Musical Theatre Audition Songs – Choices for Mezzo Soprano

Musical Theatre Audition Songs - Choices for Mezzo Soprano_550
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When choosing an audition song to sing at a musical theatre audition it is vital that you not only choose a song from your range but you also seriously consider your own acting range and the type of character you are auditioning for. So often I hear tales of someone auditioning to play something like Maria from the Sound of Music with a sexy sassy song from Rent (well thats an extreme example but you get my drift!)
This list of songs are all very character and story driven so choose wisely.
It is vital that when auditioning for a part in a musical you are showing off your acting ability just as much as your singing. Directors love working with actors, with actor-singers, if they just wanted a cast of singers then they would go with classically trained singers who have dedicated years to perfecting a classical sound which will be faithful to the notes on the staves and bring no character to the song.
You can bring your character and acting to your singing – don’t leave it at home!
Mezzo-Soprano Songs for Auditions
I always recommend you approach any audition song as a monologue first. Try learning it as a speech and acting it without music first. Get inside the character and situation which is driving the song before you approach the singing of it. I really believe this method gives you a tremendous head start when you begin putting the words to music.

We would love to know what your favourite mezzo-soprano song for auditioning is, let us know via Twitter @actorhub.

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  • The 1945 musical Carousel is famous for the songs ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, ‘June is Bustin Out All Over’, and the beautiful ‘If I Loved You’. The show tells the story of carousel barker Billy Bigelow, whose romance with Julie Jordan comes at the price of both their jobs. He attempts a robbery to provide for Julie and their unborn child; after it goes wrong, he is given a chance to make things right.
    This song is first sung in Act One by both Billy and Julie as they talk about what life might be like if they were in love with each other, with neither confessing that they are actually falling in love!
    The reprise in Act Two is the version which is normally used by males for auditions. (Spoiler alert!) At this point Billy has died and returned to Julie and his daughter as an angel to make right his wrongs, he drops a star which Julie picks up and he sings this heartbreaking love song to his widow as she feels his presence.
  • The Baker’s Wife is a Stephen Schwartz musical which has never had a succesful West End or Broadway run, yet remains hugely popular amongst musical theatre afficianados.
    The story revolves around a small Parisian town which is enamoured by bread produced by the newly arrived middle aged baker and his beautiful young wife. The wife has an affiar with a handsome gigolo and the baker loses his will to bake.
    Genevieve, the baker’s wife, has run off with her handsome young lover, she is disenchanted however. They are passionate but that is all, as he sleeps she sings and asks “Where Is The Warmth?”. She gathers her belongings and leaves him.
    The Baker’s Wife is famous for the song Meadowlark, which is an audition standard. Where is the Warmth is a beautiful and tender song, less ‘showey’ than Meadowlark and I personally think more suited to an audition room as it has intimacy and will show off your acting skills.
  • A Summer in Ohio is one of those songs which will make the audience smile
    This song gives you loads of room to show off your personality and comedic skills. Cathy is writing a letter to Jamie, she has an acting job in Ohio and is telling him of the disappointing life and the eccentric colleagues she has there. A joy for anyone who has worked in small town rep!
  • Trouble in Tahiti is a one act opera-musical and is considered to be one of Bernstein’s ‘darker’ works. The piece is a scathing attack on America suburbia.
    There are only two singers, a married couple named Sam and Dinah, the show is the story of a day in the life of this couple who are desperately unhappy, longing for love.
    ‘What a Movie’ is a song Dinah sings to an unidentified person in a hat shop, in the song she tells of a movie she has spent the afternoon watching called ‘Trouble in Tahiti’, she recounts the story of the movie and sings it’s theme song ‘Island Magic’ and is caught up in it’s escapism and optimistic fantasy of love.
    The song is an epic with so much scope for fun and character as Dinah ‘lives’ the different scenes – she starts off hating the movie, gets carried away when recounting it’s story and drops back into reality every now and then.
    This is a BIG song and might be more suitable for a showcase than an audition.
  • One of Sondheim’s few flops ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ has recently been revived to great acclaim thanks to the wonderful Menier Chocolate Factory.
    The song appears in the show twice. Sung once by a man and once by a woman – this means it should be easy for you to find the song in both male and female keys.
    This also lets you choose which way you want to sing this song – once it is sung at the beginning of a romance, full of the initial glow and thrill of love, it is also sung full of hurt and pain as it is looking at a relationship which just won’t heal.
    The version in this video is the female version full of hurt. Beth tells Frank she is leaving him as she can’t be with him after he has been unfaithful to her, she still loves him but can’t be with him anymore.
  • And I Will Follow.
    This song isn’t from a show, it comes from Jason Robert Brown’s solo album, so you could interpret it how you wish. Really dig into the lyrics and find the story behind the song. Make sure you have a clear story and a clear character so that you can showcase your acting skills.
    This song isn’t from a show, it comes from Jason Robert Brown’s solo album, so you could interpret it how you wish. Really dig into the lyrics and find the story behind the song. For me it is about a woman keeping her vow, you need to work out her vow to who or what, sometimes as an actor it is worth not going for the obvious and seeing how that changes the delivery.
  • South Pacific is a musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II it premiered in 1949 on Broadway, and there is a much loved 1958 film.
    The musical is set on a South Pacific island during World War II. Nellie Forbush, a nurse for the US Navy has fallen in love with Emile a French plantation owner who she has only known briefly. Everyone is worried about the outcome of the war but Nellie tells Emile that she believes everything will be alright with this song.
    A sweet song which lets you play with the upbeat bubbly character of Nellie. The sentiment of the song is that she is keeping hope when no-one else does, and that is an emotion which every actor should be able to empathise with.
  • The last song in The Last Five Years, and in context is a real heartbreaker as it is sung when Cathy has first met Jamie (but in the back to front show, it actually happens on stage after we have witnessed Jamie telling his lover that he is leaving Cathy. In this song Cathy is ecstatic after her first date with Jamie. She sings goodbye. She proclaims that she has been waiting for Jamie her whole life.
    This should be sung full of excitement and energy and a real zest for life. Full of the butterflies you feel and adrenaline rush when you realise you have just met ‘the one’, the one you are going to spend your life with.
  • Passion is a wonderful Sondheim musical adapted from an italian film Passione D’Amore. It explores the theme of love also touching on obsession, beauty, sex, power and manipulation.
    ‘Loving You’ is a beautiful song sung by the ailing and plain Fosca who has fallen in love with the young soldier Georgio. He does not love her and pleads with her to give him up and with this song she explains that hers is not a love she is able to ‘give up’. Her love is not a choice, it is who she is, all she is, and she would gladly die for him.
    ‘This is why I live, You are why I live’
  • Dessa Rose is set in 1847 and tells the story of an unlikely friendship between an abandoned southern belle, Ruth, and a rebellious slave girl, Dessa Rose, who is escaping the repressive Deep South. The story deals with their pride and perseverance as together they try to fight slavery.
    Dessa Rose a young, pregnent slave has attacked her master for murdering the father of her child she has been sentenced to be hung once her child is born and sold as property. She escapes her capture and has made her way to an isolated farm owned by Ruth who is hiding escaped slaves.
    Dessa gives birth to a daughter and sings this song to the baby telling her their family history and promising to give her a name when they finally flee the South.
    A beautiful song.