Does anyone know about the vacancy in Boston Lyric Opera?
I received this information today from the Boston Lyric Opera:
“Greetings from Boston Lyric Opera,
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Boston Lyric Opera is postponing its plans for harp auditions.
Revised arrangements will be posted on the BLO auditions web page within 14 days.”
This possibly means they were overwhelmed by the response they received, the same thing happened with the San Diego Symphony auditions and St. Louis Symphony sub auditions.
It may be good news for anyone who didn’t get their resume in on time though.
The repertoire list was not announced for the Boston Lyric Opera audition yet.
It would be absolutely wonderful if both the Chicago Lyric and New York City Opera had auditions, but in light of economical factors I predict that the New York City Opera will wait at least another season before doing anything. (I would love to be proved wrong though!)
The Chicago Lyric Opera is indeed open, but no plans have been announced for the audition yet. Elizabeth Cifani officially retired last Winter, so the position is currently open.
Even though the Boston Lyric Opera is not a full time job, I feel like it will attract a lot of auditionees since we haven’t had many harp jobs open lately. It seems like it would be a great opportunity for someone to have a foundation for a career in Boston, adding teaching, freelancing, chamber music etc on top. The last sub-list audition I was at (Minnesota Orchestra) attracted as many harpists as some jobs do, in fact more than some job auditions. I think every audition that is announced is going to see a much larger response since more and more young harpists are “waiting in the wings” and frankly are getting desperate for work.
The work situation in the classical end of the harp(symphony, opera, ballet, etc.) is a disaster and has been for a long time. To win one of the rare openings the harpist today has to be an unbelievable harpist. Jessica Zhou went through a grueling audition process that would have killed most other harpists, which I explained in a post two years ago. The current fill-in harpist with Boston Lyric is Ina Zdorovitch, who a year ago took the top prize in Israel. Frankly, it’s much much harder to win a job today than it is to play the job. But that’s the way it is.
A friend of mine at a major music school told me that a very fine harpist there has decided to go into nursing because she doesn’t see any future in the harp.
It was no better in the 1980s when I came out of school. At least now it is far easier to find out about auditions, especially in Europe. No one should depend on getting a full-time orchestra position. Opera repertoire is its own world and requires a lot of preparation. It is a special skill to me.
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