Would you apply for this Job?

Opera/Concert Singer/Performer Needed

This job is full time in unpaid preparation with often only part time paid hours available.

There are a variety of duties involved and numerous skill sets required.

In the unpaid portion of your job you will be required to spend numerous hours alone in a tiny practice room with a piano and your own personal inner critic as you prepare musical pieces you are not currently contracted to sing.

The successful candidate will see this job as a ‘calling’ and not a job and be prepared to make a life long investment in time and money that may not be recouped by expense reports.

You will speak and or understand at least three languages, you will have a masters or equivalent in musical studies, you will have grade 6 conservatory piano skills at a minimum, you will have two very good suitcases, sharp pencils and check book at hand, a gym member ship or equivalent is also encouraged in today’s competitive HD broadcast market.  Clothing budget is also a consideration for public presentation is an important piece of your work.   Men need a suit and a tux, girls need new dresses season-by-season, budget accordingly.

The successful candidate will have an appetitive to be a life long learner or just the type who doesn’t know when to quit.  You will be expected to pay an outside party for language coaching’s, musical preparation coaching’s and also voice lessons regularly to keep your instrument in prime condition.  These are tax deductable expenses which you must keep track of .  By the way, the successful candidate will also be a crack accountant who keeps track of tiny pieces of paper religiously and is able to manage 12 monthe/52 weeks of expenses and spotty income and make an actual tax return out of it.  At tax time, you will pay, and are unlikely to get any money back as you don’t pay in all year.  You will also have to decide if you want money when you retire and pay in to CPP.

There is no vacation pay.  Vacation time is called unemployment and since you aren’t making money, stay home.  There is no maternity leave either, and be forewarned that all opera contracts come with a “warning if physical shape or condition changes” clause so you may be released from your contract should you conceive.

There is some hope for advancement, but that is impossible to predict and hard work is no guarantee.  Nor is talent.  The successful candidate will have a healthy attitude towards frustration and loss and some luck to go with their talent.  You will never reach upper level management.

At your own expense, the successful candidate will employ an intermediary to their work and pay them 10 to 20 % of their fee for the privilege of working.

All costs of road travel, food and hotel will mostly be born by the artist in question.

Pay Scale: Think below the poverty level to utmost height of income.  You will land somewhere in this.

Skills in temping are considered to be a considerable asset as is having supportive family members or marrying a patron.

No need to apply, just keep showing up at auditions and do the show and tell routine and the universe will get back to you.

This is one perspective available for the work we do as artists that I prepared for the upcoming St. Andrews Voice Intensive.  But it is only one perspective.  What job ad would you place for your work?

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