Readers have searched this blog recently for some topics I’d like to try to answer.
1. Oratorio audition repertoire
There is nothing special about figuring this out, unless you’ve never done an oratorio audition, or unless no one is helping you.
Your rep for any audition needs to fit your voice (correct range) and showcase your strengths (lyricism, coloratura, drama, etc.).
If possible, find out what the organization is programming, and sing an aria from that oratorio! Try their web site. Call their office.
When more than one aria is required for the audition, start with the one you do best.
If there is a recitative before the aria and you sing it well, include it in your audition.
2. When you go to a concert, how can you meet the performer?
You can find out where “backstage” is by asking an usher. Ushers who work the front of the auditorium (near the stage) can usually direct you. (At a theater in VT last weekend, the ushers in the lobby couldn’t answer my question, but the people further to the front could.)
3. How to practice “The Snow is Dancing” from Children’s Corner by Debussy?
The way I practice it is at a medium (not performance) tempo, listening for evenness in the rhythm and for clarity in the sound (“pingy” sound, slightly blurred w/some pedal). Bringing out changes in the hazy texture is also important. If the entire piece is a haze, it loses interest. Just visualize a snowstorm and make up a story!
The end result will be clearer if you can summon the nerve to practice with no pedal! (I know. That’s not easy for me, either.)
Also, be sure you can connect the sections and negotiate the page turns.
4. Why does a cadenza exist?
Good question! Cadenzas are the soloists’ chance to improvise and show off their skills. Soloists often write their own cadenzas for that reason (or ask their coaches to help them).
There are cadenzas that exist in books ~ for study, for performance. They would be a good starting point.
Cadenzas should be in the character of the piece, i.e., a cadenza in a Mozart aria should not sound like Verdi!
5. A few searches have been about audition repertoire for a certain voice type.
This is not something I can answer responsibly without hearing you first. Repertoire needs to be chosen specifically for each person, as each voice is unique.
My suggestion would be to find a good teacher and a good coach. In addition, participating in master classes and weekend and summer programs can be an enormous help.
I hope this helps!
To my valued readers:
If you have questions, you can always:
- leave them in the comment section (below each post);
- send the “Contact form” in the left sidebar; or
- send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I love engaging with readers. and feel that it’s extremely important. And, by the way, there is no such thing as a stupid question. (Parallel situation: you should see me in a hardware store!) Musical notation is a collection of circles, lines, and dots, after all.