• FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - Auditioning for HGO Studio

    How to apply
    When can I apply? 
    When is the application due by?
    Can I apply by mail or fax?
    What else do I need to do?

    Eligibility
    Is there an age limit?
    Do you have to be a US citizen / green card holder to apply?
    What level of education is required?
    How much experience must I have?
    How can I maximize my chances of getting an audition?
    Can I apply as a Conducting Fellow?
    I'm a countertenor; should I apply?

    Application Fee
    Is there a fee to apply?
    Is the application fee refundable?
    I have auditioned for you before and was told my fee would be waived this year – what should I do?
    Do I have to pay online?

    References
    Whom should I ask to write my reference?
    Can I upload a PDF recommendation instead of using the form?
    I have already submitted my form and want to change one of my references – what shall I do?

    Application Questions
    I am having technical problems with the application - what should I do?
    Do I have to pay to join YAP Tracker in order to apply?
    What are the requirements for the audio file?

    Auditions
    What are the preliminary audition cities and dates? 
    When are the semi-finals and finals? 
    I live abroad – can I send a recording as my application? 
    I’m not available on the audition dates listed – is there another option? 
    I’m not available for the semi-finals or finals in Houston but want to be considered for the Studio – what should I do? 
    What’s the format for the preliminary auditions?
    Do you provide a pianist for auditions?
    My list doesn’t match your rep requirements – what should I do? 
    I want to change my chosen repertoire – what should I do? 
    Do I need to bring materials to my preliminary audition?

    After Submission
    How do I know you’ve received my application? 
    I didn’t get a confirmation e-mail – what should I do? 
    How will I know if my references have submitted the online form? 
    I want to change my repertoire – what shall I do?
    I have forgotten what my repertoire was – what shall I do? 
    I want to change one of my references – what shall I do? 
    I want to change my city – what should I do? 
    When will I hear whether I have an audition or not? 
    I haven’t heard from you about an audition – does this mean I didn’t get one? 
    My friend has already heard about their audition and I haven’t – why is that? 
    How many people are you taking into the Studio?

    Question not here? Email us at studio@houstongrandopera.org

     

    How to apply

    When can I apply? 
    A link to the YAP Tracker application form will go up on the HGO Studio webpage on July 31, 2014 at 10 a.m. CST.
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    When is the application due by?
    Friday, September 26, 2014 is the deadline for applications. No information submitted after this time will be accepted.
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    Can I apply by mail or fax?
    No, we only accept online applications. If there is a reason this is not possible for you, please contact us at studio@houstongrandopera.org or 713.546.0227.
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    What else do I need to do?
    A complete application will consist of the online form as well as three (3) online recommendations to be submitted by your current/most recent teacher and two music professionals. You will also need to upload a digital headshot of yourself in JPEG format and pay your application fee of $35. Singers are also required to upload an mp3 recording.
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    Eligibility

    Is there an age limit?
    We do not have an official age limit. However, please bear in mind that the HGO Studio is a young artist program and most of our successful applicants are not very far out from the end of their formal training.
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    Do you have to be a US citizen / green card holder to apply?
    We accept applicants of all nationalities and immigration status. Please note, however, that preliminary auditions only take place in the United States and we do not accept auditions via recording. HGO will apply for a visa if necessary for candidates offered a place in the HGO Studio.
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    What level of education is required?
    Our artists have typically earned or are working towards a Masters degree in vocal performance or collaborative piano. However, we may take other forms of training into consideration.
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    How much experience must I have?
    It is unlikely that someone will be selected to audition with absolutely no professional experience. However, significant exposure at a college or conservatory may be considered.
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    How can I maximize my chances of getting an audition?
    Some venues are much more oversubscribed than others. For example, last year New York had nearly four applicants for each audition slot. On the other hand, almost all applicants in San Francisco were able to be heard. If you would prefer to audition in New York but could travel to another city, be sure to include that information on your application – we will always fulfill your first choice if possible, but giving a second option gives you another chance.
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    Can I apply as a Conducting Fellow?
    There is no guarantee that we will be looking for a Conducting Fellow for the 2015-16 season. However, we are interested to hear from people who might be candidates for such a position. Our ideal candidate for a conducting position is someone who can also function as a pianist/ coach, and so you should apply as such and note your desire to emphasize conducting in the “additional information” box.  If you do not play, please send us your resume at studio@houstongrandopera.org.
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    I’m a countertenor; should I apply?
    Our repertoire doesn't call for countertenors in the next couple of years, so it would be unlikely, though not impossible, that we'd offer you a Studio spot. However, you are certainly eligible for the competition so should certainly feel free to apply. You won't be disadvantaged in terms of selection for auditions on the basis of your voice type. In 2010, Anthony Roth-Costanzo was the First Prize and Audience Choice winner.
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    Application Fee

    Is there a fee to apply?
    Yes, there is a non-refundable $35.00 fee to apply which must be paid before your application will be considered. This must be paid online as you submit your application.
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    Is the application fee refundable?
    No, the $35 application fee will not be refunded if you are not selected to audition, or for any other reason. The only exception is if a fee is paid when an applicant was entitled to apply fee-free (see below).
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    I have auditioned for you before and was told my fee would be waived this year – what should I do?
    Fee-free applicants will receive an e-mail from the Studio in August giving a special link. This will be checked against our records to ensure only those eligible use the link. If you believe that your application fee was to be waived this year and you did not receive an email from us, please contact us at studio@houstongrandopera.org or 713-546-0227.
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    Do I have to pay online?
    Yes, if an application fee is due, you must pay online - there is no other way to finalize your application.
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    References

    Whom should I ask to write my reference?
    One reference must be your current/most recent primary teacher. The remaining two references should come from music professionals who know your work well. For a list of possibilities, please check the Information for Singers or Information for Pianists.
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    Can I upload a PDF recommendation instead of using the form?
    This is no longer possible through YAP Tracker's system. HGO only accepts the online recommendation form specific to this application.
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    I have already submitted my form and want to change one of my references - what shall I do?
    That’s fine, just log back into YAP Tracker. In the recommendation section of your submitted application, click the option to remove a reference, then click again to add a different music professional. At that time you will be given the option to send an email to the new reference with instructions on how to submit.
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    Application Questions

    I am having technical problems with the application - what should I do?
    Please visit the Help page on the YAP Tracker website or email help@yaptracker.com.
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    Do I have to pay to join YAP Tracker in order to apply?
    No - you can decide whether you choose a full subscriber account for $50 per year, or whether you simply wish to complete applications, which is free. For more information about the difference, please click here.
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    What are the requirements for the audio file?
    There are no specific artistic requirements. The file should be of the highest possible quality, showing your voice at its best, as it will be used to pre-screen applications. It does not need to be long or complex and may or may not be one of your selected audition arias. The file must be in mp3 format. If you need to convert your file or improve the quality, please click here for more information.
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    Auditions

    What are the preliminary audition cities and dates?
    November 11, 2014 - Houston, TX (evening only)
    November 17, 2014 - Houston, TX (evening only)
    November 18, 2014 - Houston, TX (evening only)
    November 21, 2014 - Cincinnati, OH
    November 22, 2014 - Cincinnati, OH
    November 23, 2014 - San Francisco, CA
    December 8, 2014 - New York, NY
    December 9, 2014 - New York, NY
    December 10, 2014 - New York, NY
    December 11, 2014 - New York, NY
    December 12, 2014 - Philadelphia, PA
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    When are the semi-finals and finals?
    Artists selected for the semi-finals will arrive in Houston on Friday, January 30, 2015. The semi-finals will take place January 31 and February 1, and the finals will be February 2-5.
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    I live abroad – can I send a recording as my application?
    No, we do not accept applications by recording. The audio file you upload is to help with selecting who should be given live auditions and cannot replace that step.
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    I’m not available on the audition dates listed – is there another option?
    It is very unlikely that anything else can be arranged. For exceptional candidates, however, it may be possible to arrange an alternative time or date in Houston. Contact us at studio@houstongrandopera.org or 713-546-0227 to see if there is any possibility.
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    I’m not available for the semi-finals or finals in Houston but want to be considered for the Studio – what should I do?
    Complete your application but include this information in the additional information box. It is not necessary to take part in the semi-finals or finals to be offered a place in the Studio.
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    What’s the format for the preliminary auditions?
    You will select the first aria / art song to be performed. In most cases, it will not be possible for us to hear a second piece due to time constraints. However the panel may ask for some or all of a second or third piece from your repertoire list.
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    Do you provide a pianist for auditions?
    Yes, we provide a pianist. You are welcome to bring your own if you prefer.
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    My list doesn’t match your rep requirements – what should I do?
    Go and find something new! The reason we have been so specific about what we want to hear is that we want to know more about you as an artist – we want to know what you find when you need to look for something else.
    For the selection since 1950, we are not going to get pedantic about a couple of years, or the difference between date of composition and first performance. However, if you are decades out, we may make presumptions about you, your curiosity as a musician, and your interest in Houston Grand Opera.
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    I want to change my chosen repertoire – what should I do?
    That’s fine, as long as you keep a Mozart, Rossini or Handel aria and a modern piece in English, and stick to the stipulations that you must include at least three different languages. There is no need to inform us in advance, just bring a revised repertoire list to your audition. Up until November 3, it is also possible to log back into YAP Tracker and amend this information. 
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    Do I need to bring materials to my preliminary audition?
    No, this is not necessary. You only need to bring a repertoire list if you have changed your selections.
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    After Submission

    How do I know you’ve received my application?
    When you check-out of the online system and pay your $35 application fee, you will receive an email from YAP Tracker confirming receipt of your application. This email confirms that your application has been entered into our database. You can also log in to YAP Tracker and click the My online applications link to view all submitted applications.
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    I didn’t get a confirmation e-mail – what should I do?
    If you have submitted your application, a system-generated email from help@yaptracker.com should have been sent to the email address you used to log in. Please check your junk mail or spam filter. If you find the email there, please ensure you white-list both help@yaptracker.com and studio@houstongrandopera.org for future communication as audition notification emails will be sent from one of these addresses. You can also log in to YAP Tracker and click the My online applications link to view all submitted applications. If you still are not sure your application was finalized, please contact help@yaptracker.com.
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    How will I know if my references have submitted the online form?
    You can log in to YAP Tracker and click the My online applications link to view all submitted applications. If you scroll to the recommendation section, you will be able to see whether the recommendation has been submitted or not. REMEMBER THE DEADLINE FOR RECEIPT OF REFERENCES IS SEPTEMBER 26. If you have paid your $35 fee, your application will still be considered, even with no references. However, your chances of being granted an audition are naturally lower than if your application has been supported by good references from respected musicians. Please ensure you give them plenty of time, and check the status of their recommendation before the deadline.
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    I want to change my repertoire – what shall I do?
    That’s fine, as long as you stick to the repertoire requirements. There is no need to inform us in advance, just bring a revised repertoire list to your audition. Up until November 3, it is also possible to log back into YAP Tracker and amend this information.
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    I have forgotten what my repertoire was – what shall I do?
    If you have submitted your application and cannot remember the repertoire you selected, you can log on to YAP Tracker (even with a Guest account) and view your application.
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    I want to change one of my references – what shall I do?
    That’s fine, just log back into YAP Tracker. In the recommendation section of your submitted application, click the option to remove a reference, then click again to add a different music professional. At that time you will be given the option to send an email to the new reference with instructions on how to submit.
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    I want to change my city – what should I do?
    Please contact HGO at studio@houstongrandopera.org or 713-546-0227 as soon as possible and we will amend your information. Once auditions have been granted, it may not be possible to fit you in to a different city, but we will endeavor to do so if possible.
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    When will I hear whether I have an audition or not?
    You will receive an email from either YAP Tracker or Houston Grand Opera Studio by Friday, October 31, 2014 to tell you whether or not you have been allocated an audition.
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    I haven’t heard from you about an audition – does this mean I didn’t get one?
    No – all applicants who have submitted a form and paid their $35 (or who are fee-exempt) will receive an email by Friday, October 31, 2014. Please check your junk mail and spam filters, and if there’s still no email from us please call on 713-546-0227. You can also check the status of your application on YAP Tracker.
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    My friend has already heard about their audition and I haven’t – why is that?
    We process applications by venue, not in order of date received. We may also process applications by voice-type or many other criteria, so nothing can be deduced by the order in which responses are sent. If you have still not heard by October 31, please call us on 713-546-0227.
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    How many people are you taking into the Studio?
    The number of spaces in the Studio varies from season to season. We do not strive for a certain number of Studio artists, nor do we have to fill slots for certain voice-types. Having said that, it is normal for us to offer between four and six new positions each year.
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    Question not here? Email us at studio@houstongrandopera.org.

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