Audition tips

Liana Lansing
Submitted: Tue, March 21, 2017 - 3:24pm EDT
Having just been auditioning singers for DenverOperaCollective.org 2017 summer season, let me pass on a "view from the other side". The first impression is very important!

Allow yourself enough time before your "entrance" to check your grooming:
HAIR should look like you've combed it, not like you just tumbled out of bed
What you WEAR should be appropriate to: time of day, and what you're auditioning for. Don't wear a jeweled long concert gown to an afternoon audition, but don't under-dress either, i.e. no shorts, tee shirts, tube tops, shirttails out of pants; gals, only "moderate" decolletage! Men always look better in a jacket, unless you're auditioning for Samson or Bob---"what a beautiful torso" from Old Maid & the Thief. (Then you should wear a tight, form-fitting soaking wet? tee!) Only mezzos who are doing pants parts should wear pants at an audition. A soprano wearing a flashy red dress is fine for Musetta, wrong for Mimi or Buttterfly! And, girls, please wear skirts covering the knees. If you must wear a mini, please wear monochromatic, dark tights. NOBODY'S EXPOSED KNEES or TOES LOOK GOOD ON STAGE! Please, no sandals, or flip-flops. Conservative, close-toed shoes, moderate (not hooker-high) heels look best.
Your outfit should look "put together", not "thrown together". Basically, don't wear anything that will distract your audience--you want them to see YOU, not your clothing! If at all possible, don't wear glasses. Your eyes are half of your facial expression-judges miss them with glasses-even without glare.
INTRODUCING YOURSELF: After you've consulted with accompanist, walk-purposefully-to more or less center stage. Speak out, slowly and louder than normal conversational tone:
"MY NAME IS ___ ___ and I will (am happy to) sing for you:*____________________________
*name of Aria, or name of character's song in musical
from **____________________________ by***_________________. Then give pianist a nod to begin.
** full name of Opera/Show *** composer (& lyricist?)

BODY LANGUAGE: If you haven't practiced with a coach doing only gestures that have meaning or emphasize one important point, better not to use hands at all. "Conducting" or beating time with your hands (or feet) are NO-NOs, as are flaccid hand/wrist movements that are not purposeful.

Lastly, if you're asked to bring 2 arias or songs, bring 3 or 4--all contrasting in style, language, vocal/emotional range, etc. Be a Boy/Girl Scout! BE PREPARED and CONFIDENT--Keep your mind on the character's emotion, let the music flow through you. Put out of your mind any thoughts on how you look,or "do they like me, am I making a good impression?," etc.
GOOD LUCK and remember: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, UNIQUE and MAGNIFICENT!!!

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