Okay, I know this title is misleading. It’s not that easy, but I will show you five easy steps that have helped me to become the opera singer that I am today. Here are some inside tips on that have changed my life.
So, What are the Five Steps on How to Become an Opera Singer?
1. Find a Good Teacher
This step is paramount! And the most important word here is “good.” So, how do you not only find a teacher, but make sure he or she is good?
Google! Go online and google “voice teachers in my area,” or something along those lines. Also, one of the best resources is your closest university or performing arts program. They almost always have some sort of voice program with Full time faculty members.
And the best part about being able to find these teachers online is they usually have a bio.
Two Things I Look For in a Teacher’s Bio
- Did they have a singing career – this is not as important, as many good singers don’t have big careers for a multitude of reasons, but it can be helpful.
- Who else have they taught? – This is an excellent question to ask if it isn’t already on their bio. If they have successful students, you could be on of them!
Okay, this step is BY FAR the most important step there is. When I was in college, I practiced all day and all night (with of course a few parties in between). But I practiced like I would die if I didn’t. I went to my classes, went to my voice lessons, then came home and shared what I learned that day with my brother, he shared what he learned with me, we practiced at the piano, listened to great singers and just soaked up all of the information we could.
Within four years of this type focus and study I was accepted into my first apprenticeship.
I don’t think I can emphasize this enough. This is the single most important step of becoming an opera singer. You will be practicing for the rest of your career.
3. Work on Your Languages
You are judged very harshly on your language skills once you start you’re auditioning. So here is my advice to you.
If french is your worst language, study it. That was the case with me, and I’m glad I studied it a lot, because I sing a lot of french repertoire. Take your worst language and work hard on it.
I have seen amazing voices be passed up because their languages were terrible.
When you have excellent diction, it not only boosts your confidence, but it shows your audience or judges that you have put the work in and you are somebody they want to work with.
People don’t want to work with lazy people, and if your diction is lazy, they likely will think you are. eek.
And you really never know which languages you’ll be asked to sing in. Usually it is French, German, Italian, or English. I’ve personally sung in 11 different languages. It’s good to get a jumpstart now.
Okay, so at this point, you’ve been studying for years and are ready to start your auditioning. This is where appearance really comes in to play.
First of all, your size and look shouldn’t matter. This is a very hot button issue today. If you don’t believe me, go read my friend Katie’s BBC article here.
Be strong and confident knowing you are beautiful and handsome the way you are! First impressions are important, however, so a few tips to do your best to be as “marketable” as possible whether your a gq model or you’ve never put on any type of formal wear in your life:
Get a piece of clothing that fits you. The best advice I got from my teacher about this was, you can get the cheapest suit you want, but get it tailored. A well tailored suit will look just like one of those expensive ones. And he knew, his closet was full of Armani and Dolce!
I usually go to Men’s wearhouse, get a cheap suit, and when they tailor it, they will take those modifications in and out for life, as well as do free pressing no matter where you are. This is awesome when you live out of a suitcase and need your suit pressed. They’ll do it for free! Women, do the same. If a suit or dress doesn’t quite fit perfectly, spend the money and get it altered to fit like a glove!
The next step after you find something that fits you perfectly and is your style is headshots.
Get quality headshots. When I say quality, I mean a real professional photographer. Take a look at my Gallery page to see what a professional set of headshots look like. Below is a side by side of my first headshot and a professional one.
The first of is nice, but unclear and a little cheap looking. My style is lazy and it doesn’t say much about me except I have a nice smile 🙂 The second one is a much more professional look. It shows a lot more personality and style.
Many times a photographer with a good eye will guide you with styling to make you look best. Not to mention photoshopping skills to get rid of the zit you woke up with the morning of your shoot!
Here’s some links to a few of my friends who I know give quality headshots. Trust me they are worth the money!
- Simon Pauly – He’s the genius who did my headshots! Can’t say enough good things about him!
- Alison Woomer – an old friend of mine who does killer work!
- Gillian Cotter – Amazing Opera singer and artist who has an Amazing eye for headshots!
When all else fails, and you can’t afford a good headshot, at the very least google as many tips you can on making your own headshots, and find a friend with portrait mode on their phone! lol
5. Recordings and Auditioning
I’m lumping these two together because you can’t get an audition without some type of recording. This, like headshots, makes a big difference if the recording quality is great. Find a good hall to sing in, with a good pianist and piano. You don’t necessarily need great recording equipment, but I would buy a good voice recorder at the very least. And now, they have some pretty great microphones you can attach into your cell phone so you can take great audio with video.
Once you are ready and have your package set up. You are vocally ready, you have five pieces that you sing well and show off your voice, you have nice headshots, you have some good recordings, it is time to send your materials out into the world.
YAPTracker.com is one of the first places to start to apply for apprenticeships, competitions, and opera programs. You can also google different opera companies.
For instance, if you lived in Dallas and wanted to see if they were holding auditions, go to the Dallas Opera Website and search around. They have a great competition every year I know.
One more piece of Advice
I suppose this could be tip number six. Don’t give up! It will get hard. People will pass you up. You will be rejected a lot. But don’t give up! Let that be your fire. Let everyone else quit around you and stay strong. Oh and one more thing…
Practice More! By the time you get lucky enough to be heard, you will be so prepared! I hope these five “easy” steps will show you how become an opera singer!
Thank you so much for reading, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and as always feel free to check out my music! What extra advice or questions do you have? Add it in the comment section!