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How much do u usually earn from becoming an opera/classical singer?

...compared to pop superstars like Britney or Madonna?

What is the usual "pricetag" of a very famous opera singer for a single show?

And how about the album sales? I know it may not sell as much as current popstars but is it still profitable?

Can u earn a lot of money as an opera/classical performer?

I seem to notice there are a lot of classical singers or classically-trained singers who switch to pop music like Charlotte Church or Josh Groban.

p.s: sorry if this question has been asked before!

12 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Let me be honest with you. Charlotte Church and Josh Groban were never opera singers. They didn't switch. The only thing that switched is their buying market. They sing what I call pop-opera. Singers like Luciano Pavarotti, Renee Fleming, Jessye Norman are true opera singers. Just listen to these singers CD's in comparison to Charlotte Church and Josh Groban. The technique they use is totally different, and although they have classical remnants in it, it wouldn't make due on an opera stage. These pop opera artists do this to appeal to more masses and sell more with the images. If you want to be an opera singer with mass appeal, you need to look a Renee Fleming, not a Charlotte Church. After she grew up, she hasn't been able to pull opera off. That's why you don't hear about Charlotte singing roles in opera.

    Now let's get to a "pricetag". The beginning opera singer does things for free in college. Most of us study in college. So everything you do will be pro bono, unless there is an opera chorus around you. After you pass that stage. you have to build a reputation. Opera singers are no different then anyone else. It depends on the company, what rep you have, and what role you are singing. Some smaller companies might start you off with 300 to 1,000 dollars a performance IF you have a decent role. You usually have a 3 or 4 performance run. Chorus members in a smaller or B list company will usually get a lump sum at the end. Unless the company is pretty established and extremely reputable, the chorus usually doesn't pay much in the US.. Now the Met used to start chorus members with 75,000 dollars a year. It might be higher now. But remember, Met chorus singers are ALL established singers who have careers of their own on a whole new level. Many choruses, with all that work for MONTHS you put into, might pay 500 to 2,000 for all the rehearsals and performances with a decent company. Now when you go overseas, that is where the money is for opera. Not only for leads, but with the chorus. They value opera more overseas, and they put more money into it. Also, classical singers get paid to sing oratorios, solos, and other events. The pay varies, but if you are worth your salt, you wouldn't charge less than 100 dollars for ANY service. I don't care if its just one or two songs. BUT once you get into the big leagues, the pay is phenomenal. We are talking in the hundreds of thousands of dollars just for one role or one performance. But MOST opera singers don't get to that point, just as any other genre.

    Opera singers usually don't make money on album sells, just like pop superstars. Like pop stars who make money off of tours and ads, opera stars make money off of recital tours and singing roles with opera companies. Whether you can earn alot of money is really up to how hard you are willing to work. Most classical singers get frustrated just like any other genre. You must have another job FOR YEARS in order to stay afloat, because you are constantly auditioning and paying for coaching. THIS IS WHY IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to get your degree in music. My saving grace has always been the ability to teach music. Without that degree, you can't teach. You will be stuck waiting tables and doing hard jobs without flexible hours. Also in the end, the majority of opera singers will retire and teach anyway. My coach was an opera singer with a pretty decent career. But if you are ready to deal with alot of rejection and times of frustration, and EXTREMELY hard work, you can earn alot of money. But the reality is, just like "to be" pop singers, "to be "opera singers usually don't get to that level. It is grueling, touring gets hard on relationships, and you will find yourself non-stop without a break.

    The plus side to being an opera singer is longevity. While the shelf life for the average pop singer is 5 years, opera singers will have a career for 20 years PLUS. Also, there will be more people digging into the pop star's pocket then the opera singer. Opera singers know they can depend on their gift. Pop singers only have their image. As soon as they pick up a donut, they are in trouble of loosing their contract. Not to say opera isn't image proof, because they are getting bad too. But it still isn't as bad as pop. You can be a size 8 in opera and be considered a nice size. In pop you USUALLY can't pass unless you are a size 4 and for some only a size 2. That isn't beat into the heads of a female opera singer.

    To me, opera/classical singers on average will constantly stay employed unlike the pop singer. Yes, the immediate success of a pop star in the US will be more visable, but they don't last as long. Plus, they are usually unbalanced with reality. With classical singers, you can get by with HALF singing, and that teaches us a different lesson. We go through a different path with our career. We learn how to be disciplined, how to carry ourselves with class, and how to concentrate on things that matter. It is a life long lesson in itself. This is why we last so long. We are the wisest when it comes to singing because of this training, and our voices lasts far longer. This is why classical singers are the best voice trainers for any genre. We go beyond our genre. We dissect the voice itself. This is something the average pop singer is too lazy to get into. They want immediate pay offs. Classical singers know better. Classical singers will always have people who will want to pay us, because not everybody can do what we do. Pop singers can be replaced quicker. So if you are considering classical singing, get ready for the grind. It is harder to sing classical then pop, but the rewards last longer with classical music. Your question will be an eye opener for many people. Thanks for asking!

    Source(s): Professional singer/teacher
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    1

  • 1 decade ago

    I can only give you current German prices, as that is the system I work in. Depending on whether you are hired by a big house or some of the smaller ones, there is a different table of fees. For the A house ( Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Mannheim, Bonn, etc.), beginning singers earn a monthly salary of about €1500, before taxes and deductions. It goes down to about € 1300 for a "B" house, and still further for "C" houses, of which there are only a handful.

    If you are n o longer a beginning soloist, you may re-negotiate your contract for a pay raise ( maybe a couple hundred more per month)If you have become an established soloist, and are in demand ( Netrebko, Villazon, and co.) you can ask whatever you want. It depends on if the house can afford it, or if you're pricing yourself out of their league.

    If you get a guest contract ( where you only have one production to do, instead of being an ensemble singer, and doing whatever roles they throw at you) for a starring role, the going price for established-but-not-famous singers is about €10,000, plus some travel/hotel benefits. This includes the time that it takes to rehearse the show, generally a month to 6 weeks, depending on the theater.

    A free-lance soloist can generally make a good living with

    6 such roles a year. Most of them go for more, trying to get into the top echelon. If you are single, it's a good salary. If you have family, financial planning takes on a very different look. ( Marry a doctor?)

    Albums sales have been on the decline that they are generally not considered a bonus. Coffee money, perhaps. Royalties are paid out once a year by the society, usually by July, so you just add it into your summer vacation plans.

    I have heard from other people that the English system is also different from the German one. Perhaps someone will write in on that.

    Source(s): opera singer and voice teacher
  • 6 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    How much do u usually earn from becoming an opera/classical singer?

    ...compared to pop superstars like Britney or Madonna?

    What is the usual "pricetag" of a very famous opera singer for a single show?

    And how about the album sales? I know it may not sell as much as current popstars but is it still profitable?

    Can u earn a lot of money as an...

    Source(s): earn opera classical singer: https://shortly.im/C7BWc
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  • 1 decade ago

    Well, for the elite few you can do exceedingly well. I have heard of singers making upwards of $30,000.00 for one or two performances of Handel's Messiah. I know of another singer who was making $12,000.00 per performance fo a 9 show run of Don Giovanni (about 8 years ago, not bad for a month's work on a role he had performed several dozen times). I think I read somewhere that Pavarotti's estate was worth something like $125,000,000.00.

    All of that being said, you won't have health insurance provided by an employer, there is no pension or retirement plan for Opera singers, and the market is overflowing with competition.

    I am an Opera singer, trying to make it. There is a tremendous gap between the rank and file performer and the Pavarotti's of this world. At my level, a couple thousand dollars for a run of a show is fairly standard. Generally, you are not payed anything additonal for rehearsals, let alone the time and money it takes to prepare a role.

    All of that being said, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Don't go into Opera for the money though, do it for the art...

  • 5 years ago

    Opera Singer Salary

  • 4 years ago

    Average Salary Of A Singer

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    6 years ago

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