But What Should I Sing? Tips on Finding a Great Starter Aria For Auditions

Updated: Feb 12

Often, the first question in preparing for auditions may not be “what do I wear?” but rather “what should I sing?!” Here are some helpful ways to find a great piece that will fit your voice and show em' what you've got!


Identify what you’re good at.

Is it long, lyric lines? Coloratura? Is your German is fantastic? Or maybe it's a piece with a lot of dramatic intention. If you have a strength, start there!


Don’t be afraid to make bold choices.

It may be that an art song you've really worked on is a better piece to present than the aria that still needs polishing. There is nothing wrong with presenting a piece others say is done too often, or not done enough. If you can do it well, go for it!

Experiment!

Maybe you've only learned a few songs since college, or only have a few pieces in your repertoire. Bust out those rep books and learn a few lines of different pieces to see how they sound and feel. You may find what you like, and it may not be what you expected! It’s OK to sometimes go outside the lines when learning. Not every song has to be for an audition, or fit into a certain category. Exploring new rep may help you eventually decide on a piece to include in your package.

Get to know your voice type.

Practicing your technique isn’t the only important part of this. Listening to singers who you think may have similar voices to yours is also important. It may even give you some great rep ideas!


Ask your friends and teachers! They are great resources.

It can come in handy to have people who know you and your work. They can give you constructive feedback and tell you what they think you do well. While it’s important to consider ideas from others, don’t get too wrapped up in what others have to say. Ultimately, you know what you are comfortable with and can make the best decisions for yourself.

Consider your audience.

Different companies ask for varying types of musical selections, so finding a few pieces to fit any occasion can be to your benefit. A good rule of thumb is to find a set of pieces that contrast in mood and music, and are in multiple languages. Talking to others that have previously worked with the company can also give you an idea of what they are looking for and what to present. When you consider which of your pieces to start with, think of what will represent you best to the people you are singing for!

Keep a list of your repertoire.

Even if you decide not to continue singing all of the pieces you’ve learned, it’s helpful to have a reference of the types of pieces you have sung and what you can return to singing in the future.

Toi toi toi on your next audition!

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