Cindy Sadler

Cindy Sadler

Cindy Sadler is a professional singer, teacher, writer, director, and consultant. She is the founder and director of Spotlight on Opera, a community opera troupe and training program in Austin, Texas. Upcoming engagements include Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro with the Jacksonville Symphony, alto soloist in Messiah with the Boise Philharmonic, and Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance with Portland Opera. For more information, please visit and

Taking a Closer Look at ‘Vanity Companies’

The world of opera is becoming ever more innovative as it adapts to changing audiences, competition for the entertainment and donation dollar, and the way people consume art. Singers have responded to these challenges as well, creating work for themselves and their colleagues through startup opera companies. A few years ago, Cindy Sadler wrote about a number of these small organizations on her blog, including one of the most successful: Boston Opera Collaborative. With the Classical Singer Convention headed to the historic city this year, we’re revisiting the article and checking in with these singer-led ventures.

Ugliness in the House of Beauty : Sexual Harassment in the Classical Singing Industry

Stories of sexual harassment have been making the news daily as the #MeToo movement continues to topple predators in nearly every industry. But what about classical singing? Does sexual harassment happen in our own industry? Hear from singers who bravely share their own experiences and find out ways others can speak up if they have been or become victims too.

Shoperatic : Divas Who Hustle

Have an interest in exploring entrepreneurism outside of singing? Discover the options presented by Shoperatic and find support in this blossoming community.

Ask Erda : Program Problems and How to Handle Them

What should you do if you find yourself at a summer program that just isn’t delivering on its promises or giving you what you need? Read how to respond in a professional manner—as well as how to avoid ending up in the situation in the first place.

Following His Heart: : Michael Chioldi

From humble and happy beginnings, baritone Michael Chioldi has enjoyed a remarkable career in many of the world’s greatest opera houses. Though initially unsure of his path, he discovered quickly that he was meant for the stage. Thanks to the guidance and care of his early teachers and his personal dedication, his career progressed rapidly. Chioldi continues to deeply inspire and impact audiences. With a performance calendar full through 2019, his future is one to watch.

Becoming Blalock

After a big break came his way in a major world premiere, tenor Jonathan Blalock has continued to develop a successful niche for himself in new music. Blalock credits much of his abilities to sing modern music to his experiences when he was young and singing tight harmonies with his musical family. But even with all that natural ability, Blalock has worked hard to get where he is. A bold social media user, Blalock tweets and blogs and uses Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook to connect with colleagues and fans—connections that are paying off.

Ask Erda : When They Say You Aren’t and You Can’t and You Are and You Should

What do you do when someone you love tells you you’re a failure because you’ve chosen a path they don’t see as worthwhile or because they don’t think you’re successful? Learn how to honestly evaluate their words and then set appropriate and healthy boundaries.

Ask Erda: : Shark-Proofing for Singers

As singers start their careers, it can often seem that anyone and everyone wants their money. Knowing how and where to spend your valuable dollars requires educating yourself. Cindy lays out the resources for getting the information you need here.

Ask Erda : From Student to Pro— Five Ways to Make a Successful Transition

Making the leap from student to professional can be challenging. Find out why, along with five spot-on tips sure to give you a leg up.

Ask Erda : Protection for Independent Singers

What do you do when problems arise on the job? What protection is available for singers who work as independent contractors? From getting a contract to what the contract should say to holding the other party to said contract, find out how to protect yourself and your interests.

Ask Erda: : If Sports Were Reported Like Opera

What kinds of things would an opera authority report on if reviewing a sporting event? Cindy Sadler, while lamenting the sad state of many an opera review due to the loss of truly informed critics, tried her hand at just that: reporting on the 2014 World Series.

Ask Erda: : Why You Shouldn’t Sing for Your Supper

Agreeing to sing for free can have bigger ramifications than just leaving your pockets empty. Knowing your worth and professionally asking for it helps you and all other singers in the business.