Monday, December 05, 2005

The Filene Center – The Venn Diagram...

Any questions?

Report on Holiday Festivities

Wolf Trap’s Holiday Sing-Along was terrific. Thousands and thousands of people… hundreds of little children on the stage during "Jingle Bells”… good December weather… a huge truck filled to the brim with Toys for Tots. Unfortunately, I sang myself out and was in tatters for the second event of the day, the Messiah Sing-Along at my church where I was due to stand in for our contralto soloist who is battling bronchitis.

Explanation required. I am not a singer, strictly speaking, but occasionally I haul my voice around pretty fearlessly, and I’ve absorbed enough basic information about intonation, phrasing, and placement to unwisely twist my garden-variety soprano into an imitation of a mezzo. It’s not a healthy vocal production, and it doesn’t hold up well after an hour of leading carols in freezing weather. Anyway, I sounded like a cross between Carol Channing and Rod Stewart. Huge hole on both sides of the bottom register break. Any salvageable music came out of it was a minor triumph of chutzpah over talent. (Or, as my friend the sick contralto reminds me, it required “more guts than sense.”) :) All of this, of course, was designed to give me true empathy for all those singers in my life.

Shop Talk – Leftovers from the Audition Trail

Résumés – a few more observations:

  • Layout. The column format is time-tested and unassailable. We can look at each engagement singly, or we can skim down columns of companies, roles, and dates.
  • Dates. Please list engagements in reverse chronological order. Especially because we deal with artists who are still developing, it’s important to be able to see growth and momentum.
  • “Career Objective”. Don’t bother trying to include an “Objective”. I know that it’s part of the process when applying or interviewing for a lot of other kinds of jobs, but it’s really hard to include it on a singer résumé without sounding silly. Lots of effort could go into trying to figure out how to state the objective clearly. Don’t bother.
  • Colleagues/References. Only list people who would be able to speak easily on your behalf. Name-dropping doesn’t really work if they don’t remember you.

Random Aria Advice for Sopranos:

  • Adele’s Audition Aria. Extraordinarily hard to bring off. Almost always harmless and stultifyingly boring. You have to be a phenomenally gifted comedienne to make an impression with this in audition. Those “la-la-la’s” (you know which ones I mean) have to be to die for.
  • Manon’s Gavotte. Consider only singing one iteration of “Profitons bien” (instead of the two that are written). Brings the scene down to about 4 minutes. Might make the difference and get you a second aria if the audition time frame is tight.

Tomorrow - back to casting!


JSU said...

Carmen's twice as popular?


Kim said...

JSU caught the Freudian repetition of Carmen on the "popular" side of the highly unscientific Venn diagram. I'd fix it, but the fact that I listed it twice amuses me.