So You Want to be a Tenor: a Look at Opera America’s "Singer Workshop"

I’m not sure one can actually learn to become an opera singer, any more than one can learn to become a great actor. You either have it or you don’t. However, hundreds of singers who think they have it, have benefited in some way from OPERA America’s Singer Workshop. Think of Opera America as a Master’s Course in operatic singing. Kind of like “Opera 101”.

OPERA America offers workshops that connect participants directly to leading opera professionals. The one’s who are responsible for casting, managing, and promoting opera singers. Each workshop features a variety of panels that touch on topics that are essential to the career development of every singer. Held annually, these workshops are presented throughout North America, and have taken place in New York, Chicago, Cincinnati, and other major cities.

Fortunately, OPERA America doesn’t claim to train individuals how to sing. Rather, the workshops focus on the business aspects of singing. And that’s what counts. Because at the end of the day, if you’re not earning a living from your singing than you need to change your focus from singing-as-a-profession to singing-as-a-hobby.

Study Sessions have covered such diverse areas as:

  • Audition Advice: Performing an Effective Audition

  • Beyond the Voice: Understanding Casting Practices Chorus

  • Comprimario, and Covers: Stepping Stones or Careers?

  • Company Relations: Getting to Know the Administration

  • Contemporary Repertoire: Going Beyond the Standards

  • Creative Options: Alternative Ways to Start a Career

  • Expanding Your Opportunities: Diversify Your Performing Portfolio

  • Facing the Competition: The Singer/Manager Relationship First

  • Impressions: Creating Winning Publicity Materials

  • Level I Houses: Expectations and Opportunities

  • Making Choices: Selecting the Appropriate Training Program

  • Reading the Fine Print: Demystifying Contracts

  • Tools for Success: Securing the Basic Skills

OPERA America creates an atmosphere that encourages networking and is thoroughly interactive. The courses are also geared as much for music teachers as they are for aspiring music professionals.

The programs allow plenty of time for one-on-one communication, and that may be the most valuable aspect of all concerning these workshops.

OPERA America’s “Singer Workshop”. A tool worth considering for the aspiring operatic professional.