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Austin, TX
I'm not a character mezzo ... I'm a mezzo with character!
Interests: opera, classical music, writing, theater, cooking, health, hiking, travel, outdoors, wine, dogs, organics, locally grown food
Recent Activity
Recently, a colleague of mine suffered a very personal blow --- the kind of blow that all too often, artists receive from those who should be among their greatest supporters. A beloved family member told this working artist that they were a failure because not enough of their work came... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2015 at Mezzo with Character
When I was three years old, my grandparents bought some land in southeast Travis County. At the time, it was way out back of beyond, a few miles southwest of what was then Bergstrom AirForce Base and is now Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. It was about 100 acres of Texas blackland... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2015 at Mezzo with Character
I personally have been asked for fees by Knoxville and Wichita Grand, and a number of AGMA soloists who sing at both regional and A house levels have given me other names for the list. Although I have no reason to doubt their veracity, I am not publishing this list until I've had a chance to research it myself. I reject your characterization of this post as whining. Just because fees didn't happen to you doesn't mean they don't happen, and the material has been presented in a fair manner and tone. The mere expression of an opinion you disagree with does not constitute whining.
Hi BN, I have quite a list of regional companies --- not all small --- based on the reports of various singers. You might be surprised at some of the names on it. However, these names have not yet been independently verified and I wouldn't feel comfortable publishing them until they are. Cindy
Just in time for audition season, the controversy over audition fees reasserts itself. This time around, the fuss is over agencies and opera companies charging mainstage, established artists for the privilege of being heard. A few weeks ago, the boards were buzzing with news of several artists' managements --- including... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2015 at Mezzo with Character
It's tough to market opera these days. Maybe it's always been, but with social media making it so easy for something innocently meant (or poorly thought out) to incite a brouhaha, it's even harder. Opera is always fighting an image problem. To wit: Opera is for rich people, the tickets... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2015 at Mezzo with Character
Recently, a young acquaintance --- who has repeatedly asked me for advice --- read a response I'd written to a thread about management, and proceeded to complain to me about a lack of free resources for young singers and (as she perceived it) a lack of quality in the available... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2015 at Mezzo with Character
One of the biggest complaints singers have is about how predatory the business is. Education literally costs a small fortune and when you graduate, you are not assured of being marketable as a singer, In fact, if you were unlucky enough to have a poor teacher who trained you in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2015 at Mezzo with Character
It's the day after my four-week long opera program has ended, with a triumphant production of The Magic Flute and a giant season strike which involves clearing every dirty costume, prop, set piece, and bit of equipment we have used for four weeks of classes, concerts, scenes programs, and three... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2015 at Mezzo with Character
Let's get one thing straight: I don't give a rat's ass about that family of women whose clever mother somehow monetized their shallowness, complete lack of talent, and general worthlessness. I had marginal respect for Bruce Jenner, who at least achieved something worthwhile in his life; and when he decided... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2015 at Mezzo with Character
For quite a long time, my non-singing work was sort of an open secret. When I started writing for Classical Singer Magazine, I used a pen name; and even after I started writing under my own name, I never mentioned to colleagues or admins at singing engagements; nor did I... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2015 at Mezzo with Character
Your "opening gambit" was to call me a pretentious cunt, Connor. However, since you appear to be trying to be civil, I'll be true to my word and respond to your criticisms. I disagree that my article is pretentious. It would be pretentious if I didn't know what I was talking about. My credentials in this field are solid, unlike the writers of the Wiki-How article, who demonstrated via their article that they do NOT have a good grip on either vocal technique or the business, and yet are setting themselves up as experts. They are also terrible writers, a criticism I made in the article and stand by. By presenting themselves as experts and writing such a terrible piece full of misinformation, incomplete information, and downright bad advice, they invited ridicule. So I reject your assertion that my article is pretentious. It is, however, snarky, in a way which is intended to be humorous. Admittedly, humor is subjective,and there are many people who don't enjoy that type of humor --- which is fine. There's plenty of free reading material out there and if you don't like someone's style, the smart thing to do is not read them anymore and go find someone you do like. I further reject your assertion that the WikiHow article is constructive. It may have been *intended* as a constructive article, but because it contains so much bad, wrong advice, wrong terminology, and incomplete information, it is actually destructive. Rather than helping someone who wants to learn how to sing or hopes to pursue a career as an opera singer, it repeatedly sends them down the wrong path. For someone who is sincere about learning to sing, bad vocal and business advice can be extremely damaging and expensive, and take many years and dollars to repair --- if it can be repaired at all. The Wikihow piece is a terrible article that real voice teachers and opera professionals ridicule, and rightly so. Regarding my "air of superiority", that's subjective --- you don't like the tone of my article or the fact that I do assert my expertise in the field, so you see it as being superior. I guess I'll have to agree with you in the sense that, in regards to my knowledge of the subject matter, I am superior to the writers of the WikiHow article. I don't apologize for this. Regarding your assertion that my article is "drivel", again I refer to my extensive credentials in this field and remind you that in a logical argument, assertions must be supported by evidence, or else they are worthless as points of debate. I did this in my article --- I gave solid reasons for every criticism I offered. When there was good advice, I acknowledged it (this was not, however, as you mistakenly assumed, an attempt to be impartial. I simply called it as I saw it). In this case, while you're certainly entitled to your personal opinion, you have yourself offered no evidence of any knowledge, let alone expertise, in the field, so I can't really give your opinion any weight.
More constructive suggestions for you, Connor: while you're looking up "constructive criticism", also look up "justification". I haven't justified anything. One set of bad behaviors -- such as your use of sexist and obscene names --- does not justify another. Look, it's clear that you're really taking my article personally. I don't know why that is, but I don't mind criticism, I stand by what I wrote, and I'm glad to have a civil discussion. If you have genuine questions about why I wrote what I did and you can manage to be polite and logical, I'll be happy to engage further with you. But if all you're here for is to spout outrage and call names, this conversation is over.
You may want to look up the definition of "constructive criticism", Connor. I'll give you an example: it's hard to be taken seriously when your opening and subsequent conversational gambits include sexist name-calling.
And thank *you*, Connor, for being a totally sexist troll.
Recently, a WikiHow article entitled “How to Sing Opera” has been making the rounds on all my friends' timelines --- mainly for the purpose of making fun of and/or expressing outrage its hysterically oversimplified and often incorrect or incomplete advice, not to mention the creepy anime style illustrations. It's not... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2015 at Mezzo with Character
Alas, Ellen, it's true. It's kind of shocking to me that a VOCAL competition would treat you so badly, though!
WORLD SERIES STAGES A GIANT ROYAL CHESTNUT Cindy Sadler, ArtsBeat and Sports In the world of baseball, the tried and true takes precedence over innovation, as witnessed on Tuesday night when the World Series once again presented one of the chestnuts of the game, the San Francisco Giants. This the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2015 at Mezzo with Character
The Whole Bolivian Army (a band) explains why music should be paid for. A couple of years ago, a small publishing house decided to come out with a new edition of Prosper Merimee's Carmen novella, and they wanted to publicize this event by having singers perform bits of the opera... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2015 at Mezzo with Character
UnholyMezzo, you just made me splorf. BRAVA, SISTAH!
**The following is submitted with love, and the tongue at least partially in cheek.** Once upon a time, as a callow young apprentice in what was then called the Lyric Opera of Chicago Center for American Artists (now the Ryan Center), another mezzo and I were traveling by car with... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2015 at Mezzo with Character
So, apparently Idina Menzel screwed up a high note in the most public of ways, singing her signature tune live in Times Square for Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve, which was of course broadcast. The Twittersphere went nuts and it's been a point of discussion on singer bulletin boards... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2015 at Mezzo with Character
New Year's resolutions are not really my thing. For one thing, after so many years of formal education, fall seems like the real beginning of the year to me. For another, if there's anything I learned from cognitive therapy, it's that there's no time like the present to begin the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2014 at Mezzo with Character
I've given up on fashion magazines. I want to like them, I really do, but the fact is that I have yet to find a so-called woman's magazine that is marketed to my demographic and doesn't make me feel like crap when I flip through its pages. She looks gorgeous,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2014 at Mezzo with Character
Fall is one of my favorite seasons, largely because it's the time when it finally gets a little cooler in Texas, but also because it has the really fun holidays (Halloween and Thanksgiving). It's especially exciting when I get to be HOME for these holidays. Fall is a busy time... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2014 at Mezzo with Character