I have just recently heard a lot of auditions and competitions, including regional Met Auditions, as well as listening to a lot of recordings for our Studio Artist program. In no particular order of importance, I thought I would share some thoughts, both positive...and less so. Some of these thoughts I have shared before, so I apologize for repeating myself.
1. There is a lot of talent out there!! This may seem pandering, but it truly is not. As I get further away in age from the "starting out" demographic, I am heartened by what we have to look forward to in our art form. While our "business" has all sorts of challenges - some artistic, most financial - the young performers who will give us a reason to meet those challenges are still out there, working to express themselves through the art of singing.
2. Singers have not let the challenges of our business deter them from pursuing the thing they love. To me this is most heartening, because young singers will not only populate the stage in the years ahead, but they will also be organizational leaders.
The "still need to be worked on".......
1. Some singers still don't play to their strengths in competitions. I still hear a fair amount of singers "trying out" arias in high pressure situations, which is not the time to do that! A variation on this is doing aspirational repertoire. In my view, a singer should audition with repertoire that shows where he or she is now, not where they want to be in five years.
2. Singers sometimes don't realize that they can't ease into making a great first impression. When you audition, hit the listener between the eyes with your best stuff......assume that you won't have that much time to make an impression. Imagine that you are a musical singer, and that you only have sixteen bars to make your point. That may give you a better sense of urgency!
3. make sure your recording is the quality it needs to be. I am am amazed how often that doesn't happen.