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Ellen Rissinger

Trust me, they don't always want to pay the accompanist either. A million years ago when I was a Young Artist, I accompanied for a major vocal competition; they paid me and one of the opera's staff accompanists a really bad hourly rate for 3 days of playing. Two of the Young Artist singers in the same YAP program won prizes (together, the total that they won was close to $20,000), so the organisers asked them to perform at their patron luncheon the week after the competition--and then they called me, asking me to accompany them. When I asked how much they were paying, the reply was, "Well, the staff accompanists usually do it free." And my reply was, "I'm a Young Artist and not making a living wage. I can't do it free."

At the luncheon the organiser was across the table from me, and in the middle of lunch she said bitterly, "Oh, here, I guess I HAVE to give you this", and literally threw an envelope with money in it across the table at me, in front of everyone. It's never ceases to amaze me how disrespectful people can be.


Alas, Ellen, it's true. It's kind of shocking to me that a VOCAL competition would treat you so badly, though!

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Where's Cindy Singing Next?

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    February 3 & 4, 2018 https://www.alamocityopera.org/

Cindy on Stage

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