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The use of orchestrated masses and other liturgical works of the classical and romantic periods to gain the essential orchestral experience and routine necessary as a soloist and ensemble singer. The mass and liturgical repertoire of W.

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Mozart, Joseph Haydn and Franz Schubert, is an ideal way to give young singers the essential experience of singing with an orchestra as a soloist and in ensemble. All that is needed to perform this repertoire is readily at hand in a conservatory. This could also be a solution in gaining orchestral experience should it not be possible to stage a Mozart opera or main-stream oratorio as well. The average young German singer upon graduation usually has most of the repertoire of oratorio, masses particularly in Bavaria and Austria , cantatas and related styles learned and performed on a professional basis.

It is also in this field that young singers learn routine, sight singing, ensemble singing: basically everything they need for a well-rounded musical formation as they enter the profession. This repertoire is also part and parcel for orchestral musicians in Germany and Austria. The majority of players in the Bavarian State Orchestra and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, all have their positions in the ensembles of the bigger churches in Munich and Salzburg.

Maestro Zubin Mehta told me that he played in orchestras on Sundays in Vienna for years as a student and learned all the repertoire needed for this field which he regularly conducts today. Many players also form their own private ensembles e.

Ensemble Lodron from the BSO , which provide the opportunity for the large number of excellent amateur choirs to perform big oratorio concerts on a professional basis. I believe that we can learn from the German tradition in this regard which would enable us to develop a rounder and more elegant art of vocalisation before we plunge into the study of opera. It is also essential repertoire of great depth and beauty that will enrich us as artists. I would suggest that a conservatory perform this repertoire including the masses and other liturgical works at least twice a year in conjunction with the Christian calendar i.

An introduction to opera's voice types (The Royal Opera)

This will benefit the orchestral players at an institution as well and equip them with essential repertoire should they plan on going to Europe. It is a good idea to familiarise oneself with the standard repertoire in the original language according to one's voice type during formal studies in Australia. There are many pieces that can be shared by basses, bass-baritones and baritones, so one should not be disturbed that the word bass is always used in the voice-part descriptions of many works. Pieces such as Ein deutsches Requiem of J. The works of Bach when performed at A pitch tend to sit quite high for a bass and often require a baritone even though the word bass appears in the vocal score.

Suggested basic repertoire. Composer and Work J. Bach Magnificat. Mendelssohn Elijah St Paul Lobgesang. Dvorak Stabat Mater Requiem. Brahms A German Requiem. Orff Carmina Burana: a major secular concert repertoire work in classical Latin not church Latin. Specialist careers in certain repertoire and roles such as a coloratura Sop and Mezzo Sop if you have an outstanding talent. Dramatic voices in all categories.

All these voice types are very rare. This depends upon when one finishes one's studies. I would suggest starting immediately after a completed course of study. For lyric voices one should do their best to find an engagement before the age of thirty. For the rare dramatic voices the age limit is far more flexible. Stadttheater Augsburg - Augsburg City Theatre. What is the usual vocal-career life span for all the voice categories especially female voices and lyric voices?

Once again this is varied. The very light voices need to find an engagement well under thirty and generally speaking can look forward to a career of up to fifteen years. This does not mean their voices are finished. It is much cheaper for the management to get a relatively inexpensive graduate than an experienced artist who is ten years older. Tenors who remain lyric can expect to make it through till they are forty-five. It is hard to really define things in this regard one can only speak generally. If a tenor has a lyrico-spinto or dramatic voice or is a German heroic tenor then he has much better chances of finding engagements and having a singing career into his early sixties.

The same goes for the big bass voices. Baritones who can sing Verdi and Wagner also stand a good chance at having a long career. The lighter voices in these categories also can have difficulties finding permanent engagements after thirty-five. It is sad to experience singers who are looking for engagements around the forty mark who don't really have a chance of finding something permanent again, especially if they have family commitments. The dramatic voices are simply a very different kettle of fish.

The career of the distinguished Australian soprano Elizabeth Whitehouse started quite late. There is no age limit for such voices as they are so rare managements are delighted to have you on their books generally speaking. Everybody's fate is different; one has to trust one's instinct and judgement in these matters. I know of singers who started a successful solo career after fifty. What does a singer need to maintain a major international "A" house guesting career singing Verdi, Wagner, Puccini and Strauss etc.

The appropriate big, resonant and solid voice required for this repertoire.

The Business of Singing - European auditions

Rock solid reliability as a musician. A healthy and a robust constitution. To have a high level of consistency in performance no matter what obstacles present themselves. One must be able to really stand up and deliver at least three times per week in the major houses of the world. He caught the first flight to Hamburg the next morning to be in time for the 10am general rehearsal of Boris Godunov at the Staatsoper. The next morning he flew back to Hamburg for the premier.

Call Numbers

Another invincible and impervious artist is the Italian baritone Paolo Gavanelli. In a recent conversation Paolo related to me what the outsatnding baritone Giuseppe Taddei said to him some years ago. I have witnessed such feats with these two fine artists on stage and in rehearsal regularly. The ability to work amiably with producers, conductors and colleagues in an ensemble is also necessary.

The virtue of composure that is required during the long rehearsal phase of a new production and all the stress caused by travelling and living in hotels. Das Festspielhaus Bayreuth - Bavaria. Types of career possibilities in Europe. Major "A" house international career any where from years singing major roles in big repertoire:.

Guest Post: How I Moved to Germany as a Singer

Respectable international circuit career in "A" houses singing lighter repertoire:. Baroque, Classical and Early Romantic composers also contemporary music. German 'B' house guest contract career in major repertoire anywhere from 5 years:. A tenured contract is something very rare and almost impossible to receive in this day and age. Susanne, a fine mezzo-soprano, who is a graduate of Sydney Conservatorium, deserves to have her name registered in the Guinness Book of Records under the chapter "Unbelievable feats in the world of opera!

Her case is a rarity: legally a singer has to be informed by the 31st of October in the thirteenth season that the contract will not be tenured. With a two year contract that will not be extended, a singer has to be officially informed before the end of the first season.