It Ain’t Over ’til the Fat Lady Sings: Emotional Intelligence, Performance Anxiety, and Mental Health in Opera Singers.

Walker, S. A. (University of Sydney), MacCann, C. (University of Sydney), Double, K. S. (The University of Oxford), Tiliopoulos, N. (University of Sydney)

There has been increasing concern regarding the mental health of opera singers with a recent report revealing high levels of anxiety and depression within the industry (Entertainment Assist, 2016). Prior research has highlighted the link between performance anxiety and mental health (Robson & Kenny, 2017), as well as performance anxiety and narcissistic tendencies (Gabbard, 1983). Additionally, emotional intelligence predicts both mental health (Fernandez-Abascal & Martin-Diaz, 2015), and test anxiety in academic settings (Ahmadpanah et al., 2016). Results from the present study, consisting of 106 opera singers supported the hypotheses finding (1) emotional intelligence was significantly negatively associated with mental health, primarily depression; (2) greater performance anxiety was significantly positively related to mental health concerns, particularly stress; (3) Performance anxiety partially mediates the relationship between emotional intelligence and mental health; (4) Greater vulnerable narcissism, but not grandiose narcissism, was significantly and positively associated with mental health concerns. Additional findings will be presented and discussed.


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Personality and Personality Processes