Wrote this a few weeks ago, over yonder on another classical singer discussion forum, but thought it was appropriate to post here, since I just did a run-down of US-based Yaps/reality of the business.
Why not hit Europe as well?
Just as a comparison and a possible statement on the 'state of things' here in Europe:
Between Aug.25-Dec.2nd of 2009 I had 10 auditions.
Aug.25-end of 2010: 3 with one more scheduled.
In the 'winter/spring' (Jan.-March-ish) audition season of 2009: 12.
'winter/spring' season of 2010: 4.
In addition, when I moved here in 2009, at THAT point singers were already saying the audition opportunities were fewer than 'normal', or 'the past'. (And yes, I moved here, I didn't do a 'European audition tour' with a US mailing address still on my resume).
It certainly seems like this may no longer be the place to 'wait it out' and then return to the good ole' USofA with 'roles under your belt', nor is it the place to get your foot in the door more easily.
(But we already knew that because we all read What The Fach, right??!!!! :) )
Advice to singers considering an 'audition tour':
Consider coming here seriously if you want to live a European lifestyle and STILL chase after every last opportunity/audition-- just like in the US. Yes, that means you may have to teach English, try to get a part time job (welcome to dealing with Foreign Visa offices), or be creative in the musical opportunities/other part time opportunities you seek out for yourself ALL while applying to house auditions/agent auditions...auf Deutsch.
Don't come here because your teachers and coaches said you should 'hit' Europe and you'll be 'perfect' for the types of houses and shows they do here.
To be frank, I don't really think that kind of opportunity exists here anymore, UNLESS you are interested in applying to the 'yaps' of European houses..upper age limit for most 28 (women), and median age of most of my colleagues singing in such programs- 24/25).
And yes, you get paid nearly nothing to do all of the barbarinas/anninas/papagenas that your hearts desire with no security that when you've put in your one or two years that you'll move into an ensemble position at that house.
Although I wasn't looking for this type of situation when I moved here, I know an equal number of young singers that have benefited from it (ie, moved up into the ensemble and have security in their job..although maybe not the best roles possible) and a matching number that were spit out into the 'real world' of trying to secure mainstage auditions for leading roles on their own after two years. They do have pretty perfect German though!