WELCOME TO OUR NEW SMC ARTISTS!
Happy March, everyone!! Spring is hopefully just around the corner, and spring means new beginnings. We have a lot of exciting news and things to look forward to! If you haven’t seen the shining new faces we are welcoming for 2017, you are seriously missing out. Check them out HERE. We couldn’t be more anxious for June to get here, and not just because we’re sick of snow! It’s going to be a wonderful season, and we’re thrilled to have all of our 2017 artists lighting up the hill.
So, what comes first; choosing the artists, or choosing the season repertoire? It’s a bit of a puzzle to put together. Some of the things we consider when choosing the next season are:
- Which of last year’s artists will probably be returning? We know this by asking each individual artist in their exit interview. And we want to be able to feature as many returning artists as possible in roles that are a good fit for them.
- What would be a good, balanced combination of shows? We always choose two operas and two musicals, to keep things fun and interesting, as well as to help our artists be versatile! These shows must have enough parts to feature each of the 32 Young Artists in at least one role, particularly between the two middle shows of the season and the children’s opera – we want everyone to have something in one of those three shows and typically do full company shows at the beginning and the end.
- What shows can we choose that we know our audience will like, or at least appreciate? Of course in recent years we’ve also tried hard to incorporate new or recently premiered late 20th or 21st century operas and will continue that in the future, because new opera is something we have a certain love for, and believe in.
So, to answer the above question — the repertoire is indeed chosen before we start recruiting singers.
Would that make the repertoire the chicken or the egg? Hmmmm. Well, we definitely don’t think any of our singers are chicken — they have so much courage!
That brings up another question: what do applying and auditioning singers have to go through before being chosen? Auditioning for new companies is never easy. It’s very difficult to muster the strength to make yourself vulnerable in front of others, especially when it’s a position you want. So we always commend and truly appreciate every one of them for coming to sing for us, and even just for applying to us. It’s very competitive – we typically have 350-400 apply for the 32 spots each summer – and we know how difficult it can be to get out there and sing for companies!
- Singers first apply for SMC online
– They provide a résumé showing any operatic, concert or musical theater experience they might have, any other training, awards and special skills, and their contact information.
– They also provide a quality photo of just their face (headshot), a couple of references (former teachers, coaches, directors, etc.), and a recording of them performing so we can hear their voice a little bit. Of course, nothing is the same as hearing a voice live, and only some things are perceivable on a recording. But we check for basics like singing in tune and quality of tone.
- Singers are then invited to audition for us in person
– We give as many singers as possible an audition time on our audition days in each city. We make decisions on who to invite based on what our upcoming season is, what voice types we need, singers’ experience, their references, and of course their training and talent.
– If for some reason they can’t make it to one of the audition locations, we also accept auditions by video as part of thier application. All of these singers are fully considered as well.
We have many alumni that will be all over the world this summer, either in Young Artist programs or as lead artists. Here is a list of those that we know for certain. Please comment below if we missed you, so we can congratulate you! For those already listed, feel free to comment to say exactly what you will be singing, if you wish. We will continue to add to this list when we hear of things that haven’t been announced yet, for those that are interested!
Vanessa Becerra — singing the role of Laurie in Oklahoma at The Glimmerglass Festival
Eric Ferring — Young Artist at Santa Fe Opera
Edie Grossman — Young Artist at Merola Opera Program
Abigail Dock — Young Artist at The Glimmerglass Festival
Mary Beth Nelson — Young Artist at The Glimmerglass Festival
Jonas Hacker — Young Artist at Wolf Trap Opera
Megan Samarin — Young Artist at Wolf Trap Opera
Quinn Bernegger — Young Artist at Des Moines Metro Opera
Dustin Damonte — Young Artist at Des Moines Metro Opera
Ryan Stoll — Young Artist at Des Moines Metro Opera
Nathanial Mattingly — Young Artist at Des Moines Metro Opera
Megan Callahan — Young Artist at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Michael Miller — Young Artist at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Michaela Wolz — Young Artist at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Eric McConnell — Young Artist at Opera Saratoga
Heather Jones — Young Artist at Opera Saratoga
Garrett Obrycki — Young Artist at Opera Saratoga
Shelley Mihm — Young Artist at Opera Saratoga
Dylan Elza — Young Artist at Opera Saratoga
Scott Purcell — Young Artist at Opera Saratoga
Tascha Anderson — Young Artist at Chautauqua Opera
Blake Jennings — Young Artist at Chautauqua Opera
Andrew Surrena — Young Artist at Chautauqua Opera
NEW BUILDING UPDATE
Since it’s still pretty cold outside , most of the work being done on the new building right now is inside: insulation, electrical, plumbing, etc. The team is also installing a sprinkler system, and this is the first time we’ve been required to include a sprinkler system on campus. Moving forward, any new buildings will also have to include a sprinkler system, as building codes continue to evolve. This is a challenge, since we are not on a city water system – we had to install a special 3,000 gallon water holding tank that weighed almost 2 TONS to supply the sprinkler system!
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
As you may already know, we are very excited that our very own Darren K. Woods has transitioned to FULL TIME at Seagle Music Colony!! Read the announcement newsletter for complete details HERE.