« A birthday tribute to the late tenor Jerry Hadley | Main | Italian teen trio picks up mantle of the Three Tenors »

June 16, 2009

Concert opera organization to see if Baltimore's Got Talent, via public auditions

Baltimore Concert Opera is taking a page from American Idol, Britain's Got Talent and all that sort of thing to hold open auditions for singers before a live audience that will have its opinions taken into account.

The organization, directed by baritone Brendan Cooke, debuted this season at the Engineers Club, where operas are presented in concert form with piano accompaniment; the 2009-10 season will open with Gounod's Faust. The auditions will also be held at the club.

Singers interested in strutting their operatic stuff should be prepared to ...

perform two arias (an accompanist will be provided). Audiences members might want to practice cheering, screaming and jumping out of their seats -- although I assume they will hold such behavior until after each performance, unlike the TV mobs driven insane by any note more than an octave above middle C or any wailing melisma that exceeds 10 seconds.

There's a $10 fee for auditioners and spectators to defray expenses of the auditions, which are scheduled at 7 p.m. July 13 and 14.  Singers are asked to submit an application in advance.


Posted by Tim Smith at 9:33 AM | | Comments (4)


That is a BRILLIANT idea! I wish I had thought of that. When and where will this be? They should carry it on a local TV station.

Time/place info is included on blog entry. There's also a link to the organization with more details. Cheers. TIM


Thanks for the plug! Audition slots are filling up very quickly. Hope you can join us!

I'm counting on discovering Baltimore's own Paul Potts or Susan Boyle. TIM

I'm sure there will be those who absolutely cringe at the idea, but for my money, I think it's a great move. My sense is that people don't feel a personal connection to opera (or classical music, for that matter) and anything that gets people more invested in these art forms is a good thing. Thank you, pop culture!

Hear, hear! TIM

Opera has evolved and changed since its is a brilliant idea and I wager that it will be a huge hit and success in Baltimore. I think it will become a tradition. It's the best idea I have heard all spring. Bravo Brendan! I wish I could sing opera. Not yet!
Christian Lalov

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
View the Artsmash blog

Baltimore Sun coverage
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop
Famous faces in classical music
Sign up for FREE entertainment alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Most Recent Comments
Stay connected