How to be clear AND fun with your opera chorus

Many opera choruses consist of amateur singers who are there for the fun of it.

It can be hard for the music director to keep rehearsals fun while getting the production underway, particularly when people have different editions of the score, and may not understand musical lingo to find a specific spot.

Conductor Andy Anderson's answer to keeping everyone on having a good time AND on the same page is to give nicknames to specific passages that he knows will be frequent starting points.

For example in Rigoletto, he nicknamed a spot "Jaws" because it sounds similar to the music of the movie "Jaws." Everyone gets a good laugh out of it, and everyone always knows just what to sing.

Photo from http://www.portlandopera.org/company/chorus

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