Professional Development in Action
By Eric Einhorn
On September 24, I had the pleasure of joining an esteemed panel of colleagues to speak on two panels during Opera America’s Professional Development Workshop for BIPOC Singers. The participants were a wonderful group of mostly emerging artists looking for guidance as they embark on the next stages of their careers. The first panel, entitled Resumes, Bios, and Headshots: The Dos and Don’ts, focused on the materials that serve the critical purpose of encapsulating artist identity before an audition. Along with Afton Battle, General and Artistic Director of Fort Worth Opera, Devere Burnett, Artist Manager at IMG Artists, and Miguel Rodriguez, President and Founder of Athlone Artists, we discussed best practices, helpful hints, and pet peeves related to artist materials. While the conversation began very practically, through wonderful questions from the participants, the discussion broadened to include authenticity as a BIPOC artist and culturally-specific questions related to photography.
The second panel of the day, entitled Management: When to Seek It and How to Get the Most Out of It, focused on the eternal question about how/when/why a singer should pursue representation. OSO Artistic Advisory Council Chair Justin Werner (Artist Manager and Founder of Stratagem Artists) joined us for this panel and offered great insights from his many years of experience as an artist manager. I was able to provide a producer’s perspective on the singer/manager relationship and how On Site interacts with managers, managed artists, and unmanaged artists. It was inspiring and invigorating to meet new artists and discuss these important topics. I send my gratitude to Opera America for including me in this wonderful day!
I was so proud to represent Stratagem Artists and On Site Opera at the Opera America BIPOC panels. To network with valued colleagues and a talented group of BIPOC singers was a fantastic opportunity for all involved!
–Justin Werner, OSO Artistic Advisory Council Chair; Artist Manager and Founder of Stratagem Artists