The internet can be a maze of interesting diversions, dead-end information, and endless time-wasters. Every once in a while we stumble upon sybaritic gold. But, how to find this gold? And ach, how to mine said gold? While by no means comprehensive, this little list is the beginning of a beautiful relationship with the WWW of Tra-La-La.
Social Media Basics
Facebook. Yes, the ever-growing social media giant is a must. Not just for connecting with your friends and sharing pictures from the last cast party, but for the sheer number of musical institutions, ensembles, and arts organizations present. My news feed is brimming with status updates from artsy friends and events at opera houses all over the country. Which brings me to my next social media basic: Twitter. Following artists, houses, critics, bloggers, etc. keeps your finger on the pulse of classical music around the country and internationally. Want to know what arias to program? Directors are constantly tweeting and facebooking about what productions they are working on and what is coming up next season. Paying a little attention to the tone of an organization’s social media will go a long way.
Did you figure out your five arias for audition season, yet? Great. Now, that you have been practicing them day and night do a little YouTube research. Music lover, meet your unbridled look into performance practice. Not only performance practice but a venerable to do and NOT to do for performing music. Some videos are just outrageous. Creating your own channel and posting videos of your performances is just another avenue for people to find you. Let’s be friends at OperaMi. If you are outrageous – go for the shock and awe. Who knows… maybe you’ll be the next viral video.
Online Audition Notifications
Let’s just put it out there: my singing life would be nothing without YAP Tracker. I will not pretend to know how singers in the past managed to get their singing careers off the ground without this resource. YAP Tracker is “your online audition manager [that] will keep you up-to-date and in-the-know about programs, competitions, workshops and mainstage auditions to help you get ahead in the ever competitive classical performance market.” There is an annual fee for their service, but you will not be disappointed given their wealth of information and easy to use web design. Classical Singer also features audition listings both in print and online. Opera America’s Opera Source is another listing of upcoming opportunities. Both Classical Singer and Opera America’s audition listings are accessed under a subscription basis.
Singers, one of your best online audition resources might be closer than you think. Do some fact-finding in your region. You may also benefit from outfits like Boston Singers Resource “a singing resource for the New England community at large and an information service for regional Classical Singers, Directors, Accompanists, Composers, and Managers of all levels.” Even the girls over at Operagasm post free audition listings. Be sure to check it out.
How ‘Bout the Kitchen Sink?
The following sites provide tools for the classical music lover, concert presenter, ensemble, artist, composer, and educator. InstantEncore breaks the site into categories such as concerts, music, videos, and buzz. This is a place where you can not only listen to classical music happening all over the world but you can watch videos as well. The classical music buzz section is awesome for finding wonderful blogs (à la the Sybaritic Singer) and catching those trending subjects while they are hot. You can post your recitals, performances, and events here to generate interest. InstantEncore is the most thorough site of this type that I have found yet. Another great “kitchen sink” website is the new Bachtrack. They “intend to be the definitive site that brings together every aspect of classical music into a single place. As well as listings and search facilities for concerts, recordings, radio stations and services of all sorts, [they] will have news and features on all sorts of subjects, from getting babies interested in music, through sites for young children, ways to involve teenagers, to helping people of all ages find out about classical music without feeling patronised.” It is free to list your events on both of these sites – so get out there people!
Oh my goodness, we have so much to talk about. I’ve got a lot more tech resources for you, Sybaritic Faithful. Do not worry. There are brainstorming resources, repertoire sites, website makers and breakers, oh and the blogs! All the blogs. That will have to come later.
Right now, tell me about your singing experiences with the sites we’ve covered so far. Do you check another audition site religiously? Do you have a great regional site to share with us? Where do you post your recitals, concerts, and events? Do you tweet? (Tweet me @mezzoihnen)