The Living Opera community is a vibrant, dynamic group of people spanning over 20 nations, 5 continents, and counting. This is where we celebrate our members and find out what they have to say about the Living Opera project. If you would like to be featured, fill out the form below and tell us about your experience!
I have been so inspired by Soula and her content over the last few months since I've found her page. Her commitment to guiding young artists gives me hope for our industry and my own career, and I strive to spread opera into the world like she does. I'm hopeful for our industry and this community increases it tenfold!
"Living Opera is an incredible resource for artists at any stage in their development! As an emerging Young Artist, I have gained a plethora of insight into Young Artist Programs, European Fest Contracts, Artist Management and various other aspects of this challenging career. Through this platform, I have found a strong community of like-minded individuals, striving to connect with and inspire each other. I am so grateful to have connected with Soula and Norman!"
"The short of it is, Living Opera had been my lifeline this season. Having come back into singing, after a decade of being at home raising my family, I found LO through a mutual colleague and I am forever grateful! Connecting with Living Opera has positively challenged me in my career goals, brought laughter to my soul, and strengthened my “why” in this business. LO launched just as I was relaunching my singing career, and they have walked along side of me through the ups and downs and all arounds, always holding out an open hand and offering a friendly smile. Norm and Soula’s honesty, transparency, and joy is refreshing. You really know they want to help others in this industry! Their equipping is absolutely stellar, and I am thankful for their willingness to share their first hand knowledge with everyone they meet."
"After reading one single post on Instagram I was immediately hooked: this was the honest, informative and supportive content for opera singers I had been missing and needing. I came across Living Opera after graduating from my Master's feeling completely burnt out. I didn't know what I should do next and I wondered if I was the only one feeling a bit lost?
I've experienced more insight through Living Opera than I have in some of the world's most acknowledged conservatoires.
They have created an incredibly supportive community where we check in and cheer for each other. I've never seen more opera students and professionals be so honest about their journey and their struggles. Living Opera is helping bringing opera business into "real life" among students and artists, so that we feel successful no matter where or how far in our career we've come. And most importantly: we're encouraged to stop competing and start supporting."
I was introduced to Soula and Living Opera by another member of the community, Gabriel. Soula and Norman have a level of transparency about the business of opera that is extremely helpful to young artists, as well as having a collaborative and encouraging attitude that is unfortunately difficult to find in this business. Community members are viewed as young colleagues, not as students, and that makes a huge difference for emerging artists.
The poem of the pearvocado
"Pear. Avocado. Pear or Avocado! Pear or Avocado? Or pearvocado? I’m a pear. I am sweet. And I love the summer heat. The avocado side of me is not sweat she doesn’t like the summer heat. Not too long not too much otherwise She will be sludge. Hallelujah I’m a human! with hair to brush, with hands to touch. Sometimes I like the sun, I like to have some fun! Since I have legs and feet I can go around and great all my pearvocado friends. They lie around in the sun, I also like that, this is fun! They are sweat and harsh, like me sometimes. I can still feel the pearvocado within me and I don’t want to miss it. This poem is for Norm, the highest pearvocado form."
For this poem I got inspired by a really fun instagram story by Soula where she said Norm just asked her, how it’s like to be an avocado... and then he asked “how is it to be a pear?” Soula asked if someone has an idea. I got so inspired by these fun questions, that I wrote a poem. This community is such a great place to get inspired and inspire other artists. I’m glad to be part of it.
"Living Opera builds a supportive community among opera singers around the world. It offers a digital and personal space to share thoughts, knowledge, motivation and care and to discuss relevant issues of the opera business on a non-judgmental basis.
Most importantly it creates a bond which brings me both joy, strength and power for my own career as it enables me to support my colleagues with my personal abilities and strengths."
"Living Opera has brought into my life an important element of community. Navigating the first years of this strange and wonderful profession, with all its ups and downs, can be extremely difficult - and lonely. Soula and Norman have supported me through some of the most trying times and I could not be more grateful for their presence in my life."
“Years ago, I was commuting to work and realized that I spent a lot of time listening to daily radio broadcasts (sports, news, etc.) and longed for a change to something different. So I pivoted to audiobooks from three genres: personal finance/business, motivation/self-help, and spiritual development--all focusing on becoming a better husband, father, leader, son (of God), and man. I considered this "redeeming my commute" as I was focusing on things that were important versus temporal. Likewise, I seek media to grow in these areas. Living Opera offers a fresh take on personal motivation and development through the lens of two passionate professionals. Though craft-specific insights are focused toward artistic practitioners, I keep coming back for those universal truths and encouragements that help me on my journey to being a better person.”
"As a young singer entering the industry, I have continually been intimidated by how distant and unattainable many of my career goals feel. But when I found Living Opera, and connected with Soula and Norman, I realized that my goals were tangible! Soula and Norman are living examples of the hard work and perseverance that is required to achieve my goals! I am so inspired to work in the industry surrounded by the amazing community that is Living Opera."
"Living Opera offers such great mentorship!
Norman and Soula are not only high-class performers with A LOT of valuable experience and information to share, they are also very supportive, fun and lovely people! It‘s always so confidence-boosting and inspiring to talk to them and hear their view on things. The LO community gives a feeling of togetherness in a field that can be very isolating."
"I am a Swedish tenor currently living in Gothenburg. I first came in contact with Living Opera through my dear friend Anne-Sofie and I immediately felt inspired. Often as a freelance opera singer, you can feel lonely and lost at times. Many of us feel the pressure of always having to live up to certain expectations and the amount of criticism you will receive is a lot to handle as well. But through this community that Soula and Norman have created, I felt less stressed and most of all, not alone anymore. To take away the stigma of age, looks, voice type, time etc. and actually work on you as person, that is what singing is all about. That is why I think it is amazing, what bringing people together like this can do."
"Being a part of Living Opera has been incredibly helpful, motivational and inspiring. It's so wonderful to get to know so many nice and supportive singers, and above all, just talking with Soula and Norman always gives me a boost, helps me go forward, and I really do feel like a part of a positive community that is making a change. Really happy to have Living Opera in my life!"
"A place where you can ask questions, a place where you are fully supported, a place full of positivity and bright minds: that's the Living Opera community. The reality of this job is a lot more complicated than we're taught in school. Living Opera puts out tons of relevant information for the modern singer and has continually empowered me to find my niche in this industry."
One day while scrolling through IG feed and stories, I came uppon a share of one of Soula's videos. The topics Living Opera deals with are truly helpful for singers of any level - from students to (young) professionals. Besides, the friendliness, honesty and positive attitude of the LO community is truly something we all need more of in our lives (and careers).
The Living Opera community is the place to be for all vibrant, forward-thinking and enterprising creatives, singers and lovers and supporters of the holy art form of opera. This career is not without its trials and tribulations and Soula and Norman have masterfully, diligently and compassionately created an international, border-free and inclusive community who, together, serve to reimagine, promulgate and catapult the future of opera onto a new stage. They make this deliciously perfect art form, yet somewhat demanding path, all the more accessible, inviting and possible for performers beginning, continuing or returning. Living Opera decodes the industry and is refreshingly transparent. As a freelance Greek-Cypriot Australian soprano and Lyric Diction Coach based in Munich, Germany, on my own exhilarating career trajectory, I find solace, support, exchange and inspiration here. In my role as Italian Lyric Diction Coach, I serve the Living Opera Community by empowering long-term artistic independence through linguistic mastery. I align wholeheartedly with the Living Opera ethos and warmly support this wonderful initiative. Join the revolution!
"Create a culture of personal excellence" might be the best thought to describe the power of Living Opera project and community. The willingness to share their valuable experience and knowledge is what makes Soula and Norman so different. It feels great to be a part of highly professional and yet warm and welcoming community. It gives me motivation to learn and practice even more, as well as enjoy while discovering my journey as a singer and an artist. Norman and Soula's mentorship has been of a great value to me.
"I first heard of Living Opera, well, before they even came to be. I remember watching an early video of Soula and Norm when they were sitting outside on director's chairs discussing the idea and that they were going to name their channel Living Opera. I thought to myself this is brilliant, because that is exactly what we are all doing and we all want to know what everyone else is also doing in this opera business to make it work. What they are creating has become so much more than just a channel for me, they've brought together a community of like-minded opera singers (and lovers!) who are here to genuinely inspire, support, and enlighten each other in a unique and relevant setting. Opera is best experienced when we are surrounded by those that give their heart and dedication to bringing this art form to life every day and all around the world. I am honored to be a part of this community from the start. I am also excited to see this community grow and to see what Living Opera will do next, because, to be honest we are the future of opera and it is up to us to keep it going!"
While the arts and sciences were once fully integrated, they have drifted apart over the past century. Living Opera is the most serious endeavor to date that successfully fuses the two together and leverages their strengths to deliver social, economic, and cultural transformation in the world.
Living Opera provides me a community, a place where I feel free to ask questions I didn’t dare to ask as a student at the Conservatoire de Paris. I feel surrounded by the good energy and the benevolence of Soula and Norman and the entire community. Here we stop pretending that we have to succeed on our own! We learn from one another not only how to be a better artist and person, but more respectful of our instrument and personality. We also learn how to deal with practical aspects of this job we rarely talk about in school: how do I get an agent, how do I deal with my image as a singer… And thanks to their great experience on stage and their knowledge of the voice, Soula and Norman can both give us vocal and stage tips that are always useful as we are working on a specific point. Thank you for the dedication, I feel less lost and alone as I did at the beginning my career!
Living Opera has been a labor of love for me. Every time one of our community members has a breakthrough, it makes all the hard work worth it. I look forward to learning what it means to be a leader more and more each day, and serving this amazing group of people to the best of my ability.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust
For me, this singing career is nothing else than "a real voyage of discovery" as M. Proust wrote. It’s all a matter of perspective. Soula and Norman are giving and showing us a fresh perspective, very human and realistic, positive and motivating. An open living room where we all can find a comfy place to listen, exchange and share. Loving Opera!...is Living Opera!”
"The Living Opera Community has been extremely helpful as an undergrad student going into the singing scene. I have so many questions as I get futher into this field and Soula and Norman have welcomed me into their community with open arms. Their devotion towards helping young artists is so unheard of, especially in our art form. I love their energy so much because it feels genuine. I’m thankful to be a part of this, and I cannot wait for Living Opera to continue to grow with more friends!"
Living Opera is a treasure for any singer, and the fact of being so accessible makes everything even better! It was during a hard time in the pandemic that I found about Soula and Norman, first on YouTube and then on Instagram, and I absolutely loved all their content and became so addicted to them hahah! Since then I've been lerning not only about vocal technique, but also about self development and motivation. Thank you, Soula and Norman, for this great initiative!
Soula and Norman are magnificent singers but even more magnificent human beings! They've been supporting me in many ways and I'm truly thankful for their continuous uplift! Misunderstanding and burnout became a reset, a new beginning for me and onward is the path of life. I'm just starting really living, living my own opera and I know now I'm not alone!
I'm a young tenor from Germany who fell in love with opera just one year ago, enjoying and being inspired by the great voices of Mario Lanza and Fritz Wunderlich. Norman and Soula are an incredible source of knowledge and experience and, well... just great people. The Living Opera community is so positive and welcoming I immediately felt at home!
A combination of skill, experience, compassion, honesty and enthusiasm is my thought of an artist, singer and mentor. Soula and Norman share a spirit of possibility, unselfishness, support, authenticity transmitting their vocal, artistic and human brilliance. I am honoured to be a member of this community and part of its journey.
I started following Soula and Norman before Living Opera was created and I always loved how honest, inspiring and helpful their posts were. I am so glad they created this amazing Community! Living Opera is for me a real and honest worldwide platform where you can feel supported, encouraged and inspired to find your OWN way in the music industry!
The togetherness of the Living Opera community is super inspiring in an industry where that's not always the case. Soula and Norman are sharing all their knowledge and listen to every question one might have and do that in a super welcoming way. I'm more than happy that I joint the community!
I found Living Opera when I needed it most. I was getting my M. M. in voice, and there was so much I didn’t know about the industry. Soula and Norman became an invaluable resource for information, encouragement, and mentorship. I was passionate about cultivating wellness in the opera industry. As the community began to grow, I found myself surrounded by like minded people who were also striving to “be the change they wish to see.”
Living Opera is more than a well of knowledge-it is a meeting place of growth. I am so grateful to be a part of it.
"I’m a mezzo living in the “farmcoast” town of Little Compton, Rhode Island. Besides singing and teaching voice, I find great joy in walking in the forest and along the shore, drinking matcha, and learning from old folktales and plants in my garden.
I’m very grateful to Soula & Norman for creating the Living Opera project. The work they are doing in sharing their knowledge of the craft of classical singing, marketing, and "The Business" is valuable and so welcome in this often difficult to navigate career. They shine as beacons of wisdom and leadership and do so from an obviously heart-centered place of sincere desire to help and empower others. In holding space for this community, they are inviting us to do the same. I look forward to making stronger connections with others who find themselves here, too."
"Living Opera is a refreshing community of singers who are vulnerable, sincere, and honest about the process of making music. Having real discussions about YAPS, marketing awareness, and breathing/vocal techniques are some of the highlights for me. It is refreshing to discuss this in a forum where I can be honest in sharing my personal experiences and learn from other artists. I also enjoy connecting with this beautiful Living Opera community all over the world, and it is a privilege to be a part of!"
"One of things I’ve really appreciated about the Living Opera community is the transparency of information being presented behind what to expect and how to successfully navigate, build, and sustain a career in this industry. One of the other things I’ve also come to learn is to allow my voice to be the vessel for different platforms in which I can use ALL of the gifts that I’ve been given."
“I’m a professional bassoonist and bassoon teacher from Portugal, currently working in Switzerland, where I often play in the orchestra pit of the Zurich opera. I noticed Living Opera a while ago and at first I started following because I’m a big opera fan and was curious, but ended up staying and engaging with Soula and Norman because, besides the quality technical content for singers, (we instrumentalists are fascinated by this too by the way!), they are very inspiring. They are skilled professionals in a very competitive job, that look around, ask questions, and are open to creating and working on the solutions. In is an empowering community that I can’t wait to see grow!”
"I’m a baritone from Argentina. I found Living Opera on Instagram, and at first I thought Soula and Norman were just a couple of great singers, but the truth is that they are helping us in many other ways too! They give you tips for develop your technical knowledge, they make you laugh on the videos, they answer your questions on-on-one, and I think the best of all is that they are encouraging you all the time not to give up and keep going and going! For me the personally, Soula’s experiences are a great example to rise up and take the control of your life and get stronger, even in the worse scenario ever. With determination, you are able to overcome and re-born as a better human being - that’s Soula! But dont forget Norman! He was the support she needed and that’s why they are an amazing couple! They are great singers, funny people, humble in an incredible way, a great motivation and inspiration, and I’m really grateful for both of them! They are lovely!! (And of course they are extremely good looking too!! HAHA!!)"
"This is exactly what I have been looking for years! It's not a place just for singers, but a place for anyone who wants to become more than they already are and want to make an impact in others. It is a place for people who are ready to get to the next level of their craft and mindset to succeed every day as the best version of themselves."
"Thank you for the work that you do! I feel blessed to have discovered the Living Opera community and welcomed with open arms.
The platform is a place for me to voice concerns and joys about the work that I do as a performer. Soula and Norm have helped me with things as trivial as what to wear on the first day of rehearsal, to the ever-important skill of developing habits to maintain mental clarity while traveling.
I hope that as more people come into contact with the work of Living Opera they will come to know what a necessary and valuable resource this provides. Being an opera singer means that we have many colleagues, but we don't often share physical space. Living Opera is providing a consistent workplace environment where we can gather and communicate from the various places in which we live and work."
You don't have to be an opera singer to be a featured community member. We welcome people in different industries and sectors to join and enrich our conversation.
If you've got something to say about Living Opera and you want to be featured, hit the button below!