A blog question and answer from last season:
Q: I had a teacher recently tell me not to apply to studio programs at larger companies (such as Wolf Trap) because, in her belief, if a young singer is heard by a large company before they are ready to be considered a full-fledged professional, then the singer will be “blacklisted” in a way and remembered always by the company as having a “young” technique.
A. I guess I may be kidding myself (possible), and I could be naive (likely). But companies like ours are in the business of monitoring singer growth, and we are pretty well acquainted with the general state of a young voice. We’re unlikely to forever saddle a developing singer with the characteristic rough edges of a developing technique. Do I believe that this approach is common to all panels for whom a young singer might audition? Well, I guess not. So I suppose a bit of caution is prudent.
So, are you ready to audition?
If you have been studying seriously for several years and are making progress, then the answer is a qualified yes. Unless you are going through a particularly rough technique re-building patch, it’s almost always wise to get out of the studio occasionally. There are times when we need to retreat into the safety of the practice room, but don’t let that become your default mode. “Ready” doesn’t mean “finished.” It’s all about choosing your opportunities wisely.
The resources I mentioned on Monday are helpful, for training programs and YAPs often describe their ideal artist profile in a way that will help you determine if you are at an appropriate level. But don’t let it stop at that. Ask your friends and colleagues, check with coaches and teachers, and do a little sleuthing yourself.
If a program/company in which you are interested posts former or current young artist names and bios on their website, spend some time taking their profiles apart. Have they finished grad school? What kinds of training programs (if any) have they already participated in? Are they active yet on the competition circuit? These kinds of questions will keep you from prematurely applying for a program or company for which you aren’t yet ready.
Tomorrow: S = (R + T) x LF