Building a Career in Opera from School to Stage: Operapreneurship : CMS Emerging Fields in Music book cover
1st Edition

Building a Career in Opera from School to Stage: Operapreneurship
CMS Emerging Fields in Music

ISBN 9780367499051
Published February 1, 2022 by Routledge
168 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Building a Career in Opera from School to Stage: Operapreneurship provides early-career singers with an overview of the structure of the opera industry and tools for strategically approaching a career within it. Today's voice students leave the conservatory with better training than ever, but often face challenges to managing their own careers after graduation. This book addresses what singers need to know in order to craft a career path in the contemporary landscape of opera.

Readers learn about the opera industry's structure, common pathways and entry points, non-academic training programs, researching and evaluating opportunities, crafting professional documents and media, and what it means to be a professional opera singer. Written by a singer with recent experience in the industry—and particularly the emerging phase—this book is a practical guide for all singers embarking on a career in opera.

The author's website,, hosts additional resources including databases of training programs, guides and templates for creating professional documents, as well as articles addressing current industry issues and interviews with subject matter experts.

Table of Contents

Series Editor's Introduction

List of Figures

List of Tables



PART I : The Industry from 30,000 Feet

CHAPTER 1 : Opera Companies

CHAPTER 2 : Other Performing Arts Organizations

CHAPTER 3 : Management

PART II : How a Young Singer Prepares

CHAPTER 4 : Formal Training

CHAPTER 5 : Non-Academic Training Programs: PTSs, YAPs, and RAPs

CHAPTER 6 : Your Team

CHAPTER 7 : Research

PART III : The Nuts and Bolts of Booking Work

CHAPTER 8 : Professional Documents

CHAPTER 9 : Cultivating Your Online Presence

CHAPTER 10 : You, Inc. (Building Your Business)

CHAPTER 11: Auditions, Rep Books, and Pianists

CHAPTER 12 : Beyond #bookedandblessed: Working in an Opera House

EPILOGUE: The Best of All Possible Careers



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James Harrington is a professional operatic bass and Paul J. Collins Wisconsin Distinguished Fellow at the Mead Witter School of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, he worked for several years in the music industry before deciding to train as an opera singer. He holds the Master of Music in voice performance from Florida State University and is pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts in voice at the University of Wisconsin. As a singer, he has appeared with the Santa Fe Opera, Portland Opera, Nashville Opera, Teatro Nuovo, Sarasota Opera, and Opera Idaho, among others.