Monday, December 20, 2010

Carve out the pie

No, this isn't a holiday greeting, though of course, I do send those as well!
I'm talking about strategically putting together your rep for your auditions, that gives an AD or GD an easy way to "sample" your repertoire. I want to preface this by saying that your first criteria must always remain singing what suits you best and what you feel most comfortable singing. But assuming you have multiple choices in that regard, it might be good to think strategically about how to "help" your listener out.
I will give some examples of what I mean.
Stephano's aria from Romeo et Juliette is great because it's strophic, and if time is an issue, I can ask for the second verse, and you will be able to show everything in one that you could in two.
Figaro's fourth act aria from Figaro is great, because even if I don't have time to hear you sing the aria, the recit is fantastic, has a wide emotional range, and allows me to hear you handle that very important part of that rep.
Beppe's aria from Pagliacci is great because even if you are moving toward character tenor territory it allows me to hear that your singing chops are there as well.

These are just three examples of pieces that are either short or are segmentable that gives an interested listener the opportunity to quickly choose something, even if your first selection is longer, and the company's time is limited.

Another way of saying this is that presenting five arias for audition is a strategic process, not just a case of finding five arias in three or four languages and hoping for the best.