What singers must do to cope with rejection

What singers must do to cope with rejection


norman lebrecht

November 11, 2015

Sexi Soprano has developed strategies for coping with the thanks-but-no-thanks opera letters that flood in at this time of year. For instance:

My teacher in undergrad told me a story about how as a young singer living in New York at the start of her career, she was rejected so often that she was able to use her rejection letters to wallpaper her bathroom. Though I loved the quirkiness and irreverence of that idea, in my opinion, it was lacking in actual pay-off. I’m someone who enjoys attaching special meaning to things. I am also someone who loves researching and dreaming about exciting purchases. If there is anything that excites me almost as much as getting hired to sing opera, it’s jewelry. I decided that I would begin collecting my rejection letters, start saving a little extra cash for every rejection letter, and when I reached 50 rejections, I would purchase a special piece of jewelry for myself.

Discover more remedies here.


Singer, audition


  • william osborne says:

    Since the USA ranks 39th in the world for opera performances per capita, I suspect she will end up well jeweled.

    • Greg Hlatky says:

      Any time any city wants to give this poor woman steady employment by establishing one or more full-time publicly-funded opera companies, they’re perfectly free to do so.

      • william osborne says:

        Yeah, yeah, and I’m sure that you and the rest of the Fox News crowd will be out there vigorously campaigning for it — to say nothing of the ever-silent Democrats.

        • Greg Hlatky says:

          Fox News: the epithet employed by those with no other arguments to make.

          In any case, my opinion – whatever you may presume it to be – is irrelevant to whether New York, Chicago, San Francisco, etc. choose to have full-time publicly-funded opera companies, as I don’t live there. If it’s that important, maybe you should be thinking about why the people who do live there aren’t agitating for them. Hint: Fox News has nothing to do with it.

        • Neven P. says:

          Don’t care about opera at all, but would like to declare support for my Tea Party fellow Greg. Now back to watching the Fox News…

          William – at least you showed some sense of humor in your first comment, which is encouraging. But God forbid anybody ever mentions Wagner or VPO…

    • David says:

      You sure do have a bug up your ass about American culture. Be glad you can write your smarmy articles in Europe. You would be on welfare here.

      • Eddie Mars says:

        Thanks! People like you and Greg are doing our job for us! One peek at your Boltonish piffle, and readers are already packing their bags!

        Love from Europe!

  • MacroV says:

    Singers aren’t unique. Anyone auditioning for an orchestra generally faces a lot of rejection, with 100+ well-qualified candidates turning up at many auditions.

    • Ram says:

      Certainly not unique. Orchestra work tends to be rather long term though. Singers have to audition for each job. With lyric tenors is not so bad, but I have seen over 200 sopranos try for the same gig. I really don’t see how your comment is relevant.

  • John McLaughlin Williams says:

    In conducting the circumstances are worse. There are many more candidates and far fewer positions.