July 2002

Singing is a way of Thinking : An Interview with Tenor Ramon Vargas

The first time I saw Ramon Vargas on stage was in 1999 at the Vienna State Opera, as Edgardo in “Lucia di Lammermoor.” That season, he also sang Nemorino in “L’Elisir d’amore,” so I had the good fortune to witness unforgettable performances of two very different bel canto roles. I was a student at the Viennese Academy of Performing Arts, and little did I know that my encounter with this complex and generous artist would completely change my perspective on singing and on life in general. Perhaps we have all had the chance to meet—at some point in our lives—an extraordinary individual who becomes a mentor, a source of inspiration, and someone whose wisdom and knowledge help us grow not only as artists, but also as human beings.
When I suggested to Mr. Vargas that I would like to share with other singers and non-singers a “condensed” version of the many discussions we have had on the topic of singing and life as an artist, he agreed without hesitation. It is a great honor for me to present this interview as a glimpse into the mind of one of our greatest singers today.

Nedda’s aria “Stridono lassu” from Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci

Understanding the nuances of Nedda's defiant aria provides power and pathos to the soprano's performance.

Tax Tips for Singers : Retirement?

Money may be tight but that’s one of the best reasons to start saving now for retirement: it may not get better! Singers are doing it on a shoestring and here’s how.

Ask Erda : The Rules on Copyrighting

Erda, the erstwhile earth goddess from Das Rheingold and Siegfried with knowledge of past and future, now visits CS readers with her knowledge, foresight and wisdom. To ask Erda, write to askerda@classicalsinger.com

Decoding the Lead Sheet

A First Glimpse into Popular/Jazz Syles for the Classically-Trained Singer

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor: Are there any jobs for singers in fabulous vocal shape, gorgeous looking or over 50? CS becomes less and less useful as all auditions and other jobs are

Who has the Power?

Those of you who are receiving the e-mails we send out monthly will know that we asked you to send in your questions for an interview with Joseph Volpe, general

Bulletin Board

AGMA MEMBERSHIP EXPANDING AGMA recently reported that its membership has grown by 45% in the last two years. Membership in February 2000 was 4,644; it currently stands at 6,748. Choristers

So You Want to Sing the National Anthem?

It won’t bring you fame or money, but there is a certain thrill in singing the National Anthem to a crowd of sports enthusiasts. Each year, thousands of amateur and

O Say Can you Sing?

The National Anthem is sung at ball fields all summer long. Often you feel the need to run down there and help them out! How does a trained classical singer get that job? Whether doing it for love or for money, here's how!

Competition Checklist

Every year thousands of singers enter competitions. Some enter for the experience of performing. Others enter hoping to win money; hoping for that sparkling “FIRST PLACE” on their resume that

What Went Wrong with the Marjorie Lawrence Competition : OMTI's rebuttal

In the July, 2002 issue of Classical Singer, we published an article called "What Went Wrong with the Marjorie Lawrence Competition". Opera Music Theater Int'l, the company who sponsored the competition, wrote Classical Singer a letter of rebuttal on that article.

What went wrong with the Marjorie Lawrence Competition? : A Look at a Vocal Competition Controversy

IN THE WAKE of what should have been a glorious moment, the winners of the Marjorie Lawrence International Vocal Competition found themselves feeling confused, a little foolish, and a lot betrayed. After spending time and money to compete against 60 rival singers, those who came out on top were denied their prize money as well as access to the one man who could explain why—organizer James McCully.