Ten years ago, as a sixteen-year-old high school student recently introduced to opera, I embarked on an unforgettable journey for the first time, to Colorado Springs.
The mission was to tackle a two-week Summer intensive at the Colorado Springs Conservatory, where I would work an insane amount, and learn even more over the course of fourteen days.
At the end of this program, we were fortunate enough to trek up to Central City to experience their season, sit in on master-classes, perform in some of our own, and present our scenes program and original work in the Stables Theater.
What a surreal experience it was as a teenager, to be in such an inspiring environment and in the midst of a top tier young artist program. I walked around the facilities daydreaming about a day when I might be able to participate in something so exciting.
Ten years later, that daydream has become a reality, as I have been accepted as a Studio Artist for Central City Opera in their 2019 season. I couldn’t be more thrilled that this will be my first professional contract, in a place I have come to know so well and admire so much; full circle living at its finest!
That being said, this acceptance certainly didn’t come easily. I worked my tail off during those 10 years, achieving both bachelor and master’s degrees in vocal performance.
I actually auditioned for CCO 2 years ago, was not accepted, and was not even granted an audition for their 2018 season. But, of course I couldn’t give up on my dream.
Luckily, never for a moment, even with all of the rejections, did I doubt my talent or ability to succeed.
That being said, I was certainly frustrated that no one on the other side of these audition panels appeared to believe what I believed, nor hear what I heard in myself.
In 2018, the tides began to change in my favor. I took on two lead roles in main stage operas at Mannes School of Music in New York City, and I pushed forward into a grueling audition season this past fall.
I applied to 24 young artist programs, and was humbled to receive 16 auditions…but, no contracts made their way into my inbox. I received encouragements, made alternate lists, and even a couple of callbacks, but no acceptances.
Just when I was about to give up, about thirty minutes after my final audition of the season, I received the call from Central City. I was in.
Never before did I agree with the statement so wholeheartedly that “all it takes is one”.
I couldn’t be more excited for my first summer in Central City as a studio artist, and I have never been more excited for what’s to come in my career. I know there will be plenty of ups and downs, lonely moments, and days where I strongly consider giving up, but I must trust the process and stay humble, grateful, and hardworking.
There is no place in this business for an attitude, and I know now more than ever that an astounding percentage of the people that make it do so because they simply hung on. I’m hangin on.
Written by Zach Goldman