Careers in Opera

Opera is a highly specialized and collaborative art form with a rich history. Singers, conductors, vocal coaches, musicians, directors, stage managers, administrators, set and costume designers, and other professionals all work together to bring to life the masterworks of the genre, as well as new works that give voice to contemporary talents and issues. 

Training to be an opera professional is extensive, regardless of what area of the business you choose. A solid foundation in both music and theater is essential.  

Opera exists throughout the U.S., with some of the major opera houses located in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Houston. 

There are also many smaller regional companies that present full seasons and often provide opportunities for young opera professionals to find work.  Numerous summer opera festivals such as Sante Fe Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, and Wolf Trap Opera also provide employment and connections for many people in the opera industry. 

Europe has even more opportunities for employment in opera than the United States, and many professionals begin their careers in European opera houses.  Having a good command of languages (particularly Italian, French, and German) is essential in opera, but especially if you are planning to work in Europe.