just sent the application and I'm scared

Scarlet Pimpernel

demned elusive
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Limburg, Netherlands
I just emailed the audition application, and posted my cv and headshot, for the Opera Studio Netherlands. This is a year-long apprenticeship program in Amsterdam, where you get lessons in voice, repertoire, languages, acting, stage movement, audition skills, and anything else they think you need, as well as participating in projects and master classes and taking small roles in Netherlands Opera productions. And they pay you living expenses. The auditions are the end of this month and I'm NERVOUS! Because I want it so badly. Getting into any opera studio anywhere would mean we would have to move, but my partner has lived in the town we're now in her whole life and if I got into OSN, at least we wouldn't have to leave the country. Plus not every opera studio pays you - some of them you have to pay them. They don't admit many students - between six and ten every year - and Dutch applicants have priority. I've been studying at a Dutch conservatory, so that puts me in the second row, but I'm close to the age limit, so that knocks me back a bit again. There's no guarantee I'll even be invited to audition.

That's it - I just wanted to vent some of my nervousness.
Good luck getting the audition, and please keep us posted. Exciting!


PS--How long have you been working toward a career in Opera? Have you performed in public before? Sounds interesting.
Musical prayers being lifted up here; May you and yours be blessed, and may you bless others, as you have blessed us.

InLove (and company)
Wow, thank you, everyone, for your wonderful words! I know everyone here is friendly and kind, but I wasn't expecting so much interest and support for my little problems.I got an email from the administration, saying that my official invitation will be in the mail next week. So I guess the rest is up to me (with a little help from above).

lunamoth, I've been actively working toward a career in opera for about five years now - before that I knew I wanted to work in something to do with music, but I wasn't sure what (that period lasted three years), and before that I wanted to do musical theatre. As for performing in public, I've been doing that since I was five, but mostly just in school, community, and university shows or concerts. The last four years or so I've actually been paid for it occasionally - wow, what a thrill to actually get paid to do what you've trained to do! :D The goal is to get it to where people want to pay me enough that I don't need any other job on the side - which is definitely NOT the case these days.

I'll let you all know how things go. The good thing is, Opera Studio Netherlands holds their auditions a year and a half before the season starts, whereas most opera studios hold auditions sometime in the year before the season. And I've got another year of grad school, so if I don't get into OSN I've got a whole year to concentrate on auditioning for other places. But like I said, this is the one I want most.

Well, if I'm meant to be there, I'll get in, and if I'm meant to be somewhere else, I won't. Thanks for letting me blather.
I hope all turns the way you wanted...and, if not, I hope that what God sends you is even better than what you dared imagine for yourself!!
My audition is tomorrow (Friday) at 2 in the afternoon (my time). I feel prepared, but nervous, but still looking forward to it. My voice is a little tired because we've also been rehearsing all week for the school opera project. I hope my voice doesn't let me down tomorrow. The first chance I have to get on the internet after the audition, I will post to say how things went. Thank you all for your good thoughts, prayers, supportive words, and everything.
They wanted to hear two arias instead of sending me out after the first one, which is always a good sign. I was less nervous than I'd ever been for an audition - knowing that you all were rooting for me really helped me a lot! The technical things that I usually mess up on went perfectly this time. My breath support was shallower than it should have been, because I was nervous, but hopefully it wasn't as obvious to them as it was to me. There were five people on the jury, and at times I could see that some of them were impressed with what I was doing, but I don't know if enough of them were impressed enough, enough of the time, to get me in.

They said I'll be getting a letter next week. If I made it through these auditions I'll be invited to a two-week long workshop in August, and based on that workshop they decide who will be a full-time member of the program, who will be part-time (only invited for special projects), and who is out. I have no idea how many people they invite to the August workshop, but they only have about six full-time students each year.

Thanks, everyone, for all your support! It seems strange when I haven't met any of you, but I really could feel that it made a difference to me. This forum has such a great group of people.
Will continue to keep my fingers crossed for you. Glad to hear the audition went well!

... Bruce
Hi S.P.,

Sounds promising! Funny--we don't know you either, but last night I asked my husband (J.H.) if he had heard how your audition went--just like you lived next door or something.:)

I'm interested, which arias did you perform?

InLove, what a kind thing to say - I don't know how to respond.

As for my arias, I started with "Lucia! Go send a messenger" from The Rape of Lucretia by Benjamin Britten (the person before me also started with that one :( ), and the second one, which they chose, was "Non so più cosa son" from Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart. I'm a lyric mezzo with some coloratura, if that means anything to you (I don't know how much you know about classical singing).

No emails or letters yet (yes, I'm checking obsessively :p ).
Hi Scarlet--

I was trained for years as a classical pianist, but I have to admit that, even though I believe I can understand the difficulty of what you are doing (as well as the sheer joy), I probably don't know exactly how to discuss it. I believe I do know about coloratura. I will take a guess--does it have to do with style--with the subleties and bursts of energy and pure spirit?

Hope that question is not too silly. I am a mezzo soprano as well (okay, in my younger days--in fact, I could consistently even hit a high "C" without losing pitch) but I just do not have the diaphragm or lungs or whatever I need to belt things out like I would wish.

I am married to a musical genius, for real. He sings opera in the shower. He would never admit it, but if you heard him, you would know. He is always in demand--everyone needs him to either mix, back up, or co-write or produce everything and anything they want to do. He just says he is a "player." But, lawdy, can he play!

Well, just wanted to get back in touch with you, and let you know that we are lifting you up--maybe not as high as you can yourself, but singing in our spirits we are.

I wish my piano skills were better - despite four years of lessons, I just can't seem to get my fingers to do what I want them to. Of course, practicing more frequently might help.:D

It's not a silly question at all - I guess that's one way to describe coloratura. It's the acrobatic stuff you find in Rossini and Donizetti, the stuff that Cecilia Bartoli is famous for. The Queen of the Night aria from Mozart's The Magic Flute is the most famous example.

I am married to a musical genius, for real. He sings opera in the shower. He would never admit it, but if you heard him, you would know. He is always in demand--everyone needs him to either mix, back up, or co-write or produce everything and anything they want to do. He just says he is a "player." But, lawdy, can he play!
Wow, how cool. I have had to work so hard for every single thing I can do in terms of music - I really admire people for whom it comes easily.

I still haven't heard anything, and it's making me really antsy. They said at the time that I would hear something this week (the one that's just past), and a friend of mine who also auditioned got her rejection email Wednesday morning. Hopefully it's a good sign that I haven't heard anything, but I don't want to get my hopes up too much in case it's just that my rejection letter got lost in the mail or fell behind a filing cabinet or something. If I still haven't heard on Monday I'll call them.

I've been absent from the boards lately - I still lurk a bit - but it's just because that school opera production I mentioned earlier in this thread is taking up so much of my time. I haven't lost interest, but I probably won't be here much until July (I'll still post when I hear something from Amsterdam).
Scarlet--if you are lurking around tonight or in the near future--or even in the distance--

I was just wondering who might appreciate this--

"J.H." and I have been writing things together for a long time, and sometimes we even sing together. He has had a few days off this week, and we have managed to turn our back room into a makeshift recording studio.

I told you how good he is--well today, he asked me to come and help with the voices. He is a "one-take guy", but it takes a few times for me--I have to get into the spirit, and then I can soar--alas, I still feel like I sound so silly--but he says I sound beautiful.

Anyway--it doesn't matter too much what I sound like--he will mix me well.

I guess I just wanted to write something to you, because I know you are waiting for approval. Whether or not you get it from someone else is not the most important thing. What matters is your contribution--did you sing? I know you did--and I would lay money (if I had it) that you did, and always will do, well.

Whichever way things go, sing, child, sing.

(Lifting Prayer)
Wow, InLove, thank you so much - that was beautiful. You always have something uplifting to say, and you always write it so beautifully.

I ended up calling Amsterdam - turned out they'd misread my email address, so I never got the rejection letter. I could have called again to get the jury's feedback, but my teacher advised against it, and I think she's right - I feel good about how I did, I know myself what didn't go so well, and if someone doesn't like my singing, they don't like my singing - why should I depress myself with the details?

My partner said she'd rather live in a foreign country anyway - in Amsterdam she'd always be seen as the "dumb hick Limburger" :p and elsewhere she'd just be Dutch.

The school opera's going well, though, and I'll just keep working so that when I audition for other programs next year my presentation will be that much better.

Thanks again, everyone, for all your supportive words and thoughts.