January 2017

The Real Deal : Maestro Riccardo Frizza

A regular on the podium at La Scala, the Met, and San Francisco Opera, Italian conductor Riccardo Frizza makes his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut this month with Bellini’s Norma. Frizza has made a name for himself in the Italian operatic repertoire, and in this Classical Singer exclusive, he shares his thoughts on Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini, and some of their greatest arias. He also gives his advice for that first sing-through with a conductor and how to deal with those first-time jitters.

The Singer’s Library : Inside the (Singing) Actor’s Studio—Grooming Smarter Actors

Read about a book discussing vocal performance in music theatre from a new perspective—the singing actor.

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.

Music Major Minute : Summer Opera Festivals: A Student's Secret Weapon

A new summer program in Mexico offers singers the opportunity to sing full roles with orchestra and compete for cash prizes. Read about its inaugural year and meet the lone American among the 94 singers who attended.

What a Singer Needs

Welcome to this year’s summer program issue! Each year, as I review programs (the exceptional ones, the mediocre ones, and the sometimes bad ones) and singers’ experiences (also exceptional, mediocre,

Hiatus: When a Gap is a Good Thing : An interview with Ann Baltz, founder and artistic director of OperaWorks, about the program's 2017 year off.

OperaWorks celebrated 30 successful years in 2016. And after that, their board of directors voted to take a year off. Why pause one of the most smooth-running, influential summer programs in the country? Because there simply isn’t time or energy to make bigger plans happen when running three other programs.

Where I Last Got Paid to Sing : Who is Bombay Rickey?

Read about a coloratura soprano who joined forces with fellow musicians to create a band that is now traveling the world.

Perseverance and Passion

Katharine Ball’s determination is impressive to say the least. As a young singer, despite being sight-impaired, she did not hesitate to develop her talents in competitive environments. Have a look at a dramatic soprano with a long list of inspiring accomplishments.

The Gift She Gave Me

Cuddle up with this short story on a cold January day. Its point of view might make you think more deeply about your performance motivations.

The Loaded Weight Question

Should singers be asked to list their weight on an application for a Young Artist Program? Programs who do ask the question explain why—including one program that will be removing the question for the 2017 audition season.

SingThrough Central : Playing a Key Role in Role Preparation

Twelve years ago pianist and coach Susan Morton decided to assemble an entire cast of singers to do an opera sing-through to help one of her students learn a role. That moment of inspiration has turned into a full-fledged program helping singers to achieve a more thorough and complete preparation.