Talk Back

Welcome to The Singing Entrepreneur Talk Back page. Talk Back is where we comment on current issues affecting the classical singing community. We hope you’ll get involved in the discussion both here, on our Facebook page and on Twitter.






6 thoughts on “Talk Back

  1. What we’ve all been waiting for! Thank you. Some interesting points, and it’s so empowering that this is being raised by the singers to help ourselves. Can’t wait for developments and of course the forum itself…

    1. Delighted that you are thinking of coming to the Forum, Adele. Tickets have gone on sale today. Please come along and bring any other singers, directors, performers of any sort to join the debate. The more creatively we can think about issues we are raising, the better our chances of finding some interesting and fruitful solutions.

  2. Just discovered this great website from your comment on Jennifer Rivera’s blog. Wish I lived in London and could be at your Forum – it’s a fantastic and much-needed idea. I’m a singer, but on the periphery, not making my entire living from singing. Very active as a performer though, and I work for a large arts organization. What I’ve observed from the sidelines that is that indeed, opera companies especially are very good at scooping up the newest singing sensations and utilizing their own young artists but as you say, within a few years these same bright lights have often been forsaken for the next generation of similarly talented (younger) singers. Why is this? Organizations spend a lot of time and energy training these singers and yet, they often disappear off the radar once they’ve reached their late 20s/early 30s. I suspect a lot of the reason must be financial. Companies can use their own young artists without paying them extra beyond their stipend (or not much more), and for young singers at the next stage, their fees will still be relatively low. As time goes on, there will be an expectation (rightly so) that fees should rise. I’m not really referring here to those that reach the upper echelons of stardom…that’s kind of a different league. Rather, I refer to those truly excellent, well-trained, personable, attractive singers who simply have gotten a bit older. It’s like a black hole they drop into! I have just seen this happen to too many wonderfully talented people. Of course, in some cases there might be other personal reasons for them disappearing, but often, I think a lot of them do want to continue in their professions but are overlooked for the reasons stated. I think what you’re doing is brave…opening up discussions that many would be afraid to, but shouldn’t be. Looking forward to more of this discussion! Like the two blogs by Clare and Suzy as well!

    1. Thank you for your comments, Mark, you seem to be the kind of Singing Entrepreneur we are discovering so many of – those who are doing other things alongside performing, partly for range and also because the business is not being generous to all of us in equal measure. As people post their responses to our discussions we are learning how widespread and generalised most of these issues are. Young Artists are a particular case in point: the largest companies in the UK had Young Artists’ Programmes during the 1990s (as well as a body of Company Principals in some cases) but both of these groups then seemed to disappear for a while from company structures. Company Principals remain a thing of the past but suddenly this year every small opera company in the UK seems to have a programme for young singers, not just the big ones such as the Royal Opera that have always been there. Presumably for the financial reasons you cite and because what remains of state funding is to some extent contingent on the ‘educational’ components to a company’s work.

      Sorry you can’t join us at the Forum in August but please keep posting us your thoughts and experiences – we definitely want to hear what you have to say.

      1. Hi Clare
        I’ll keep checking the website for sure – a lot of work and thought has obviously gone into this, and it will be fascinating to see how the enterprise unfolds. And yes, I too have noticed (from afar in N.A.!) how all of the smaller companies and especially many of these summer festival companies in the U.K., are advertizing performances by their young artists. This is not to take away from their right to perform/be employed/get experience etc. BUT…it does make one wonder about the real motives/financial realities as to why companies are going this route rather than say, employing more experienced singers. No easy answers I’m sure, but definitely worth discussing.

    2. Thanks Mark for your comments. It does seem like extreme short sightedness by the industry not to nurture talent for longevity, after spending so much to train young singers in the first place. From speaking to people there are a variety of reasons people disappear – opportunities dry up, life changes, and more disturbingly the work becomes less interesting, even for those high up. My own story is that I got bored of the lack of creativity in international work and it was just too much of a sacrifice to be away from home for such disappointing results. There are so many things we need to talk about openly that I know the Forum is going to be a lively event.
      We will be publishing video of all the talks and discussions after the event, so keep in touch with the website and you will be able to comment from afar.

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