How to Make It in the Music Business as an Opera Singer

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


You’ve always loved opera, and you’ve always dreamed of making it in the music business. But you’re not sure how to make it as an opera singer. Here’s some advice on how to make it in the music business as an opera singer.


If you want to make it in the music business as an opera singer, you need to be prepared to work hard and hustle. The majority of opera singers are not signed with a major label, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a living as an opera singer. In order to be successful in the music business as an opera singer, you need to have a strong work ethic, be willing to hustle and marketing yourself.

Here are some tips on how to make it in the music business as an opera singer:

1. Have a strong work ethic – One of the most important things you need to have if you want to make it in the music business as an opera singer is a strong work ethic. You need to be willing to put in the long hours of practice and performance schedule demands.

2. Be willing to hustle – In addition to having a strong work ethic, you also need to be willing to hustle. This means going above and beyond what is expected of you and making connections within the industry.

3. Market yourself – One of the most important aspects of making it in the music business as an opera singer is marketing yourself. You need to create a brand for yourself and get your name out there. There are many ways to do this including social media, creating a website or blog, and performing at open mics or showcases.

What It Takes

Vocal chops

If you want to make it as an opera singer, you need more than just great vocal chops. You need stamina, stage presence, acting ability, and dance skills, among other things. But if you have the vocal chops, the rest can be learned.

Opera singing is one of the most demanding vocal styles. To be an opera singer, you must have a well-trained voice that can project over an orchestra and be heard in the back row of a 3,000-seat theater. You must also have the stamina to sing for several hours at a time without rest and the ability to project your voice without amplification.

In addition to great vocal chops, you need acting ability and stage presence. Opera is, after all, a form of theater, and your performance must capture the attention of the audience and hold it for the duration of the opera. This means not only knowing how to sing but also how to act and move on stage. Many opera singers begin their careers in musical theater so that they can learn these skills.

Finally, you need dance skills. Many operas include dances scenes, and even if they don’t, you will still need to move on stage during some numbers. As with acting and singing, this is something that can be learned through training and practice.

Acting chops

Opera is, first and foremost, a dramatic art form. A singer must be able to convincingly portray a variety of emotions and characters on stage. This means having strong acting chops in addition to vocal talent.

Some singers are able to rely on their natural charisma and stage presence to carry them through a performance. Others may need to work harder to connect with their audience. In either case, it is important to be able to tell a story with your voice and your body.

Business sense

A successful career in opera today depends on much more than vocal prowess and acting ability. In order to make it in the music business, opera singers must have a keen understanding of the business side of things.

Managers and agents are vital to an opera singer’s career, but it is also important for singers to be proactive and take charge of their own careers. It is not enough to just sit back and hope for the best. Operatic success depends on making things happen and not just waiting for opportunities to come along.

Business sense is not only about numbers and contracts, however. It is also about knowing how to market oneself effectively. In the competitive world of opera, it is essential to stand out from the crowd and make a name for oneself. This can be done through social media, personal branding, and other marketing strategies.

An understanding of the business side of things is essential for any opera singer who wants to make a success of their career. Those who are willing to put in the hard work and learn about the music business stand the best chance of making it big in this exciting and rewarding industry.

The Path to Success


Opera singers must have formal training in order to develop their voices and hone their craft. The majority of opera singers study at a music conservatory, which offers both academic classes and opportunities to perform. Many opera singers also study privately with a vocal coach to supplement their training.

Opera singers must be able to sing in various languages, as well as have a strong understanding of music theory. They must also be able to sight-read music, which means being able to read and sing a piece of music correctly on the first try. Sight-reading is a difficult skill to master, and it is something that many opera singers continue to work on throughout their careers.

In addition to singing, opera singers must also be skilled actors. They must be able to convey the emotions of the character they are portraying through their singing and acting. Opera is a very physical form of theater, and opera singers must be able to use their entire bodies to express the emotions of the character they are playing.


While you may not be able to snag a gig at the Metropolitan Opera House right away, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a successful career as an opera singer. There are many opportunities for employment in the field of opera, and with a little hard work and dedication, you can find success.

One way to get started is by auditioning for community opera companies. These companies typically have lower budgets than major opera houses, but they can still provide good experience and exposure. In addition, many community opera companies offer workshops and master classes that can help you hone your skills.

Another way to get started is by joining an amateur choir. This can help you gain experience singing in front of an audience and performing with other singers. It can also help you make connections in the industry.

There are also opportunities to sing at private parties, weddings, and other events. While these gigs may not pay as well as performances at an opera house, they can still be a good source of income. In addition, these gigs can help you build your reputation and get your name out there.

Opera is a tough business, but it is possible to find success if you are willing to work hard and put in the time. If you are passionate about singing and willing to put in the effort, you can make it in the music business as an opera singer.


As you enter the music business, it’s important to understand that marketing is a huge part of success as an opera singer. It’s not enough to be a talented vocalist; you must also be able to sell yourself and your brand.

There are a number of ways to market yourself as an opera singer. First, you need to have a strong online presence. This means having an up-to-date website that showcases your work, as well as active social media accounts on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Make sure to post regularly and interact with your fans and followers.

In addition to online marketing, you should also focus on offline marketing efforts. This can include attending industry events and networking with other professionals in the music business. You should also make use of traditional marketing techniques like print advertising and street teaming (passing out fliers in high-traffic areas).

With marketing being such a critical part of success in the music business, it’s important to develop a strategy that works for you. There is no one-size-fits-all approach; figure out what works best for you and your career goals.

The Reality of the Business

As an opera singer, you will have to face many challenges in order to make it in the music business. The first step is to get training from a good music school. After that, you will need to find an agent who will help you get gigs. Once you start getting gigs, you will need to promote yourself and your brand.

The good

While it may not be the most lucrative field, a career in opera can be extremely rewarding. If you have a passion for music and performance, there is no better way to combine these two interests than by becoming an opera singer. As an opera singer, you will have the opportunity to travel the world, perform in some of the most prestigious theaters, and work with some of the greatest musicians in the industry.

The bad

The life of an opera singer is not all glitz and glamour. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. Opera singers have to be very dedicated to their craft and often have to make many sacrifices in order to pursue their passion.

Opera singers often have to deal with a lot of rejection. It is not uncommon for an opera singer to go to dozens of auditions before landing a role. And even then, there is no guarantee that the role will lead to further opportunities.

Opera singers also have to deal with a lot of competition. There are many talented people who want to pursue a career in opera, and only a small percentage of them will actually make it.

And finally, opera singers have to deal with a lot of criticism. People can be very opinionated about opera, and not everyone is going to like every singer’s voice or style.

The ugly

The music business is a tough one, no matter what your specialty may be. And it’s especially tough for opera singers. But if you have a love for opera and a desire to make it your career, there are ways to make it happen — even if it means making some sacrifices along the way.

Here’s a look at the ugly reality of the business, and some tips on how to make it work for you:

-It’s competitive. Very competitive. If you want to make it as an opera singer, you’re going to have to be prepared to compete with hundreds, if not thousands, of other singers for roles. And even if you do land a role, you’re not guaranteed success.

-You’re not going to get rich quick. In fact, you’re probably not going to get rich at all. Most opera singers are paid relatively modest salaries, and even the biggest stars only earn a fraction of what pop stars do. So if you’re in it for the money, you’re in the wrong business.

-It’s hard work. A successful opera career requires dedication, discipline, and long hours of rehearsal and performances. There is no such thing as an “overnight success” in opera; it takes years of hard work to build up a successful career.

-It’s unpredictable. The nature of the business is such that your income can vary greatly from year to year, and even from month to month. You may have several months or years where you barely work at all, followed by a busy season where you’re working non-stop. So you need to be prepared for lean times as well as busy times.

-You have to be prepared to move around. Opera companies are based all over the world, so if you want to find work, you may have to relocate several times during your career. This can be difficult if you have family or other commitments that tie you down in one place.

Despite all these challenges, there are many satisfying aspects of a career in opera — such as performing on stage, working with talented people, and being part of a long tradition of artistic excellence


Thank you for reading! I hope this opera singer guide has been helpful in giving you some insight into what it takes to make it in the music business as an opera singer. There are many different paths to success, and the most important thing is to find what works best for you. Stay focused, work hard, and never give up on your dreams. With dedication and perseverance, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

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