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One of the strangest audition experience I had was for a YAP a few years ago. During my aria, the two men on the panel were standing while shuffling and organizing papers. I'm not sure if they even looked at me while I was singing...


I applied to Seattle Opera a few years back. The application fee was $40. They cashed my check but never contacted me. I tried emailing them to inquire (twice) and received no response. Two telephone calls were also unsuccessful. In 2013, I applied to Union Avenue Opera (St. Louis, MO) who were casting for Die Walkure. They informed me I would be granted an audition and I need to pay the fee with in 10 days. I paid via YapTracker and I never heard from them again. I don't waste my money on anything that requires fees anymore!

shirley love

All of this is what is called a scam, taking money without giving back a product ,in this case an audition or the return of a fee for not giving the audition. It is time for AGMA to get involved by setting up rules for auditions. Most of these opera companies are AGMA affiliated companies. It is their responsibility to protect the singers who are paying dues to be in that union.


Shirley, if an opera company has an AGMA apprenticeship, then AGMA might have some influence, but it's possible for a company to be an AGMA signatory for chorus only, or mainstage only, or mainstage and chorus, and STILL not have an AGMA apprenticeship. And if you want AGMA to be involved, then you as an AGMA member have to demand it. AGMA is a union and unions are made up of members. Although there is a paid staff that runs administrative things, it is the membership that decides what it wants and makes things happen. So, if you are an AGMA member and you want changes in the way AGMA signatories run their apprenticeships, you need to bring it to your fellow union members and start making it happen. There is no Big Daddy who is going to make things happen for you.

Also, this would only affect AGMA apprenticeships, and there are plenty of companies that are non-union.


Several years ago I auditioned for a well respected Seattle area company. Previously, I heard in my lesson that they were having difficulty finding someone to play and that should have been my clue to find my own accompanist. But since I had auditioned with this company before, I assumed they would find someone competent. So at my audition, I decide to open with 'Chacun le sait' from The Daughter of the Regiment. It sounded like a safe bet as it begins with an opening cadenza and the rest of the aria is fairly simple for the pianist. So I'm in the midst of my glorious cadenza and the accompanist starts playing the rest of the aria before I'm finished! She realizes she made a mistake and stops playing but yanno...the damage was done.

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Where's Cindy Singing Next?

  • Madame Armfeldt, A Little Night Music, Alamo City Opera
    February 3 & 4, 2018 https://www.alamocityopera.org/

Cindy on Stage

  • 13220521_10154382855989305_3685292970235829455_o
    I play dress-up for a living.

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