Do I need a music degree to be part of the chorus?
No. This is a professional group, and the Edmontonians involved may have music degrees or employed in other professions and pursuits, including lawyers, doctors and students. Some members have been a part of the chorus for many years, while others are experiencing their first season with the opera.
I have sung in choirs, but have no classical voice training or haven’t seen opera before. Can I still be a part of the opera chorus?
Yes. We provide all training necessary.
Do I get paid? Are there any other benefits?
Chorus members are paid hourly, based on Alberta’s minimum wage. A ticket policy is also in effect, so that chorus members receive two complimentary final dress rehearsal tickets, two complimentary tickets for any performance other than opening night, and two Friday night tickets discounted at 30 per cent or two tickets discounted at 50 per cent on choice of Sunday/Tuesday/Thursday. Parking passes are provided for parking at the Jubilee.
It’s also a chance to share the stage with world-class singers, directors and designers, and there is opportunity to be considered for small solo roles.
When are rehearsals?
Rehearsals are always evenings and weekends, not during working hours.
What does the rehearsal schedule look like?
The confirmed schedules are set when chorus contracts are signed, but in general, music rehearsals are three to four nights per week, starting a month before staging starts. A week prior to opening night, rehearsals are every night and mandatory.
Where do we perform?
The majority of rehearsals are held backstage at the Jubilee, in the rehearsal hall, with some rehearsals at Alberta College. The productions are at the Jubilee Auditorium.
Do I have to memorize my music?
Yes. Not by the first rehearsal, but definitely by the time the staging rehearsals start. However, most members find that they memorize without much effort, through the rehearsals themselves.
How do I learn my music?
Chorus scores are provided. For additional help, our chorusmaster creates practice CDs for each specific voice type, so that everyone can take home their individual part.
What if I can’t speak any foreign languages?
Fluency in foreign languages is not required to be a part of the opera chorus. Between the rehearsals, chorus scores and music CDs, everyone can learn whichever language is being performed for that production. This year alone, our chorus has learned to sing in Italian, French and Russian.
Do I have to bring my own costume?
We provide the costumes, and they are custom fitted by Edmonton Opera’s wardrobe department. Professional hair and makeup is also done during the performances.
I can’t be involved in all of the shows, but I can perform in one or two. Is that OK?
Yes. Next year, the chorus is needed for two mainstage shows, Die Fledermaus and Madama Butterfly. Chorus members do not have to perform in all of the scheduled mainstage operas.
I can’t be in the mainstage operas, but I still want to be involved in the chorus. Is that possible?
There are still opportunities for chorus members to be involved in special events that happen throughout the year, such as the chorus concert in October which will celebrate the Edmonton Opera’s 50th anniversary.