Susan Wheeler - Help With Opera Career Building in Italy

43% ($1,350)
August 05th, 2017
Raised $1,350 of $3,080

About The Artist

Susan Wheeler, Soprano

American Soprano Susan Wheeler is a dynamic operatic and concert performer, and a trained Equity actress. Her fiery vocalism and dramatic intensity have drawn comparisons with singers of the golden Bel Canto era. The Annapolis Capitol praised her prize-winning performance in the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition, declaring that she sang “an extraordinarily articulated rendition of the ‘Bell Song’. The ease with which Ms. Wheeler put every note in precisely the right place, caused comment that even the famous Lily Pons, for whom it was something of a signature aria, hadn’t done it that perfectly, and maybe even not that beautifully.”

Susan made her Carnegie Hall debut recently (Mozart Requiem, Dvořák Te Deum,(Johnathan...

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One of the tricks of maintaining a career in the arts is to not give up or stop working on your artistry. The life can be hard, and many do decide it's not worth it.  I'm not going to be one of them.

This August I have a chance to take a giant step forward in my craft, working in Tuscany with renowned conductors, directors and other "Bel Canto" experts from the Metropolitan Opera, London's Royal Opera House, La Scala, Opera Australia and the Salzburg Festspielhaus. This is a who's who of virtuosos who have been where I want to be, and where I've been working my whole life to be.

Experience has taught me that reaching the top ranks means working hard and consistently with great people.  It's all about the insights andnuances from exceptional artists that have been there already, who sing or conduct my same repertoire, and can help me add fire to my audition arias and lead me to learn entirely new roles. I'm hungry for this, and there are a few ways to come by it.

One is to spend a gazillion dollars living abroad, jetting from place to place and spending lots of time over several months or years. The more economical option, though, is to wait until a lot of them are all in one place, check with my support system about it being a program of good quality – and then do the traveling.

In August there is just that sort of opportunity. In the Tuscan town of Greve, an elite group is offering to work with me and a handful of other singers for a few weeks. The program's Artistic Director is a wonderful coach I know well and have worked with for over seven years, who will be making the introductions.

I was submitted by my agent recently to the Fall Metropolitan Opera auditions, but I wasn't able to get in the room to sing for them. No audition, because they said "they hadn't heard of Susan Wheeler." Can you imagine the sinking feeling? Yes, that one.

My goal is to change all that. Next Fall I'll submit for The Met again and, after networking in Italy with your help, it's go time! The cost for the Bel Canto in Tuscany program is $3,080.  

Every donation helps, and is tax deductible!  In addition to your tax deduction, I’m offering a few unique ways to say thank you for those who contribute.

  • $25 "Grazie mille!" I will send a special thank you to you on Facebook, telling the world how much I appreciate your support. I couldn't do this without you!
  • $50 "Opera Lover". In addition to a social-media "grazie," you'll get a postcard from Italy while I'm there, describing my studies.
  • $100 "La Stupenda". At this level, I'll send you a Facebook thank you, a postcard from Italy, and also record an answering-machine or voicemail greeting for you, including a snippet from your favorite aria.
  • $250 "Queen of the Night". Adding to the $100 perks of a Facebook thank you, a postcard from Italy, my voice on your answering machine singing a snippet of your favorite aria, I'll send you a video of one of my performances in Italy when the summer is over. It'll be just like you were there!
  • $1000 "Mi chiamano Mimi". In supporting me at this level, you'll receive everything above plus an in-person recital on a date that works for both of us. You provide the piano – I'll bring the pianist. 

Thank you so much for joining me on my journey, as we deepen our shared humanity through the arts.

Susan sings "Ain't It a Pretty Night" from Susannah by Carlisle Floyd

Susan as Violetta singing "Ah, forse lui...Sempre libera" from La Traviata by Verdi

Susan Wheeler as Pamina sings "Ach, ich fühl's" from Die Zauberflöte by Mozart

Not comfortable donating online?  We accept donations via check as well.  Please mail donations to BELTÀ, 1712 E. Riverside Dr., Suite 25, Austin, TX 78741.  Be sure to mark "Susan Wheeler" in the memo line so that your support can be routed towards this project.  To receive an emailed receipt, include your email address with the donation or send us a quick note at [email protected] to let us know the donation is on the way.