Sunday, May 25, 2014

Updated Lists!

I have updated materials...

Agents in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland with Email Addresses

Opera Houses in Germany

Please email me to get copies of the files.  I have pdf, numbers, and some excel files.  Happy to share!

I also wanted to mention that OperaBase is an amazing place to get information on updated information!  Check it out...

All the best!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A new project... a new blog!

Greetings!  Thank you to all who have read and commented over the past couple years on this blog!  Since I have completed my Audition Tour and am working in Europe now, I have started a brand new blog:

Please come join me on the new site!  I will post all new information there and refer to this blog for Audition Tour information only.  I will not be updating is any further.  

Have a wonderful journey...

James Kryshak

Saturday, October 20, 2012

No fear, no surprise, no hesitation, no doubt!

  It is time to update a bit here and flow into a new vein I suppose.  I say this because I can't really call this an audition tour anymore as I am actually 98% finished with my auditions.  I have two more in November and not really sure if anything else is going to pop up... this is not a bad thing, I'm in a good place, and not worrying about anything, but that is neither here nor there.

Therefore, seeing as this "tour" has taken on a different form for me, I'm going to use this post as a wrap up until I am finished and can give some financial summations and final travel advice to those of you heading over here.  

I suppose in summation the most important thing I could say right now is something I read on the train today as I was coming back to Berlin:

1 - "No Fear, No Surprise, No Hesitation, No Doubt"
2 - "Aim to be the very best at everything you do - not second best"
(from The Rules of Life by Richard Templar)

This is an amazing book... I'm re-reading it after six years - and that is all I'm going to say about that!  

I've done a lot in the last almost month.  I've been back and forth from Berlin to Vienna, Munich, Karlsruhe, etc. and all seems to be lining up.  I feel good about how I'm singing, not without a little snafu here and there, but something I've accepted is that this is life... reality, real LIVE music and audition.  We aren't perfect, we aren't robots, but we sure as heck can recover when a note doesn't pop out the right way... laugh about it and move on.  

Being in a foreign country, whether you have been here a hundred times or it's your first time away from home, is always a bit intimidating.  You have to go with the flow of the culture, embrace your mistakes in language and remember what the correct way of saying something is... We learn best from the mistakes we make (Thanks Aria Ready!).

Learn to read your Rail Maps and to be flexible.  It is almost inevitable that you will have to change a route sometime or another... trains get delayed and then you have to figure out what to do, or ask... don't be afraid to ask, people will help if you just ask... they don't if you don't ask!  Interesting how that works, eh?

Believe in yourself and know that what you put into the Universe is what you are going to get back from the Universe.  If you allow yourself to feed the Universe with a healthy dose of positive mana, then I guarentee this will come streaming back to you in whatever way you need it to!  I'm not kidding!!

But above all... enjoy this journey you are going to take.  This is a once in a lifetime deal folks!  You go and make the best out of it and live for every experience that comes your way.  There are going to be people at the auditions that are freaked out and crazy, try to remain in your own space and your own coolness... don't let the insecurity of others rub off on you... it is his/her/their issue, not yours and you will feel so much better if you allow it to just bounce off your personal bubble - that doesn't mean don't be nice to people and be a indignant towards people, just be present in every moment and be prepared to have your invisible shield up.  This is a job folks, you want the gig, so go get it... don't let others influence you negatively - of course if they are radiating positive energy, then you know what to do!

If I can say one last thing about doing a tour, it would be that this is your personal journey.  This is discovering  you as a singer and believing you will get what you seek out.  Then the world will be your oyster.  If you don't believe it, you have some work to do.  

Until next time (the last installment of this blog) - stay well, and keep those dreams high!  Enjoy the journey and feel free to contact me if you wish!

(Mountains of the Allgäu where my friend Jen is from!  It was magical!)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hin und her und all over the place...

  09. 10. 2012 (sorry for the delay in putting this up... more pictures the next time around)

And I'm off and back to Berlin for two days...  But I suppose that I should go back a few days and catch up to where I am today, eh?  I had a wonderful audition for the Deutsche Oper last Thursday (Oct. 4) and couldn't be happier with the way it went!  Now I just have to wait to hear more from my Agent, but I can deal with that.  After the audition I had a few hours of downtime in order to get some money loaded on my cell phone (Guthaben) and then to repack to head to Vienna for the weekend.  I decided to take the night train from Berlin, which was fine, but I have to say I much prefer the daytime travel of the ICE as I travel 1st Class and I think it is more comfortable.  Feels like being in an office on wheels with really good coffee!  And we all know I love my coffee!  

So I arrived in Vienna and met my European Voice teacher for breakfast at her place to catch up and such.  It was great to see her and to just sit and talk for a few hours!  Then I met up with another singer friend and we just had a blast catching up too... the problem with always being out of the country (well in America... when you have an established group of friends in Vienna) is that you have a lot of catching up to do every time you come back.  It's okay... as I said I like to drink coffee and enjoy just sitting a chatting for hours!  Could be worse, oder?

Anyway, the point is that I came to Vienna for an audition at the Wiener Staatsoper and I was going to spend a relaxing weekend with friends and thus be all set for Monday!  Well Monday was yesterday and I have to say that I really am pleased with the way things went.  They seemed happy as well, which is always a good thing.  Not to mention I was singing on the stage of the Staatsoper and they asked me to sing Tamino!!!!!  Yup that's right, I sang Dies Bildniss on the Stage of the Wiener Staatsoper!  One could say I was in a dream... I sure felt that once I got done and was waiting in the hallway.  

Really, I couldn't be more pleased with the way things are going, and let me tell you that all those years of auditioning leading up to these auditions has really helped.  When people tell you that hard work and perseverance pay off at some point, I now know that it is paying off for me now.  What a great feeling.  Let me tell you what I am currently doing to have positive energy...

I think  about what I want and then I send out positive vibes into the Universe and say... aloud or in my head... that I am sending out these vibrations into the Universe and that I open to all things that might come my way.  It seems to be working no matter how crazy it might sound, but heck we have to believe in something so as a singer we must believe in ourselves and our art and what we have to offer the world... if you send this into the Universe, I truly believe good things will come your way!  Try it... you might like it (but realize you have to work for it too... things don't just come from doing nothing).

And so now we are back on the train to Berlin and gearing up for three more auditions this week:
Komishce Oper Berlin
Deutsche Staatsoper unter der Linden
Theater an der Wien
Yes that means that on Thursday I jump back on the ICE and head to Vienna again.  But once I have the Theater an der Wien finished, I'm free for a bit.  Then I can just relax I guess.  

So... once upon a time I had started doing this audition tour by myself and it was going to be a really long journey of three months... now that I have an agent working on my side, things have changed a bit and my schedule is much lighter after this week is over.  I've decided that since I have an agent and have gotten a few house auditions that I will not be singing for regional agents while I'm here anymore.  I have a few international ones still set up, but this is taking so much stress off of my schedule and self that I just couldn't resist canceling them.  So goes it I guess, but thought I mention that.

Well, as usual, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or if I can help in your research at all!  Enjoy the journey!  And until next time...


And I'm sitting at my desk in Berlin looking out at a lovely sky.  I shouldn't be here right now... I should be on a train to Vienna... but guess what... that didn't happen yet!  HAH!

I am really happy that I got to the train station on time and was all set to get on my merry way, when I look at the Track Screen and it says that the ICE 691 was going to be 25 minutes late... OOPS!  Now I had to trek down to the Reisezentrum to see about the other trains I was connecting to and if I would make them or need to re-book.  The lovely lady helping me was baffled because it didn't show up late on her screen.  So she assured me that it was coming on time and not to worry!  Phew!  So back I go up to the track!  (Insert one of those terrible WRONG kind of sounds here)... Now the screen said that the train was 55 minutes late and the announcement was that it was due to a mechanical security feature on the train... whatever that means!  So anyway... back I go to the Reisezentrum... was actually lucky enough to get the same lady who again was baffled and then had to look in three other places on her computer to see that Yes, the train was delayed.  So anyway... she helped me out with re-booking on the night train to Wien (I got a Liegewagen this time - and it was only 20 Euro, which was actually 16 Euro because she was amazing and took off the reservation cost from the ICE and credited me that... that normally doesn't happen... you loose your 4 Euros - told you she was amazing!).  SO that brings me back home to catch up the blog and enjoy a coffee and my lunch which I had packed for the train!  Sigh of relief and on to the relaxing!

Well, today was the Deutsche Staatsoper and it went fine.  Sang behind a scrim, which is never fun because it is harder than anything to hear the piano in the pit.  Oh well... they only were hearing one piece (it was lunch time and they would rather eat than hear auditions I'm sure) so anyway... that came and went.  Not without the adventure of trying to find the KBB though!  What a mess!  Well first off... the DS is being renovated over on Unter den Linden so they are temporarily taking over the Schiller Theater and boy it is a mess over there.  There are three buildings you have to deal with and there are hardly signs.  You have to enter gates in the back to even find a sign for the Bühneneingang.  Then you go on a goose chase to find the KBB and then to find the pianist... needless to say it was a mess.  Thankfully I ran into a lovely American Soprano and we took the journey together!  Needless to say... from the DS and the Train Station, I have put in my exercise for the day... oh I forgot to mention that I was lugging my two heavy travel bags to go to Vienna... so weight lifting and cardio all in one!  And now I'm buff!  (HAHA! right?!)

Komische Oper yesterday was fine.  It rained here all day and was freezing, so I brought out the gloves!  That made me feel better!  The KO house is lovely!  Tiny, but lovely!  It was a bit of a shock to go out and see every seat and feel so enclosed... after two years at Lyric, though, I guess everything seems a bit smaller... love it for singing!  

Well, there you have it!  Now I am off to enjoy the rest of my lunch and then watch a movie before I hit the road again!  Phew... I can almost see the end of these two weeks!  I will be ready for a few drinks!  

Happy Trails!  Enjoy the journey, and stay connected to the universe!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The First Two Are Complete

02. 10. 2012
 (This is a photo of the Sony Center in Berlin at night)

The adventure has already started off at full swing and what an adventure it has been.  Let me take you back to the start so you see what I have been up to!

I arrived last Wednesday into Berlin and one of my best friends, Georg, met me in the city so that he could help keep me going and alive!  It was the plan to beat Jet Lag before it had any chance of coming after me really!  (It worked!)  Some people might land in the morning in Berlin and then fall asleep and get caught in the nasty spell of JL, but I had better things to do.  It was time to head out to Wolfsburg (home of VW) to visit a cousin of mine who has lived here for 40 years.  It was her birthday and she invited us out to celebrate and spend the next day with her.  Couldn't pass that up!  

Thursday afternoon we headed back to Berlin and spent the next couple of days being tourists and just playing around.  Wearing ourselves out so as to continue to keep me on the straight and narrow of Central European Time.  Believe me this is something that I had thought a lot about... seeing as my first audition would be less than a week after my initial arrival.

Here a bit of good advice from my Dad before I left:
"When the plane door closes, always set your watch to the time zone of the country you will arrive in.  Sleep as much as you can through the flight and when you land, get to your apartment/hotel, brush your teeth, shower as you would any normal day... then you just go out and enjoy your day as if you had woken up on any normal day."  

I told him I would put that bit of advice in there!  It really does help!  I didn't get the chance to shower, but I did brush those teeth and enjoyed my day as I would normally do.  Can't say that by the end of the first few days I wasn't dead tired, but heck, I went to sleep at a normal hour and woke up at my normal time.  I'm currently 100% back on my normal sleep schedule (well... as singers we know that normal for us is different than everyone else, but still)!

So this brings me up to Sunday.  I departed Berlin for Munich where I would meet up with one of my best pals from the Ryan Center, Jen, as she is living here again (she is a German Citizen - lucky duck).  Yes, we did go to Wiesn to check out the mass of crazy at Oktoberfest, but didn't stay long.  With Auditions looming we couldn't very well drink or play too hard.  It was fun to watch though, and sometime I'll come back with the intention of having a really entertaining and "Free" day there!  Or two... who knows :-)

Aha!  We have arrived to Monday, October 1, 2012 and I was off to Karlsruhe with Jen for an audition with Herwald Management.  Now when I say Karlsruhe what I actually mean in Bergwald, which is really about 20 minutes by bus from the Hauptbahnhof in Karlsruhe up a windy road and into the bergwald... literally!  Then... oh it's not over yet... you have to cross the street and find this path through the woods with steps, go down the steps then find more steps in front of you (not the ones to the right, but straight in front of you) and go down those steps.  Then at the bottom turn left and follow the road farther down until you reach a white house with a garden surrounding it.  Guess what... they are all houses with gardens around them and they are all white!  Well we did find it finally and so were happy about that.  Notice the posting for the Audition (Vorsingen) below:

Yes that is indeed a dolly with a piece of paper taped to it!  What an adventure!  Oh it isn't over... nope... you go around the house to the lower level where there is a living room with piano and that is where the audition is to be held!  When reading all the literature for this trip I came across the comments that many are done like this, but I didn't really realize they would be in the middle of nowhere in someones living... and not the Manager, oh no, he rents the space from people that live there, it's all very interesting!  

Anyway, the audition went really well, and I was very pleased and he seemed pleased, and all is well and now we continue on!  I'm actually catching up on my way to Braunschweig right now for a house audition with the Staatstheater Braunschweig.  Then back to Wolfsburg to meet up with my family again.  Wednesday is a German National Holiday (Bank Holiday = everything is closed) so I'm not in any rush to go back to Berlin and sit in my room.  

(We had a nice little bottle of wine on the ride home!  It was fun)

To sum up the past week I would have to say that this has gone so well so far I really can't be happier!  I'm in the midst of a couple of really intense two weeks, but heck, might as well get it all underway and get my name out there from day one... 

Until next time.... Happy Travels!

03. 10. 2012 Deutsche Tag der Einheit

Happy Day of Re-unification in Germany!  I'm sitting on my cousins Balcony in Wolfsburg.  Don't have WLAN here so you are going to be getting these two entries all in one, once I get back to Berlin later tonight and put them online.  But I think you will deal just fine!  One thing to know about Europe, if you have never been here, is that when there is a Bank Holiday you just enjoy the day and relax.  Things are closed, just closed, that's all you need to know so make sure you get your groceries the day before!  I love it actually as it is an excuse to enjoy a day without really have many commitments!  What could be better than that?  

Anyway... I said I would talk about Braunschweig and this is what I am going to do... it is such a beautiful city.  Small, but exactly what you expect to see if you think Germany looks like the old postcards!  The Altstadt is so lovely there aren't even words.  The Staatstheater was lovely as well (It sits Am Theaterplatz - what could be better than the street being blocked by a massive Opera House?).  I didn't get to sing on stage, rather in a very large and very dry Orchestra Probezimmer (rehearsal room) which was interesting, but hey, it works!  I think the audition went well, although I had a brain mishap during Si, ritrovarla, and made up a quarter phrase with italian that wasn't supposed to be there, but heck... this is LIVE theater folks, and if you can't laugh about it and know that you recovered just fine, then you put way too much pressure on yourself.  We do strive for perfection, yes... I do too, and those who really know me, know that I don't kid about that.  But on the other hand, I know how to be honest about how things go and know that "sh*t" happens... so we just deal with it and know that it ain't the end of the world!  It  puts a smile on my face, so that isn't bad!  HAHA!

The tally of sung arias thus far is:

Ô blonde Cérès

Staatstheater Braunschweig:
Ô blonde Cérès
Si, ritrovarla

I'm keeping a running tally of what people want to hear most.  It's a bit difficult as I am offering both Light Lyric pieces (nothing bigger than Tamino) and also Spieltenor for the larger houses.  I'm really leaving it up to the houses to decide what they want to hear.  If they don't want to hear Lyric, they won't ask... same goes the other way around!

I'm taking in this nice relaxing day as I head back to Berlin tonight (just about an hours journey east) and need to repack and get a good nights sleep for Deutsche Oper Berlin tomorrow afternoon then on to Vienna!  I decided to go a few days early seeing as most of my European friends are there and it's my favorite place on Earth!  That way I will be well rested for Monday's audition with the Wiener Staatsoper!  I can't wait!  Can't even explain how pumped I am for this one!  AHHHH!!!!!  The dream job of dream jobs... if you live in my mind that is! 

Well, I suppose that about sums up the first few days of auditions and how I am feeling.  The adventure is just that... an Adventure and I'm so glad that I am in the midst of it!

Enjoy your journey and until next time...


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

ONE WEEK and counting...

The old adage of "Time flies when you are having fun" is a gross understatement as to the past few months.  Sorry for my delay in getting a blog post up here.  I've been bouncing about the US the past two months I guess in preparation for the travel I'll be putting myself through in Europe!  And now the Tour update...

Auditions are coming in and in full force.  The first few weeks are going to be INSANE (for lack of a better term) and they happen to look like this:
October -
1: Agent Audition Karlsruhe
2: House Audition Braunschweig
4: House Audition Deutsche Oper Berlin
8: Agent Audition Munich
9: Agent Audition Hamburg
10: House Audition Komische Oper Berlin
11: House Audition Berlin Staatsoper
12: Agent Audition Vienna
14: Agent Audition Munich
16: Agent Audition Hamburg
17: Agent Audition Berlin
24: Agent Audition Düsseldorf

(Phew that is going to be intense... and more keep coming everyday... I'm so EXCITED!!!!)

November is so far up in the air - hopefully more House auditions as openings in Ensembles are posted!  But so far I have one audition in Vienna for an Agent!  One is better than none at this point!

December looks the same right now.  But I do have a house audition in discussion right now, so that is a good thing!  I will be keeping the blog updated so more to come on that!

My hope starting next week is that I will be able to sit down every couple of days and give an update on the Tour.  So I hope that you keep coming back to check in!

NOW onto the prep side of things! Since I have the auditions set up I know that I need to get my music ready and the packing must start!  I've got everything in the car from storage and now I need to go through it and be very clever on what to take with me.  I'm going to be traveling during Fall and the start to Winter weather so it's going to be a fun packing job!  One thing I have to keep in mind is that I just need enough underwear to get me through a couple weeks... the other things can be worn more than once!  Wash can be done once a week when I get home to Berlin or visit friends in Vienna.

I'm working on getting my Train schedule in order so I can go and set up my tickets for the first few trips.  If I'm savvy I can get the most out of my Eurail and not get stuck having to pay too much beyond that.  October is going to see a lot of Train travel from me.  BUT... remember that a travel day can consist of several trips on the train not just one way.  If you can map it out in advance, you will save a lot of money... and that's what I'm doing!

I've got my travel insurance!  I've got my one pair of shoes that aren't for auditions (Keen's that are casual but really nice so that is all I'm taking with besides running shoes and audition wear).

Taking the audition attire to the cleaners today and then they won't see it again until December!  The shirt will get washed a couple of times I'm sure, but they aren't going to see anything but audition spaces!  HAHA!

So... I guess I'm in a good spot right now!  I'll keep you updated as often as possible!

OH and before I forget... if you need the agent information from the previous posts, please message me because there are a lot of addresses that have been incorrect from the books I took them out of.  I will gladly send you my updated list!

So... until next time (and hopefully that is when I am in Berlin)... Happy Travels!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

List of Opera Houses in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland...

Hi All... I have been spending the morning going through my Deutsches Bühnen Jahrbuch 2012 getting a list of the houses that seem to have full-time Ensembles and would be worth the time to look up and contact... aka... send them my information directly!  I can't be sure that everything is correct on the list, but heck, it was a lot of work and at least I have the important information in one place.  AND it weights a lot less than that huge book!

The next step is to go online and actually explore the websites of these Houses to get an idea of what they do and see if I want to audition!  Taking a peek at a map may also be in the cards, as I want to be sure I know exactly where some of these smaller cities are...

Hope your journey is going well!

My very best and as usual, feel free to contact me if you need any extra help or have a question!  Until next time...

(Contact me to get a copy of the list... I'll update as I go along so you will get the most updated list when you write!)