About The Business of Singing



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Cindy combines a deep knowledge of the business of singing with a

true interest in each singer’s individual goals, interests, and strengths

(even in a group workshop!) to give useful, personalized advice.
– Andrea Howland, soprano


Cindy Sadler has been helping singers create better careers almost as long as she’s been singing herself.  Drawing on her extensive experience as an active performer, stage director, and producer working in today’s rapidly-evolving opera scene, as well as her connections in the industry, Cindy has crafted workshops, webinars, personal consultations, career mentoring, and press kit development services to help singers everywhere navigate the often confusing and overwhelming path to career success.

Ask Erda

your questions answered



I don't care if you're a neophyte or, like me, someone looking to renew their pursuit of a career after taking time off or somewhere in between; a consultation with Cindy is a MUST.

– Limmie Pulliam, tenor


30 Days

To a Better Singing Career


Find out how to move your career forward with this online course




Cindy’s mission is to help singers address a much-neglected area of their formal education --- how to develop and sustain a career. A natural analyst and problem-solver, she developed The Business of Singing after recognizing the frustration and bewilderment many colleagues were experiencing at the different stages of their careers.  She works with singers at all levels of development, from high school and college students navigating their musical educations, to emerging artists, to established professionals looking for a boost, and everything in between. She is noted for her frankness and willingness to pull back the curtain on even the shadowy corners of the industry, in order to better equip her clients to focus and achieve their goals.


Cindy has lots of experience and perspective to draw upon, being an opera professional working in several capacities; she also has the ability to get to the heart of your question quickly, talk about it frankly and constructively, and offer "real-talk" advice and actionable ideas. I found myself easily creating a "to-do" list from the feedback I received on my questions, and left her session feeling motivated and empowered.
 - Danielle Buonaiuto


Whether you need a sounding board for specific issues, a portfolio tune-up, ongoing career mentoring, a course in the basics of navigating the classical singing industry, or simply could use more focus and direction in your career, Cindy Sadler’s The Business of Singing can help you. In the words of one satisfied client, It won't MAKE you successful, but will give you the tools, both mentally and physically, to accomplish your goals."


In our short time together, she showed me ways to improve my website and résumé so that they show me in the best possible light, and discussed ways to tweak my audition package without the benefit of feedback from the panel. At no point in our time together did she belittle me for my amateurish mistakes. She listened patiently to all of my questions and concerns, gave me agency to start treating my career like a small business, and helped me to see that I have the tools to navigate this crazy world.


We spend a lot of time talking about how a teacher can be great for one singer and a disaster for another. Cindy’s sage advice, on the other hand, is relevant to all of us: undergrads, opera singers, church musicians, and choristers alike.


Do yourself a favor and schedule a consultation. You'll be glad you did.
- Timothy Madden, bass-baritone

About Cindy Sadler

Check Out Cindy's FAQ for developing singers

A leader on the stage and in the industry


Cindy Sadler is known throughout the classical music industry for her many leading roles --- as an operatic soloist, stage director, writer, administrator, producer, voice teacher, and consultant.  Heralded for her rich, satiny voice as much as her impeccable characterizations, she is a force to be reckoned with on the operatic scene.  Her roles include Baba the Turk (The Rake’s Progress), the Marquise de Berkenfiled (La fille du regiment), Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro), Mistress Quickly (Falstaff), Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera), Erda (in Das Rheingold and Siegfried), to name a few. She has appeared on the stages of Chicago Lyric Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Portland Opera, Minnesota Opera, Austin Opera, and many others. Cindy is represented by ADA Artists Management and Representation, www.ADA-Artists.com.


Just wanted to let you all know that if you ever have a chance to work with Cindy Sadler or attend the Coffee Clatch, please go. I have a lot to think about after talking to her, but she's a great resource no matter what level you're at in this business. I'm sure those of you who have spoken to her already know, but I would say those were possibly the best two hours I've spent this week.
-  Aumna Iqbal, mezzo-soprano

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She is recognized throughout the singing community for "Ask Erda", her long-running advice column in Classical Singer Magazine and for her widely shared Mezzo With Character blog.  Spotlight on Opera, which she founded and continues to direct, is entering its 10th season of providing guidance, training, and mentoring to young singers.  Her stage directing career continues to grow, with productions of Gianni Schicchi (Opera Idaho), Little Red Riding Hood (Syracuse Opera Resident Artists), The Magic Flute, The Crucible, The Ballad of Baby Doe, Suor Angelica, Cavalleria Rusticana, and more.


Thank you again for your wonderful seminar last weekend. I am so glad we got to hire you! I have been going over my notes and the databases you have on your site, and I am very excited to think of myself now as a small business owner. I had not, until now, felt such a conviction that I have the ability to become a professional singer, let alone to do it according to my personal goals.


Your seminar was easily the most inspiring and educational event that Student Opera At Portland State University (SOAP) has sponsored since its inception. I will be strongly urging next year's administration to plan for a longer seminar with you next year so that more of your invaluable information can get to our singers. Thank you so much for providing this service for the good of the profession!
- Tsipa Swan, Marketing Coordinator, Student Opera At PSU

Now is the time to nurture your career
Cindy has the services you need to jumpstart your career today



Cindy is also well-known for her passion for helping singers take ownership of their talent and leadership of their careers. Her no-nonsense, comprehensive, yet compassionate approach aids developing and emerging artists navigate the classical music industry, maximize their potential, and realize their dreams via The Business of Singing suite of services, which includes workshops, webinars, private consultations, career mentoring, and more.

To learn more about Cindy, please visit: www.CindySadler.com, www.MezzoWithCharacter.com, and www.SpotlightOnOpera.com.


It was great to see you again last week and to get a chance to tell you how very helpful my consultation with you four years ago turned out to be. As a result of that consultation I have had opportunities that didn't even seem to be possibilities to me at the time! Given my change in circumstances, I had new and different questions for you. The coffee klatsch was a perfect opportunity to ask them. It was also great to chat with the other singers who came and to hear their questions. Looking over my notes on the session, I found all sorts of valuable advice and suggestions on topics I hadn’t thought to ask about. Thanks so much!
- Joan Weiner, soprano


I thoroughly enjoyed your sessions. They were friendly, upbeat, informative, and quite helpful. Thank you for helping me to create my own business!
- Brandon Hendrickson, Des Moines Metro Opera Young Artist


I found Cindy's sessions to be encouraging and just the right amount of motivation to really get me going. I felt empowered after each session to set realistic goals and make sure they are met. What I liked best was the friendly approach, the "no bones" presentation of useful information, and the quality of the information. My favorite was Writing Your Own Business Plan, because this session really helped me to get specific about what I need to do. It also encouraged me to set goals and get going!
- Ivy Gaibel, Des Moines Metro Opera Young Artist


I am a great fan of yours -- my first introduction to your talents was through your "Ask Erda" columns in Classical Singer. Thank you so much for sharing your humor and wisdom. I was so impressed at your breadth of knowledge and your ability to distill it and focus it on my particular strengths and weaknesses. You give me fresh perspective on what I present when I apply and audition, from my personal appearance to the layout of my resume. You encourage me while at the same time being honest in indicating the areas I need to polish.
- Sarah Griffith, Brooklyn, NY


Concise, step by step directions on how to plan for your success. It won't MAKE you successful, but will give you the tools, both mentally and physically to accomplish your goals. It was awesome!
- Alissa Anderson, mezzo-soprano