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OPERA America’s Singer Career Network OPERA America — the nonprofit service organization for opera — leads and serves the entire opera community, supporting the creation, presentation, and enjoyment of opera. Artistic services help opera companies and creative and performing artists to improve the quality of productions and increase the creation and presentation of North American works. Information, technical, and administrative services to opera companies reflect the need for strengthened leadership among staff, trustees, and volunteers. Education, audience development, and community services are designed to enhance all forms of opera enjoyment. Perspectives: Building and Managing Your Network is produced by OPERA America’s Singer Career Network. Established in 1996, the Singer Career Network is the only service for opera singers fully networked to the professional field — general and artistic directors, artistic administrators, artist managers, and more. Recognizing that singers have unique concerns and needs for information, OPERA America offers publications and services created and refined with the advice of hundreds of professionals who teach, coach, advise, and audition singers. These publications and services keep singers informed with up-to-date and accurate information that is critical to the advancement of all singers. Publications include the acclaimed Career Guide for Singers, which is the most comprehensive directory listing of opportunities for singers; Audition Connection, a bimonthly audition newsletter with the most accurate and complete opera announcements; Voices, OPERA America’s singer newsletter that features career advice for singers at all levels from the opera industry; and the complete Perspectives Series, which includes five volumes of wisdom from opera professionals on Audition Advice, Business Advice, The Singer/Manager Relationship, and Making Choices: From Classroom to Contracts, in addition to this book on building your network. In a world where there is more talent than opportunity, singers must arm themselves with information from respected sources. By informing themselves about the realities of the business, talented singers will be better positioned to make appropriate career decisions and build their own unique and successful careers. Marc A. Scorca, President and CEO Diana Hossack, Managing Director

Copyright 2006 by OPERA America Susan S. Ashbaker, Artistic Consultant Kelley Rourke, Editor Katherine Ehle, Layout and Design Andy Weiskoff, Cover Design

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Table of Contents Preface.............................................................................................................................................9 Introduction: Carol Vaness, soprano........................................................................................11 Chapter 1: Your Team Comprises... Your Board of Directors...................................................................................................................15 By Sheri Greenawald, Opera Center Director, San Francisco Opera “And I Would Like to Thank...”........................................................................................................17 By Jonathan Pell, Director of Artistic Administration, The Dallas Opera Reflections on the Planning of a Singer’s Career..............................................................................19 By Eve Queler, Music Director, Opera Orchestra of New York Insights from a Training Program....................................................................................................20 Richard Pearlman, Director, and Gianna Rolandi, Director of Vocal Studies, Lyric Opera Center for American Artists Success in Opera — It Takes a Team...............................................................................................23 By Roberto Mauro, Director of Artistic Administration, Michigan Opera Theatre Troika of Stability............................................................................................................................24 By Matthew Laifer, Matthew Laifer Artists Management/Personal Representation Getting to the Launching Pad..........................................................................................................26 By Peter Russell, General Director, Opera Colorado Coming Full Circle..........................................................................................................................28 By Felicity Jackson, Ensemble Director, Florida Grand Opera Chapter 2: Working with Your Artistic Advisors Getting on the List...........................................................................................................................33 Francesca Zambello, stage director Good Coaching................................................................................................................................35 Reprinted from Complete Preparation: A Guide to Auditioning for Opera by Joan Dornemann, Assistant Conductor/Prompter, Metropolitan Opera with Maria Ciaccia A Multi-Faceted Marriage of Minds.................................................................................................38 By Laura Brooks Rice, voice teacher, Westminster Choir College The Value of a Single Hour...............................................................................................................41 By Danielle Orlando, vocal coach, The Curtis Institute of Music and The Academy of Vocal Arts In Hartford, Hereford, and Hampshire, Hurricanes Hardly Happen.................................................43

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By Nico Castel, Language/Diction Coach, Metropolitan Opera Tell the Story...................................................................................................................................44 By William Farlow, Opera Director, University of Wisconsin-Madison One Man Band...............................................................................................................................45 By Yelena Kurdina, vocal coach From the Studio to the Stage...........................................................................................................48 By Marlena Malas, voice teacher Chapter 3: Working with Other Professionals Navigating the Financial Alphabet...................................................................................................53 By James Busterud, Morgan Stanley A Bastard for All Seasons: The How-To Guide for Selecting Your Entertainment Attorney.................54 By Brian Taylor Goldstein, attorney, Fettmann, Tolchin & Majors, PC Your Legal Advisors........................................................................................................................58 By Elizabeth Russell, attorney at law, Russell Law The Singer as CEO..........................................................................................................................60 By Beryl Byles, executive coach Finding Your Own Voice through Personal Coaching........................................................................62 By Mary Kinder Loiselle, personal coach Apparel and the Opera Singer........................................................................................................65 By Marsha LeBoeuf, Costume Director, Washington National Opera Can a General Director Be a Member of Your Team?........................................................................67 By Darren Keith Woods, General Director, Fort Worth Opera Putting It Together..........................................................................................................................69 By Janice Mayer, President, Janice Mayer & Associates, LLC Finding the Right Match..................................................................................................................71 By Bill Palant, Manager, IMG Artists Getting the Goodies: Making the Most of Public Relations...............................................................74 By Mary Lou Falcone, owner, ML Falcone Public Relations Do They Hear What I Hear?.............................................................................................................77 By George Blood, recording/sound engineer The Role of Singing Voice Specialist in the Life of a Classical Singer...............................................79 By Margaret Baroody, voice therapist Chapter 4: Successful Relationships

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Perspectives: Building and Managing Your Team


Assessing Your Career: Calling Upon Your Network........................................................................85 Transcript from an OPERA America Singer Workshop It Takes a Village.............................................................................................................................89 By Christine Brewer, soprano No One Does It Alone......................................................................................................................91 By Josepha Gayer, mezzo-soprano Encourage Your Team to Work Together...........................................................................................93 By Robert Swedberg, General Director, Orlando Opera If It’s Not Working, Leave!................................................................................................................95 By Eric Owens, bass Friends and Family..........................................................................................................................98 By Kelley Rourke, Director of Research and Publications, OPERA America Believing In Yourself and Your Team..............................................................................................102 By Barbara Dever, mezzo-soprano Your True Self Image....................................................................................................................104 excerpt from Carol Kirkpatrick’s “Aria Ready” The Business of Singing Creating a Team (An Artist’s Approach)........................................................................................107 By David Pittsinger, bass-baritone Career by Clichés (or Ain’t No Mountain High Enough)..................................................................109 By Susan S. Ashbaker, artistic consultant Epilogue The Business of Music Making......................................................................................................117 By Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano Appendix Resource List................................................................................................................................121 Worksheets..........................................................................................................................................124 Index............................................................................................................................................133

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Preface Singers are unique among musicians in that they cannot separate themselves from their instruments. Paradoxically, the fact that singers are self-contained music makers means they are more dependent on others, since they are unable to hear and see themselves as others do. To be successful, singers must accumulate a staggering amount of knowledge and skills: solid vocal technique, dramatic and movement skills, facility with languages, musicianship, ability to interpret texts, knowledge of history and traditions, business acumen, and a personality that is at once creative and strategic. Singers who attempt to meet so many demands on their own, particularly given the transient lifestyle inherent to an opera career, will quickly find themselves overwhelmed. In fact, it is hard to imagine that any singer could build a career without the assistance of a strong support system. Perspectives: Building and Managing Your Network covers this important subject through articles, quotes, interviews, and book excerpts. This volume features the insights of over 40 individuals who represent specialties you might include in your professional network, including other singers. Their advice will assist you in recognizing 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. Not only can team members help build skills, they can guide you through challenging times. A man must not swallow more beliefs than he can digest. — Havelock Ellis, The Dance of Life There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart’s desire. The other is to get it. — Bernard Shaw, Man & Superman IV Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. — Tennyson, Locksley Hall Two men look out through the same bars: One sees the mud, and one the stars. — F. Langbridge, A Cluster of Quiet Thoughts No bird has ever uttered note That was not in some first bird’s throat… — T.B. Aldrich, Originality Talents differ; all is well and wisely put; If I cannot carry forests on my back, Neither can you crack a nut. — Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fable: The Mountain and the Sparrow We hope that Perspectives: Building and Managing Your Network serves you well in your career development. May your relationships be robust. Best wishes. OPERA America 2006

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Perspectives: Building and Managing Your Network