1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Opera work

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by NickyBass, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    I have been researching and speaking to people, but I would like to get some more opinions. I am currently making a list of goals, and would love to work towards finding a steady gig playing opera music (among other things). Does anyone have any expierience or knowledge that you could share about this? I am not looking for a top-tier opera company, but I would like to find a professional postion. This is part of my long term goal, but I want to start gathering as much info as I can.
  2. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    With the exception of the big boys like the Met and Lyric, many US companies are part time or drastically seasonal in nature. The majority of folks in these positions work other gigs and/or teach.

    Note that there is a totally different audition list from the orchestral side. Make sure you can nail Othello in your sleep!!!
  3. Europe has many more options for full-time opera companies. The UK alone has around 5 full time groups.
    The rep is entirely different as mentioned. See if you can get a hold of some Britten and Wagner parts, too.
    Performing with singers constantly is quite an enriching experience on whole.
  4. bassist14


    Oct 17, 2005
    But it becomes a little different after 50+ shows of The Fledermaus :atoz:
  5. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    Thanks for the replies guys! I am open to seasonal work. By 'steady', I just mean that I would like to be part of a company that performs every year; whether it be one month or twelve.
  6. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    Anyone else have any advise/info/stories/etc?
  7. 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.
  8. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    Thanks for the info, Paul. My main goal is to play more music that I love. Even if I can pick up a few gigs a year, I would be happy. My long term goals include other genres and situations, but opera is an area where I am just looking for more guidance from those who have experience.