Becoming a professional Opera singer is the dream of many singers. Not only is it an excellent way to earn a regular income and perform in some of the world’s finest Opera houses, it is also a wonderful opportunity to form a career out of doing what you love.
However, few people realize that singing Opera at a professional levels requires you master certain techniques that other genres do not.
Whilst having a successful career as an Opera singer is marginally less competitive than being a Pop singer, you still need to be able to stand out from your competition in order to get ahead.
Here are some of the most common training methods you will be required to undertake if you want to get ahead of your game with regards to singing Opera.
A Healthy Technique
Opera singing requires you to sing in Bel Canto, which directly translates as “beautiful song or voice” Whilst Rock singers can get away with staying up all night drinking whiskey and chain smoking cigarettes to add to the huskiness of their voices, Opera singers most certainly cannot.
You need to be able to sing long phrases, hold notes and project your voice loudly and clearly. None of which is possible if you don’t look after your voice properly.
Opera does not always require you to sing loudly and the key to being a good Opera singer is being able to change the tone and depth of your voice quickly, to match different parts of each song. You can read more about this here!
Given that most Operas last between two to four hours, endurance can sometimes be an issue for those starting out on their career as an Opera singer.
The best way to increase your ability to sing for longer amounts of time, is to practice breathing techniques and strengthen your voice, so you never have to strain your vocal chords to project your voice further.
You can discover some excellent breathing techniques for you to incorporate into your Opera singing practice here!
Few Operas are sung in English. Most commonly they are performed in Italian, French or German.
Some of the most famous Puccini Operas are sung in Italian and whilst you don’t need to be fluent in the language, you at least have to have a basic grasp of it so you can sound like you are fluent and understand the storyline so you can inject the appropriate emotion into your Opera singing.
Opera singing is much more demanding than singing other genres of music. Opera performances mainly focus on the quality of sound that the singer makes, rather than the words of the song itself.
Therefore, you need to ensure that you have enough stamina to sing with your mouth and throat wide open and maintain the correct singing posture for long periods of time.
Some Operas require you to sing in an angry tone to correctly convey the emotion of each song, which means it requires a lot of mental and emotional energy, as well as physical energy.