Days 8-10: Back in the East

The two days back in home territory at Wolf Trap flew by. As we heard 12 hours of auditions, furiously did laundry, repacked, and ran off to catch the train, my wise husband asked what kind of idiot made up this masochistic audition schedule. Uh…

At least this time, it was the train. So civilized somehow. I worked for about 45 minutes, then Rahree and I gave up the last of our brain cells to a trashy movie. (I never saw the TV show, so I thought I’d be totally lost. But thanks to my daughter’s description and the handy 5-minute recap at the top of the movie, I was fine.)

Studio Auditions – Wrapping Up!

Saturday’s studio singer auditions were held in our beautiful but acoustically dry Lecture Hall. After yesterday’s stairwell/bathroom acoustics in Chicago, it was a transition. It’s never completely artistically satisfying to sing in the Lecture Hall, but at last we could listen with confidence and clarity. It’s easier to listen in a naked acoustic and imagine adding a little enhancement and warmth to the sound than it is to mentally subtract from what you hear.

As of 6pm today (Monday), we’ve wrapped up the Studio audition portion of the tour. Now it’s all about waiting. In order to figure out to whom we can make WTOS offers, we have to wait until the repertoire is chosen and confirmed.

We’ve seen a wide variety of opening aria choices in this round. If I have time tonight, I’ll churn out the audition rep list from these Studio auditions. And, by the end of the week, the aria frequency list for the Filene Young Artist auditions. In the meantime, visit Rahree for comments on some of the refreshing arias, art songs, and monologues we’ve heard.

And if this is the end of the Studio auditions, then it’s the end of the monologues. I know that the singers won’t mourn this passing, but we do. Truly, some of these 1-minute monologues are entertaining. Some are quite moving. But that’s not why we do it. Particularly with young singers, the sheer physical and technical requirements of singing are overwhelming. During an aria, we may find the singer emotionally flat and not particularly communicative. When we ask for the monologue, we have a chance to observe the singer without the newish and often overwhelming sword of vocal technique hanging over his head. And often, the result is illuminating.

More tomorrow – having a hard time keeping up with blogging this time around. My apologies, for I know it’s when many of you are following. This is proving to be a difficult year to manage. Often, by now, some repertoire options are suggesting themselves, and that is not the case. That, combined with the wickedly condensed travel schedule, is wreaking a little havoc with our minds and bodies. But being in one city for 5 days should help tremendously. Back at you soon.



Last year, you emailed “finalists” for the Studio in December. Are you doing that this year as well? :) Thanks for being such a considerate company.. and thanks for hearing us!


Final decisions aren’t made until mid-January, but we will be in touch in a few weeks with those Studio singer candidates who are on the top of our list.


This is such a great blog! Thanks so much for taking the extra time to write it. We all really appreciate the honest information. Do you keep track of singer’s progress from year to year? I’ve heard of companies keeping some type of notes, or a file on people that they’ve heard that they liked, or I guess really didn’t like. Also, how likely is it that a studio artist will be hired the following year, if they were put under consideration/finalist the year before but ended up not being hired. Do you ever take that into consideration when making decisions? Thanks for any info.


We do keep track of singers (in a database that goes back about 15 years).

It’s tough to say how likely it would be for a strong Studio candidate to be hired the subsequent year. It’s really all about the level of the competition and what the level of the singing is in your Fach the following season. If it’s less competitive (or roughly as competitive), and if you’re still in our demographic target (no further along than 1st year grad student), you might stand a great chance. But if there’s stiffer competition the following year, it may not work out. Make sense?

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