The thing about opera is that it is really, really expensive. It truly is an elite art form. It costs $100 to $200 to audition, and you have to bring your own pianist, who is $40 an hour. At conservatory, we were always taught to take taxis to auditions, never the subway. We were also expected to do at least one summer opera program each year, in Italy, Germany, Austria or Belgium. These programs ran $3,000 each. Most of my classmates would do two or three each summer. We were taught that we should “rely on our financial buffer” after graduation, and were advised not to get jobs. A job will distract you from opera singing and make you tired, they said.
All the rich kids went into show business and/or silicon valley.