Outsiders certainly have no idea how a singer’s first engagement comes about. First one has to make the decision to become a singer. That frequently is fraught with resistance from one’s family and circle of friends or at the very least is met with amazement and concern. One listens to dire warnings and reservations, which often do contain some truth. If one didn’t have the strength to sweep these away without a second thought, the decision to become an opera singer was without question a poor one. If however, one makes the decision to go ahead, there are many hurdles to overcome. The first priority is to find an appropriate singing teacher, one who would be able articulate abstract concepts, who could challenge the student to bring out the talent within him. After that, usually there would be a vocal test to pass for entrance to a conservatory. Then after a long period of study, one would audition for an agent. If he was interested, he would arrange an audition at an opera house.