Any classical singer that wants to sing professionally will frequently be auditioning whether it’s for young artist programs, summer programs, conductors, or opera companies. Some are big auditions and some are low key auditions. Whether you like it or not, auditioning is a fundamental part of the profession and keeping these few key tips in mind will go a long way.
1.) Dress well and look professional. For women, skirts should go below the knee and a slight heel should be worn. Don’t wear anything that draws too much attention (ie. neon colours or shocking patterns). Dress well even for auditions where you know everyone on the panel. It sends a message of professionalism.
2.) Make sure you bring all requested materials. Usually, you will have received an audition notice, email, or pamphlet that outlines what is expected of you at the audition. For example, audition panels will often request a CV and/or a rep list.
3.) Make sure your binder for the accompanist is clearly organized. Often, you will not know the pianist and they will not know what you sing like or what tempi you like. Writing a small note in the score or marking where the pianist should begin or end goes a long way. The last thing you want is a 1 minute postlude in the aria being played. Clearly indicate where you would like them to end.
4.) Arrive early and warmed up. Often, there is no place to warm up at the venue.
5.) Find a quiet corner and calm yourself. Don’t be distracted by others and don’t feed off of any nervous energy. Auditions are tough because you will be seeing and possibly hearing plenty of talent. Often, these people mingle outside the audition room gossiping or showing visible anxiety. Find a quiet corner and meditate or look over your music.