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General Questions

Comet Opera’s Virtual Gala is an online performance that will highlight featured singers in operatic excepts, ensembles, and arias. All music will be remotely recorded by individual artists and mixed together by Comet Opera.

We will perform a selection of arias, as well as multiple ensembles. Please see the production page for more information.

The Gala will be streamed at 8pm CST on February 13, 14, and 15 (Presidents’ Day Weekend), 2021 via Facebook. The performance will also be available to watch on our website and YouTube channel at any point after February 16, 2021.

To replicate a night at the opera as best we can, both of the streamed performances will have a host. However, because each artist’s performance has to be recorded remotely and mixed together, the musical performances will not be live.

Yes, the Gala will be free to watch on all platforms, including our website, YouTube channel, and social media accounts. There is no time limit to view it and it won’t ever be put behind a paywall.

Auditions

For singers, audition decisions are based on voice type, demonstrated technical skill, and stated Gala repertoire preferences.

For instrumentalists, audition decisions only consider demonstrated technical skill.

All audition decisions follow a strict nondiscrimination policy.

Audition decisions will be sent via email by December 20.


Rehearsals and Performances

No, there is no fee to participate in the Gala. Please note that Comet Opera operates as an all-volunteer organization.

Singers will perform solo arias and/or ensembles. You will usually be able to choose your own arias, but ensembles will be assigned based on auditions and stated preferences.

Instrumentalists will perform the overture and Act II sextet (“Sola sola in buio loco”) from Mozart’s Don Giovanni as a virtual orchestra. It’s about 15 minutes of music. We may also expand the program if there’s enough interest.

Pianists will accompany singers. We may also add solo opportunities if there’s enough interest.

All artists will record their piece and submit it. The submitted video and audio recordings will then be edited together into two final Gala videos — one for ensembles and orchestral pieces, and the other for arias. The Gala will be released on our website, YouTube channel, and social media.

All performers will have the option to rehearse in various formats:

Self-paced practice — everyone will have free access to scores, manipulatable practice tracks, a conducting video, and notes from the music director. As well, singers will have access to practice software that provides live feedback on rhythm, tempo, and intonation.

Virtual rehearsals — virtual rehearsals will be available in traditional, masterclass, and discussion formats. Attendance to each isn’t mandatory but is strongly encouraged; asynchronous resources are available to those who can’t attend. The creative team will also be available by appointment for individual/small group music coaching, and all performers may submit questions and/or recordings to the creative team for detailed feedback.

Asynchronous dress rehearsal — before final recordings are due to be submitted, all performers will be asked to submit a test recording of their entire performance. The creative team will then review it and either approve you to re-submit it as your final video or provide feedback that should be implemented in the final submission. Please note that all final recordings will be reviewed before inclusion in the Gala.

Other

Comet Opera is a volunteer-led nonprofit opera organization associated with the University of Texas at Dallas. We normally perform multiple fully-staged operas each year, but due to COVID-19, we have transitioned to putting on fully-online operatic performances with young artists from across the world.

Although we are not basing our format off these directly, here are a few good examples from the Metropolitan Opera’s at-home gala: an orchestral piece, an aria, an ensemble, a chorus.

Please email us at contact@cometopera.org — we’d be happy to help!