Agents today tell me your first and best step is to look at the websites of all the agents you can find. Does it look professional? Who are their singers and where are they working? You can even find out what roles they are singing and where by going to operabase.com and putting in the artist’s name.
Look for professionalism. AVOID anybody who wants Retainers, monthly fees or charges for ‘consulting’ or anything of the sort. If they are it’s because they can’t make a living from their agent fees!
There are many lists available and what you do with them is what matters.
I have long used agent lists as a resource and find it accurate and
professional. Here are links to our lists of agents in Germany and Austria.
WRITE THEM ALL!
Don’t be snooty. By all means write the top agents, but realize that they are much less likely to hear you. It’s nice to start out at the top, but you goal is to GET A JOB. Any agent who is getting people work and has connections in some theaters is worth singing for.
ZAV (tsed-a-fa:u), the government run agency for performing artisits, is not to be
sneered at. They tend to work but are not limited to, smaller and middle level
theaters, but they get a lot of people jobs! They were a mainstay of my freelance
They have offices in Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig, Köln (Cologne), Stuttgart,
and München (Munich). They share information, so if you sing for one
they’ll all know about it, but it’s probably good to sing personally at least
for Berlin and München. They certainly got me a good deal of work
If another office fits into your plans by all means sing for them instead!