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Do You Have What It Takes

To Be a Chorister?

Tom Reed, chorus

Have you ever considered auditioning to become a member of an opera chorus? Would you like a career as a professional opera chorister? Take the following test to see if you have what it takes.


Take a moment to memorize the following lyrics, set to the tune of "Happy Birthday To You":


Answer YES or NO to the following questions:

  • Do you feel an affinity for the stage?
  • Does prolonged screaming ever make you feel lightheaded?
  • Would you feel uncomfortable riding for seven hours in a Volkswagen Beetle with more than five people?
  • Have you ever fainted while wearing winter clothing in a sauna?
  • Do you mind re-breathing the same air for an hour? For a whole day?
  • Have you ever lost your temper with someone simply because they've annoyed you constantly for eight months?
  • Is the difference between your real age and your "professional age" more than ten years?
  • Have you ever made a doctor flinch when you said, "Aaaahh"?
  • Have you ever signed an autograph?
  • Is music your favorite topic of discussion?
  • Are you still searching for your Fach?
  • Do you feel better in rooms with windows?
  • Does singing high-speed Russian while rushing backward down a ladder seem at all funny to you?
  • Have you ever asked a director to explain what your motivation is?
  • Do you ever feel the need to be alone?
  • Do you prefer music to money?
  • Do you like to be noticed sometimes?
  • Have you ever screamed when someone stepped on your foot?
  • Do you dislike the herd mentality?
  • Do you think of yourself as an individual?
  • Do you need to hear yourself when you sing?
  • Do you mind a little pain? A lot of pain?
  • Are you one of those singers that needs to see the conductor?
  • Do loud explosions at close range ever startle you?
  • Do you think of yourself as an artist?
  • Do you enjoy your home life?
  • Would you find it difficult to climb steps in the dark wearing a potato sack?
  • Would looking directly into bright spotlights make it difficult for you to see a dim television monitor?
  • Do you tend to fall in holes a lot?
  • Would wearing only a body sock equipped with artificial genitalia make you feel at all self-conscious?
  • Do you like cast parties?
  • Do you like to "ad lib"?
  • Do you feel you have a lot to offer the world of opera?


On a piece of paper write down from memory the lyrics to the song from Part One. No peeking! Then proceed to the Scoring section.


  • Give yourself five points for each word correctly remembered from Part One.
  • Give yourself one point for each "NO" answer in Part Two.
  • If you scored 96 – 100 points you are definite opera chorus material. Audition immediately!
  • If you scored 90 – 95 points you may find life in the chorus difficult.
  • Anything less than 90 points, forget it. The opera chorus is definitely not for you!