11.6.08 Saying goodbye to Houston

Today was our first day of Filene Young Artist auditions, and Houston again did not disappoint! There was quite a bit of variation in aria offerings (which is always welcome), many singers with strong characterizations, strong techniques or strong voices. And there were a handful who had all three together - very exciting indeed!

Some thoughts on auditioning...some happy instances, some that I wish I hadn't noticed. They may seem a little dated, as I'm recycling some comments from my notes on last year's tour...they're my suggestions and thoughts, and nothing more.
  • Make sure you know the context of your aria within the show. We do. If your performance is incongruous with what we're expecting, it'll throw us off. You want us to listen to you, rather than spending precious brain cells figuring out what your character is doing.
  • Ladies. Undergarments. For the love of god, please. A bra with support, and something that conceals nipples in the cold. And please check to see if your beautifully seamed dress gives you fake nipples, because we'll spend time that we could be listening to you 100% wondering whether those bumps are seams or not, and giving you less than our full attention.
  • When you're totally connected to the drama in your aria, we are too. We love nothing more than to be taken along for the ride! And we will forgive less-than-perfect vocalism (not egregious errors, but you know what I mean) for an earthy, compelling performance.
  • You may sing beautifully. You may love the way you sound. It's not enough...you enjoying your sound will only take us so far; you need to tell us a story.
  • Houston specific wardrobe note - there were several ladies with beautiful wrap dresses in jewel colors...ruby, teal, navy. I totally approve - you looked beautiful! (Tell me where you found them!)
Last night we saw a double-bill at the Shepherd School at Rice that featured Studio Alumna Sarah Larsen in the title role of Holst's Savitri...she sounded like a million bucks! And tomorrow we'll take in a student matinee performance of Berlioz' Beatrice et Benedict at Houston Grand Opera before going to the airport. Next stop? Los Angeles, for less than 24 hours. Taking into consideration that I was up at 5am today, and running around Houston at 6am (note to the Starbucks barista...sorry about the nasty sweatmonster in your nice store this morning. Sadly, no promises that it won't happen again tomorrow...make sure that latte is iced. Thanks.), I think that it'll be a difficult day or two, body-clock-wise.

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