06 August, 2008

downsizing and other musings

This shouldn't be so tough, since I lived the majority of last year out of two suitcases..but that was just clothes.
All I required on those gigs were current-gig-score, audition-binder, and maybe next-gig-score.

Now that I have the opportunity to live in NYC for half a year--what music will I bring with me?
Music in the 'I'm going to learn this role' pile?
Music in the 'I should learn these cantatas' pile?
Music in the 'I photocopied this aria 3 years ago and wanted to add it to my audition binder' pile?

A smattering of all of the above will travel with me, but I also don't want to live among boxes of music, and I know that I have the NYPAL at my fingertips--literally--8 blocks away.

Also, 'tis the season of figuring out who I'm going to ask for recommendations.
Oooohhhhhhh..recommendations- a necessary evil (for companies) and very very...just plain evil.. for singers who are no longer in school, are graduates of young artist programs and year round residencies, and have begun the career of a young professional.
This does not age them out of still participating in programs and residencies that could offer continued training, high level visibility, the opportunity to work with a new set of coaches, conductors, directors and colleagues, etc. etc.
The value of these programs for singers at any early stage of their career is very high and important.

As I haven't been in an academic or apprentice setting since a year and a half ago, I suppose I'm left to ask colleagues from the main stage--conductors, directors, etc.

More and more often, in the lists of young artist participants in summer programs and year-round programs, I'm seeing managed singers, singers who already have a pretty steady regional career and gigs for the next 2 years, in the mix.

When I was a youngster I used to ask myself why these singers would want to stay in the young artist game? Yes, they're mostly all under 30 and, by the rules, have a right to apply and get in. But I thought once a little career momentum began, it wouldn't be so tough for them to just go out there and try to keep doing it.
I see now that it's more and more common, even for someone that is booked through 2010 in leading roles, to accept a young artist position at prestigious summer programs and year round residencies, and make more contacts with more people that will most likely lead to more hiring in the future.

Which begs the questions--
Can you just go it alone based solely on your voice and your resume?
Or does it take a big named program to want to invest in you before others really start to take notice?

What's in a name....



Anonymous said...

Re: managed singers in YAPS et al...Is this a new trend, or what? =) I do not at all begrudge singers, at any stage, their right to pursue further education and training...but I can't help but see this possible "trend" and think "Where do I fit in?" It seems that if you didn't go to a big-name conservatory, it's harder and harder to get into even the "bottom level" YAPs. Le sigh...

me said...

Not sure if it's a trend...I just happen to read more bios and backgrounds these days since I'm going to a number of these performances.
It's a tough game no matter what, I suppose.
But the only thing we can do is keep kickin' butt at auditions :)