Originally Posted by NickyBass
Anyone else have any advise/info/stories/etc?
There aren't many companies in the US which pay a livable salary, and when those positions come open they are very competitive. The best thing you can do is be very serious about playing the bass as well as you can and keep working to improve your abilities.
I love playing operas, but I wouldn't want to limit myself given that there are so few positions available and so many other great opportunities as a classically-trained bassist. If you're not adverse to leaving the country, there are many more fantastic opera companies in Europe worth auditioning for if they're ever open to international candidates.
You should also try to get on the sub list for any opera companies in your area. I've had the good fortune to play with the Houston Grand Opera for several productions and it has always been immensely gratifying and educational. They don't call often enough to pay the bills, but when they do the money is good and the music is amazing.