Username:
Password:


Forgot your password?
View Photo Credit  
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.
Search the Archive
Search Field:
Search Term:
Media Type:

Related Article(s)
Original Article:
Learning from the Masters
Staff ,
Opera America Magazine
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.

Related Article(s):
Governance and the Artistic Product
Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Every opera production is a complex machine comprising many moving, delicate and unpredictable parts, so planning a successful opera season is a piece of almost impossibly sophisticated engineering. In addition to encyclopedic knowledge of operatic repertoire and creative and performing artists, season planning requires technical and financial savvy, intimate acquaintance with company strengths and weaknesses, and an understanding of what excites audience members — current and prospective.
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.
NEA Opera Honors: Recognizing American Opera's Brightest Lights
Barrymore Laurence Scherer ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
With the exceptions of chant and unaccompanied solo song, opera is probably classical music's oldest continuous genre. Invented just before 1600, it predates the symphony and string quartet, as well as the multi-movement concerto, all of them 18th-century developments. Therefore, it is no small matter that America, which as a nation came relatively late to opera, has produced an enormous wealth of operatic talent. OPERA America counts 114 professional companies in 43 states in its membership. Over half of these companies were established after 1970, and one quarter of the total were established since 1980.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
Making Connections on the Web
Megan Young, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
ArtistLink10/13/2008
We live in a truly exciting time. More arts organizations than ever are using Web 2.0 technologies, including open source software, to engage and develop their audiences and employees. Diana Hossack aptly chronicled this excitement in her February 2008 ArtistLink feature.
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

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
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
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
Staying Competitive
Staff ,
ArtistLink4/20/2009
Freelance artists may be more familiar with the process of job hunting than any other group of professionals. As thousands of Americans in the auto and financial industries struggle to cope with the sudden disappearance of jobs once thought of as sacrosanct, uncertain employment has been a reality for artists since, well, forever. That said, artists are far from immune to the recession as opera companies and other nonprofit arts organizations across the country are being forced to make tough decisions in an effort to balance budgets and stay operational. In this climate, it is more important than ever for artists to take a proactive approach to career development in order to be as prepared as possible for uncontrollable circumstances. Here are some ways to remain competitive through these tough times:
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?”
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."
A Legacy of Leadership
Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine7/1/2009
Each year, OPERA America honors leaders celebrating their 10- and 25-year anniversaries with an opera company. The recipients of this year's service awards hail from companies from across North America whose annual budgets range in size from less than $1 million to more than $25 million. Some of the companies dominate the opera scene in their cities, while others are part of a vibrant local opera ecology.

Running an opera company is challenging in the best of times, and today's uncertain economy makes it extraordinarily difficult to plan the seasons ahead. But with hard-won wisdom gained from many years of experience, these artistic and general directors strike a tone of cautious optimism as they share their learning and confirm their commitment to quality and creativity.
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.
Welcome to OPERA America
Staff , Marc A. Scorca
Original Content8/31/2009
A Nationwide Celebration of Opera
Staff ,
Opera America Magazine9/1/2009
The National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors, launched in 2008, honors visionary creators, extraordinary performers and other interpreters who have made extraordinary contributions to opera in the United States and have become cultural treasures of the nation. The 2009 recipients are John Adams, Frank Corsaro, Marilyn Horne, Lotfi Mansouri and Julius Rudel. They will he honored at an awards ceremony on November 14, 2009, in Washington, D.C.
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.
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.
National Opera Open House: Don’t Miss This Opportunity!
Staff ,
Opera America Magazine9/1/2009
Historic property. Large central space retains many original details. Great for entertaining. Adequate storage. Bathrooms need some updating.

The open house is an important event for those on both sides of a real estate transaction. The purchaser arrives at each property wondering, "Could I be happy here?" The seller does everything possible to make sure the answer is a resounding "Yes" — from greeting visitors with a welcoming smile to filling the place with appealing art.
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.
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.
Social Networking in the Life of an Opera Artist
Staff Patricia Kiernan Johnson, marketing and media manager, OPERA America, Amanda Ameer, First Chair Promotions; Brian Dickie, general director, Chicago Opera Theater; Erik Gensler, president, Capacity Interactive Inc.
Making Connections11/18/2009
Social networking, including Web sites such as Facebook and Twitter, has become part of daily life for many people. Panelists at this session will talk about the pros and cons of an online presence and discuss the delicate balance between personal and professional networking.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Visa Processing for Foreign Guest Artists
Amy Fitterer, OPERA America, Jonathan Ginsburg and Andi Floyd, FTM Arts Law
Original Content4/21/2010
The opera industry has recently seen delays and problems in visa processing by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), underscoring the risk that foreign guest artists will be unable to enter the country in time for their rehearsals and performances. Join us to hear from attorney Jonathan Ginsburg as he shares timely advice and best practices for assembling petitions that will increase your chances of petition approval. Ginsburg is considered one of the top immigration attorneys in the U.S. for foreign guest artists. He co-authored the Artist From Abroad Web site, and has conducted numerous presentations and training sessions across the country on visa processing.
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.
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:
Professional Development: The Gift that Keeps on Giving
By José Rincón, Artistic Services Manager ,
Original Content12/1/2010
The holidays are upon us and if you are wondering what to get the singer, composer, librettist, director or designer on your gift list, put down the Hickory Farms catalog and consider giving a gift that is not only thoughtful but useful, too. If you are an artist yourself, why not spend some of the cash you get from grandma on a membership or subscription to a service organization that will help you advance your career? Here are several member- or subscription-based organizations that offer an array of programs and resources for creative artists:
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.
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.
Reading to Write: A Book List for Composers
Staff ,
Original Content6/1/2011
Composers are rarely limited by the domain of music; they are inspired by all of their senses. Writing a piece is an extension of your experiences and reflects the language you speak musically and otherwise. At OPERA America, we love using books as a tool for inspiration. We discussed literature and reference texts with industry experts and compiled a reading list for opera composers with topics in technical skills, biographies, history, business, publishing, vocal reference and a few from other art fields. As you explore these resources, take your investigation beyond the page. Interact with singers, work backstage, listen and analyze scores to form an intimate relationship with opera writing.
Tips for Assembling Your Opera Fund Application
Lyndsay Werking, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
Original Content8/4/2011
As the summer comes to an end, we at OPERA America are excited to be launching the next round of grant opportunities through The Opera Fund. This year, awards will be given in the Audience Development category for projects that focus on community engagement activities undertaken in conjunction with the creation and/or production of a new or existing American work. The deadline to submit a letter of intent is August 26. The competition for limited funds is highly competitive. In looking through past grant proposals, we have created some general guidelines to help you as you prepare your application.
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.

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.
Singers: How to Research Producing Opera Companies
Megan Young ,
Original Content10/11/2011
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of opera producers in North America. So, how do you know which are appropriate for you at your current level of career achievement? Do you send out 100 headshots and resumes and hope for the best? We think not! Do your research ahead of time to find the opportunities that are appropriate for you. You'll cut down on the volume of materials you send out and you'll be less likely to be put on the "do not hear" list. To start your research, use OPERA America’s Career Guide for Opera. Read on for a comprehensive list of qualities to examine before you choose to audition…
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…
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.
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.
"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.
A Composer's Cohort: Secrets of Collaboration
Miriam Piilonen ,
Original Content10/10/2013
Writing an opera is an undertaking unlike any other in a composer's repertoire. The time commitment, depth of knowledge and scope of such an ambitious project make writing an enormous challenge in and of itself. What many aspiring opera composers overlook is the test waiting beyond the solitude of the studio: collaborating with other artists involved in the production of a staged vocal work. OPERA America has gathered leading experts in the fields of composing, directing, publishing and administration to advise composers in working with everyone from singers to stage managers from the initial idea to final curtain call. Whether you are staging a small student performance with one singer and a tambourine or mounting an opening at the Metropolitan Opera, collaboration can make or break your show
On Networking
Angela Myles Beeching, Director, New England Conservatory Career Services Center ,
ArtistLink10/10/2013
You often hear, "It's not what you know, it's who you know!" There is a real element of truth to this but to be accurate, it's who you know and what you do about it that matters. Networking, or "schmoozing," is simply an exchange of information and resources; it's a two-way street.

People often associate networking with other fields — with high tech or business — not the arts. But networking is an important factor in all fields, especially in the "small world" of music where reputations and connections are critical, if not crucial, to career building.

Summer 2014 Magazine Issue
  • Summer Apprenticeships
  • Opera Tours for Board Members
  • My First Opera by Speight Jenkins
Contact Us
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
P 212-796-8620 • F 212-796-8621
Info@operaamerica.orgDirections
From Airport:
The easiest way to reach the OPERA America offices is to get a cab at the airport. Cost is $40-45
(not including tip).
  • JFK - Take the AirTrain ($5 - approx. 15 minutes) to the Jamaica Street Station and transfer to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Take the LIRR to Penn Station ($12 - approx. 35 minutes). See Penn Station directions below.
  • LaGuardia - Take the M60 Bus to the Hoyt Ave/31st Street. Get on the or Train and take that to 42nd/Times Square Station. Follow the Times Square Station directions below.
  • Newark - Take the New Jersey Transit train to Penn Station ($15 - approx. 45 min). See the Penn Station Directions below.

From Penn Station/Madison Square Garden:
Leave the station through the 7th Avenue/33rd Street exit and walk south for four blocks. The building is on
the right hand side.

From Grand Central Station:
Take the Train to the 42nd/Times Square station and transfer to the Train.
Take the Train to the 28th Street stop and walk north on 7th Avenue.
The building is on the same block as the train stop.

From 42nd Street/Times Square:
Take the Train to the 28th Street stop and walk north on 7th Avenue.
The building is on the same block as the train stop.

For more detailed directions, most up-to-date pricing or to specify a different starting location, please visit the
MTA Web site.