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 flattering aspects of the reverb, it can have an ultimately negative effect as we try to mentally cancel out the acoustical enhancement. What’s surprising is that a live acoustic actually picks up and magnifies certain troublesome aspects of certain kinds of voices. The drier room is more honest for us, and we actually tend to deliberately overlook some things because we know how naked the sound is.
Random warning to auditioners: Over these last few days we’ve had a couple of less-than-acceptable responses to our choice of a second aria. To recap the process: the singer gets to choose his/her first aria, and then we choose an aria from the remaining ones on that singer’s list. Now, I’m aware that the remaining selections may be ranked in the singer’s mind, from enjoyable to purely functional (a required aria in English, or a required Mozart or Handel selection). And we may not pick the one he/she prefers. But please, practice a pleasant (or at least noncommittal, poker-faced) reaction to whatever our request may be. Disgust doesn’t cut it. I’m not a difficult person to please, but this is a business environment here, and we all have to do our best to be professional.

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