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Getting from Here to There

by Joan Dornemann


I love working with singers. I am so fortunate that, entirely by accident, I happened upon a career as an opera coach. We never really know what is just around the corner and what opportunity lies waiting for us, if we just have enough courage to recognize it and to take it.

It is a wonderful career. In more than 25 years at the Metropolitan Opera, I have had the privilege of working with the greatest singers—and with beginning singers as well, during my time as part of the Metropolitan Opera competition.
What I have never come across is a perfect singer. I’ve known many singers who are perfectly terrific, and perfectly thrilling, and perfectly wonderful. But perfect? No. But I know this is a perfectly wonderful time for singers! Never mind the economic situation.

We have increased access to more information for young singers than ever before. We have more teachers who are willing to share everything they ever learned, which was not the case some 25 years ago. We have more youn...

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