A singer asked me recently if I thought he was ready for a manager. When I asked him how many roles he had ready he confessed: none. A singer approaching a manager to enter the operatic career should have memorized 5 or 6 roles and be ready to sing them at a moment’s notice. How else can a singer be marketable? And how if not would the singer be of interest to the manager? There are no auditions to sing arias. (Well, maybe The Italian Tenor). Yet, many singers concentrate on singing arias and do not bother to learn complete roles. They are ariasingers. Yet they assert that they are working towards an operatic career. As we all know, a career in opera encompasses many elements beyond having a beautiful or a big voice. If learning roles is too difficult, the singer must then discover where the difficulty lies. Is it that the technique is not optimal? Is it lack of musical reading skills, such as those needed to play the piano or solfege as an aid to learning? Does the singer not understand the musical material, the patterns related to the structure and the harmony of the music? Is it because of lacking memorization or learning techniques?
So, find out how to master the technique and own the repertoire. The rest should be much easier. © 2014
*Stefan Jackiw on Slow Practicing
**Aaron Rosand on Starting a Career
***Panic at the Symphony
The Opera Atelier