It’s hard to buy a gift for an opera singer.
You want to give something that says “hey, I just knew you’d love and could use this” … or at least “please, dear God, don’t throw this in the trash.”
But what do you give a singer, anyway?
A dump truck load of Mucinex?
Cough drops arranged in some sort of ungodly edible arrangement?
A… CD (do people buy CDs anymore)?
Have no fear, dear reader. I’m here for you. The answer is…
A large bag of money!
… I’m realistic, though, and realize that you may not have access to a large bag of money. You still may want to give that special singer in your life something, though, so…
If you’re playing Santa Claus to a singer this year, these singer-centric gifts are sure to please.
(Oh, and before you ask–I’m not getting paid to plug any of these things! I just think they’re cool.)
1. Gift Certificates for Sheet Music
Sheet music is a necessity for any singer. Classical singers are constantly acquiring anthologies of arias, piano/vocal scores of operas in the standard repertory, and, increasingly, scores of new, contemporary musical works.
We use this music in our own practicing, in our teaching studios, and in the rehearsal process for shows. In short, singers can’t survive without their scores!
Building a library of sheet music to which we can refer is a lifelong—and very expensive—process. Why not help a singer out with that expense?
When a singer is ready to drop some cash on a new, shiny score, they call Glendower Jones of Classical Vocal Reprints. CVR is based in Fayetteville, AR (#arkansassy) and has thousands of scores in its holdings.
Glendower isn’t just a business owner—he’s a musician himself with an extensive knowledge of vocal repertoire and a service mindset that can’t be beat. If Glendower doesn’t have it, he’ll help you find it—in the right key and in the right edition (two things that matter a whole lot to a singer!).
Amazon is great, but it’s no substitute for the expertise, inventory, and service of Glendower Jones. Glendower offers gift certificates to CVR in several denominations. A singer who receives a gift certificate to CVR is sure to jump for joy!
2. The Humidiflyer
Traveling, in my EXTREMELY HUMBLE (and also infallible) opinion is one of the best things about being a singer. We get to see different parts of the world, if only for a few days for an audition.
I personally love traveling, in all its flawed glory. Yes, even TSA. Yes, even red-eye flights. Yes, even airports. I’m weird.
Traveling is less-than-fun, though, when you step into the airplane cabin. It is very easy for our systems to dry out during flight due to the dry cabin air. When we’re off the plane, it takes a LOT of work to get everything hydrated and lubricated again. A dried-out singer is a singer who isn’t at their best for performance or practicing.
Of course, there was a very smart person who thought up a solution to this inconvenience. Enter the Humidiflyer.
You may look like an alien while wearing it, but singers are swearing by the Humidiflyer to keep them fresh and ready for performance, even in unpredictable traveling conditions.
3. A Portable Keyboard
Piano access when traveling is always sketchy. Will I have a place to warm up? (If the answer is no, you may find me in my rental car screaming high Cs at 9:00am.)
If I am only gone for a couple of days, I don’t sweat being away from my trusty practice room piano or my home keyboard. I use an app on my phone or iPad. But for longer stints, I get a bit squirrelly and start wishing I had something a bit larger.
This roll-up keyboard looks like it would be super useful for a singer on a long gig.
4. Tea (… and honey)
This should go without saying, but like, tea is life.
Have you ever been to Teavana and had to wiggle your way out of a very uncomfortable situation because you didn’t have $100 to drop on loose leaf tea? I’m asking for a friend here, of course.
It is also a depleting resource, meaning, WE NEVER HAVE ENOUGH OF IT.
You may think giving a singer tea is a cop out, but I’m here to tell you it’s not. I am always on the hunt for new varieties and blends of tea to try.
There are so many deluxe tea brands out there that I would LOVE to buy on a regular basis, but in case you missed it—I’m a singer and I’m not in this for the money. So buy me (…I mean us) tea.
If you’re feeling really fancy, why not add in an artisanal honey? Some of my personal favorite honeys come from Savannah Bee Co. and can be used not just for tea but for all sorts of other lovely culinary things.
5. Airline Miles/Points, Hotel Rewards, Etc.
Remember when I said that singers travel a lot? I wasn’t lying. Did you also know that traveling is expensive and that we didn’t have a bag of money just.. you know.. like, lying around?
Traveling is expensive. A single audition trip can easily cost upwards of $600 when you add up the expenses: flight, hotel, transportation in the city…
Imagine spending that much money per job interview. Now imagine doing 5-10 job interviews a year. That’s what a singer’s life is like!
With all that said, if you have spare airline miles to gift, hotel points to get rid of, etc.—I know a bunch of singers who would be glad to take those off your hands! Many airlines (a very rudimentary Google search revealed programs at Delta and American, among others) have gifting programs that make this super easy.
There you have it, folks. Just a few ideas, both big and small, to get your gift-giving gears turning. These gifts for singers will charm the recipient and make you feel like you’ve given something useful!
(But seriously though, if you have a bag of money… just give them that.)