Disclaimer/foreword/what-have-you: You are receiving this email because at some point we had a conversation where you indicated interest in my future and career as an opera singer. I will be sending emails like this one infrequently, probably every few months or so, to keep you informed of performances and upcoming gigs as my career develops. If you would prefer not to receive these emails, simply send me a message saying as much and I will gladly remove you from my list. If you’re still curious about what I’m up to, then please read on!
It’s a very hectic but exciting time in my world right now! I have been very busy the past few months, but all of the hard work is beginning to pay off in a big way. A few weeks ago, I completed my undergraduate work at Baylor University, and now I have begun to take my first baby steps into a much larger world.
This spring, I took part in several auditions for summer programs for singers. These usually revolve around specific training for the singer or will involve learning and performing a role in an opera. I auditioned for (I believe) seven different programs, and amazingly, I managed to secure offers for my two top choices(!): a two-week training program in Los Angeles called OperaWorks, and a pay-to-sing performance group in Weimar, Germany.
The scheduling worked out perfectly, so I was able to do both programs. OperaWorks (www.operaworks.com) took place over the past two weeks, and I have to say it was one of the most wonderful experiences of my whole life. Thanks to the amazing dedication of the faculty and the constructive feedback of my peers, I feel that I grew by giant leaps and bounds as a performer in a very short time. It was simply amazing. If you are a singer or know someone who is, you should look into this program. I honestly cannot say enough good things about it, but I don’t want to start rambling here for fear I might bore you. If you want to know more about the experience, email me and I’ll happily fill you in!
Next comes Germany. As I type this email, I am on a flight bound for Frankfurt, Germany, and from there I will take a train to Weimar. I’ve been awake for close to 36 hours at this point due to my crazy travel schedule, but I’m having a hard time sleeping on the flight because I’m so excited! Hopefully I’ll get some rest once I’m settled in Weimar, I guess I’ll find out soon enough!
While I’m in Germany, I’ll be performing the role of Count Almaviva from Mozart’s La Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro). It’s a huge part, about an hour and a half on the stage over the course of a three-hour opera, and that is a LOT of memorization for someone who ‘s trying to finish his college education! Fortunately, I managed to squeak out the final few scenes of memorization while I was in Los Angeles and feel confident that I will be in great shape once rehearsals start (which should be about six hours after my arrival in Germany… yikes!).
Once I return from Germany, I’ve got a few months to learn some new repertoire before I head to New Orleans to sing Paris in Romeo et Juliette with New Orleans Opera in my FIRST EVER paying gig! It’s just a tiny role in a much larger opera, but I’m still so thrilled about it! That will be happening in November, so if you come to New Orleans this fall, give me a call and we’ll go grab a po’ boy or a bignet!
Furthest on my horizon at the moment is graduate school; starting in January, I’m headed back to Baylor to begin work on my Master’s degree in vocal performance. In the meantime, I’ll be doing more auditions for even more programs for next summer; it’s going to be a crazy year, no doubt! But as I said before, I couldn’t possibly be more excited. I feel like things are really happening for me here, and hopefully things will continue to be uphill from here!
Thanks so much to YOU for your support for me (and singers in general, for that matter)! Whether or not you’re aware of when you did it, if you’re on this list, you’ve done something for me at some point that reaffirmed my decision to follow this career path. And for that I cannot thank you enough. Just like anything else, trying to sing for a living can be beyond discouraging, and supportive people like you are what make it possible to keep going through all of the coachings, lessons, long plane trips, auditions, rehearsals, and countless hours in the practice room. So from the most sincere place an email is able to convey, I say again: thank you.
I’ll write again in a few months. If you’re curious what’s up before then, by all means ask! The phone‘s no good while I’m overseas, but you can catch me any time on facebook or at TheRealJohnCarmack@gmail.com. I hope to hear from you!