Opera Singer

Opera Singer


Los Angeles, CA

Female, 29

I sing beautiful music -- primarily opera -- but I also do concert work, church music, studio/scoring sessions, and whatever other performance opportunities I can get my hands on.

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70 Questions


Last Answer on July 03, 2020

Best Rated

Thank you for your previous answer. Do you know anything about The Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen ? I want to apply there aftyer high-school because it's free and i have someone living there...Is it a good place to study at ? :)

Asked by Victoria about 6 years ago

Hi! I don't know anything about RDAM unfortunately. But, I would suggest that for any university that you're interested in, research the voice teachers and, if you can, take lessons with the one(s) you're interested in before deciding on where to go. Talk to the admissions counselor about your performance opportunities during your undergrad and any other goals that you have for your education. The more research and work on clarifying what you want from and expect out of your undergraduate degree, the better experience you will have. 

It's very helpful to go to a place where you can network with other singers and have your teachers help position you to get into good training programs. For high school and college students, I highly recommend reading Classical Singer Magazine. They have great articles on training programs, universities and other educational and professional interests. 

I hope this was helpful, even if it didn't answer your question directly!

What is my vocal type if my voice range from A3 to E4. i am a male with the age of 18 years old. thank you.

Asked by Swiftie1321 almost 6 years ago

Speaking from an operatic point of view, most likely, you'd be a tenor. However, 'fach' or 'voice type' is defined more by the passaggio and color of the voice rather than the range. There are many people who have extensive range within their fach, but their repertoire would be determined more by the color of their voice. Since you're 18, your voice will be maturing still. The male voice hits full maturity around your early 30's. But with proper training, you may notice soon if your voice wants to deepen and enjoy the lower, baritone register or release into the upper, tenor register more. That will determine whether you're truly a tenor or a baritone. Here are a couple of resources that can shed more light: http://www.cantabile-subito.de/Categories/categories.html and http://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncg/f/umi-uncg-1296.pdf My best advice for finding your 'type' is to work with an operatic teacher and sing what you love to sing and feel the most free vocally in. 

What's the deal with the stereotype of heavy northern Europeans in viking helmets singing opera? Where did that come from?

Asked by ama over 5 years ago

Ha! Fun question! Probably from the Wagner craze. When Richard Wagner created the Ring Cycle, it was the opera equivalent of Lord of the Rings, but probably on a bigger scale internationally back in the day. Wagner's Ring was loosely based on Norse legend, hence the Viking helmets. 

And I think that the stereotype of a heavy singer came from the fact that in opera, the voice is the most important part of casting a singer. In most other forms of entertainment, looks play a bigger factor in the telling of the story. Nowadays, this is also creeping into opera, but you still see greater diversity in opera in many roles- 20 year old's playing 60 year olds, a 50 year old playing a 15 year old, a woman playing a teenage boy, men playing women, racial lines crossed... Looks are increasingly more important, but all of us singers and most companies are still trying to keep it about the voice. And, a sense of weight in the body can help 'ground' the voice- and with big voices, that can help. Physical builds can impact the way the voice is supported. Too much weight can cause trouble breathing of course, and being thin doesn't hurt a voice, although more muscle tone may be needed for better support. Opera singers use their bodies much like athletes do. The training is incredibly intense and specific. Since most women didn't exercise back in the olden days, I think having the extra weight would actually have helped in the absence of good muscle tone for the women. Hence, more heavy women singing. The modern opera audience member wouldn't find many of these stereotypes on stage any longer. Heavy, skinny, black, white, Asian, tall, short... and often, some of those singers are even "related" to each others characters!

How much do top opera stars make for a performance? How about the rest of the company and background performers?

Asked by douglas.ernst over 5 years ago

Wow. Sorry for the delayed response! Top stars can make great income from a combination of opera roles, concert work and recordings. Usually concerts pay better than roles. And at A houses, even the chorus makes a good living. But according to a study of 100 solo singers, the median income is $17,500 in America. Yikes! I don't have the study's name, but see this article's notes at the bottom: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-rivera/what-do-opera-singers-act_b_5569307.html I wonder if that factors in tax deductions, as singers usually have very high expenses associated with their careers in addition to not having consistent work.

In other countries however, singers are paid more in general. Many American singers go over to Europe to make a living and then some can come back to the States with more stature and hopefully get more money for their work. Europe also has many more opera houses with larger seasons, which makes getting work at least statistically easier.

I am a twenty three year old psychology student and have been a singer my entire life. I wish to be a professional world class, classical singer one day. I was just wondering how I would start. Please advise.

Thank You so much,
Dale G.

Asked by Kingsing over 5 years ago

Hi Dale! Have you been studying privately or at your college with a teacher who is a classical technician? If not, that's the best place to start. NATS.org is a reputable place to start looking for a teacher. But if you have any opera singers in your area whose technique you admire, ask them about their teachers. Opera technique takes a while to develop, but after you and your teacher feel that your technique and performance ability is strong enough, you can start applying for young artist programs and local productions. It also is worth investigating majoring in vocal performance as well. Grad school is where most people's opera careers begin. Good luck!

Is there a specific definition of what constitutes "opera" vs some other style?

Asked by Opman over 5 years ago

At its core, opera is a story told through music- with vocalists acting the story through song and staging & the orchestra also telling the story through the score. Opera's definition seems to be expanding over the recent years. Many people say that it's the lack of unsung dialogue or lack of artificial amplification that makes it opera, but there are exceptions to those rules that still are usually considered 'opera'. For me, what separates opera from music theater is the emphasis on the relationship of the voice and the orchestra (which requires a classical vocal technique), along with a fully formed presentation of a story. There are also oratorio, art song cycles and other performance mediums that tell stories through a classical vocal technique. but those are not presented as theatrical stagings. Sorry, this is a nebulous answer. Yet I think that nebulousness makes it an exciting medium; one which is expanding beyond stereotypes and even definitions.

Is there a medicine that I can take to make my voice sound like an opera singer I am a choir singer at my church and have been since I was a little girl?

Asked by Jeanni Cox over 4 years ago

No. Vocal training is the only way to build your voice as an opera singer, or in any style of singing.