First off, it's been a TERRIFIC audition tour so far! There are some really, really talented singers out there. It's been so exciting to sit in on these auditions! The summer of 2011 is going to be just incredible!
Secondly, please excuse the overuse of exclamation marks...
I thought I might post a list of audition "thoughts" from the road as David Gately and I travel around the U.S. hearing young singers on our annual December tour for Janiec Opera Company. These are simply my own, and are being expressed mostly to try to bring a bit of humor to this process.
1) A rare commodity: pianists who know the repertoire.
2) There are too many sopranos pursuing opera. They are like salmon swimming upstream to spawn or like stars in the evening sky (take your pick on the metaphor…)
3) The more Dr. So-And-So’s listed on a singer’s resume under voice teacher, director or conductor the less impressed I seemed to be with the audition.
4) I know who wrote “Come scoglio”, you don’t have to tell me it’s by Mozart.
5) There are so few men auditioning anymore that each seems like he could be the next Nathan Gunn.
6) New look to try: Cowboy boots with a suit and tie. Each one of the guys with this look got put onto the Yes list.
7) Monica’s Waltz is a terrible aria - to sing and to listen to.
8) So far almost 75% of our ladies wore black dresses, more than half of those in black dresses also chose a pearl necklace of some sort.
9) Mediocrity is the new illusion: Don’t do anything special or out of the ordinary. Generic is the way to go. That way, nothing is communicated that engages anyone on any aesthetic level. It’s safe and incredibly boring and won’t get you noticed at all.
10) It is actually easy to standout from the others: Sing anything fantastically well and know what you’re singing about. Extra points for JOY!