·Age discrimination is illegal–but not in the field of classical singing! Any thoughts on this? ·Have you noticed any difference in how too-young, or too-old singers are treated in various
Learning and perfecting roles is expensive, so it pays to be a smart consumer. Several companies now offer recordings to help singers study and save money. How useful are these study aids? Can they replace or supplement coachings? In a three part series, Classical Singer asks a panel of professional singers to use the products to study or learn roles within their own voice categories. The panel includes a young artist in a distinguished apprenticeship program; established, managed singers; and a well-established international artist. Following are their comments and ratings.
Science has not been idle when it comes to the study of aging. Singers interested in a long career might do well to get started on some of these suggestions early.
Our sample phone survey showed that, in general, opera companies, apprenticeships and competitions do not seem to know the laws set forth in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), or to believe that the laws apply to the arts. Should singers start lawsuits when they aren’t hired, or fired and suspect the decision is age-related? We think there is a better way to make changes.
We asked John Wehrle, Artistic Administrator of Utah Opera, to comment on how age, marriage and/or children affect hiring decisions. Many companies think singers can’t handle frank talk like this, so singers are left in the dark. We are grateful to Utah Opera for trusting C.S. readers.
Men who feel physically and vocally ready to perform certain roles have trouble getting past the age barrier on the other side: seeming too young! Believe it or not, this can also be a barrier for women.
Classical Singer is always looking for stories of singers who start successful careers later in life. Soprano Martile Rowland was not available to be interviewed for this article so we contacted her friend and coach Benton Hess for the story.
We knew that doing an issue on age and career longevity would have fairly broad appeal, but the response was nothing short of overwhelming. 145 pages of responses!
Our solution was to include some responses in the article below, with the rest posted on the website. Our thanks to all who participated.
We are very excited to bring you the first issue of CLASSICAL SINGER MAGAZINE (formerly The New York Opera Newsletter), covering a topic which has been asked over and over:
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