News & Views
Audition Oracle – Thu 23 Nov 2023 @ 16:23
You have approximately 10 seconds to make the cut!
Opera companies receive vast numbers of CVs for a very limited amount of audition slots. Make sure your most relevant credits are easily visible. In the UK & many other countries, a one-page CV is often all you need. Spreading your CV over 2, 3 or 4 pages risks employers missing out on your best work.
1. TELL US WHO YOU ARE
2. HYPERLINK TO VIDEO AND AUDIO FILES
- Upload to Vimeo, YouTube, Soundcloud or similar
- Videos - the eyes are so important to communication, so make sure they are visible, and open
- Take down old videos/recordings that no longer serve you
- Avoid over-processed demos
- Listen back. Make friends with your voice
3. PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT
- Make sure it’s an honest representation of you
- Again, it’s all in the eyes
- Keep it simple – elegant clothing, no props and scenery
- Avoid the overly glamorous, stylised and processed
- Cropped to head and shoulders
4. FUTURE AND RECENT EXPERIENCE
- Display role, work, company, director, conductor, and year.
- Use tables to display your credits in tidy columns
- Include the composer if the work is less well-known or is new
- Does your experience make sense?
- Are noticeable gaps briefly explained?
- Is the experience included relevant?
5. FURTHER RELEVANT EXPERIENCE
6. AWARDS: COMPETITIONS AND SCHOLARSHIPS
7. TRAINING AND EDUCATION
10. THE FINAL EDIT
- Format check
- Information check
- Does it all fit comfortably on one page? Allow yourself two sides only if necessary
- Give the file a helpful name; name, voice type, date
- And finally, save your CV as a PDF file
Portfolio career is a term we hear all the time now. Tailor CVs to your different work strands, only combining them when appropriate to the opportunity. Now you're all prepped with your elegant, clear and concise CV, visit the Audition Oracle auditions page and search all the latest opera auditions, masterclasses, training opportunities, young and emerging artist programmes and so much more.
Audition Oracle – Thu 9 Nov 2023 @ 14:57
1/3 of the world’s opera is produced in Germany
Differences between working in opera in the United Kingdom and Germany
An observership or internship as a route into directing opera
Young Artists Programmes
Audition Oracle – Fri 3 Nov 2023 @ 15:46
“Your biggest audition is the last job that you did” – Audition Oracle at OperaWorks
Working with seasonal, smaller opera companies - Bill Bankes-Jones and Guy Verrall-Withers
On Tuesday 24th October, Audition Oracle attended OperaWorks at Chelsea Theatre in London, a conference and professional development day created by Opera Prelude for emerging young artists. Guy Verrall-Withers, Artistic Director & CEO of Waterperry Opera Festival co-hosted a seminar with Bill Bankes-Jones, Artistic Director of Tête à Tête discussing smaller seasonal opera companies and how they provide early career singers with opportunities to grow and learn, as well as some do’s and don’ts to help emerging artists embark on a successful and fulfilling career.
Waterperry Opera Festival
Waterperry Opera Festival is located in Oxfordshire and, deliberately, is active in August, traditionally the dead time in the opera industry where most performances pause. The panel explained that it is no secret that a career as a singer is difficult and most cannot expect a career where they are working all the time, however, they both advised to consider and plan for a portfolio career, for which seasonal opportunities (especially those which don't clash with other festivals) work perfectly!
However, having a varied portfolio career needs research! “Every company you work with will offer you a different type of opportunity” explains Guy, and each company will be looking for a different specification, for instance, smaller companies might be more attracted to a more diverse CV with more unusual skills, for instance, circus skills, dance abilities, clowning, stage combat. Guy continues to explain that in his audition process, “I am looking for the best person for each project, rather than just the best singer out there!” Do your research and make sure you know what the company is aiming to achieve when you audition, it is not just about having a superb voice, “Just Google the company!” says Guy. And likewise, Guy urges the audience to make sure their online presence reflects who they are, as companies do Google singers too. If you don’t have a website, it is likely that the searcher will resort to social media, so make sure both reflect who you are and be careful about what you say.
Tête à Tête
Tête à Tête is an opera company based in Cornwall but operating in North Tyneside, London and online as well as Cornwall. Committed to new operas and creating work, Tête à Tête has premiered over 100 operas and helped others in the creation of their works (almost 600 of them) in the annual Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival. Not only that but Tête à Tête also hosts the largest archive of new operas in the world, which are available to watch online, free of charge! Bill Bankes-Jones, Artistic Director of Tête à Tête, talks about the importance of knowing your market, not only knowing what you like and what suits you, but then presenting the right image to the right person. Don’t sing a Verdi aria in an audition for a new opera, whilst it might be fantastic and wonderfully sung, it doesn’t show any interest or commitment to new works, or the ability to handle the musical challenges that often come with new works. However, only by experimenting and trying new ways and methods of creating opera will you find out what suits you, and Bill advises in your formative years to simply “try everything you can.”
It takes a lot to be a successful singer
The panel empathise with emerging singers, finding work isn’t easy, and we all know that determination and resilience are key components to be a successful singer, alongside the actual singing. However, the best advice for finding work was getting re-employed and sustaining those connections you have already forged. Bill states, “Your biggest audition is the last job that you did. Did you turn up on time? Were you well prepared?” Being a good colleague, organised, kind etc. has been a constant theme of all of today’s discussion and Guy reiterates the importance of a good reputation, I will speak to those people who run companies that are present on your CV and ask what you were like, and if that answer is negative, it is likely that will be enough information to give the opportunity to another person.
It takes a lot to be a successful singer, and there is a huge amount of empathy for just how demanding it is. It can feel an enormous amount to take in and be constantly focussing on, however, Bill summarised and condensed it beautifully, by stating “pay attention! And be hungry to be a better artist.”