Today, a focus on singers auditioning for our Studio Artist program!
Lead With Your Strengths
Because many of our Studio applicants are still undergraduates and some aren’t in environments with strong opera programs, we allow art songs as audition choices. If you’re auditioning for the Studio, please don’t be shy in opening the audition with a song instead of an aria if the song is where you’re most comfortable. We’d rather hear something that is solid, grounded, and that you can truly inhabit instead of an aria that you’ve recently learned, or one that is a stretch. We’ve had a spate of Studio auditions that opened in questionable fashion with an aria, but because we had time to ask for a song on the list, we (fortunately) learned that the singers were far stronger than the aria had indicated.
We Don’t Get Out Much…
If we guffaw at your comic monologue, it’s not intended to startle you. We just have relatively few opportunities for recreation, and sometimes we just really enjoy your scene. :)
Warning: Controversy Ahead
If your school has positioned you in really heavy and dramatic roles within your general vocal category, don’t automatically buy into the fact that you will sing those roles in your career. In order to offer performance opportunities and field casts for entire operas, it’s not rare that certain kinds of voices are encouraged to sing a notch or two heavier than they will out in the real world. I’m not saying that this is necessarily unhealthy (although it can be, of course); just that it sometimes sets up expectations that can’t be met. If you’re singing full lyric (or even dramatic) soprano roles in school at 22 or 23, it’s not a given that taking those arias into auditions for YAPs and companies will translate into you being viewed that way in the business.
Pictured above: 2011 Studio Artist Jacqueline Piccolino in her Chicago audition