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Musical theatre audition songs #2

From the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln this week, this list of songs we heard on Wednesday and Thursday at rising-senior auditions (song, show):

  • Fight the dragons, Big Fish
  • I can’t say no, Oklahoma
  • Everybody says don’t, Anyone Can Whistle
  • Do what I do, In Transit
  • Diva’s lament, Spamalot
  • When he sees me, Waitress
  • Honey bun, South Pacific
  • Defying gravity, Wicked
  • On my own, Les Miserables
  • Right hand man, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • Much more, The Fantastics
  • Wishing you were somehow here again, Phantom of the Opera
  • A way back to then, [title of show]
  • Fight for me, Heathers
  • Corner of the sky, Pippin
  • Maybe I like it this way, The Wild Party
  • Salt Lake-a City, The Book of Mormon
  • Think of me, Phantom of the Opera
  • Lifeboat, Heathers
  • I’ll be here, Ordinary Days
  • Someone like you, Jekyll and Hyde
  • Gimme gimme, Thoroughly Modern Millie
  • I’m not that smart, Spelling Bee
  • Look at me now, The Wild Party
  • Stupid with love, Mean Girls
  • I am what I am, La Cage Aux Folles
  • The color purple, The Color Purple
  • She used to be mine, Waitress
  • Never fall in love with an elf, Elf
  • Suddenly Seymour, Little Shop of Horrors
  • I miss the mountains, Next to Normal
  • Do it again, Nice Work If You Can Get It,
  • Home, Beauty and the Beast
  • Another suitcase in another hall, Evita
  • To keep my love alive, Rodgers and Hart
  • The games I play, Falsettos
  • I’d give my life for you, Miss Saigon
  • I’m breaking down, Falsettos
  • I’m allergic to cats, Theory of Relativity
  • Dream on, Carrie
  • The kite, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
  • Carrie, Carrie
  • I could be Jewish for you, Nikko Benson
  • What it means to be a friend, 13
  • Waiting for life, Once On This Island
  • No one else, Great Comet
  • One night only, Dreamgirls
  • Even though, I Love You Because
  • See I’m smiling, The Last Five Years
  • Green finch and linnet bird, Sweeney Todd
  • You will be found, Dear Evan Hansen
  • All falls down, Chaplin
  • Bring him home, Les Miserables
  • Lost in the brass, Band Geeks
  • One song glory, Rent
  • Dyin’ ain’t so bad, Bonnie and Clyde
  • Waiting, Addams FAmily
  • Positoovity, The Little Mermaid
  • Live out loud, The Little Princess
  • One by one by one, Ordinary Days
  • Stars, Les Miserables
  • I just want to be a star, Nunsense
  • Everybody’s got a home but me, Pipe Dream
  • Screwloose, Cry Baby
  • Like other girls, Daddy Long Legs
  • Out there, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Safer, First Date
  • Someone to fall back on, Jason Robert Brown
  • I don’t need a roof, Big Fish
  • Show off, The Drowsy Chaperone
  • All grown up, Bare
  • Flying to the future, Vanities
  • Hold on, The Secret Garden
  • I’d rather be sailing, A New Brain
  • Vanilla ice cream, She Loves Me
  • All that matters now, Finding Neverland
  • A hundred easy ways to lose a man, Wonderful Town
  • Freddy my love, Grease
  • Tonight at eight, She Loves Me
  • Don’t rain on my parade, Funny Girl
  • It’s hard to speak my heart, Parade
  • Not getting married today, Company
  • Wonderful guy, South Pacific
  • I didn’t plan it, Waitress
  • Is it really me, 110 in the Shade
  • Luck by a lady, Guys and Dolls
  • Beyond my wildest dreams, Little Mermaid
  • Nothing stops another day, Ghost
  • Gorgeous, The Apple Tree
  • If I were a bell, Guys and Dolls
  • Notice me Horton, Seussical
  • I’m done, Rocky
  • Heaven’s light, Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Unworthy of your love, Assassins
  • Skid row, Little Shop of Horrors
  • Take a chance on me, Little Women
  • Movie in my mind, Miss Saigon
  • Run away with me, The Unauthorized Biography ….
  • And they’re off, A New Brain
  • Without you, My Fair Lady
  • Not while I’m around, Sweeney Todd
  • Wherever he ain’t, Nick and Nora
  • It all fades away, The Bridges of Madison County
  • She was there, The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Use what you’ve got, The Life
  • You can’t get a man with a gun, Annie Get Your Gun
  • Funny, Dogfight
  • Adelaide’s Lament, Guys and Dolls
  • I want to go to Hollywood, The Grand Hotel
  • Woman, Pirate Queen
  • Pretty music, Parade
  • The girl I love, Finian’s Rainbow
  • I don’t remember you, The Happy Time
  • Testimony, Amazing Grace
  • In my life, Les Miserables
  • What do I need with love, Thoroughly Modern Millie
  • Proud of your boy, Aladdin
  • Step one, Kinky Boots
  • The streets of Dublin, A Man of No Importance

We heard over 600 auditions in four days!

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How to design an audition cut

After hearing numerous audition cuts recently, a few thoughts:

  1. Ask for a bell tone.  Anything else may well confuse you.
  2. Unless your piece really truly requires a bar or two of introduction, breathe and jump right your first phrase.  Here’s the deal: you get to set the tempo if you start right in, but the accompanist sets the tempo and tone if you ask for an intro bar or two.  And if you start right in, you have no questions about when to join the piano!
  3. Know that the B idea or bridge of the song is rarely going to be the best audition cut, since it’s explanatory and serves to drive us back to the return of the A idea. Without that A idea, the audition cut just sound incomplete and even inadequate. And the bridge is almost always not in the home key, which means that we don’t gain closure.
  4. Consider asking a music professional to help you devise an appropriate 16- or 32-bar cut, especially of more contemporary music.  So much newer music is not built in standard 4- or 8-bar phrases, and needs a well-considered cutting to make it work!
  5. The cut should have a clear start.  Rarely, for instance, is the last phrase of the first A idea going to be a clean starting point, since you are already in the midst of a longer textual idea.
  6. Likewise, the cut should have a cadential ending.  Don’t leave us hanging on a V chord, or a transitional moment. A do chord is your best ending, unless the song is supposed end in a nebulous way.
  7. The text of the cut should tell a very short story, or give us insight into you or your state of mind.  Text and music must work together to make a satisfying cut.

And a few other notes:

  • Unless you are in NYC, or know that you have a demi-god at the piano at the audition, please consider not singing pieces that feature highly rhythmic, detailed accompaniments. Or pointillistic accompaniments (Adam Guettel, Pasek & Paul). Many contemporary pieces are not necessarily conceived for piano, and even those that are (think Jason Robert Brown!) are challenging for the mere-mortal collaborative pianist.  That pianist wants to make you look good, but can’t collaborate as well if lost in the notes.
  • Be certain you can sing all of the notes in the song all of the time.  If you’ve cracked in rehearsal, you will indeed crack at the audition.
  • Unless you truly understand belting, consider not belting.  We are happy to hear lyrical sounds, and we are delighted to hear a healthy mix.
  • Deliver the text.  We just want some honesty, and that starts with words, not notes.
  • And remember that you have about 20 seconds at the start to land the impression.  The beginning of the cut really matters!
  • https://musicchair.wordpress.com/2011/06/24/what-not-to-sing/, and
  • https://jeffreycarter.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/audition-tips-appearance-matters/
  • The plastic-sleeves-or-not debate depends on the collaborative pianist’s desires, but at the least, put your music in a three-ring binder.  Or better yet, get your cut down to two pages, and paste or tape it onto a file folder.  Single sheets and a piano music rack don’t mix!

Musical theatre audition songs

As I hear auditions at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, I’m keeping a comprehensive list of the songs that these rising high school seniors are singing.

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The view from my audition desk before the students arrive.

From Monday and Tuesday (song title, show):

  • Lost in the brass, Band Geeks
  • Your daddy’s son, Ragtime
  • Dear Daddy, Welcome To My Life
  • There’s a fine, fine line, Avenue Q
  • Fly fly away, Catch Me If You Can
  • Watch what happens, Newsies
  • Woman, The Pirate Queen
  • I don’t need a roof, Big Fish
  • Sibella, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
  • Always starting over, If/Then
  • Home, Phantom
  • I’m your man, Meet John Doe
  • I’d rather be sailing, A New Brain
  • Flight, by Craig Carnelia
  • Before the summer ends, Dracula
  • The life I never led, Sister Act
  • Tonight at eight, She Loves Me
  • As we stumble along, The Drowsy Chaperon
  • I like him, The Man of La Mancha
  • Mama who bore me, Spring Awakening
  • Time stops, Big Fish
  • On my own, Les Miserables
  • One normal night, Addams Family
  • I have a love, West Side Story
  • I can cook too, On the Town
  • Carrie, Carrie
  • Astonishing, Little Women
  • Where am I now, Lysistrata Jones
  • What do I need with love, Thoroughly Modern Millie
  • Art is calling for me, by Victor Herbert
  • All that jazz, Chicago
  • It only takes a moment, Hello Dolly!
  • A trip to the library, She Loves Me
  • I want to go to Hollywood, Grand Hotel
  • So big so small, Dear Evan Hansen
  • Memory, Cats
  • Who can I turn to?, The Roar of the Greasepaint etc.
  • Here I am, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • She was there, Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Killer instinct, Bring It On
  • Will he like me?, She Loves me
  • When you’re good to mama, Chicago
  • Set those sails, In Trousers
  • Run away with me, The Unauthorized Biography of Samantha Brown
  • My Petersburg, Anastasia
  • Music of my soul, Memphis
  • Mr. Cellophane, Chicago
  • Kindergarten boyfriend, Heathers
  • Come out of the dumpster, The Wedding Singer
  • Bring it on, Bring It On
  • Heaven on their minds, Jesus Christ Superstar
  • Always true to you in my fashion, Anything Goes
  • Vanilla ice cream, She Loves
  • Come to your senses, Tick Tick Boom
  • Cute boys with short haircuts, Vanities
  • What am I doing, Closer than Ever
  • On my way, Violet
  • Gooch’s Song, Mame
  • Funny, City of Angels
  • Safer, First Date
  • Diva’s lament, Spamalot
  • Breathe, In the Heights
  • Wishing you were somehow here again, Phantom of the Opera
  • If he knew my story, Bright Star
  • Purpose, Avenue Q
  • Franklin Shepherd Inc., Merrily We Roll Along
  • Like a god, Flower Drum Song
  • Santa Fe, Newsies
  • If I didn’t believe in your, Last Five Years
  • The moon and me, Addams Family
  • Old-fashioned wedding, Annie Get Your Gun
  • With you, Ghost
  • Lost in the wilderness, Children of Eden
  • Beautiful city, Godspell
  • If I loved you, Carousel
  • What do I need with love, Thoroughly Modern Millie
  • How did I end up here, Romance Romance
  • Easy as life, Aida
  • The history of wrong guys, Kinky Boots
  • Quiet, by Jonathan Read Gealt
  • Mandolin waltz, Western Star
  • Corner of the sky, Pippin
  • Don’t rain on my parade, Funny Girl
  • She used to be mine, Waitress
  • The view from here, by Ryan Scott Oliver
  • Some other me, If/Then
  • A little bit in love, Wonderful Town
  • All grown up, Bare
  • Till there was you, The Music Man
  • Shy, Once Upon a Mattress
  • Before it’s over, Dogfight
  • I’ll be here, Ordinary Days
  • Words fail, Dear Evan Hansen
  • Her voice, The Little Mermaid
  • Journey to the past, Anastasia
  • What do you do with a BA in English, Avenue Q
  • Never getting rid of me, Waitress
  • Kiss the air, by Scott Alan
  • I love Betsy, Honeymoon in Vegas
  • Gotta get out, Ordinary Days
  • Not for the life of me, Thoroughly Modern Millie
  • Please don’t make me love you, Dracula
  • I didn’t plan it, Waitress
  • I have found, The Royal Family of Broadway
  • I want to be bad, Good News
  • What I did for love, Chorus Love
  • I am playing me, [title of show]
  • She’s got a way, by Billy Joel
  • Last one picked, Whoop De Do
  • Everything I know, In the Heights
  • I’m allergic to cats, Theory of Relativity
  • Some things are meant to be, Little Women
  • There once was a man, Pajama Game
  • I miss the mountains, Next to Normal
  • Once upon a time, Brooklyn
  • Beyond my wildest dreams, The Little Mermaid
  • If ever I would leave you, Camelot
  • Monticello, by Pasek and Paul
  • Holding to the ground, Falsettos
  • A new life, Jekyll and Hyde
  • I got plenty of nuthin’, Porgy and Bess
  • Picture Show, Bonnie and Clyde

Broadway songs for 12-15 year old boys

My studio suddenly has a handful of younger boys, several with recently-changed voices, and one who is not there yet.

I’m building a list of songs that are appropriate for them, both vocally and temperamentally.  I’m looking for texts that are also age-appropriate.

Here goes, with what I’ve taught in the last few months (song, show):

  • Just one person, Snoopy
  • Giants in the sky, Into the Woods
  • Wonderful day like today, Roar of the Greasepaint
  • That kind of a day, Sheldon Harnick song book
  • Leaning on a lamppost, Me and My Girl
  • If I ruled the world, Pickwick
  • Love I hear, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  • There’s me, Starlight Express
  • If the world only knew, Scott Evan Davis
  • Edwina, Edwina
  • I’m home, Captains Courageous
  • When I get my name in lights, The Boy from Oz
  • Just wasn’t meant to happen, Calvin Berger (or any of Calvin’s songs)
  • Sara Lee, Kander and Ebb songbook
  • Try me, She Loves Me
  • Rhyme for Angela, Firebrand of Florence
  • It’s not where you start, Seesaw
  • The kite, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
  • Suppertime, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
  • Put on a happy face, Bye Bye Birdie
  • All my devices, Stephanie Salzman

Anatomy

Thanks, Matt Edwards, for this wonderful primer!!

https://edwardsvoice.wordpress.com/laryngeal-anatomy-101/

Song choices

Spring 2017 song choices for the acting and musical theatre students in my studio:

  • Take me away, Scott Alan
  • Oh is there not one maiden breast, Pirates of Penzance
  • Mister Snow, Carousel
  • Spark of Creation, Children of  Eden
  • Neverland, Scott Alan
  • Fair House of Joy, Roger Quilter
  • Jason’s Song, Jeffrey Carter
  • Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in the Sara Bareilles rendition
  • Mira, Carnival
  • Winter’s On the Wing, The Secret Garden
  • Love, I Hear, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  • Accident Prone, Laurence O’Keefe and Kirsten A. Guenther
  • Little Susan Lawrence, Big! 
  • Where did we go wrong, Kerrigan & Lowdermilk
  • Watch me soar, Scott Alan
  • Time in a bottle, Jim Croce
  • John Wellington Wells, Iolanthe

Post-millennial musical theatre composers

A Second Golden Era:
The Music of Post-Millennial Musical Theatre Composers

[This session, presented in October 2016 at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Central Division student summit in Iowa city, surveys the work of numerous (generally) post-millennial musical theatre composers.]

 

The current musical theatre scene includes a wealth of younger songwriting teams and individual composers, many of whom self-publish. Their music is vivid, varied, and worth knowing.

With a wealth of examples available on YouTube, we witness a number of songs in recordings of live performance. We also review composer websites and resources on line. The aim is to help students and teachers gain new insight into contemporary literature, and build knowledge of a dozen or more contemporary composers. I also share some personal notes about my impression of some of this music.

A word about sheet music: most of these composers and teams provide purchasable PDF sheet music from their websites, or link you to an on-line store.  Buying this music directly, rather than sharing a scan from someone else, enables these folks to make a living and keep on writing.  Notice too that numerous songs come in female (belty) and male (baritenor or tenor) keys.

Do check out the resources at newmusicaltheatre.com.

And also check out this Buzzfeed column.

N.B. — While I include Andrew Lippa on this survey, he really is not part of the gestalt of post-millennial musical theatre. Rather, along with JRB, Guettel and others, he’s an important voice in contemporary musical theatre, with songs cast in more traditional formal structures and story-telling techniques.  Also not part of this survey are originators of current rock musicals and rap musicals.

And another N.B. — I have received some comments reminding me that many of the composers on this team are not Millennials. Those reminders are correct.  But this list is intended to be a very incomplete survey of composers writing in a post-millennial style.  Perhaps I’ll do another blog entry or session on composers and composing teams who are indeed part of the Millennial generation! [comment added 11/7/16]


Broadway’s ‘Golden Era’ is generally considered to be the days of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Lerner & Loewe, Bernstein, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin, Frank Loesser and Meredith Willson.  Yip Harburg, Jule Styne, Jerry Herman and others are in the mix too.

Others of the remaining third of the 20th century (some of whom remain active today) included Cy Coleman, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Boublil & Schonberg, Stephen Schwarz, Marvin Hamlisch, Ahrens & Flaherty, Marsha Norman & Judy Simon, Jason Robert Brown, Maltby & Shire, and the great Stephen Sondheim.  We must also consider composers of rock musicals and rock-influenced musicals, such as Elton John. And the Disney musicals.

Millennials are the generation born 1982-2002, according to demographers.

But what is post-millennial musical theatre?

Much of post-millennial musical theatre literature is intimate, emotionally present, and very much in a story-telling vein.  Songs that, in the moment, drive a plot ahead with action or need.  Songs that stand alone well in a cabaret setting — solo mic, lights focusing on the performer, audience not many feet away. Performers delivering without artifice or traditional conventions of musical theatre.  Hand-in-hand with this observation: most of these shows won’t go to Broadway, but will be Off- and Off-Off-Broadway instead, suiting the more intimate style and subject matter.

My colleague Neal Richardson says

Vocal considerations are akin to acting considerations–casually natural qualities predominate. For me, this means both male and female should be largely in a mix characterized by an ease and uniformity between low and high. Parlando singing that is closely connected to speech will help achieve the desired vocal colors. A beautiful, pure head voice is a distraction as it will communicate an “I’m singing now” quality. Belt is acceptable and even required at times, but only if the moment justifies it. If you belt without justification it also communicates: “listen to my voice.”

I might add a danger too: many contemporary singing actors have grabbed onto an artifically tight, retroflex R; a stiff upper lip; and an exaggerated /u/ vowel (perhaps modeling Alice Ripley and others) — all of which may be appropriate as an occasional dramatic choice, but which in no way mimic normal speech patterns.  I work with my own students to avoid these affectations, going for the most natural quality possible.


Any list of post-millennial musical theatre composers is naturally going to leave important voices aside, but here’s a somewhat curated list of folks I teach:

carner-gregorCarner and Gregor; partnered on a project in the early 2000s at NYU, and have worked together ever since; Derek Gregor, music & Sam Carner, lyrics; strong melodies, clear story arcs, accessible rhythm, beautifully written accompaniments; musicals include Island Song and Unlock’d; printed pages are beautiful, demonstrating great care

Pasek and Paul; started working together at University of Michigan; Tony Award nominees; collaborate on music and lyrics; intricate accompaniments, highly detailed rhythmic patterns, rich and singable melodies, with music described as ‘elegant’ and ‘consistently bouyant and clever’; musicals include Dogfight, Dear Evan Hansen, James and the Giant Peach, A Christmas Story: The Musical and Edges; original songs also featured on second season of Smash

Scott Alan; more songwriter than show-writer; music of simpler style, less complex than Pasek and Paul, direct and appealing melodies; “I write about issues that are relatable.”; seven CD albums available; many of his songs are more or less autobiographical; N.B. — I find many songs need a key change, and many accompaniments are written in the same vein

kerrigan-lowdermilkKerrigan and Lowdermilk; Kait Kerrigan (words) and Brian Lowdermilk (music); musicals include Henry and Mudge, The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown, Tales from the Bad Years, The Woman Upstairs, Wrong Number, The Freshman Experiment, Republic, Unbound, and Flash of Time; strong and appealing melodies, evocative accompaniments, superior sense of build and climax in the arc of a song, intricate rhythmic underlay; N.B. — printed music often has rhythmic notation that is non-standard, but new songbook from Hal Leonard has cleaned much of this up

Seth Bisen-Hersh; musicals include Love Quirks; extensive YouTube channel; multi-faceted artist, author, reality TV star; some witty comic numbers

pete_millsPeter Mills; musicals include Golden Boy of the Blue RidgeThe Taxi Cabaret and Lonely Rhymes, a contemporary comic song cycle; currently writing lyrics for Broadway-aimed The Honeymooners; elegant and sophistocated writing, wicked and witty word play, and beautifully presented music, both visually and aurally

Brett Macias; Webster University and NYU alum; composes to lyrics by Caroline Murphy; musicals include Tuesday, Fishing the Moon, and Beneath the Surface; intriguing and probing subject matter (rape, fighting the current of life, violence in our schools), and easily among the most social-commentary of the composers and writers in this list; Macias says that when he discovered that he could “do more for the art form by writing and building a musical from the ground up” (as opposed to pursuing acting), his path was clearly laid out in front of him; read a superior and lovingly-written introduction

Andrew Lippa; significant Broadway and off-Broadway successes include John & Jenn, Big Fish, The Wild Party, The Addams Family, and the rescoring of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown; a chameleon composer, capable of a pastiche of styles and genres, always careful with notation, clear with lyrics, and generous to the performer; songbook available from Hal Leonard, with some non-show-related songs

Jonathan Reid Gealt; multi-talented composer, performer, and screenwriter; check out the song cycle Forward; two albums available; his music has a strong following among top-line performers such as Kelli O’Hara, Matt Doyle, Kate Baldwin, and Titus Burgess

tom_kitt_bioTom Kitt; successes include Next to Normal, If/Then, and High Fidelity; and with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Bring It On: the Musical; punchy and evocative music, with well-crafted rhythms, melodies that mean something, and a kaleidoscope of textural colors; engages in significant work as arranger and MD

Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell; Hunter is the playwright, with Jeff writing lyrics and music; shows include [title of show], Silence: the Musical, and Now. Here. This.; composes self-aware, stream-of-consciousness musicals that mock some conventions but are also incredibly entertaining and at times emotionally moving; N.B. — many songs are tough to excerpt because they are so specific to time/place/character; I suggest Now. Here. This. as the best show to look at for song study and audition cuts

Jeff Blumenkrantz; actor, composer, lyricist; musicals include Urban Cowboy; multiple Broadway stage appearances; songbook is available, as are single copies of many songs; honest and strong approaches to real life, with lots of humor, some wonderful moments of raw pathos, and powerful melodies; piano accompaniments are strong and lay beautifully under the fingers

adam_gwon_250pxAdam Gwon; one of the cleanest websites you’ll see!; shows include Ordinary Days, Cake Off, and The Boy Detective Fails; emotionally accessible, powerful sense of descriptive melody, lovingly written accompaniments; one of the most-awarded of post-millennial musical theatre composers, winning nearly every new musical theatre prize and recognition out there; a real fan of the current crop of Broadway stars

Goldrich and Heisler; composer Zina Goldrich and lyricist Marcy Heisler; music published by Hal Leonard; have composed for children’s theatre, including Dear Edwina; other musicals 87527include Junie B. Jones and Adventures in Love; perhaps best-known for ‘Taylor, the Latte Boy’; among the most accessible of all the teams and composers on this list, with audience-pleasing melodies, clear story arcs, plenty of humor, and pianist-pleasing accompaniments

Ryan Scott Oliver; self-described “A composer-lyricist fashioning epic dramas, Gothic thrillers, and high-octane rock and roll into exhilarating new musicals.”; shows include 35MM, Darling, Jasper in Deadland, and We Foxes; songbook published by Hal Leonard; strong rock influences, more provocative subject matter, powerful sense of rhythm; Huffington Post said he “could very well be musical theater’s answer to an auteur filmmaker or a gothic novelist”

Timothy Huang; has more recently specialized in short musicals; shows include Peter and the Wall, The View From Here, and Costs of Living; here’s an interview with him; “I want them to respond to all of my shows: to question the way they, as members of this society, define what an American is.”; and check out this interview


And check out some other resources! —

Ways to practice

How do we hone our own skills without guidance from an outside voice?  Dramatics magazine ran a great article about this topic in Fall 2015.  While the specifics are pointed toward actors, the sentiment is true for singers and opera performers and singing actors of all kinds.

Here’s the article.  It’s a short, worthwhile read: on-your-own

Audition song choices 2015

I’m live-blogging at the 2015 annual conference of the International Thespian Society.  Because of commitments in Saint Louis, I missed the Monday and Tuesday thespian auditions this year, but today’s session includes well over 100 actors and singers.

Here’s a list of the songs we heard today:

  • Foolish to think.  A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
  • Fly fly away.  Catch Me If You Can.
  • Pretty funny.  Dogfight.
  • Fly into the future.  Vanities
  • Don’t let me go.  Shrek, the Musical
  • Proud of your boy.  Aladdin
  • Being alive.  Company
  • Shiksa goddess.  The Last Five Years
  • If he really knew me.  They’re Playing Our Song
  • Nothing.  A Chorus Line.
  • Screw loose.  Crybaby the Musical
  • One more kiss.  Follies
  • Fight the dragons.  Big Fish.
  • Suppertime.  You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown
  • I wish it so. Juno
  • I dreamed a dream.  Les Miserables
  • Astonishing.  Little Women
  • My new philosophy.  You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown
  • I wanna be a producer.  The Producers
  • Alto’s lament.  Kerrigan and Loudermilk
  • With you.  Ghost, the Musical
  • Bye bye baby.  Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  • Tonight at eight.  She Loves Me
  • Much more.  The Fantasticks
  • If I left London.  Chaplin, the Musical
  • Beautiful.  Heathers
  • Good morning, Baltimore.  Hairspray
  • I got rhythm.  Mr and Mr Gershwin
  • Corner of the sky.  Pippin
  • Mama who bore me.  Spring Awakening
  • Someone like you.  Jekyll and Hyde
  • Extraordinary.  Pippin
  • Happy/Sad.  The Addams Family
  • Suddenly Seymour.  Little Shop of Horrors
  • Fine, fine line.  Avenue Q
  • Dyin’ ain’t so bad.  Bonnie & Clyde
  • Unexpected song, Song and Dance
  • Waiting.  The Addams Family
  • On my way. Violet
  • Loving you.  Passion
  • Glitter and be gay.  Bernstein
  • Superboy and the invisible girl.  Next to Normal
  • I can cook too.  On the Town
  • As we stumble along.  The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Make me see it.  The Fantasticks
  • Diva’s lament.  Spamalot
  • Seasons of love.  Rent
  • I can hear the bells.  Hairspray
  • Spark of creation. Children of Eden
  • Once upon a time.  Bare
  • You can’t get a man with a gun.  Assassins
  • Freeze ray.  Dr. Horrible etc.
  • Lifeboat.  Heathers, the Musical
  • Some enchanted evening.  South Pacific
  • How can I call this home?  Parade

More song lit

I kept a list last month while I was adjudicating the second round of college students at the Classical Singer competition in Chicago.  We heard a long four hours of undergraduate students singing one song each, for the most part, and we send six on to the next round.

Here’s a partial list of what we heard (with some commentary):

  • Kurt Kaiser: The Longing Soul (what a wonderful work this is!)
  • Mozart: Il mio tesoro intanto
  • Handel: V’adoro pupille
  • Strauss: Beim Schlafengehen (not the best choice for a younger voice, as this song requires some emotional weight of the years)
  • Copland: Heart, we will forget him
  • Mozart: Batti, batti
  • Bellini: Oh! Quante volte
  • Weill: Lonely House
  • Mozart: Un aura amarosa
  • Tchaikowsky: Nur wer di sehnsuch kennt
  • Mechem: Fair Robin I love
  • Bellini: La ricordanza
  • Fauré: Au bord de l’eau
  • Böhm: Still wie die nacht
  • Mozart: Ah! Fuggi il traditor
  • Britten: The last rose of summer
  • Verdi: Saper vorresti
  • Schubert: Du bist die ruh
  • Bolcom: Song of Black Max
  • Donizetti: Ah! Tardai troppo
  • Dvorak: Song to the Moon
  • Hahn: Ah Chloris!
  • Mozart: Che beltà, che leggiadria
  • Donaudy: Perche dolce caro bene
  • Donizetti: Chacun le sait
  • Mozart: Non piu andrai
  • Mozart: Porgi, amor
  • Quilter: Love’s Philosophy
  • Mozart: Voi che sapete
  • Puccini: O mio babbino caro
  • Duparc: Soupir
  • Duparc: Phidylé
  • Handel: Total Eclipse
  • Dell’Acqua: Villanelle
  • Handel: Pastorella vaghe bella
  • Copland: Laurie’s Song
  • Gounod: Ah! Je veux vive
  • Lalo: Vainement, ma bien aimée
  • Rossini: Ecco ridente in cielo
  • Handel: Svegliatevi nel core
  • Beach: Ah, love but a day
  • Fine: Polar Oli
  • Mozart: Un moto di gioia
  • Parry: My heart is like a singing bird