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The Stage: Top Tips for Singers with their Sights on Opera

25 May 2017

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Junior Conservatoire

Thinking of getting into opera? Look no further – RWCMD’s Head of Opera Angela Livingstone spoke to The Stage about the most important things to consider if you’ve set your sights on a career in opera. We’ve condensed Angela’s advice into 10 top tips to guide all budding singers in the right direction.

  1. Strong vocal technique is crucial – you have to learn to fill a large space without amplification
  2. But remember, voice isn’t everything. You also need acting skills
  3. The ability to collaborate and work well with others is also essential. Opera needs strong team players rather than people with fixations about being centre stage
  4. Understand how the industry works – how to behave in rehearsals, for example
  5. Look after your health – your voice is your instrument and it’s a part of your body. Don’t neglect it
  6. Have a portfolio of skills at your disposal – you’ll need them when you’re starting out. Teaching, workshops, and other tangential activities all develop your communications skills which are vital
  7. See as much opera, theatre and film as you can. Get the feel of how storytelling works on stage. Go to concerts too.
  8. Get a good singing teacher who specialises in classical voice
  9. Learn to read music – piano lessons for example might be a good idea
  10. Work on your languages – knowledge of French, German and (most importantly) Italian are vital in Opera.

Bonus advice about perseverance comes from from Principal Hilary Boulding:

“There are many routes into opera, and it’s a long, slow burn. You have to get the technique right to allow the creativity to come through and that takes time.”

Read the full article here.

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