welcome to OPERA America
Staff , Marc A. Scorca
Original Content8/31/2009
A Learning Laboratory for Opera
Adam Gustafson ,
Opera America Magazine9/1/2009
A lot is happening as OPERA America heads into its 40th year, including a virtual facelift. A new Web site design puts OPERA America’s wealth of existing resources, along with some new additions, at the fingertips of its members in a format that is easy to navigate.
Learning from the Masters
Staff ,
Opera America Magazine9/1/2009
Four artists and a producer walk into a room… no, it's not the latest reality show. OPERA America's Making Connections is an artist development program that brings established artists together with emerging professionals to discuss the wide range of skills and experience required for successful careers in opera. In the three years since its inception, Making Connections has hosted an array of composers, librettists, singers, producers, designers and directors.
Pin the Tail on the Arts Education Donkey: Where Does Opera Fit in K-12 Public Education Today?
Richard Kessler ,
Opera America Magazine9/1/2009
So, you're at an opera company. Perhaps you're director of education, or chair of the education committee or even general director, and you're wondering what, if anything, your K-12 education programs could or should be doing differently to connect to and address key issues. You know the discourse on K-12 public education has changed dramatically in the past few years, but you're not exactly sure how your opera company's approach should change in response. What you read in the newspaper often seems worlds away from what you thought you knew about schools.
Music! Words! Opera! Celebrates 20 Years
Clifford Brooks, Roger Ames ,
Opera America Magazine9/1/2009
It all began about 1980, when Marthalie Furber, newly-appointed education director of OPERA America, conducted an environmental scan to discern what was going on in opera education throughout the country. Many of us already involved in company education departments knew of "create an opera" projects in different opera companies. Exciting things were happening in such locales as the Berkshires, San Diego, Tulsa and Tucson. Carroll Reinhart, a pioneer in the field of music education, had observed the work of a colleague in San Diego and began building from a number of creative processes to develop a methodology for children to create their own pieces of musical theater. He shared this with several opera professionals, including Henry Holt. Not long afterward, he was contacted by Marthalie Furber. The discussions began in earnest.
Teachers Test the New M!W!O!
Sarah Bryan Miller ,
Opera America Magazine9/1/2009
Teach children to write operas? The idea may seem daunting, but the with help of OPERA America’s Music! Words! Opera! (M!W!O!) curriculum, teachers across the country have been doing just that for the last 20 years. M!W!O!’s intense five-day summer course provides teachers with the tools they need to build those operas.
Taking Action Together: An Update
Staff ,
Opera America Magazine9/1/2009
June 14 marked the one-year anniversary of the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention in Denver. Much has happened since then, including chaos in the global economy, the election of a new President and the proliferation of social networking. And of course, art continues to be made and enjoyed everywhere. A number of strategies for collective action were agreed upon, and even as the world and the arts environment have changed, a great deal of work has been done to forward those goals.
Complete Audition Folder Preparation: A Pianist's Perspective
Tyson Deaton, pianist ,
ArtistLink9/14/2009
In the business of opera, it is a given that a singer must focus on a myriad of things in preparation for an audition. Solid technique, thorough coaching, an impressive set of arias, dramatic interpretation, an excellent headshot and resume, an eye for smart fashion choices and comfortable interaction with the audition panel are important tools to have at your command. As complex as all these aspects may seem, it is likely that many have lost sight of a crucial element of a well-prepared audition: the audition folder.

We've all heard the stories of audition disasters where a pianist seems to have problems even when they have played the last few auditions well. These situations often arise due to poor organization of the repertoire they are given. So limited is the time spent in coachings and rehearsals that it is no wonder this detail falls by the wayside. After years of hearing these tales from disgruntled pianists, the time has come to level on this subject!
Why Opera Camps?
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink9/21/2009
From opera creation to after-school programs, opera company education departments offer a wide array of initiatives. According to the most recent Opera Education Survey Report, the number of companies offering opera camps has been steadily increasing over the past few years. Between 2003-2004 and 2007-2008, a surveyed constant sample group of companies that offered opera camps rose from 44% to 59%.

Opera camp activities have been part of Austin Lyric Opera's programming for the past eight years. The camps, hosted through ALO's Armstrong Community Music School, provide opportunities for roughly 100 students each year, ages five through 22. ALO offers a half-day summer camp for five- to seven-year-olds, camps for eight- to 12-year-olds and a week-long workshop for ages 14 to 22.
Puccini Plus Participation Equals Passion
Paula Winans, Director of Education, Lyric Opera of Kansas City ,
Original Content9/29/2009
Seventeen years ago, Lyric Opera of Kansas City offered its first summer opera camp. The two-week camp is open to youth ages 10 through 18, but if a parent calls and discusses a child's musical interests and ability to focus, children as young as five years old can attend and participate.

On the first day of camp, the young people fill out a survey to show what they know about opera. Most first-time campers have neither seen nor sung in an opera and cannot answer the questions. We tell them that they do not need to worry if they can't answer the questions because, by the end of our first day, they will be able to show a lot more knowledge. We also have the campers take a "drop the needle" listening test. We play three excerpts of well-known arias and ask them to name the work, the composer, the language being sung, the character's name and what the character is singing about. Most of first-timers leave their paper totally blank. However, approximately 50 percent of the campers are returning from previous summers; they pass the test with flying colors, even though the test is different each year.
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.
Audition Advice for Singers
Staff Jonah Nigh, grants and development manager, OPERA America, Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano; Gayletha Nichols, director of National Council Auditions, Metropolitan Opera; Bill Palant, vice president, IMG Artists
Making Connections9/30/2009
For opera singers, preparing for and performing auditions are major portions of one's work. At this panel discussion, hear from industry experts about the elements involved in having an effective audition season.
The Role of the Voice Teacher in the Young Artist Program
Dr. Rebecca L. Folsom ,
Original Content11/3/2009
For singers pursuing operatic careers, young artist programs are essential to career development. The programs vary in level and length, and play a vital role in fostering a singer's talent and potential. Professional voice teachers are an integral part of the faculty/staff/training team in the young artist programs.

The voice teacher commonly addresses such issues as breath control, registration, laryngeal function, resonance adjustment and acoustical exactness, articulation of vowels, all of which promote free, efficient vocal production. Professionals also ensure that singers have proper physiological coordination within the mechanisms that produce vocal sound. As a budding mezzo-soprano commented: “What makes voice teachers a distinct and essential part of a young artist program is their vested interest in our longevity as singers, and they generally have skills to teach ways in which we can extend our vocal life by means of warm-ups and technical adjustments." The preferred role of a voice teacher is not to change an established singer's technique, particularly in a short period of time. According to one young tenor, “the primary role of a young artist program voice teacher is to combine the skills of critical listening, technical knowledge of the voice and instructive abilities to help maintain a healthy singing voice." To achieve healthy singing, teachers must decide whether to delve into technical considerations or work in a flexible manner with the singer's established method of tonal production.
Brundibar at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis: Creativity and Efficiency in Tandem
Wendall K. Harrington ,
Original Content12/3/2009
About three years ago, Steve Ryan, director of production for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis called me and asked if I would be interested in working on a new production of Brundibar for their education department. The previous production had a lot of scenery he said, and he was looking to make something that would be more portable.

I was immediately interested. For decades I have been trying to encourage the use of projections for educational theatrical use: Once created, productions can be easily remounted and require virtually no storage. When I looked at a tape of the previous production I understood the real issue with Brundibar for education was twofold. On one hand, opera companies are looking to introduce young people to the beauty of opera with the hope of instilling at least curiosity about the art form, and at the same time they are using Brundibar to teach the history of the Holocaust. Brundibar is a musical fable most famous for being played and sung by the Jewish children interned in the Terezin concentration camp. The subject matter — two children in need of money to buy milk for their sick mother, who triumph over the organ grinder Brundibar — does not neatly illuminate the struggle in the camps, but the idea of any kind of triumph must have been mighty appealing for the inmates, who also were allowed to remove their yellow stars in performance.
Opera and the Holidays
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
Original Content12/3/2009
In the midst of the holiday frenzy, the music that accompanies the festive season provides a happy and sometimes nostalgic respite. The holidays will come and go in the next three weeks, but good art will outlast the more prosaic parts of the season. As opera companies close out 2009 with productions and community events geared to the festive season, families and audiences have ample opportunity to add opera to their celebrations.
Honoring African-Americans through Opera, School and the Community
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
Original Content1/1/2010
The Civil Rights Movement, as we know it today, can be traced back to July 26, 1948, with the signing of Executive Order 9981 by President Harry S. Truman, which desegregated the American armed forces. In the 1950s and 60s, key events and individuals including Brown v. Board of Education, Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. advanced the movement. In 2010, opera companies throughout the U.S. will continue to celebrate African-American history, honor the activists involved in the Civil Rights Movement and commemorate the reform movement itself with new commissions and special events.

Kentucky Opera studio artists will work with the Louisville Orchestra on a celebratory concert for Dr. King on January 15, the day on which he would have turned 81. Additionally, the company commissioned a new work by local composer Harry Pickens, celebrating President Barack Obama, called Chorus of Hope. The work will premiere at a free event on January 17 at St. Stephen Church, the largest primarily African-American church in Louisville. These events not only serve cultural needs, but they also provided Kentucky Opera with an opportunity to collaborate with orchestra, theater, drum corps and other community partners. "In essence," says Director of Education Deanna R. Hoying, "the community will have a new structure to celebrate Dr. King produced by Kentucky Opera, with performances ranging from opera to drums, to children and adult choirs, dancers and musicians. It meets a lot of needs in the community, as well as for us to become more a part of the fabric of Louisville."
Made Possible, in Part, by the National Endowment for the Arts
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
Original Content1/29/2010
As the largest annual funder of the arts, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), has a long history with opera. Since its inception in 1965, the NEA has made more than 4,500 grants to opera companies, artists and organizations, totaling nearly $167 million. Many of these grants have assisted the creation or implementation of education, community and outreach programs. Throughout the past year, the NEA has made grant investments totaling nearly $2.1 million in support of opera projects, through two of the NEA's grant categories: Access to Artistic Excellence (AAE) and Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth (LITA).

Of the 62 AAE grants awarded in FY2010, more than half supported educational opportunities such as a lectures, in-school presentations, young artist programs or community events. For instance, Des Moines Metro Opera's educational touring troupe, Opera Iowa, will travel to over 70 schools presenting age-appropriate workshops and one-act operas. The Atlanta Opera will develop a program tailored for middle and high school students at area schools, as well as an educational touring production based on Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. A March spring break opera camp will be offered by Lyric Opera of Kansas City.
Art and Fame: A Perspective of an Artist as a Young Man
Robert Hansen, executive director, National Opera Association ,
Original Content2/4/2010
When I was something less than two years old, certainly too young to have any real memory of it, I was photographed sitting in the middle of the dining room table wearing nothing but an over-sized and very glamorous hat. I don’t think the photo was posed: I’m sure I donned that hat myself, and from the expression on my face, I’m equally sure I expected to be noticed.

That must have been the earliest expression of my fantasy of fame and celebrity. I began my stage career at the age of five as the little prince in The King and I who crawls between the king’s legs. I relished that moment: the most special of all those child actors who comprised the royal family. Without belaboring the point, I continued performing all through my school years. I was sought after. I sang and performed everywhere and all the time, turning up as a regular in community and school projects, and even one professional program. One kind reviewer called me “everybody’s tenor” and a local philanthropist and arts supporter praised my “multi-faceted talents.” These are words of praise and encouragement that resonate in the formative years. I took the affirmation as a promise of future success. I watched the Academy Awards and Tony shows religiously, fantasizing about the day I would cross the stage to claim my own recognition.
Nonprofits and Copyrights: What You Need to Know
Kate Spelman, attorney, Cobalt LLP ,
Original Content2/23/2010
There are two things to worry about with copyrights: protecting original material that your organization has created, and making sure that your organization isn't improperly using material that someone else owns. Blue Avocado asked copyright attorney Kate Spelman to help with these issues, and she generously gave all her expertise and time.

Kate Spelman is an attorney at Cobalt LLP in Berkeley, CA, with a national and international practice in copyright law. She has worked for Fortune 500 companies, as well as many nonprofits. She is a board member of the American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation.
High School Singer Open House
Dona D. Vaughn, Manhattan School of Music and PORTopera, Sarah Heltzel, mezzo-soprano; Mark Oswald, baritone/teacher, Metropolitan Opera and Manhattan School of Music; Nathan Urbach, administrative director, Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Metropolitan Opera
Making Connections2/24/2010
In this special session geared for the college-bound, high school singers will hear from professionals working in the opera field about career options and making the most of one's education. Parents are encouraged to attend this session to learn about supporting young artists through their careers.
Tenor
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Mitridate, Re di Ponto (1770)
Act 1: Cavata: “Se di lauri il crine adorno” (Mitridate)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk3/1/2010
Mitridate, Re di Ponto isn’t an unknown work anymore. Over the past 25 years it’s been produced by many major opera companies and festivals internationally. If you enjoy Mozart but feel that Don Ottavio and even Ferrando don’t show off your extensive range to the utmost, try Mitridate, who traverses a full two octaves in the first of his five (!) arias.
Ten Ways to Get Your Students to Use the OPERA America Web Site and Love it
Laura Lee Everett, University of Maryland Opera Studio ,
Original Content3/3/2010
In working with both the Technical/Production and Singer Training Forums, I was lucky enough to be taken on a “virtual tour” of the newly updated OPERA America Web site. Twice. The second time around, I was able to take note of the moments where my colleagues’ attention seemed to wander and asked, “What do I need to point up to get everyone engaged when I take this information back to school?” Here are 10 easy ways to get your students, staff and faculty to utilize the great resources on the OPERA America Web site.
Good Reads: A Book List for Singers
Megan Young, Artistic Services Director, OPERA America ,
Original Content4/5/2010
At OPERA America, we love books. In our office, we have a huge library full of them with titles ranging from the studious (e.g. Schoenberg's Fundamentals of Musical Composition) to the salacious (The Private Lives of the Three Tenors, anyone?). Yes, we know we can download books to our e-readers, subscribe to just about everything via RSS and absorb today's news from our smart phones, but to many of us there's nothing like pulling a well-worn paperback out for a good read. Call us old-fashioned.

In light of our collective bibliophilia, OPERA America staff members, along with constituents of the Singer Training Forum steering committee, put together a suggested reading list for singers. Some choices are highly-specialized books for singers; others are less obviously connected to the art of singing, but provide rich fodder for thought. The books have been separated into categories for easy navigation, but note that some selections may be appropriate to more than one category.

The reading list is not a definitive list, but rather a starting point. As always, we encourage you to seek the advice of your personal network (teachers, coaches, professional contacts) in considering other important resources and areas of study. Happy reading!

Thank you to Ann Baltz of OperaWorks, Laura Brooks Rice of Westminster Choir College/CoOPERAtive Program and Kelley Rourke for contributing their favorite books to this list.
Teen Audiences and Education Programs
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
Original Content4/6/2010
The most recent Opera Education Survey Report (2008) reported that opera companies are devoting less time and resources to teen audiences. This survey found that grades 6-8 represented 5% of education audiences, while grades 9-12 comprised 8%. In 2006, the survey found the same audiences were 12% and 9%, respectively. There is consensus in the field that it is a challenge to reach teen audiences for many reasons. "In general," says Fort Worth Opera Education Director Clyde Berry, "teens are the trickiest audience because you have to justify why anything you want them to know is important. If you can't make it relevant to them with real-world connections, then they're not going to 'buy' it."
Baritone
Gaetano Donizetti: Maria di Rohan (1843)
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina, recitative, cabaletta: “Son cifre di Riccardo!...Bella e di sol vestita…Voce fatal di morte…Ogni mio bene in te sperai” (Enrico, Duke of Chevreuse)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk5/3/2010
The only baritone aria/cabaletta scene by Donizetti that I ever hear in auditions is Enrico’s from Lucia. There’s a lot more where that came from! Maria di Rohan, next-to-last of Donizetti’s more than 50 operas and not as familiar as it deserves to be, boasts a terrific baritone scena where you can show everything you’ve got.
Building and Managing Your Network
Charles Jarden, executive director, American Opera Projects; Laura Brooks Rice, Westminster Choir College and CoOPERAtive Program; Leah Wool, mezzo-soprano ,
Making Connections5/26/2010
To be successful, opera artists must accumulate a staggering amount of knowledge and skills. Those who attempt to meet so many demands alone, particularly given the transient lifestyle of an opera career, will quickly find themselves overwhelmed. This session will cover the need for advisors, identifying appropriate team players, communicating your goals to your supporters and managing this dynamic group through your own personal and professional growth.
What is the Best Way for Teachers to be Evaluated?
By Larry Ferlazzo, Educator, Luther Burbank High School (CA) ,
Original Content9/1/2010
What is the best way for teachers to be evaluated? A loaded question, indeed. Evaluating someone's performance is always tricky. It has become even more so in education where public discussions of new forms of teacher evaluations are often introduced in the context of developing a tool to fire educators.

Make the Most of Audition Season
Ken Benson, consultant; Anthony Roth Costanzo, countertenor; Kelley Rourke, OPERA America; Edward Yim, New York City Opera ,
Making Connections9/29/2010
Preparing for and performing auditions are important aspects of a professional singing career that require focus, strategy and dedication — not to mention time and money. At this panel discussion, hear from industry experts about how to maximize your potential for a successful audition season.
Reading the Blueprint: Educators Debate Proposed Reforms
By Laura Varlas, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development ,
Original Content10/1/2010
Nine years after the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) garnered bipartisan support in Congress, the legislation officially known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is up for reauthorization. For many educators frustrated with how NCLB reshaped the classroom experience, this has been a long wait.

In March, with the release of the Obama administration's road map for revamping ESEA, A Blueprint for Reform: The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary School Act (the blueprint), the U.S. Department of Education outlined its proposal for overhauling the law.
Seven Habits of Highly Effective Outreach Artists
By Donata Cucinotta ,
Original Content11/1/2010
So, you’ve been hired to take part in a studio, outreach or ensemble program at an opera company. Chances are high that you’ll be asked to sing in schools as part of your duties. Here are some basic tips that can help ensure your outreach experience is rewarding and runs smoothly:
Innovative Arts Integration
Staff ,
Original Content12/1/2010
Creativity, innovation and imagination are increasingly viewed as integral to shaping the future of both the emerging workforce and the concept of a world citizen.

Mezzo-soprano and Contralto
George Frideric Handel, Hercules (1744)
Act 1: A. Recitative and aria, “Then I am lost!… There in myrtle shades reclined” B. Aria, “Begone my fears” (Dejanira)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Original Content1/1/2011
OPERA America’s “Aria Talk” column focuses not on the tried-and-true audition arias you undoubtedly already know, but on somewhat more off-the-beaten-track repertoire. The hope is that this music will prove a refreshing musical and interpretive change not only for you, the performer, but also for those hearing you in auditions.

Are We Asking the Right Questions?
by Laura Day Giarolo, Manager of Education & Community Engagement, OPERA America ,
Original Content1/1/2011
Collecting and carefully mining data to make informed decisions can lead to increased quality, efficiency and effectiveness in any field. In order for that to be the case, an organization must first establish common goals, a common vocabulary and agree on both definitions and metrics of success. Taking this approach requires the re-evaluation and re-examination of tacit assumptions, especially in the field of arts education.

Keys to a Successful Singer/Conductor Relationship
Neal Goren, Gotham Chamber Opera; Erie Mills, soprano; Steven Osgood, conductor ,
Making Connections1/26/2011
An established conductor can be a major ally in the advancement of a singer’s career, but the success of this relationship relies on trust, respect and a lot of preparation. Learn how to make the singer/conductor relationship a mutually beneficial one from this session’s panel of distinguished artists.
Ask not what arts education can do for you. Ask what you can do for arts education.
by Laura Day Giarolo, Manager of Education & Community Engagement, OPERA America ,
Original Content2/1/2011
This past month saw the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s historic inaugural address, and the beginning of the 50th anniversary celebrations for the performing arts center that bears his name: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Take Action to Support Arts Education
By Laura Day Giarolo and Brandon Gryde ,
Original Content3/1/2011
The continuing resolution passed by the House last Tuesday avoids a government shutdown and gives lawmakers two weeks to come to terms on a budget agreement for the remainder of the current fiscal year, which lasts through September 30. This resolution cuts $4 billion in domestic spending, including the U.S. Department of Education-funded Arts in Education program (currently funded at $40 million), which supports newly emerging education models in high-poverty schools that improve arts learning. The loss of this program could result in the elimination of funding for more than 200 multi-year projects.
Cultivating the Dramatic Voice with Dolora Zajick
Dolora Zajick, mezzo-soprano; Marc A. Scorca, OPERA America ,
Making Connections3/9/2011
Dramatic singers who are meant to perform the heavy Verdi and Wagner repertoire must often find career paths outside of the standard training programs because comprimario roles and chorus work are inappropriate for their large instruments. In this session, world-renowned dramatic mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick will discuss the process of nurturing the dramatic voice and career options for these rarefied Fächer.
World Voice Day 2011
Artistic Services Department ,
Original Content4/4/2011
As many of us in the opera field focus on the training of the singing voice, we are keenly aware that care of the voice extends beyond the practice room and performance stage. Maintaining one’s singing instrument involves a thorough understanding and consideration of the effects of diet, exercise, climate and sleep on the body and voice — all of which are variable and unique to each individual. While opera professionals are hyper-aware of their vocal health, voice care professionals such as ear, nose and throat specialists treat a number of patients who develop permanent vocal damage that could have been avoided with proper preventative care. As a result, medical professionals instituted World Voice Day as both a celebration of the human vocal folds and an effort to raise awareness of the vital role the voice plays in education, social interaction and careers in politics, business and performance, to name a few.
The Nuts, Bolts and Secrets of Covering
Katherine Drago, mezzo-soprano ,
Making Connections4/20/2011
Working for an opera company as a cover is a great way to begin building a reputation in the industry as a talented artist and dependable colleague. This interactive seminar will teach you the essential dos and don’ts of covering, as well as techniques for notating and reviewing blocking, how to conduct yourself during rehearsals and more.
Healthy and Creative Aging
Laura Day Giarolo, Manager of Education & Community Engagement, OPERA America ,
Original Content4/28/2011
Baby boomers are hitting retirement and a great shift in the American population is underway. By 2050, the U.S. Census Bureau has projected that older adults (ages 65 and up) will number 88.5 million; nearly one in five Americans will be over age 65 by the year 2030. While this statistic may send some of our marketing colleagues into a quiet panic over the need to develop a new and younger audience, it opens up a whole new area of arts education: creative aging and true lifelong learning.
In Conversation with Lauren Flanigan
Lauren Flanigan, Marc A. Scorca ,
Making Connections5/25/2011
Soprano Lauren Flanigan has performed in more than 100 operas at major houses all over the world. She is a champion of works by living composers and a mentor to aspiring and emerging singers. Join us as this celebrated singing actress sits down with OPERA America President and CEO Marc A. Scorca for an evening of candid conversation.
Storytelling and Advocacy
Brandon Gryde, Director of Government Affairs, Dance/USA and OPERA America ,
Original Content6/7/2011
"What was your very first arts experience?"

This was the first question I received when I interviewed for the position of government affairs director. It's a softball question that allowed me to easily shift into storytelling mode. Yet it's also an impactful question because my first arts experience was also the first step that led to a life of arts participation as an audience member, a performer, an arts education director, as well as my current position with Dance/USA and OPERA America. My exposure to arts as a child increased my desire to want to learn more.
DIY Professional Development
Laura Day Giarolo, Director of Learning & Community Engagement, OPERA America ,
Original Content8/4/2011

Conferences and informal conversations alike provide opportunities for professionals to learn from and share with one another, building on the strength of their shared experiences. OPERA America provides several opportunities for mentors, mentees and peer groups to reconnect through in-person Forums, online chats and listserv conversations, and other arts organizations and arts service organizations offer similar services. Weekly or monthly e-newsletters (like OperaLink) have been known to spark conversations around the water cooler, but many of the more recent transformations in do-it-yourself professional development (DIYPD) have come through the blogosphere and through social and professional networking sites.

How Can I Keep from Singing?
Laura Day Giarolo, Director of Learning & Community Engagement ,
Original Content9/12/2011
Despite my ruddy Irish-American complexion and Minnesotan upbringing, standing in front of Guernica at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid and seeing that great work in person made me a Spaniard and a Basque. I had read the history and knew of the devastation during the Spanish Civil War, but it wasn't until I was face to face with Picasso's masterpiece and breathed in deeply that I was forced to grapple with the gruesome reality of a war that happened decades before I was born.

Creative expression of one's own story can provide victims of great tragedies an outlet for dealing with their grief and anguish. The resulting art — be it a painting, a poem, a sculpture, a song — provides release for its creator, and enables observers, audience members and participants in a performance the opportunity to relate to the event and its survivors, no matter how far removed in time or space. These works provide a level of detail and uncomfortable intimacy that a more objectively written historical record simply can't capture or convey. It is the responsibility of artists and educators alike to ensure all people have the opportunity to take ownership of their history through art.
Last Chance Summer Reading!: Arts Education Reading and Resources
Laura Day Giarolo, Director of Learning and Community Engagement, OPERA America ,
Original Content9/12/2011
Though summer weather is still going strong, the start of another school year is right around the corner! As you begin planning for the fall, be sure to check out these great resources for arts education:

Not in Kansas Anymore
Joyce DiDonato sounds off on the recent elimination of funding for the arts by her home state of Kansas.

Art Talk
The National Endowment for the Arts’ Art Works Blog features Art Talk interviews with prominent artists. See what Sandra Radvanovsky has to say about arts education, gain new insights from Marna Stalcup of the Right Brain Initiative and hear how early experiences with arts education made a lasting impact on NEA staff.
Assessing Your Career: Calling Upon Your Network
Diana Hossack ,
Voices9/27/2011
It is difficult to be both an artist and a business person. You need to say something uniquely “you” to an audience –– and when you come off the stage, you have to put on a business hat and be the president of your own corporation. You have to make sense out of your experience –– but you don’t necessarily have to do this alone. It is crucial to surround yourself with a strong network of advisors.
Blogroll for Opera Artists
Lyndsay Werking, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
Original Content10/17/2011
To succeed in opera, or in any field, an individual must possess both skills and knowledge of the industry.  Understanding the current climate of the opera industry is just as important as learning new marketing strategies or exploring fundraising opportunities. To keep informed of news, trends, projects and people, I read a variety of print and online news sources. Additionally, I follow a number of blogs. While I can learn about the facts of the industry from formal news outlets, a blog provides a specific point of view and often, a unique writing style and artistic voice. Sign in for a list of blogs that OPERA America staff is reading…
Engaging a Diverse Community
Laura Day Giarolo, Director of Learning & Community Engagement, and Alexa B. Antopol, Research & Reference Librarian ,
Original Content10/17/2011
The title of a pre-conference seminar from Opera Conference 2011 was especially relevant last week as three different reports and announcements stimulated much thinking about how opera companies — and all performing arts organizations — can do a better job of engaging a diverse community.

National Public Radio's Deceptive Cadence blog posted about two notable mentions of opera in the New York Times: an incidental (and unflattering) reference in a restaurant review and a front page article about the success of the Metropolitan Opera's fundraising efforts last year. In "Is Opera Stuff (Only) Rich People Like?", Anastasia Tsioulcas used the language of the Occupy Wall Street protests to ask readers about opera's status as an elitist art form. Twenty-four hours later, Tsioulcas knew the answer to her question was a resounding NO: Opera is for the 99%.
OPERA America’s Career Guide for Opera - Something for Everyone!
José Rincón ,
Original Content11/1/2011
If you think OPERA America’s Career Guide for Opera is just for singers, think again! The Career Guide for Opera is full of articles, videos and podcasts for opera artists of all types; access to this comprehensive resources starts at just $30 a year. Click through to learn about a few of the many resources you will find.
Online Education Resources
Staff ,
Original Content11/29/2011
Opera educators are right to focus on the work being performed on the main stage or in touring productions, but there are many online resources related to opera that can be used to our advantage as well. Though not opera-specific, two new resources from Ovation and Broadway Online Learning Center may be of particular interest in our field. Each of these takes a serious look at different aspects of the creation of a new work of opera or music-theater, and is worth exploring.
Stress Management for Opera Artists
Robin Rigby, stress management consultant ,
Making Connections12/15/2011
Stress is often unavoidable, especially in the competitive and grueling world of opera. Fortunately, there are proven methods of reducing and managing stress and the factors that cause it. At this session you will learn how to effectively deal with stress so that you can stay healthy, productive and achieve your goals as an artist.
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.
Acting Resources for Singers
Marc Astafan, Amy Burton, Chuck Hudson, Jonah Nigh ,
Making Connections1/4/2012

To be successful, opera singers must be able to not only sing beautifully but give engaging dramatic portrayals as well. And like singing, developing your acting abilities is a life-long process. Learn what resources exist to help you improve your acting chops at all levels of career development.

In Conversation with Stephanie Blythe
Stephanie Blythe, Marc A. Scorca ,
Making Connections1/4/2012
Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is one of the most celebrated and critically acclaimed opera artists of our time. She has performed at major opera houses all over the world in repertoire ranging from Handel to Wagner and this season she returns to the Metropolitan Opera for Rodelinda, Aida and the complete Ring Cycle. Join us as this singular artist discusses her craft and career with OPERA America President & CEO Marc A. Scorca.
The Blind Leap of Leadership
Laura Day Giarolo, Director of Learning and Community Engagement, OPERA America ,
Original Content1/24/2012
"I need you to jump off a cliff."
— President Josiah Bartlett, "The West Wing," Season 6, episode 3 ("Third Day Story")

It's not exactly the warmest, most enthusiastic job offer ever; yet, in many ways, assuming a position of leadership requires a leap of faith. Whether an individual is a new CEO or it is his or her first time supervising staff, being an effective leader requires a delicate blend of personal know-how and interpersonal skills.
Evaluation and Assessment: Beyond Anecdotal Evidence
Laura Day Giarolo, Director of Learning & Community Engagement, OPERA America ,
Original Content3/5/2012
Once a month, OPERA America staff members gather to discuss reports and publications that we’ve recently read. At our most recent Journal Club, one colleague reported on The Arts and Human Development: Framing a National Research Agenda for the Arts, Lifelong Learning, and Individual Well-Being, released fall 2011 by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While the report’s purpose was to outline areas of arts participation ripe for future research, one of the studies cited, The Creativity and Aging Study: The Impact of Professionally Conducted Cultural Programs on Older Adults, found that older adults who participated in arts activities "reported higher overall physical health, fewer doctor visits, less medication use, fewer instances of falls and fewer health problems when compared to the comparison group. The intervention group also evidenced better morale and less loneliness than the comparison group. Similarly, [those participating in arts activities]… reported a trend toward increased activity." To which OPERA America staff members said, "Well, duh!"
Singer Training and Repertoire Assignment
Brittney Redler ,
Original Content5/14/2012
In medical school, students take classes for the first two years then do rotations, during which they get to experience different specializations. This introduction to a wide variety of medical divisions is what helps students clarify where their individual talents lie. A young medical student would rarely choose their specialty in those first years to then remain in that field for his or her entire career. This is because they may have certain preferences and or talents that they simply haven't explored yet in their youth. Medicine is a huge field, so one has to explore and "date around" so to speak in order to discover the best match.

Music is similarly an overwhelmingly large subject. Even after choosing vocal performance as a major -- or even more specifically "classical" or "musical theater," a young student is facing an extremely broad range of possibilities. While training, it should be expected — just as it is for medical students — that singers explore a wide variety of music in order to develop a correspondingly varied repertoire and skill set. Learning an abundance of repertoire can introduce and develop technical skills involved in vocal production, but also certainly can build general musicianship, language and diction proficiency, and dramatic preparation and insight. The student therefore becomes familiar with many genres, styles, time periods and composers, which can only make a student a more informed performer. Perhaps a previously unknown niche in this new repertoire assortment is waiting to be discovered.
Jules Massenet, Werther (1892), Act One: Recitative and Aria, “Alors, c’est bien ici…Ô Nature”; and Act Two, Recitative and Aria, “Un autre est son époux!…J’aurais sur ma poitrine”
by Roger Pines ,
Aria Talk8/2/2012
I’ve heard innumerable tenors audition with “Pourquoi me réveiller,” but no one sings either of Werther’s other two arias. This seems unfortunate, considering that “Pourquoi” is handicapped by its unvaried mood and two identical verses. You have fabulous alternatives in the arias from both Act One (ravishing musically and textually) and Act Two (blazingly dramatic, with a stunning climax). Don’t ignore those other two arias — it’s time to remind your listeners that Werther isn’t all about waiting for his high A-sharps!

"Teacherese" for Arts Programming
Clyde Berry, Director of Education, Fort Worth Opera ,
EducationLink10/12/2012
As the new school year gets underway, it is important to remember the importance of the relationship with classroom teachers. Below, Clyde Berry, a classroom teacher for more than 10 years, offers "teacherse" for those working with teachers.

Every classroom teacher, especially with the current implementation of No Child Left Behind, has a very challenging task in creating smart lessons that will lead directly to high test scores. No other time is given to extracurricular or enrichment lessons, as schools/teachers with low test scores face serious disciplinary actions from their own school systems. While this is a serious impediment to the education paradigm, the bottom line of funding high-testing schools has become all important. Administrators will not allow anything to interfere or pull from test prep time and therefore risking funding.
Visa Information for Canadian Singers: Studying and Working in the U.S.
Nick Olcott, Maryland Opera Studio ,
Original Content6/26/2013
OPERA America's Role Preparation Primer
José Rincón, Artistic Services Coordinator, OPERA America ,
Original Content10/10/2013
Contributors: Ann Baltz, OperaWorks; Valerie Beaman; ActingforOpera.com; Clyde Berry, Fort Worth Opera; Daniel Biaggi, Palm Beach Opera; Johnathon Pape, Eastman School of Music
Learning a complete operatic role is a major milestone in a singer's career that requires organization and strategy. The preparation process begins long before any notes are plunked on the piano and continues after the final double bar. To get a sense of what it takes to effectively learn a new role, OPERA America surveyed five members of the Singer Training Forum for what they consider to be the essential steps, questions and resources a singer should keep in mind throughout the preparation process.

The contributors to OPERA America’s role preparation primer offer a range of experience and expertise in the field of singer training and career development. And while their respective strategies for tackling a role are nuanced and unique, four main areas of focus emerge when the strategies are compared: the source, the score, the text and the character. These areas, and other considerations, are further explored in this article.
The Ten Commandments of Auditioning
Darren K. Woods, Keith Wolfe ,
Audition Connection8/25/2014
Darren K. Woods and Keith A. Wolfe were both singers, so they both feel passionately about the audition process. Woods came up with a class this past year called The Ten Commandments of Auditions: What a General Director Wants to See and Hear. Both he and Wolfe have been giving this class at universities and conservatories all over the country this past year. Their list is published here for the first time.

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