Nothing brings a corporate event to a crescendo of excitement like live opera; it's got passion, drama and the ability to thrill. Find out everything you need to know if you're considering hiring an opera singer for your event in our latest Customer Advice blog!
Hitting the right note; opera singers for corporate functions
Nothing brings a corporate event to a crescendo of excitement like live opera; it's got passion, drama and the ability to thrill. Thanks to the continued success of operatic singers in TV talent shows, opera now reaches across all age groups and backgrounds, making it a perfect choice for corporate events. From product launches to client dinners, conferences to board meetings, a live performance by professional opera singers can energise, inspire and delight like no other vocal experience.
Opera at drinks receptions
It's important to remember that all opera was originally written as a performance, so it always works best when your opera singers are the main focus of attention. Opera singing simply does not work as background music for a drinks reception, for example, as instinctively people try to talk louder than the singing, and it becomes impossible to hear anything!
So, make a moment where your guests or delegates can relax and really listen to the music, and they'll enjoy it all the more. You can ask the singers to 'interrupt' the drinks reception as a surprise element, just to sing two numbers or so, and perhaps then call delegates into dinner. (If you request more than two numbers at this point, chances are, people will start to talk again and the impact will be lost.)
Opera for corporate dinners and conference dinners
For corporate dinners, it's always best to have a dedicated 'slot' for your opera singers, when people can relax and watch their performance. The best time for this is between the main course and dessert, not while they are eating, for some very practical reasons!
• Your guests are nicely fed and watered, so they can sit back and digest rather than focus on the food.
• Every table is cleared before the slot, so there is no noise from clattering plates or people eating
• Guests can carry on drinking during the performance, which always makes it better for the singers!
• The caterers can prep dessert and coffee during the performance.
• Once the performance has ended, the meal continues and flows effortlessly into speeches and/or dancing afterwards.
This slot should last between 45 minutes to an hour max, as after that time sitting drinking, your guests will probably need a comfort break!
Opera for product launches and board meetings
For product launches, live opera singing can be used to ramp up the excitement, perhaps as a vocal flourish when the product is revealed, or as a post-reveal celebration in song.
A surprise opera performance can also provide a welcome break or interlude in a board meeting, allowing everyone to relax and enjoy something different to spreadsheets and agendas! Some classical singers may even be able to change the words of their aria to announce your fiscal year profits or latest share results – just give them plenty of notice!
Opera singers for corporate events; what can they sing?
Opera singers are at their best singing classical opera, and there are plenty of popular items that everyone will know, such as "Nessun Dorma" (World Cup theme), "Flower Duet" (British Airways advert) and arias (songs) from popular operas such as "Carmen". (Often you'll find you know the songs even if you've never been to an opera before!)
They may also sing popular 'cross-over' items as sung by groups like Il Divo and Amici Forever, such as "Nella Fantasia", and most have a few 'big sing' musical theatre items such as Phantom of the Opera in their repertoire too. Experienced classical singers should be able to create a bespoke programme of music to suit your corporate event and entertain everyone present, even international guests.
Live opera singers at corporate events; sound system or not?
In the right space with good acoustics and an audience sitting and listening, professional opera singers should not actually require a PA system, BUT (and it's a big BUT), it does depend so much on the space. So, make sure you know precisely where you want your opera singers to perform, and let them know at time of quoting, so they can advise if any sound system or PA set-up is required. If your opera singers perform with backing tracks, they probably already have their own system, and most singers will be happy to liaise direct with your event sound system company for larger stage and conference events.
Booking opera singers for corporate events
If you've never engaged opera singers before, the best way to book an opera group or opera singers for corporate events is through an agency, as they pre-vet all acts to ensure they have the relevant experience of performing at corporate functions. In turn, you'll have one point of contact for all enquiries, an industry-standard contract, and some agencies even offer emergency cover 24 hours, just in case.
Written by Kirsty Young of Southern Funeral Singers - Adding something special to any funeral, helping celebrate a special life with beautiful music sung live.