The Meister Music Opera Platform was established in 2015 to support and promote professional singers in the UK wishing to return to their career after a period of absence.
There has been increased recognition throughout the industry that singers often need to take a period of time out of their career, following a change in their voice, or perhaps a life-changing event.
For example, a singer may choose to stop singing for a while in order to start a family, or to pursue other interests, particularly if their voice is destined for heavier repertoire and needs time to develop. In other cases, a heavy workload or personal crisis (e.g. a bereavement or illness) can lead to vocal strain or fatigue, and the singer will need a period of rest and recuperation.
There are also occasions where a singer might begin his career as, say, a baritone, but as his vocal mechanism and technique matures, he discovers a more ‘tenorial’ quality to his voice, and it can take a while to settle into this new voice and to learn a whole set of new repertoire.
As a singer prepares to return to singing, they will usually look for an agent to represent them and manage their career. It’s not unusual for an agent to want to hear a singer perform, before deciding whether or not a relationship can be established. If the singer has been ‘out of the loop’ for an extended period though, the likelihood is that they won’t have a concert to invite the agent to. As it can be very difficult to get the one without the other, the singer can get caught in a ‘Catch 22’ sort of situation.
There are several trusts set up to help singers in the UK who are starting out for the first time. Competitions and scholarships can help launch singers’ careers, by providing public platforms which are attended by agents and artist managers. These opportunities are largely designed for singers under the age of 29: once a singer reaches 30, the options become much more limited.
There is a small number of competitions with higher age limits – up to 35 – for singers beginning to explore more dramatic repertoire such as Strauss and Wagner. But 35 is still considered a relatively young age for singers of the heavier Wagnerian repertoire – many Wotans and Brünnhildes don’t really get going until well into their 40s.
The operas of Strauss, Wagner, and Verdi (among many others) require the skills of well-developed voices that have matured over several years. Without these voices, within a few years we may well see these larger-scale works disappear from the repertoire.
The Meister Music Opera Platform aims to support this demographic by establishing an annual, public concert consisting of semi-staged operatic scenes, accompanied by a professional orchestra. Agents, casting directors, and other industry professionals will be invited to attend.
In the week leading up to the performance, the singers will collaborate with members of the Meister Music Creative Team, both in groups and on a one-to-one basis. They will attend workshops and seminars designed to give them all the psychological and professional tools necessary to cope with the rigours of a busy, international career. The week will continue with language and music coaching, as well as staging rehearsals. Some of these sessions will be open to the public, while others will remain private, to enable singers to explore aspects of their work which may be of a personal nature.
We will showcase around 15-20 singers during the Opera Platform week. In addition, we will be running ‘fringe’ workshops, seminars, and masterclasses throughout the year, in which hundreds of other singers can participate.
A project of this nature will cost in excess of £150,000, which includes hiring the workshop and concert venues, engaging a professional orchestra and conductor, as well as the singers themselves, in addition to all the associated administrative costs. The UK is renowned for its philanthropy, particularly in the Arts, and we are extremely grateful to our sponsors so far for their support.
We welcome the opportunity to form relationships with new sponsors and donors worldwide. As a supporter, you will be invited to meet some of the artists as well as members of the Meister Music Creative Team at our biannual presentations and receptions, at an exclusive central London location. You will also be offered complimentary tickets to the concert, as well as tickets to the public workshops.
A limited number of tickets will go on sale both here and from the concert venue three months before the concert.
Tickets to the workshops will be very limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis, so please contact us to be put on our reservation list.
You can read more about the Meister Music Creative Team, and learn about how you can support the Opera Platform by clicking on the links at the top of the page.