Webinar: Artistic Identity and the Rehearsal Room — Navigating the Singer/Director Dynamic

James Darrah

A four-part series: Thursdays July 9, 16, 23, 30 at 7pm ET

You spend time and money to prepare, audition, secure the work. Once hired, you spend money to coach your role, prepare as a musician and actor, read source material and....on day one--it suddenly becomes clear the rehearsal room isn't going to be what you imagined. 

What next? How do singers deal with problematic directors and still preserve artistic integrity, ensure awesome directors are obsessed with your art, and holistically utilize personal creative passions, intelligence and gifts without sacrificing one's own ideas and self worth?

A serious seminar for the serious vocalist less interested in being an influencer and more curious and dedicated to a productive, engaging and ultimately rewarding creative process in the new reality of opera in 2020. A four-part class to build simmering, idea-ready artists eager to unleash new potential all while navigating the rehearsal room, auditions, and months of work before the first day as well as an exploration of progressive ideas and structures about how to best prepare. 

This discussion and media course is designed to openly and boldly explore and discuss the intricacies of Director + Singer relationships, broaden one's own personal artistic awareness and brand that can translate into actual projects for the future, facilitate important discussions about how to approach and dismantle auditions and rehearsal room ""norms"", work well with colleagues and give a glimpse into the processes and thoughts behind this director's own process and response to the shifting landscape of the opera field.

DIRECTOR AND DESIGNER JAMES DARRAH's visually and emotionally arresting work at the intersection of theater, opera and film is currently in demand in venues all over the world. His productions of operas, theater, music videos, film, and installations are known for their elegance with virtuosic and visceral "striking [work] that injects real drama" (The New York Times) merging innovative design with unexpected movement, narrative heft, and dance. CURRENT PROJECTS include debuts and new productions with The Kennedy Center, Theater an der Wien, The Santa Fe Opera, Prototype Festival and Theatro Nacional São Paolo in Brazil. In 2020 he also creates an original art installation with composer Ellen Reid, filmmaker Adam Larsen and LA Opera and continues collaborations with Beth Morrison Projects, Opera Omaha/ ONE Festival and Opera Philadelphia as well as Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony where he will direct a new production of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman with Tilson Thomas conducting and Frank Gehry designing. He is also currently in development for the new opera Dante with composer Patrick Cassidy and film producer Martha De Laurentiis, an expansion of Cassidy’s aria “Vide Cor Meum” originally written for the 2001 film Hannibal.

More About the Instructor

Our Instructors in their Own Words 

The "First Day of School"

Many singers refer to the first day of rehearsal for a new production as the “first day of school” — and for good reason. You are often working with a company for the first time, in a city you are visiting for the first or second time, with colleagues and music staff you may also be meeting for the first time. You may even be singing a role that is brand new to you (!) — navigating the nuances of a sing that is still settling into your bones. If you're lucky, as often as every two months — you might have another first day of school.

Sign up for a single class or the entire festival!

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Proud Sponsors Of...

Washington Young Sinfonia

Summer Sings

Hillwood House

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