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Cindy
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
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You know what I'm really, really tired of? I'm tired of young singers who are working hard, trying to to their best, with an inferior toolkit that they paid an enormous amount of money to receive. I'm tired of young singers not being taught and encouraged and supported to have... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2016 at Mezzo with Character
Not Paying - I don't think people do view pay-to-sings as "companies" in the same way they do other producing organizations. However, the singers who run these programs are certainly producers. In the case of Spotlight, we're a bit of a hybrid --- we have a summer training program which is most definitely a pay-to-sing, but at other times of the year we produce a variety of concerts (often semi-staged) using both professional and developing artists, and are working towards being able to pay singers for these consistently. Fachless Wonder - if you have an ax to grind, perhaps the classy thing to do would be to contact Ms. Wright directly with your complaints, rather than leave anonymous, unsubstantiated rumors on blog posts. Or if you prefer to hash it out publicly, have the courage of your convictions, use your real name, and substantiate your claims.
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"Vanity company" is a derogatory term used to identify opera companies, usually relatively small, which are founded and run by a singer who also performs with the company, often in leading roles. The implication is that the singer in question cannot get work anywhere else, and therefore must create his... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2016 at Mezzo with Character
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People say the dumbest things to opera singers. “Don’t you just LOVE Josh Groban/Andrea Bocelli/the latest six-year-old cherub being exploited on national tv?” “Why don’t you go on America’s Got Talent?” “Do you sing at the Met? Oh. Well, keep trying.” People ask the dumbest things of opera singers. “Oh... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2016 at Mezzo with Character
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***Language alert: if you're offended by strong language, you might want to avoid this post. *** 2015 had many joys and challenges. What year doesn’t? For me, the joys included my singing work, which included two company debuts and a role debut, many new friends made and reconnections with old... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2016 at Mezzo with Character
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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Alas, Ellen, it's true. It's kind of shocking to me that a VOCAL competition would treat you so badly, though!
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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
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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!