I’ve been meaning to link to this for a while: a post on Sequenza21 titled The Conservatory. It’s on my mind these days as we listen to auditions for the Wolf Trap Opera Studio. I’m one of those oddballs who believes that (for most people), conservatory is not the best choice for an undergraduate. We heard a range of undergrads today (plus a few first-year grad students), and we heard some wonderful young singers who chose to do their undergrad work at universities and liberal arts colleges. Guess I’ve just seen too many musicians get burnt out by the time they get their B.M.
Like all advice, it’s not standard issue, and it’s not as simple as it sounds. There are those 18-year-olds who identify so strongly with their art that they can’t imagine any other way spending the next 4 years other than being immersed in it. And that’s perfectly fine. These paragraphs are for the rest of you – just so you aren’t necessarily harming your potential career by waiting until grad school for conservatory.
It was great fun being in Houston, visiting with all manner of friends and colleagues. I met another regular reader and commenter on this blog. It’s a small world and getting smaller all the time.
Church Camp and Hot Dogs
Studio auditions include a monologue. It’s the rare singer who can communicate a clear sense of him/herself at 21 or 22. Stepping away from the technique and into the mother tongue for a minute or so gives that singer a chance to come alive for us in a different way.
For the opera audition committee, it’s the equivalent of a palate cleanser. A theatrical sorbet. I think I enjoy these diversions a little too much – particularly the church camp and hot dog man excerpts…
We’ll be in Los Angeles on Tuesday. The Southwest Airlines counter is decorated for Halloween tonight, and a festive spirit rules at Hobby Airport.