How Much Do Opera Singers Get Paid?

Opera refers to a form of art in which musicians together with outstanding singers perform dramatic musical scores as well as libretto. It incorporates important theatrical elements like scenery, costumes, and acting.

Opera singers are individuals who perform songs in the mentioned art form. To know how much opera singers are paid, let us look at their income based on the role that they play as well as how long they have been participating in operas.


How much do opera singers get paid? Opera singers usually start their careers during their college days.

However, at this time, all the services that they offer are free or pro bono. They are only paid if they get a lead role, which means that an opera chorus is present around the singer.

After participating in several amateur presentations, singers can start building a reputation. If they land a decent role in shows produced by small companies, they can make $300 to $1,000 per performance.

Their pay is usually given as a lump sum at the end of the series.

On the other hand, singers who have established careers can be accepted at big opera companies. Those who were hired by these companies get $500 to $2,000 for every rehearsal and performance.

The average annual salary of professional opera singers is usually around $70,000 to $75,000. The salaries of the singers can reach around $100,000 per performance if they land a lead role in operas produced by major theatrical companies in Italy and other European countries.

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As an example, popular and outstanding singer Luciano Pavarotti makes $125,000 to $130,000 per performance.

Additional Information and Other Important Details

Unlike pop singers, opera singers do not release albums or they do not receive a lot of offers.

However, their advantage over pop singers, they can have careers for more than 20 years. In addition, their salaries increase as they acquire more years in the business.

To become one of the singers in operas, it is important that you have ample knowledge of performing classical songs or other types of songs that are commonly used in theatrical performances.

Additionally, they should be diligent and hard-working. They should not be easily disappointed and frustrated if they do not pass the training and auditions.

To have assurance, most of these singers complete a degree in music so that they can teach in music schools if there are no offerings for them to perform or if they do not get a decent role in operas.