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While local work can be hard to come by, Houston has a wonderful and slowly thriving operatic music scene. Look below for general guidelines on how to get involved as a singer in the Houston and Greater Houston areas. Also PLEASE note that these are suggestions to look into, not a guarantee you will be able to land any of these gigs. I would suggest you do your research and support the company, go to their shows, familiarize yourself with these places and the work they do, make your own judgement about how you would fit in, discuss with your teachers and coaches about these opportunities, THEN apply. If any of this information is offensive or contains details that the company directors don't like, please have them message us at email@example.com and we will take down any information that may be unhelpful for the companies.
Opera in the Heights
Wonderful company to work for. If you are between gigs and have no other work, but consider yourself a soloist only: do consider email and seeing if you do chorus work. Some of the singers that have done this as a favor to the company have gone on to sing some roles, some people simply stay in this chorus. Regardless it is a singing paycheck, and is fulfilling work. Also check their YAP Tracker page for more solo opportunities in the summer.
HGOco and Houston Grand Opera Chorus
Most people moving here will already know the behemoth of Houston Grand Opera and the HGO Studio artists. Did you know they hire locally for chorus members? Almost every professional singer I know at every part of their career that is local has sung for the chorus at HGO. Other great outreach opportunities exist at their subcompany HGOco, which still rehearses in the same building, but you can have opportunities like premiering works under Houston Grand Opera and singing for school outreach. I have personally found working for HGOco to be very fulfilling, and its a great way to make other connections. Do note, I'm note sure currently how this works, but in the past artists that work in this vain typically are people who have moved on or given up on auditioning for the HGO Studio. I honestly think if you've got the connections or large enough voice to be in HGO Studio, you probably would be advancing, but just be aware and ask around if this opportunity is right for you at your current development as an artist. They also post opportunities on YAP Tracker.
There are SO many church jobs in the area. Yes due to COVID-19 some churches are shutting doors, but some are hiring people for their church live streams. Also, after the stay at home orders are lifted, know that there are so many church opportunities in town. Ask your friends and colleagues around if there are any openings, feel free to SCROLL FIRST and then ask on the Facebook Houston Professional Artists group, and check out the bulletin boards around Shepherd School of Music or Moores School of Music. There is always someone hiring. Wages are usually negotiable, plus you can even just become a sub-in if you think you can't commit to a full time church gig. Churches all hire out for concerts, and its silly to not take advantage of this.
Bach Society Houston
If your voice moves well, and you know how to actually sing a real piano, Bach Society Houston is a really fun group to work for. It basically functions as a second church job meeting on Tuesdays, and they will hire out on a gig by gig basis. They do keep regulars so it can be hard to get in for certain voice types, but overall if you have a good attitude they will eventually need you. Their gigs happen all over Houston, and I have found the music they choose to be quite fulfilling and challenging. The pay is decent, and it really does feel like you're a part of something great. They also typically will give choir members a chance to sing solos, so every once in awhile you get to add a solo to your resume under Oratorio!
Houston Chamber Choir
Yes, this is a choral gig, and they probably will get onto you for not blending, however, there are many singers that I know who had a good time working here. The leader of the group is an amazing man plus the group just won a grammy. If your resume is barren, then I do suggest you check it out. If you are one of those soloist singers who turn your nose up at singing in a choral/blended manner then please DO NOT AUDITION. If you have some good chops singing and know of any rep where they need a soloist that is right up your alley, maybe consider sending Robert Simpson an email asking to audition.
Gilbert and Sullivan Society
This is a company that doesn't normally pay, if you audition and have a different experience, then awesome! However, I think that if you do sing for them, know that from singers I know and have talked to said that payment was not involved. It is a great way to get some Gilbert and Sullivan onto your resume. As a soloist, I've heard singing for the chorus is a little too time consuming to be worth your time. But if you think you need some straight up stage time, this would be a great idea to work with this company. Also they use big lovely stages like the Wortham Center and the Hobby Center, which is AMAZING.