Opera Voice Coaching
To Become a Career Singer in the Industry
Opera is a sport. I discovered this while working in the opera industry for 15 years in the Boston area before moving back to California. It is hard work, very fun and takes real dedication and then there is this amazingly beautiful, captivating sound. I have been blessed to work with so many incredible singers of all calibers. I say it's a sport because I have witnessed an worked with professional singers who travel around the country and the world regularly. They can sing about 4 hours per day. To do this, they take very good care of their vocal chords by speaking on the breath when they are talking, for example. They avoid shouting and anything rough on the chords. They do daily vocal exercises.
Coming into the industry fresh out of college after obtaining a Bachelor's in piano performance, and having studied and performed piano accompanying and opera singing, I was immersed into the opera world. I came from a choral background, had taken ballet and had played classical piano since I was 6. I also was in several rock and grunge bands, singing lead vocals and playing piano and rhythm guitar. I didn't like opera when I first heard it. Then, I was required to study it in school to obtain my degree, learning first Italian, then French and German diction. I fell in love with it through doing it. The challenge was that of playing Rachmaninoff and Liszt, learning to move my voice all over, up and down.
After graduating, I started a career in piano accompanying, and quickly got involved in bel canto singing lessons. I took regular lessons for the next 9 years while being the in-house accompanist for my teacher. I worked in several voice studios over the years, and also became a regular accompanist for the local opera company as well as occasional work for other companies. When the usual 3 month or so rehearsal period would finish, I typically would switch from rehearsal pianist playing orchestra reductions to a singer on the stage. I mainly would sing in the chorus - it was great fun and the costumes were amazing. I sang in Carmen, La Traviata, Magic Flute & Amahl and the Night Visitors, where I played the lead role of The Mother. I eventually sang as an alto soloist with orchestra. My classical voice was maturing more and more.
So were my piano skills. The next logical step was to transition into a voice coach. I could play and sing at the piano, just like others I had seen in college. Even though I have been a performer all my life, when it comes to opera I knew that I was not meant to be a professional opera soloist on the stage. Mainly, this is because I did not connect with being an actress in this way. But I do love concert opera - this means no set, no costumes, just singing on stage, similar to an oratorio setting. This is more my thing. I'm more of a piano soloist or rock band lead singer. It's a stretch to go from head banging and moshing on stage to planting myself on stage and singing about someone who I'm in love with or someone who did me a wrong. You know, opera stories. But that's okay, what I'm passionate about is helping people become those amazing performers who love to act and sing on the stage. I love all aspects of the voice and I am so fortunate to have learned the way I did, first in college, then in countless hours, listening to voice teachers show students so many different ways to achieve a natural, free, pure sound that is the bel canto style.
So today, I have a beautiful studio in Felton, CA, with a 1915 Steinway concert grand piano (essential for opera training), an over 3000 titles of sheet music. I have many opera scores and even more art song & lieder sheets. This music is the training grounds for opera, as the pieces are shorter and less technically difficult. I have the knowledge to take you from the beginning, discover your voice type together, usually within about 10 lessons. I do with you through exploration of literature, usually starting in Italian and branching off into other languages depending on your knowledge of language. Before starting on literature, we begin basic vocal exercises first. I require that any student that comes to me puts aside all modern influences during lesson, all smart devices are prohibited so that we can have no distractions, this has been the way for hundreds of years until the invention of the smartphone. Since we will study period music, we will honor these times by not introducing distractions. Another absolute must is that you must not consult with other teachers or watch videos online of instructors. This is the tradition we all live by as opera singers in training.
So, as we begin to work together, I like to do a trial period of 3-5 lessons. If we like working together, and you feel that you can trust me to guide you in your singing, then we can proceed. Lessons are once a week at the minimum, with breaks for holidays and vacations and of course if one of us is sick with something contagious. That is the number one priority for a career opera singer. We all get cagey and avoid sick people right before a gig. Plus it's good for your director too. I've seen what happens when a lead opera singer gets laryngitis the day before opening night. It's so hard on the producers and directors. But that's why we have understudies.
Are you ready to get serious about your voice? If you are, then give me a call, I can't wait to talk to you and hear your voice! If you're not sure, and would like to see what this is all about, let's talk and we can set up some lessons.
~ Anna Greco, pianist and opera voice coach
For all voice coaching sessions, Anna is available to accompanying you, bringing decades of experience, both playing and singing classical music. Bringing your own accompanist is also encouraged for the best experience for you.
Age Level ~ Classical singers typically start private voice lessons at age 16 or so, singing light repertoire only as the the vocal chords continue to develop. A classical voice typically matures around age 40, which makes it a wonderful sport to start later in life.
Here are some examples of the different things we work on at different technical levels:
INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED LEVEL
Coming Soon.......Come back for a portfolio of pictures and venues
Coming Soon.......Come back for a full list of Anna's experience
$100 hourly ~ Opera Professionals
1 hour minimum charge
$80 hourly ~ Intermediate to Advanced Level
3/4 hour minimum charge
$60 hourly ~ Beginner Level
1/2 hour minimum charge
Payment is collected at the time of service. Cash or check is preferred.
Call Anna at (831) 335-8364 or use the Time Requester
Updated December 1st, 2020