Taking the leap from freelance to full-time
Throughout my freelance life, more often than not, the workload-to-compensation ratio was astronomically out of balance, but it soon became apparent that this was more of the rule than the exception. And of course, most of us accept these conditions because this is how we get work and experience, in the hopes that it will lead to bigger and better gigs where that ratio will hopefully seem a little more civilized.Read More
Singers, it's the annual Tax Season Conundrum!
Unless you are fortunate enough to be a star in high demand you don't have to worry right? WRONG! Even then, you've got bills not limited to agent commissions, AGMA fees, health insurance, travel, rent sometimes in multiple locations and those dreaded gigs that don't line up in the calendar year in a foreign country... even out of state poses challenges depending on your official place of residence.Read More
Unpopular opinions: when "bravo!" kills the mood
Frankly, a "bravo" best follows an aria with a great high note near the end, or some stellar coloratura, or one of those spinning-to-the-bitter-end final notes that singers love to do in bel canto. In other cases, where an aria should leave you sunken in your seat, fading out into the sounds of a pin-drop silence, shouting "bravo" is just obscene.Read More
Conundrums: singing on command
I've heard countless responses to this request, from the benign, "I'm not warmed up," to the passive-aggressive, "Will you perform your job for me afterwards, then?" to the downright aggressive, "I'm not a performing monkey," and have admittedly offered a few of my own responses when I haven’t been in the mood to sing.Read More
Are the arts & other creative fields a waste of time & money?
Go ahead and get rid of all the music on your phone and elsewhere. When you go into stores, no music will be playing, and you won't be hearing any while you work out at the gym. If you've got tickets to a concert of any kind, throw those out. Musicians are artists, and you won't be needing any of that.Read More
A response to "our response"
So is it enough to simply lay down Bernstein's words every time tragedy strikes? No. And while beauty is important in art, art also must challenge, alert and stimulate its performers and listeners, opening our minds to new, diverse thoughts, connecting us to our common humanity, reflecting the darkness of our times and motivating us into action. Activists have already started their marches worldwide: the Women's Marches, most recently the anti-wall marches in Mexico, and anti-Islamophobia marches in Toronto.Read More
How to throw a funeral for a viola
My viola: you were with me for a thousand mornings. How do you greet an empty room? With Bach of course. Or as time went on, with improv, as your magic worked in me and I felt freer and freer to sing anything from the heart, trusting what would come from you.Read More
Opera by the numbers
If you’re anything like me, you're already dreaming about fresh strawberries and Prosecco, long summer evenings, and outdoor opera. While a chilly fog settles over London once again, I'm getting curious about upcoming shows and trends, so here's a breakdown of what we've got to look forward to at 2017's UK summer festivals.Read More
DiDonato inspires inmates through song
"It reminds them that that part of them is perhaps not lost in a place that is dehumanizing a lot of the time" the two-time Grammy Award-winner said in an interview with The Today Show on NBC. "The first day I was there... my instinct was 'Don't make eye contact, don't make eye contact' and forty-five minutes later I was staring into the eyes of these inmates and we were singing to each other."Read More
Real talk: the unspoken realities of a professional artistic life
Is it okay for us to talk about this openly? Can we be honest for a minute about how difficult this is? After a while I started to notice that I wasn’t the only one feeling the strain, and I definitely am not the only one wondering if it's alright to talk about it. So I'm here to talk about it. Openly, honestly, and publicly. And to invite others to be part of the real talk surrounding our endlessly difficult and confusing line of work.Read More