So You Think You Can Sing Opera?

In just over one week, we revisit last year’s wildly successful event, “So You Think You Can Sing Opera?”  Although some were skeptical about the format, the overwhelming feedback that we received from both the audience and the singers was very positive indeed.  In fact, MOST of the singers that really excelled actually took the time to drop us notes afterwards, thanking us for the opportunity to sing in front of an audience, as opposed to a director and a file cabinet.  Yes, I know the format is slightly irreverent, but it is by design.  As an audience, you get to experience (and participate) in a part of the opera world that you don’t regularly have access to.  We’re glad to give you a front row seat!  As a singer, you get the added electricity of a live audience.  How often do you receive immediate feedback after an audition, complete with applause meter?  How often do you get to invite your friends and colleagues to support you during an audition?  The benefits to our company are obvious.  Our product is not for the faint-of-heart.  Artists that perform with us must be able to prepare to a very high level on their own, and bring together a performance on an extremely limited rehearsal schedule,  without the benefit of staging, sets or costumes.  We can tell a whole lot about a singer, based on how they “roll with the punches” in this non-traditional format.

Audience…here’s what you can expect:

A very high level of vocal talent

  • our seemingly terse on-line application tells us more about our applicants than you might imagine.  Applicants are asked five simple questions, one of which is “Tell us something fun about yourself?”  You’d be amazed at how we can tell from that simple question, who is a good fit for our format.  Hint…inserting your resume is not fun
  • A wonderful opportunity to hear a variety of opera arias, accompanied ever so beautifully by our resident orchestra, James Harp.  Occasionally, you’ll hear several different approaches to the same aria.

A beautiful venue

  • The Grand Ballroom at the Engineers Club is worth the price of admission.
  • Cash bar + opera auditions + gorgeous 1850’s mansion = great date.

Here are some promotional pieces that we put together this year, that utilized performances from last year’s auditions…many thanks to the gracious performers who allowed us to use this footage!  (Incidentally, everyone highlighted in these spots was hired!)

First, our CAV/PAG promo, featuring Jimi James, Kevin Courtemanche, Sara Stewart and the great James Harp

One of the stand-out performances last year…Tim Augustin, singing “A te O Cara.”

And one of my favorites…Matt Curran, taking one for the team:

Contestants, here’s what you can expect:

The most fun you’ve ever had at an audition!

  • We’re a friendly crowd, and we want to see you do well!

A chance to hear your colleagues

  • Rather than listening through the walls at NOLA studios, you can grab a seat!

Finally, contestants….here are some answers to some FAQ’s:

Why was I chosen for a private afternoon audition, and not as part of the live event?

  • you were chosen for an audition.  MANY were not.  We were unable to accommodate a large number of our applicants.  Many who were chosen for the afternoon sessions were chosen because 1)we already know you, and have performed with you…so no need to see how you perform in front of a crowd. 2) we have to keep a balance of voice types and repertoire for the evening events.

Will the afternoon auditions be at the Engineers Club as well?

  • Indeed, all auditions will take place in our lovely venue at the Engineers Club.

Where do I park?

  • Street parking is readily available, but if you are unable to locate parking, other options are available here.

What is the dress-code?

  • The dress code at the Engineers Club is business casual.  Men, no jeans…please…of course, you wouldn’t wear jeans to an audition, would you?  Ladies and Gentlemen…this is not a formal event, no need to break out the gowns, unless you are only happy singing in a gown.

Will there be warm-up spaces provided?

  • Yes, we will have several rooms available, check in at the front desk, and you will be given instructions.

A few other details that come to mind.

-If you are singing for us in the afternoon, you should have received your assigned times.

– If you are singing for us in the evening, we have notified you as to which half of the evening you will be singing on, final order is yet to be determined.  Please arrive no later than 1/2 hour prior to the beginning of the event, unless you are singing on the second half.

Please bring friends.  Seriously, how often do you get to bring your friends and colleagues to support you at an audition?

-If you are singing in the afternoon, you are welcome to join us in the evening, we will add your name to a comp list.  If you are singing on Monday evening, feel free to join us on Tuesday…and vice versa.

-Please be aware that more often than not, WE will be choosing your first aria.  This is necessary for a number of reasons.  Occasionally, artists will be given a choice.

-There is NO NEED to bring scores from your “Roles Prepared” section of your application

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4 responses to “So You Think You Can Sing Opera?

  1. Can i just ask why do the auditions take place in an engineers club. Lol dosnt suite the theme in my opinion

    • Dear Blueskinnyjeans,

      All of our events take place in the wonderful Garrett-Jacobs mansion. We use the room how it would have been used back it Mrs. Garrett’s day (OK, she didn’t have an applause meter!) Seriously, it is one of the most stunning and intimate venues in town, and we’re lucky to have it. Without sets or costumes, the venue itself adds some “operatic opulence” and the versatility of the space makes it perfect. Our performances take place in the grand ballroom, but guests are able to mingle with board members and artists in the atrium during intermission. The “theme” is great singing, and any venue can suit that….give us a chance to change your opinion.

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