February 2015

February 2015 Cover

On the Brink:
Emily Birsan

Chicago-based lyric soprano Emily Birsan recently finished a three-year residency with Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center. Now with her first CD release last month and her debut at Florida Grand Opera next month, this young singer is quickly establishing herself as a singer on the rise. In this exclusive interview, she shares her experiences growing up in Wisconsin, how she first got her feet wet with classical music, and how she stays grounded in a highly competitive and cutthroat industry.

It Doesn’t Matter Where You Start

A pile of rejection letters doesn’t mean you’re not fit for this career. And just because you land one lead in a college production or spot in a coveted YAP also doesn’t guarantee a fast track to an international career. Consider the uncertainties of a singing career from a sports perspective to keep a better perspective.
The Tao of Breathing

The Tao of Breathing

How many times have you heard your voice teacher tell you to breathe? As the foundation of good singing, breath is emphasized again and again for singers. Consider this concept as many nonsingers see it for a fresh and grounding perspective.

From the Editor
The Price You (Still) Pay

In recent months, we have a run a series of articles on audition fees for singers. And in this issue, Cindy Sadler continues her discussion on the topic, outlining what singers specifically want to change about the current audition scene (p. 14). One argument that always emerges in such a discussion—and Sadler’s article is no exception—sums up like this: “Musical theatre auditions never require a fee!” An editorial I wrote in August 2009 is just as relevant today as it was then.