If one was to accept a position in an opera/ballet, such as English National Ballet/Opera or the Met, wohld one only play the ballet/opera stuff?
This may be a basic question, but its something I've been thinking about a lot recently.
I would assume that the repertoire is chosen for you, you just do the job of playing it.
I did mean while playing with the orchestra haha
Depends on the group, but occasionally, "Opera" orchestras do play other types of concerts, and "Musicians from the Opera Orchestra" play chamber music and the like. But, most of the time as a member of that group, you would play opera music (or ballet music), yes.
Okay. So music director wouldn't programme a concert of like symphonies or something?
One thing you might do is get the score for The Nutcracker and check out the viola parts. You'll soon see that the name is quite apt.
No. Most ballet orchestras are not full-time; they are regional orchestras, sometimes purely freeway philharmonic with no set core at all. Some opera orchestras are similarly part-time.
Okay. Thats good. I think I'd get fed up of playing the same music over and over again with a ballet (I only know of like 2, maybe 3)
I think that most people who land these jobs feel very, very lucky to have them.
My teacher plays in a freeway-phil type opera orchestra. He enjoys it. But he also plays in the regular (freeway phil) symphony orchestra and, obviously, he teaches.
A job is a job.
Going back 40 years, possibly the worst full-time pro orchestra job I ever heard of was in the D'Oyly Carte Opera Orchestra which performed nothing but Gilbert & Sullivan. Imagine playing second violin or viola...
Everything becomes repetitive at some point. Even playing new music every evening is - in a way - repetitive.
I am not familiar with what the Opera/Ballet orchestras get up to in England, as I have not seen them play other works, except for ballets and operas.
Elaborating on my earlier response. I can’t speak to UK auditions, but in the US, auditions are a game of large numbers and the typical professional violinist takes several to many before winning a job (there are, of course, exceptions). That is, if the violinist ever wins a job. A not insignificant number of people do not.
Mary Ellen, I totally get that ^_^
The Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra is actually a mixed opera, musical, and ballet orchestra, so they can go together. Opera and ballet is not an unusual combination. The Kennedy Center combination with musicals is unique, though, and definitely seems to have a job-is-a-job feeling for its players.
The Royal Opera House does opera (duh!) and ballet. So a mixed diet there. And I think Pappano tries to do the odd symphony concert to keep people on their toes and bring in different kinds of money.
Basically, the answer is....it depends.
Side note, friendly tip: Jake, I notice you have a professional page on Facebook. When you run a professional page, rather than just a for-fun friends-and-family amateur page (or a personal FB page), make the effort to have your videos look professional-ish.
I woukdn't call it a proffesional page, but I take your point :)
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