By August 17, 2012 Read More →

Unusual home working jobs – the singer

Home working – but not as we know it!

Unusual home working jobs - Adele Bates, singerAdele Bates is a classical opera singer who works from home:

Hi Adele, whereabouts is home?
I’m originally from Burton-on-Trent in the Midlands. Now I live in a beautiful house share, 7 minutes away from the sea in Brighton. I have two very understanding housemates who sometimes sing along as I practice!

Singing is not the most obvious work to do from home. How much do you do at home, and how much elsewhere?
All my personal practice happens at home, as does the research work – translating arias, reading up on Opera contexts/composer history, learning languages and of course the admin…
My singing lessons take place in north London (luckily on the connecting overground line via St Pancras).
Meetings with collaborators (directors, composers, venue managers etc) and rehearsals take place in various spots around town, as does any recording work. Then the actual performances can be pretty much anywhere, and I regularly sing at a local restaurant on the seafront.

Describe a typical day, if there is such a thing!
This Wednesday I was at the computer for 9.30 finishing my new website, and quoting for a workshop I’ve been asked to run in London.
Then I cycled to a rehearsal for 10.30. The pianist arrived at midday and we rehearsed until around 4.30pm developing a new theatrical approach to creating opera.
I cycled home then listened to some new Lieder Schumann songs that I’m learning before giving myself a 45min break. I then re-warmed up and left the house at 7.30 to go down to the restaurant and start singing my ‘Opera Mayhem’ set. I finished at 10pm.
It can be very difficult to ‘come down’ after a performance so I’m trying different ways of getting to bed – especially if I have an early rehearsal or meeting the next day. Any tips on that much appreciated:)

Do you ever get any complaints from the neighbours?
I’m lucky, Brighton is a very musical place, so I fit in quite well. Mostly people don’t say anything they just seem to want to join in! The other day though someone called up asking me to ‘shut the window please’ – it already was!

What are the best and worst parts of being a professional singer?
I am my job, I am my voice, I am what I sell and I can’t ever leave it. For better or worse that encompasses everything about being a professional singer for me.
So firstly, like an athlete, you can never not be a singer, I never don’t think about it. There are so many aspects that can affect the voice – diet, health, sleep patterns, menstrual cycle, emotional wellbeing, dampness (a big issue in Brighton’s seaside houses). A couple of days before an important show or audition I won’t go out or drink. 24 hours before a performance I’ll avoid dairy products. If I have a long performance spell coming up I won’t go on the bus or other places where colds can float about.
In a social way the worst part about being a performer is missing important events. Recently I missed a good friend’s wedding as I was in Dido and Aeneas.
The absolute hardest factor though is that I am my product. The start of this year was a tricky time personally for me – however I still had to go and sing and entertain.  
The best parts are probably obvious. I love my job. I have turned my childhood passion into my vocation. I’m doing what I always dreamed I would.

What would be your dream job?
Working on a new version of a key opera that focuses on performer ensemble and audience engagement, accompanied by a full orchestra touring internationally – with some breaks for sightseeing of course!

work from home secrets

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8 Comments on "Unusual home working jobs – the singer"

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  1. A very special and talented lady here in Brighton – still yet to come and see you at The Bay, but will be coming down to check you out soon! @DaveyMarketing

  2. Kate Bacon says:

    Lovely to see Adele interviewed by you Judy! (We know each other from Bodhsiattva Buddhist Centre).

  3. Awais says:

    Truely an Inspiration.But I will have to say that it’s not an easy thing at all to marketize,to become viral or to get yourself valued .I am a poet, singer and a composer but sometimes I feel all my passion will result into nothing because at the samw time i dont have any resources,any support from my family .
    But I will keep on following my dreams as following your passion means you are living for yourself and when i read such people i really get self motivated.STay blessed,Keep on writing such more stuff 🙂

  4. Elena Anne says:

    Good post. Always good to hear follow your dreams and passion stories. The world always needs them to help people create beautiful things.

  5. Lovely to read about Adele! Her mum and my Lady Of The House (a freelance writer who works from home helping me with my blog and other LESS important stuff) are good friends.

  6. Adele says:

    Thanks everyone, very happy to add to such a resourceful site:)