Sunday, February 28, 2010

How do you practice "staging" your audition arias?

I have been thinking about a number of points about staging auditions:

  • Should I stage it on my own?
  • Should I use a personal director?
  • Should I use props?
  • Should I sit, lie down, or stay standing the whole time?
  • Should I stay fairly close to a "concert presentation"?
  • Does it really make all that much difference?

I will be addressing each of these points over the next several days, but in the meantime, feel free to weigh in on any or all of the above points.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I saw this and had to add it - no earthly connection to auditions (except you might find it fairly zen!! Click or place your cursor in the "fish tank", and they will "feed".

Social Media

We live in an exploding time of having lots of different ways to publicly state how you feel about any subject - (this blog for instance??)
Almost all of us now have the ability to instantly post what we feel about anything!!
So, as an aspiring singer, if you facebook, twitter, or blog, or if you post to NFCS or Classical Singer, it is very easy to immediately let your friends and colleagues know how you feel about any of your auditions, concerts, or opera performances.
It is also quite easy to vent your frustration with any part of those events.
To bring this to bear on the subject at hand - if you have an audition, you can share what you feel about the whole experience - good or bad.
The interesting thing about this is, that while it may be intended only for your friends and colleagues, the fact is that it often becomes possible for anyone to read it.
So, the moral dilemna I am putting out there is (and please respond, I'd love to know your thoughts):
  • Is it a good idea to comment on an audition (how you did, how the person hearing you reacted, etc.) on any or all of the social media platforms?
  • Is it right/wrong for someone who may be commented on in these media to react either directly or indirectly to those posts?
  • Has this been discussed enough in any forum for any of us to wrap our minds around the subject?
I look forward to discussing this more!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Continuing Thoughts

I've just finished writing an article for the April issue of Classical Singer magazine, which has brought some new topics to mind to post here. After giving my fingers some un-cramp time, I will do so.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Find the Moment

Not to be overly esoteric about what you need to accomplish in an audition, but having just directed a show (Aida), I notice that what is often missing in a singer's audition vs. a singer's performance is something one could describe as organic - the focus of "the moment" - that point in a scene or aria or ensemble that clarifies for the audience what that scene is. It is not always the high note, or the coloratura passage, or the death scene - sometimes it is a moment of silence. The point I am thinking of in Aida is in the Aida/Amonasro duet, right before he says "you are not my daughter" and then flings her to the floor. The power of that scene was the moment of silence before that phrase. Our conductor, Joe Mechavich, our Aida Kristin Lewis, and our Amonasro Kevin Short, all worked beautifully on making that moment pivotal.
I am aware that sometimes "the moment" is spontaneous, and not planned - but in the case I just mentioned, that moment was worked out ahead of time, and was very powerful.
To get us back to the subject of auditions, I think it is worth your time to discover what those "moments" are in your audition repertoire. I think this goes beyond staging, singing and languages. I think it has more to do with you finding that point of utter focus within a piece that will cause those listening to stop writing, and fully enter your world. Believe me, that's what those of us hearing you want to experience!
There of course, may be more than one moment in a piece that constitutes "the moment", but certainly it is worth exploring to find at least one. You may find that it's not the e flat in Traviata, or the repeated Figaro phrase in Barber, but instead a place that resonates deeply within you that will speak profoundly to us.
Something to think about.......