Posts > Finding your path: Interview with Marshall Rollings

Finding your path: Interview with Marshall Rollings

Ever leave an audition feeling disappointed, only to get the call after all? Tenor and YAP Tracker member Marshall Rollings shares his Opera New Jersey audition story with us; he'll be attending the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Emerging Artist program this summer. If you'd like to learn more about Marshall, check out his Facebook fan page.

Marshall Rollings

Which program are you attending this summer?

I will be an emerging artist in the VICTORIA J. MASTROBUONO EMERGING ARTIST PROGRAM with Opera New Jersey.

How did you learn about the program?

I saw this program listed as I was browsing the various listings on the YAP Tracker website.

What inspired you to apply?

For someone who is just starting out in this business and still considered a “young artist”, it is important to cast your nets wide.  I applied to this program along with many others based on reputation, location, and the cost of application, as I must be as fiscal as possible.

Have you applied previously? If so, were you accepted in the past? If you weren’t accepted previously after applying, what inspired you to apply again?

No, this was my first time applying to this particular program.

What prior relevant education/training have you had?

I graduated in May 2010, with a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance, from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  I have been studying voice for an approximate total of 8 years.  In the summer of 2011, I spent 5 weeks in Italy to train and perform Italian opera with the Oberlin in Italy summer program.

How was your audition? Anything notable?

It was an ok audition.  Actually, I messed up a bit on one of my lines in my first aria (“Dies bildnis”).  This is strange to me because that had never happened before, but it was late in the day and I had been traveling.  I jumped right back in and kept going as if nothing had happened, although I am sure those evaluating me were aware.

Did you bring your own pianist?

No, I always make use of the included accompanists as I know they are going to be just fine and knowledgeable of the repertoire.

Do you have a prior connection to the company?

No, not at all.

How did you feel after the audition? Did you feel confident that it would lead to an offer? If so, why?

Well, as I mentioned before, I messed up in my first aria.  This led me to leave the audition feeling a bit unsatisfied because I knew it was not my best.  I honestly did not feel confident about an offer from the way I performed in that particular audition due to that mishap.  I have learned that it is often in those auditions that we did not walk out feeling great, are the ones that may have been successful in some aspect. 

What preparation are you responsible for leading up to the program start date?

At this point, our assignments have not been completely established.  I do know that I will be involved with concerts of arias and scenes in addition to chorus work for the full opera performances.

What are you hoping to accomplish as a result of completing this program?

I am really hoping to find a new level of artistry.  It is always about continual learning in this business so I am ready to absorb all that I can from the lessons, coachings, and performances that I will experience with this program.  I think that participation in this program is only going to better prepare me for future opportunities.

Anything else you'd like to share?

I would just like to thank the team at YAP Tracker for creating and maintaining such a wonderful resource and tool for singers.  I look forward to seeing how it may continue to change in order to better serve the singers of now and in the future.  I always mention this website whenever it seems appropriate to other singers who may be interested or that I feel could benefit!

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