Nadine Sierra’s 3 Tips On How To Have A Healthy Career At A Young Age

By David Salazar

These days, opera singers are being thrust into the spotlight at a younger age due to the quickening pace of the industry and its rigorous stage demands that often call for a more athleticism.

And while getting off to a fast start can be a dream come true, it can also prove overwhelming for some artists who might not have the artistic tools or even emotional maturity to manage what will be overwhelming circumstances.

Enter soprano Nadine Sierra whose career in the opera world started when she was but a teenager. She was a young artist at the Palm Beach Opera at age 14 and at 21, she became the youngest winner of the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions. She hasn’t stopped since, become one of opera’s best-known stars at the age of 31. She’s performed lead roles at all the major houses and even released her first album within the first decades of her life.

Sierra, who was born on May 14, 1988, spoke to OperaWire about her advice for singers who might find themselves on track to a career at an early age.

1. Stick with a voice teacher/coach that you trust.

Having a fast moving career at a young age is a delicate situation mainly because your voice is very much developing until late 30s and early 40s. A good teacher is crucial to sustaining a consistent development of your technique and other artistic challenges that will undoubtedly come your way.

“Even if you have to make time in your schedule to go see them for a week or two to brush up on your technique or any musical issues you’re having, don’t be afraid to do so. Often times, young singers feel they need to fill up their schedule in order to become ‘prestigious’ in this business, but really, quality of voice and artistry will always win over quantity!”

2. Learn how to say “No.”

When your career takes off, offers will stream in. Some of them will be right in line with what you are capable of singing and performing at this moment. And some, while enticing, just won’t be the right fit. You might feel scared to say no and potentially close a door for the future, but it is essential to learn how to make this very decision.

“Each engagement we do should be artistically fulfilling, healthy vocally, and only showcases your absolute best music-making abilities. If the engagement is more about collecting your fee than enhancing your artistic purposes, then you’re only disappointing yourself. Say no to the things you KNOW will not enhance your career, life, or vocal/artistic potential.”

3. Keep your loved ones close.

“This industry can be a stressful one to work in. Freelance singers have to travel a lot, stay focused and healthy while on the road, learn a ton of music constantly, and sacrifice a lot of fun occasions or holidays with loved ones because we’re not at home,”Sierra concluded. “When you can, always keep a close form of communication between you and the people who will ALWAYS support you. They are the people that will always be there for you no matter what happens in your career and those are the people you want in your life when things get tough.”


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