Joanie Brittingham

Joanie Brittingham

Joanie Brittingham is a soprano and writer living in New York City. She can be reached at joaniebrittingham@gmail.com. Visit her blog, Cure for the Common Crazy, at commoncrazy.blogspot.com or see her column, Big Apple Sauce, on the arts scene of New York, at the website JuicyHeads.com.


Sonya Yoncheva: An Artist Who Dares

Sonya Yoncheva is not afraid of taking risks. At the beginning of her career, she prepared a role unknown to her in only three days and repeated this practice with many other opera houses. She is also vocal in challenging the social traditions that exist in the opera world to create change for the next generation of opera singers. Read her thoughts on bridging the generational gap in opera, the value of family as a performing artist, and on being true to herself.

Personal Finance for Singers

Joanie Brittingham takes a hard look at the financial realties for singers—including salary realities and the heavy burden of student loan debt. She then offers tips for making ends meet when money is scarce.

Donor Relations for Singers

What kind of roles do donors play for opera companies? And what is a singer’s obligation to said donors? Find out here, including how to make small talk and when and what kind of thank you notes to write.

So You Want to Teach Voice: : How to Start Your Own Private Studio

From what to charge to how to find students to how to get them to pay and keep coming, established singers/teachers share the ins and outs of beginning a private studio.

Working with Managers

Five managers discuss what they look for in singers they sign to their rosters and the dos and don’ts for a good working relationship once signed.

Is a DMA For You?

Three singers who hold a doctorate of musical arts discuss the benefits, misperceptions, and challenges surrounding this degree.

So You Think You Can’t Dance

Does the thought of a musical theatre dance callback leave you shaking in your jazz shoes? Find out what you need to know to both prepare for and perform better at your next movement call.

Quitting a Gig

Singers and directors weigh in on the delicate art of canceling a gig, including when it’s OK and how to best mitigate the potential fallout.

Working with Difficult Conductors and Directors

What do you do when the diva isn’t a fellow singer but the conductor or stage director and there seems to be no pleasing them? Get practical advice from singers on how to remain professional and deal with difficult people in such situations.

Cultivating New Works: : American Lyric Theater

Singers have Young Artist Programs to help them make the leap from student to professional. But what about up-and-coming composers? How do they get the training needed to successfully write operas? A New York City-based organization is providing just such training.

Opera Moms

Singers who are mothers weigh in on the challenges and rewards of doing both.

From Student To Teacher : Marilyn Horne

Marilyn Horne is a true legend on the operatic and recital stages, as evidenced in the lengthy list of awards she has received. Now, as she approaches her 80th birthday, she continues to create another legacy beyond her stage career—a remarkable and legendary teaching career. Once a student at the Music Academy of the West, Horne has been the music director of the Academy for over 15 years where she continues to mentor, lead, and inspire the next generation of singers. Read about her commitment to both song and opera, how she got into teaching in the first place, and what she considers the greatest joys of being a teacher.