A Professional Opera Singer’s Life – The Inside Story

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  2. August 30, 2011 9:26 pm

By Margaret Cooke

The truth is that to “make it” as a professional opera singer involves a lot of study, practice and dedication and most professionals will not set foot on a stage until they have been training for at least 10 years.

Whether an opera singer is preparing for a live opera performance, opera gala, singing at a wedding, providing operatic entertainment for a corporate event or doing a Singing Waiter performance or ‘gig’ (as it is called in the profession), there is a lot of preparation that takes place beforehand in order for the performance to come across as effortless, stylish and enjoyable to an audience.

If an opera singer is singing in an opera, they often know well in advance what they will be performing, as well as when and where they are doing it. It can sometimes be as long as a year or more in advance of the performance that an opera singer will be offered a role. This gives them ample time to prepare for it; learning the music, the words (which can be in several different languages) researching the character, time period and anything else they need to do to feel polished and prepared.

However, sometimes it can be a completely different story. A singer might fall ill, and suddenly the singer gets a call asking if they can step-in at short notice. This could happen months, weeks or even days in advance. Sometimes, it even happens on the day itself! Many well-known operatic names have got their “big break” this way.

When an opera singer performs in an Opera Gala, at a wedding, corporate event or Singing Waiter performance, it is much more usual to rehearse and perform on the day of the performance. Often they are very familiar with the repertoire, and sometimes they arrive and the first time they perform that particular programme is on that very day. When an opera singer does these one-off performances, it is much more likely they have had to step in at the last minute, so they have to constantly make sure that their sight reading is up to scratch!

Doing a job as a Singing Waiter is quite easy in some respects, as an opera singer doesn’t need to worry about costumes as they are dressed as waiters. The same goes for Christmas carol singing, where they normally perform in traditional Christmas Carol outfits.

For corporate entertainment performances it can be anything; from Singing Waiters to full opera gala costume. At times a corporate entertainment performance will have a theme in the sense that the client wants a certain “look” whether it is traditional gala dresses or “Phantom of the Opera” theme. It all depends on what the client wants.

Whatever the occasion, rest assured that an audience will always be enthralled by their magical singing!

Visit http://www.operabespoke.co.uk/singing_waiters.html for more information on singing waiters as surprise entertainment for corporate events, weddings and private parties.

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