Your paragraph text.png

I thought of myself as an imperfect writer who needed to perfect himself, perfect his language and style, and all of a sudden that was a suffocating project that I had to break with

 

SAUL BELLOW

What we respond to in any work of art is the artist’s struggle against his or her limitations.

 

 

SAUL STEINBERG

It’s by remaining faithful to the contingencies and peculiarities of your own experience and the vagaries of your own nature that you stand the greatest chance of conveying something universal

 

GEOFF DYER

You keep excavating yourself. You want/don't want this self-knowledge.

Tough fucking task.

 

 

 

DAVID SHIELDS

mission:

-provide a wholistic, unemotional view of my industry position

-clearly state my goals, plans, potential, and beliefs

-identify and name weaknesses that may be holding me back

 

-continue career development and growth along desired lines 

-source assistance from a team of trusted professionals and confidants 

-gain insight into market trends; reveal paths forward

Challenges

how I see things as they relate to my specific situation

Your paragraph text-3.png
Image by Michael Dziedzic

No Middle

Your paragraph text-3.png
Image by Richard Ciraulo

Repertoire
& Casting Trends

Your paragraph text-3.png
Dollar Bill in Jar

Finances

The rise in ubiquity of "Young Artist" programs, coupled with the budget difficulties faced by every major opera company has led to a shrinking in available roles for me. Most roles not filled by "stars" are cast for cheap from "young artists" - especially crucial developmental roles as I move into the appropriate repertoire for my age and voice - even covers of major roles at major companies will not be given beyond their YAPs. Loyalty to training program alumni is also an obstacle. 

As repertoire and casting is becoming, rightfully, more diverse the percentage chances I have of being hired decrease. Commitments to racial percentage casting and development of specific works for race-based communities limit my personal ability to be considered for many roles in standard and new repertoire.

Also, in a misplaced effort to draw audiences, opera companies increasingly are not doing actual operas (Lyric Opera of Chicago, Glimmerglass, etc) 

Life expenses are increasing while hiring potential decreases. Without the chance to learn and grow 'on the job' the requirement for reinvestment of earned money into developmental resources (coaching, lessons) becomes greater. General decrease of pay within the sector and increase of costs (medical, housing, food, etc.)

Constant payment and reinvestment cycle does not allow for sufficient money savings.

Potential solutions

ways to move forward from challenges 

Your paragraph text-3.png
Image by Michael Dziedzic

No Middle

Your paragraph text-3.png
Image by Richard Ciraulo

Repertoire
& Casting Trends

Your paragraph text-3.png
Dollar Bill in Jar

Finances

-become a "star" whatever that means 

overcome program alumni loyalty, gain trust to sing new to me repertoire

 

-the only other solution would be to make a career of covering and singing small/mid roles at the Met - which is the only house that has the infrastructure to pay people for these positions 

-increase castability in the standard, most-performed operatic canon to increase percentage chances of being cast 

-continue to develop and demonstrate an undeniable quality of skill 

 

for me this includes proving myself somewhat 'against type' since I became initially recognized for performances of newer operas (covering Eurydice at Met) and niche community targets (Fellow Travelers) 

-obtain external support for career expenses: donors, foundations, grants?

 

-continue to sacrifice my personal life goals (home, family, etc) as I strive for a tenable career position

-develop out of industry skills for survival jobs

GET THE REPS IN 

ROLES I NEED NOW AND OFTEN FOR DEVELOPMENT (BY LANGUAGE)

BELLINI

  • Puritani: Riccardo

  • Pirata: Ernesto

DONIZETTI

  • Don Pasquale: Malatesta

  • L'elisir: Belcore

  • La favorita: Alphonse

  • Roberto Devereux: Nottingham

HANDEL

  • Agrippina: Pallante 

  • Giulio Cesare: Cesare, Achilla

  • Rinaldo: Argante

 

PUCCINI

  • Boheme: Marcello

  • Butterfly: Sharpless

  • Fanciulla: Sonora

  • Manon Lescaut: Lescaut

LEONCAVALLO

  • Pagliacci: Silvio

MONTEVERDI

  • Ritorno d'Ulisse: Ulisse

MOZART

  • Cosi: Guglielmo

  • Giovanni: Giovanni

  • Nozze: Count 

ROSSINI

  • Barber of Seville: Figaro

  • Cenerentola: Dandini

VERDI

  • Don Carlo(s): Rodrigo

  • Falstaff: Ford

Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It's easy on the eyes and a great go-to font for titles, paragraphs & more.

1. La Boheme - Puccini

2. Tosca - Puccini

3. Carmen - Bizet

4. Marriage of Figaro - Mozart

5. Barber of Seville - Rossini

6. Rigoletto - Verdi 

7. La Traviata - Traviata

8. Magic Flute - Mozart

9. Butterfly - Puccini

10. Don Giovanni - Mozart

21. Aida - Verdi

22. Sour Angelica - Puccini

23. Ariadne auf Naxos - Strauss

24. Romeo and Juliet - Gounod 

25. Amahl and the Night Visitors 

26. Daughter of the Regiment - Donizetti

27. As One - Kaminsky

28. Cavalleria Rusticana - Mascagni

29. Flying Dutchman - Wagner

30. Falstaff - Verdi

FUTURE ROLES

Humperdink

  • Hansel and Gretel: Peter/Father

Leoncavallo

  • I Pagliacci: Tonio

Mascagni

  • Cavalleria Rusticana: Alfio

Puccini

  • Tosca: Scarpia

Verdi

  • Aida: Amonasro

  • Falstaff: Ford

  • Rigoletto: Rigoletto

  • Traviata: Germont

'TOP 30' ROLES NOW

* = likely to go to a Young Artists at all except very largest houses

Bizet

  • Carmen: Escamillo, Morales*

Donizetti

  • Elixir of Love: Belcore

  • Lucia Di Lammermoor: Enrico

Gounod

  • Romeo et Juliette: Mercutio*

Leoncavallo

  • I pagliacci: Silvio*

Mozart

  • Cosi fan tutteGuglielmo

  • Don Giovanni: Giovanni

  • Nozze di Figaro: Count Almaviva

  • Magic Flute: Papageno*

Puccini

  • La Boheme: Marcello, Schaunard*

  • Madama Butterfly: Sharpless, Yamadori*

  • Turandot: Ping

  • Gianni Schicchi: Marco

Rossini

  • Barber of Seville: Figaro

  • Cenerentola: Dandini*

Strauss

  • Ariadne auf Naxos: Harlekin*

Tchaikovsky​

  • Eugene Onegin: Onegin

Verdi

  • Falstaff: Ford

  • Rigoletto: Marullo*

OperaBase TOP 30 Most Performed Operas in the US 2018-2022

11. Turandot - Puccini

12. Cosi fan tutte - Mozart

13. Hansel and Gretel - humperdink

14. Lucia di Lammermoor - Donizetti

15. Elixir of Love - Donizetti 

16. Pagliacci - Leoncavallo

17. Eugene Onegin - Tchaikovsky

18. Cenerentola - Rossini

19. Cinderella - Massenet

20. Gianni Schicchi - Puccini

Parallel Lines

How You Can Help

1

People

Join my team. 

Brainstorm with me who to get in touch with to reach my goals.

Recommend me to your colleagues and friends.

Connect me with people you trust.

Help me set up coaching and work sessions and auditions.

2

Advice & Continued Interest

I need your help and continued interest. 

Help me brainstorm repertoire.

Communicate with me about what you need to hear from me to continue believing in me.

Give me opportunities.

3

Connection to Funds

Do you know of a donor or family foundation who might respond well to an request for support? 

Do you have recommendations for private funding I could access for career growth? Concert series? Teaching/masterclass opportunity?

a few things I believe about myself

01.

my voice and stage skills are of world class quality and will continue to improve because I care deeply about it

03.

I deserve to make a living doing this as a career while also achieving personal and financial goals

05.

my mentality is focused on making an excellent product for the audience and not for playing the inter-industry games - this is invariably recognized by audiences and reviewers

02.

the potential I hold is great. my voice will grow to succeed best in Verdi and other Italian repertoire   

04.

I should not be ashamed to ask for help from the people who say they care about me. everyone everywhere uses their network as a benefit

06.

I am actively working in therapy to divorce my own self-worth from career achievement but I am uncommonly emotionally attached to the idea of success in opera

Please share your feedback, honest impressions, suggestions, and ideas here:

Thanks for submitting!