In addition to preparing in the general sense for auditions this fall and winter, I have two specific programs I am preparing. This year, I’m making a point of singing in as many competitions as possible, and in October, I have two: the Center for Contemporary Opera’s International Opera Singers Competition and Eugene Opera’s Belle Voci National Competition and Concert.
Competitions differ from regular house auditions in that the repertoire requirements are often more specific. Usually for house auditions, you are asked to bring “your five,” five arias in a variety of styles and languages that show your best skills. I’ll post about “my five” soon; for now, go read about Melissa’s.
The Eugene Opera competition asks for five arias, but I won’t be using my regular audition program. For competitions, especially ones like this that have an Audience Choice award, you need a bit more “flash” in your program. So, my Eugene list looks like this:
*Sul fil d’un soffio etesio, Falstaff - my starter, even for a competition
*Quando m’en vo, La Boheme - talk about Audience Favorite!
*Mein Herr Marquis, Die Fledermaus - another crowd pleaser
*Be Kind & Courteous, Midsummer Night’s Dream - a fun English piece
*Du gai soleil, Werther - perky w/out being obnoxious
I feel like all of my strengths are still there – lyric lines, acting, a few high notes – but there are also the extra elements of flash and crowd pleasing. This is a public competition, so if you live near Eugene, OR, come by and cheer me on!
For the COC competition, the list is a bit longer and more varied: two arias from the standard repertoire, two arias from operas composed after 1950, and three 20th or 21st Century songs. Putting this program together has been so fun! I’ve hard a hard time narrowing down my song choices, but here’s what I have.
*Sul fil d’un soffio etesio, Falstaff - (you’ll be seeing a lot of this…)
*Mein Herr Marquis, Die Fledermaus
*Be Kind & Courteous, Midsummer Night’s Dream (Britten, 1960)
*Joy Beyond Measure, Little Women (Mark Adamo, 1998)
*“In a Gondola,” Ned Rorem (1953)
*#3 fr. 4 Songs of Antonio Machado, Luigi Dallapiccola (1948)
*“It’s True, I went to the Market,” fr. Mirabai Songs, John Harbison (1982)
Good stuff, no? For this competition, my good friend from Tanglewood last summer, Jocelyn Dueck, will be playing for me. I hope to have her along for many auditions this year, as she is both a gifted pianist and collaborator and truly one of my favorite people. She’s also fabulously stylish!
Both of these competitions have financial prizes and performance prizes. COC presents a joint recital of the winners at Weill Recital Hall and Eugene Opera offers the winner a role in their upcoming season. Money is very nice, but sponsored performing is better! Hopefully I’ll have good news to report next month…