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Vienna, VA

A smooth trip home on a plane full of happy folks on vacation and on their way to visit family for Thanksgiving. I love flying on weekends – sure beats the general weary road-warrior atmosphere of the weekday flights. Happy to be home myself – I think the guys (my husband and teenage son) are

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Los Angeles

Auditions held on the campus of the University of Southern California in the lovely Schoenberg Institute Recital Hall. Wish we had more time here. The Metropolitan Opera National Council is holding its Western Regional Finals across campus, and several of today’s singers were auditioning in both places. Also finished our apprentice coach and apprentice director

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Houston

Some of the recent interest in how companies like us select our singers comes from the “American Idol” phenomenon. No surprise that we’re different in a lot of ways…Getting in the door – In order to be heard on “Idol”, you just have to get in line early and sleep outside the hotel for a

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The Aria List

Interested in which arias are being offered in our auditions? We’ve compiled lists for each voice type. This year, we’re hearing 148 sopranos, 65 mezzos, 3 countertenors, 49 tenors, 60 baritones, and 20 basses.Each singer must offer 4 arias for the audition. (For us, the list must include one aria by Mozart or Handel.) It’s

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New York, Day 4

Last day in New York. Back in the acoustical wasteland of the Orchestra Rehearsal Room. Yesterday was spent in Rehearsal Room 1, a much livelier acoustic. What’s interesting is that while the singers prefer Room 1, it’s not always an asset for them. A few kinds of voices benefit, but because we’re aware of the

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New York Day 3

Lots and lots of good singing. WTOC alum Jason Hardy’s performance of Claggart’s aria from Billy Budd will stick in the memory for a long time. Best alternate aria: Sventurata (Clorinda’s aria) from Rossini’s La cenerentola. 4 minutes. After dinner, a late night meeting with composer John Musto and conductor Michael Barrett. Michael, John, and

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New York, Day 2

A few unfortunate incidents with printed music in the last couple of days. I always think that we do a good job of reminding singers to mark their music clearly, but I’m repeatedly surprised by failures to do so. The biggest problem is cuts. Even the best audition pianists can’t read minds (actually, they do,

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New York City

A word to the wise auditioner: be careful about what you say “outside the room”. First of all, it’s good business and good manners to conduct yourself professionally even after the audition room door closes. And second, you never know when someone outside the room is really a company “insider”… Advice: A rash of long,

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Philadelphia

Some prodigious vocal talents, some precociously talented musicians, and, in a few cases, both qualities present in the same person. What’s in the reference section of my iPod this year? Paisiello’s Re Teodoro in Venezia, lots of Handel (Agrippina, Alcina, Semele, Rinaldo), Britten/Gay The Beggar’s Opera, Rossini’s La pietra del paragone, Mozart’s Il re pastore,

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Vienna, VA

Lucky is the singer who is assigned a morning audition spot. Really! The committee is rested, ears and minds are fresh, and the day is full of possibility! Truth is that few artists love singing in the a.m. (according to one of my favorite baritones, “There is no art before noon”). Singers really aren’t a

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