Host: Griffin Candey (@griffincandey), opera and song composer

I’ve met very, very few composers who don’t want to try their hand at an opera, even just for funsies – and that’s understandable, because it’s a very particular form that can yield very visible, very visceral results. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned over two vocal performance degrees and a subsequent (fledgling) career writing operas & vocal music, it’s this:

Writing vocal music is pretty damn hard.

Honestly, a single session of #musochat isn’t going to be able to delve into all of this, and I certainly do not hold myself up as a master of this form – but I’ll try to ask questions that were pertinent ones for me to address when I first began this process. I hope that the result is for you all to dip a toe into the voice/opera world – or, to stick in a foot, or wade through – or to belly flop right in.

Read Griffin’s full intro here.


  1. Introduce self. Then: what pieces/experiences influence your creation of/interest in vocal music? (Post links if applicable!)
  2. What is (or was) the biggest stumbling block to your involvement in vocal music? What can (or did) help to assuage that?
  3. What vocal or operatic traditions (of form, of subject matter, et al.) do you enjoy – and which would you like to see axed?
  4. How concerned are you with an audience’s reception of a work? Why or why not?
  5. How concerned are you with the marketability of your work? Why or why not?
  6. How willing are you to relinquish or share creative control? Do you play well with others, creatively/administratively?
  7. BONUS! What example of new or recent opera/vocal music best embodies what you’d like to see from the field in the future?

You can read the full discussion archive on Storify.

Photo: Still from Griffin Candey’s ‘Sweets by Kate’