When I first auditioned for and then signed my contract for BASOTI, my main expectation was to learn new music and have some more performance experience. By default, I would also pick up some professional polish as I attended rehearsals and collaborated with conductors, pianists, directors, and other singers. A few days into the program, after the first few masterclasses, audition workshop, and acting class, it became apparent that I could do more than just bulk-up my resume over the course of BASOTI.
Through a combination of singing, getting feedback, and hearing from experienced professionals their take on auditioning, I’ve decided to change my line up for the Met Auditions:
- “Robert, toi que j’aime” from Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable instead of “Deh, vieni, non tardar” – I sang “”Robert, toi que j’aime” for one of the BASOTI aria concerts, and the audience (including fellow BASOTI singers and faculty members) really liked it. It’s a relatively unknown aria, but several people commented that I pulled it off even though they’d never heard it done before. The rest of my list is more familiar, so “Robert” can be my one quirky, huh?-inducing selecting. Also, the faculty said to pick repertoire so you show off what you do better than others (an obvious point but not always laid out in such blunt terms) and to start with a piece that lets you show off right away – which was not something I’d thought about. With “Robert”, I get a chance to show off long bel canto lines and floating high notes. My initial plan was to start with Manon’s “Obéissons quand leur voix appelle” because it’s got such great energy, but now I’m wondering if I should take a huge chance and open with an non-standard piece. Will discuss this with a teacher…
- “Ach, ich fühl’s” from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte instead of “Mein herr Marquis” – since I axed “Deh, vieni, non tardar,” I needed to replace one of my other arias with a Mozart piece. Apparently it is very important to include a Mozart or Handel in your set; I knew they were good to have, but I didn’t realize it was more of a necessity until I talked to BASOTI singers and teachers. My set already had plenty of Romantic representation, so I sacrificed “Mein herr Marquis.” With “Ach, ich fühl’s” I still hit all four major languages with the added bonus of bringing something different to an aria that lots of sopranos sing. After singing a Pamina scene for BASOTI, I have some very strong ideas about who Pamina is and how I’d want to sing her. The challenges here are 1) keeping the forward flow despite a tempo that could be described as slow or even plodding, and 2) creating a compelling character despite obviously sad music and very little physical movement. Can’t wait to start working on it!
The rest of the set would remain:
- “I am the wife of Mao Tse-dong” from Adam’s Nixon in China
- “Oh! quante volte” from Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi
- “Obéissons quand leur voix appelle” from Massenet’s Manon
So much music to work on!!!! These five and all the stuff listed on the “In the Works” page (which I updated today!). I love it! Just wish I had more time. At least the 12 hours of driving down one state and into another are done. Now I just need to drive around Tempe to find a place to live.