Wolf Trap Opera

The Future of Opera

Audition Blog Posts: The Practical Series


In the fall of 2009, I blogged a series of audition-related posts.  Not having the fortitude to repeat myself, I hereby submit this list of links and teasers.  Surf at your pleasure, and check out this fall’s slightly different series on the regular blog page.  Go knock ‘em dead!



Are You Ready?
How do you know?  After all, “ready” doesn’t mean “finished.”  It’s all relative.

Young Artist Programs: Where to Start
Resources to find your way in the wonderfully abundant yet confusing landscape of YAP opportunities.

The Forest before the Trees
What do we listen and look for?  A highly subjective list, but it’s ours and we’re sticking to it.  Concentration.  Focus. Authenticity. Spontaneity. Specificity. Energy. Humor. Courage. Skill.

S = (R + T) x LF
The equation. S [Success] = (R [Raw Materials] + T [Tools]) x LF [Life Force]

You Never Really Enjoy It; You Just Get Better at It
Coming to terms with this necessary evil.


What (Not) To Wear
Long? Short? Dress? Pants? Tie? Coat?   KPW and Rahree channel Clinton and Stacy.


Get Your Left Brain Ready
I know.  You’re a singer, not a writer.  I don’t care.  Fix the résumé.


“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”
High subjective, random headshot advice from folks who see over a thousand of them every fall.

The Notebook
Music that stays splayed on the stand.  Organized with tabs. Easy page turns and beautiful cut markings. Aahhh.

Cutting Corners
Practicality vs. aesthetics.

Something Old, Something New
The aria list: standard rep vs. adventurous fare.


Audition Room Protocol
Don’t obsess about this; just keep these common-sense guidelines in mind.  Be efficient and pleasant, then sing. Well.

Could We Hear the [Insert Name of Aria Here], Please?
Don’t try to second-guess the panel.  Stay loose.  Look forward to singing anything you brought along with you on this amazing day.

Audition Room Acoustics
Stairwell?  Inside of a sock?  It’s not always like you think.

Your Audition Partner at the Piano
What makes a fabulous audition pianist?  What responsibility can you take for the outcome of this collaboration?

Technology in the Audition Room
Laptops, databases, mp3 recorders and more: Why they are your friends and ours.

Outside the Room
No game playing or posturing allowed.  It’s neither professional nor considerate, and you never know who’s watching.


Audition Props?

Don’t Pace & Don’t Land the Plane
Blocking, pacing, gesticulating, and communicating.  It’s your body: it should work for you, not against.

Three Soapboxes
Intonation (not negotiable), coloratura (not boring, please), and text (don’t throw it away!)

Just How Versatile Can You Be?
Versatility meets mastery.

Audition Season: Forms & Fees
Playing the game and not letting the procedures get you down.  And my final word on the great annual application fee debate.

Putting Yourself in the Fach Box
What are you anyway?  Lyric?  Dramatic?  Coloratura?  Mezzo or soprano?  Fach talk is right up there with sex and money in its untouchability.

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