Page 123 - Classical Singer magazine 2019 Fall University Issue
P. 123

10” list, but it commonly refers to operas that uni- versity programs and regional opera companies continuously program. The operas I have most of- ten observed performed in recent years include the following:
• Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, and Die Zauberflöte
• Puccini’s La bohème and Suor Angelica
• Verdi’s La traviata and Rigoletto
• Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado and
The Pirates of Penzance
• Bizet’s Carmen
• Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore
• Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia
• Strauss’ Die Fledermaus
• Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas
Many young artists have made debuts with A, B, and C opera houses singing comprimario roles in the above-named operas and worked their way up to leading roles in future seasons. For example, the smaller role of Barbarina has a two-page aria that is a sensational moment in Le nozze di Figaro.
Many Susannas began their “Figaro” careers as Barbarinas. Not to leave the boys out, I’ll mention the role of Masetto in Don Giovanni. It is almost always offered to a young artist, and if he does well, he may secure a contract for the title role or a bigger role in another opera with the company.
Singing chorus in any level of company is an opportunity to learn the music and style from
the professionals singing leading roles. If you aren’t cast in a major role in your university opera workshop, make the most of your experience in the chorus without the pressure of a leading role. Cool kids looking to work their way up would be wise to offer to understudy the larger roles. When someone is sick and cannot sing a rehearsal, you can make yourself memorable and dependable by volunteering to sing that day.
Role studies, including partially performed roles in opera scenes, should be listed on your résumé to demonstrate competency and ambition to future directors. Listing a role that you have coached might encourage a director to take a chance on you.
Imagine a conductor considering two singers for a leading role. “Singer A” sings the first act
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