It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of great talent, must let the world know about such talent (well, the quote goes something like that, right?) In the present time of lightning speed information, letting the world know about the talent is an art on its own. It isn’t just about Facebook, Twitter (tweet me: @mezzoihnen), and YAPTracker, though. Therefore, we continue our singer tech series disseminating oodles of tidbits on the WWW of tra-la-la.
A singer’s website is an ever-ready audition. It is an introduction to you as a professional musician. It should include your biography, resume, audio samples, and headshots at least. When you design your website reflect deeply on how visitors will use it and what they are seeking. Consider the type of people you are sending to your site. Directors, conductors, auditors? Make sure your press package is easy to download. Also, ensure that your sound clips are dazzling as well as representative of the roles you desire. Fans, friends, momagers? Get those upcoming performances in front of their eyes. Let them know how easy it is to get tickets for your once in a lifetime performance.
Very important note: unless you are an HTML wizard, please pay someone to make the website. It is worth it to have a professional site. As you can tell, the Sybaritic Singer is already a fan of Dynamod for making her website look serious and stunning. Of course, we’ll also throw in a plug for WordPress. It’s not just for bloggin’ it up! You can use their facile formatting to make a pretty inexpensive professional website. Many powerhouse singers also choose VoxPage1.com. Their design is consistently contemporary and masterful. Overall, there are many expert web designers out there (that have not been listed here) so do a bit of research and get thee a website!
Music Scores Galore
"yes, as much love in rhyme As would be cramm'd up in a sheet of paper"
As singers, paper is near to our hearts. Handed down from composer to performer it gives us the direction, the poetry, the melody and the foundation that we need to make our art come alive. Whether you are reviving old repertoire or reveling in the new, finding the score can be a bit of a challenge. I have been indebted to a couple of the following resources for helping me find the impossible more than once or twice. The International Music Score Library Project is a graduate student’s dream: thousands of scores, thousands of different composers, and free to anyone with internet access! Another innovative concept comes from CD Sheet Music which offers “tens of thousands of pages of music on a few feet of shelf space.” Every Note is very helpful for those moments when *gasp* you have left your music at home while doing a gig out of state. Which I am sure never happens to you…
One last point, if you are not familiar with Glendower Jones of Classical Vocal Repertoire — consider this your introduction. While not the most techie in the WWW field, this is a resource “you need to know.” They are known for having it all; including that aria you fell in love with from that rarely performed opera. So grab your smart phone and give them a call.
Even a cursory search of The Aria Database yields a list full of well-known standards as well as a few off-the-beaten path arias. The results are informative bullet points. For example,
- Role : Mignon, stolen from an Italian castle by gypsies as a young girl
- Voice Part : mezzo-soprano Fach : lyric mezzo
- Setting : courtyard of a German Inn, late 1700s
- Range : C4 to F5. Tessitura : D#/Eb4 to D#/Eb5
- Synopsis : Mignon tells Wilhelm about her native land, which she knows only in vague memories.
- Sound file : none
- Translation and/or Aria Text : Libretto entered by Robert Glaubitz.
- Recordings : Complete Opera Excerpts from Opera
- Where to Find It : Score of opera and aria alone – Classical Vocal Reprints, 1-800-298-7474. Catalog number for aria : #0410 (Db, several different available), for score : #HE34 (Heugel). Buy complete score online at Sheet Music Plus.
Another astonishing database is The Lied and Art Song Texts Page. Housing almost 83,000 texts to settings of Lieder and a myriad of other classical art songs gives a glimpse into the immense scope of this database. Use this as a basis for gathering information about your pieces. Don’t necessarily assume that the website will feature both the song title as well as the title of the poem it uses. Remember these are all research resources.
A short list of other musical databases to check out: The Classical Music Reference Library, Oxford Music Online (if you’re a student you can often use your school’s library account), Naxos, and many others.
Stay tuned Sybaritic Faithful. We have many more tech resources to discuss. Have we covered anything new to you yet? What did you use to make your professional website? Where do you research your texts? Like always, give me all the juicy bits and pieces.