Friday, January 27, 2012

It's your decision

I was speaking with a singer the other day about whether or not a certain aria that involved props should be completely pantomimed as though the props were being used.
This is an interesting question, and I have seen it done, both successfully and unsuccessfully.
What I think it comes down to is: Are you comfortable doing the aria this way? If you are not, it will transmit, and the very least, distract the person hearing you from focusing on your various strengths.
Whenever you have a question about whether a physical approach you are trying to an aria works, have a trusted coach, teacher, or colleague watch you, and/or video yourself. The feedback you get will help you decide how to proceed.
Again, your best chance of success is always tied to your confidence in what you are doing - vocally and physically.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Show them what you are, not what you aren't

One of the really great things about hearing the Met auditions in various locales and circumstances, is getting to chat with singers after the auditions. This allows me to verbalize some things that sometimes float around in my head, but don't get "spit out" verbally.
One such conversation took place recently with a talented young soprano. We were talking about repertoire, etc. and she asked some very good questions. During this discussion, we talked about the fact that too many singers show who they are not during an audition, as opposed to who they are. For instance, if you are a lyric mezzo who does not yet have Non piu mesta where you want it, don't sing it (I cannot tell how many times I have experienced this!) Instead, do arias that show your strengths as they now are. If that is Cherubino or Stephano, that is fine!
One of things singers need to remember is that one of the things that will win you points with the people for whom you audition, is having a sense of who you are and where you are as a singer.
I will expand upon this as we go along, but it's a good thing to remember.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Make your intensities match

An interesting thing I've noticed in auditions is that the intensity and focus a singer may bring to a piece musically may not be matched by what he or he or she is doing dramatically, and then it may switch on the next piece. Be sure you are prepared to perform vocally, physically, and dramatically - consistently from piece to piece. when I do feedback sessions with singers they are generally aware that these inconsistencies occur. Do a checklist of your audition/competition rep to be sure that you are prepared to perform each of your arias completely, to give yourself your best shot.

I am off to judge the Met auditions in Lincoln, Nebraska tomorrow if our midwest weather will cooperate.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A heads up about auditions for our Studio Artist Program

The Florentine Opera Company is now accepting applications for the 2012-2013 Florentine Opera Studio.

Application can be found at:

You do not need to be a paying subscriber to YAP Tracker to use the
application form, although you will need an account (guest accounts
are available; see the website for details). Registration can be
completed at

Application deadline is February 10, 2012.

More information regarding the Florentine Opera Studio can be found at:

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year

Hard to believe it is 2012.....I hope the audition season in December was a productive one if you were involved in that. I have two weeks of Met Auditions coming up - this week in Salt Lake City, and the next week in Lincoln, Nebraska.
I would love to hear from some or all of you, and see what topics you would like to see addressed during 2012 - I am going to try to be on here more often this year, with more observations ( I guess this qualifies as a sort of New Year's resolution!)
In any case, I hope we can all enjoy some productive music making in 2012!