End Application and Audition Fees for Opera Singers

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Operatic young artists spend thousands of dollars each audition season paying not only the cost of audition travel and recording costs, but application fees, in order to simply be considered to have an audition. In many circumstances, they are turned away having paid anywhere between $20-$100, without ever having the chance to even sing for a company. These application fees are non-refundable.

Companies claim that these fees are charged in order to offset the cost of reviewing an applicant’s material, and to pay for a pianist, yet this is unheard of in the theatre world, and at those auditions, the companies still manage to provide a pianist at no cost to the singer. 

The bottom line: Young singers spend thousands of dollars on their education, perfecting their craft, many times working multiple jobs just to afford these application fees, and it is simply NOT right.

An opera company should see the opportunity to hear a singer as an opportunity for them to fill a casting need with a valuable resource, yet charging these exorbitant fees is truly taking advantage of young artists, as well as making audition opportunities only available to wealthier singers, eliminating a large pool of American operatic talent from consideration. 

We ask in good faith that our union, the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA), and Opera America, go to bat for us on this issue, and formally appeal and negotiate with all American companies to end application fees. We simply ask that our talent be recognized and respected on a level equal to our musical theatre colleagues. We ask that respect is given for the amount of money, time, and effort which already go into preparing recording materials, and paying for travel costs for auditions, without the added burden of having to pay a fee on top of that just to be CONSIDERED to be heard, without the promise of even being heard. 

Thank you so much for your help and consideration in protecting us, and our talent.


Young Operatic Artists of America