Over the summer, we hosted a series of 9 professional seminars and masterclasses called OOPS Proof. Through conversations with our Diversity Council, they communicated the singing community’s need for career support because in today’s world, in addition to mastering their craft, musicians need to be entrepreneurs. Our goal was to help singers invest in their careers and get back in shape after the COVID shutdowns.
In addition to offering the series for free, we felt it was important to record and post them in order to help the most people.
Crafting an Artist Statement with Pablo Siqueiros
Personal Branding for Artists with Jenna Wolf
Fundraising & Networking for Artists with Danielle St. Germain
Websites for Artists with Dr. Regina Zona
Finances for Artists with Andrew Altenbach
Eric McEnaney (coaching the coaches) video coming soon
While producing the OOPS Proof series, we were surprised that we had trouble filling the Zoom classes and in-person masterclasses. After posting a question in the Twin Cities Opera Network (a 400 member FaceBook group created by Tina Christiensen to connect The Twin Cities opera community for the purpose of sharing gig/audition opportunities, performance announcements, thoughts and questions, and to create a network of local colleagues), we got a lot of answers to our inquiry publicly and privately:
Over-saturation of events
Summertime and people were prioritizing outdoor and family+friend activities
We missed the mark on marketing; With a tagline of “OOPS Proof Your Audition Season” people assumed the events were specific to pursuing a Young Artist Program career track and a lot of people are frustrated with the Opera Industrial Complex and audition process: app fees, ageism, sizeism, racism, travel costs, etc.
People have pivoted to different careers with COVID shutting down the performing industry for over a year
People are struggling with motivation
Over the past year and half, we have been living every day with an enormous amount of stress, instability, and uncertainty. The pandemic is not over and yet it feels like life is moving faster than ever. I’ve noticed in myself too feeling burnt out and with an impulse to reflect on my values, priorities, and purpose before choosing a path forward.
I feel certain about a few things:
The hyper-critical nature of pursing a career in classical music, which values and expects perfection, breeds artists who fear failure and suffer from imposter syndrome.
The industry’s emphasis on accolades discourages creativity as the only path forward appears to be to get into young artist programs or win competitions.
Singers are untapped wells of creativity and we want to help them explore that by co-producing projects. We want to assist with the planning, fundraising, and producing in order to create glorious art that is connected with a community that matters to the artist.
Stay tuned this December for a blockbuster concert that will soothe your holiday anxieties with beautiful singing. We hope this performance will be an opportunity for you to slow down with the ones that you love and make new, cozy memories together at a live performance or from the comfort of your home.
In the meantime, please consider supporting “When Marian Sang” through our Give to the Max Campaign! With gratitude, every donor will be acknowledged in the film’s credits, and with a $1,500 Board Match, every $1 you donate becomes $2!