Friday, November 18, 2011

What Do You Want to SHOW in that first audition aria?

Friday musings...

YAP and opera company winter auditions are a-coming! 

As you prepare your package of arias and decide what to sing,  the FIRST aria is so important!!

How do you choose?  Why do you choose it?  Many of these decisions are made with your "team" of teacher and coaches,  but certain things need to be remembered:

As much as you think "impressive" is the way to go - re-examine your view of "impressive"!!  Know your voice and your ability NOW so that what IS impressive is not what you WISH to be impressive.  Such an ongoing problem for singers.  Self truth is an ongoing issue.

Perhaps dropping the idea of "impress them" altogether would be a much more realistic idea. 

That first aria should be what you SING WELL; in your sleep; drunk on a bet; (well not - but I think you get my point!) - that first aria should be in the body, voice, psyche, so comfortably it feels like it was written FOR you at this point in your singing life.  It should show what your voice does well RIGHT NOW.  It should allow you to access your vocal technique without angst, your musicality, and your dramatic intelligence.  It should be a total package.  PERIOD.

It doesn't need to show EVERYTHING you can do (or think you can do)!!!!  Does any one aria do that anyway?  That is what the LIST is for.  You have a list of often 3 - 5 arias to show what you are doing, and working toward doing.

That first aria needs to be sung in, lived in, slept in.  You should be content there! You should know that even if you were under the weather, you could DELIVER it!

Doing your BEST work is what you can control in an audition.  That first aria establishes it - or not. 

Trying to "impress" simply takes you out of the process.  You will never know WHAT would impress those at the table.  They are there to see what YOU do.  Not what you think they want to hear and see to say "wow let's hire him/her or accept him/her into our program".  You will NEVER win that mind game.

Expressing something real is far more important than trying to impress someone.  Expressing says you know what you have to say.  Trying to impress says you don't know what you can do and you are coming "out" to say "am I good enough, is that what you want?  do you like me???"

That's not what an audition is for or about. 

The healthiest audition from a singer's perspective is about preparation and execution of that work. Period.  Show what you have. Period.  Do not show what you DO NOT have.  Period.  Do not try to riddle out the "audition process" from the other side of the table.  Period.  Do not take it personally. Period.  Do not try to impress.  Period.

What aria do you sing the best?  And if you have several, what do you want to show FIRST?  What is the calling card you want them to SEE?

This allows you to begin to less emotional about the audition, and more matter of fact.  Just do the work.  The rest looks after itself.

1 comment:

  1. What a timely post for me, as I have big fat potentially nerve-wracking (and expensive) auditions coming soon - a great reminder to take ownership of what I know I can do, and use the time in the room to perform and reach for my own personal goals, rather than trying to somehow incoherently please the unknowable side of the table. Thanks Susan!