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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  • Anyone Can Whistle is set in an imaginary town which has gone bankrupt. The only place which is doing well is the local sanatorium, known as ‘The Cookie Jar’.
    The town’s council, in the hope of the tourist dollars it will bring to the town, declare a rock with a spring of water coming from it to be a holy miracle – capable of curing the ill. Fay Apple, a young sceptical nurse doesn’t believe in miracles and has brought all 49 of her inmates from the Cookie Jar to the spring to see its holy powers for herself.
    The inmates escape and Fay goes into hiding and hopes for a miracle herself, a hero who will deliver the town from its madness.
    “Those smug little men with their smug little schemes They forgot one thing: The play isn’t over by a long shot yet!”
  • The Last Five Years is one of my favourite musicals. It is beautiful, intelligent and simple.
    The story explores a five-year relationship between Jamie and Cathy. The show uses a form of storytelling in which Cathy’s story is told in reverse order (beginning the show at the end of the marriage), and Jamie’s is told in order (starting just after the couple have first met). The characters do not directly interact except for a wedding song in the middle as their timelines intersect.
    This song is the opening number of the show and is Cathy lamenting the end of the marriage. I will say it again but I truly believe this song needs no tricks and no big show off belty moments, play it for its simplicity and for the emotion. Also take note of the opening words “Jamie is over and Jamie has gone”, she knows it is over, there is no fight left just a sad realisation of life’s finality.
  • 13 is a musical about a 12 (well a 12½!) year old boy named Evan Goldman and about his struggle to be with the “in-crowd”, turning 13 and becoming a man.
    A gorgeous song about the beauty of real friendship as a child. Remember this song is sung by a 13 year old girl, so if you are performing it then tap into those emotions of how real it feels to find a best friend as a child. Hang on the truth, don’t play any of it for laughs, play it for the truth of the character and the truth of her feelings and you will be onto a winner.
  • Losing My Mind from Follies is one of those Sondheim songs, like Send In The Clowns, which has flown the coop and made the transition from musical theatre to mainstream.
    Great songwriting which works equally well inside the show and characters but can also work on its own, which makes it a good audition choice (although probably overdone which means you will be compared to many who have gone before)
    The melody is haunting and the song is full of heartbreak and pain in the everyday and commonplace ‘the coffee cup, I think about you’. This song is about hearbreak, loss, desperation and emotional breakdown.
    Do it justice and surrender your heart.
  • The Phantom of the Opera really needs no introduction, it is the epic 1986 Lloyd Webber musical which tells the gothic horror story of a young beautiful soprano Christine Daae who beomces the obsession of a disfigured musical genius.
    Think of Me is a song which introduces the character of Christine a swedish chorus girl who has to go on in place of the prima donna Carlotta who is refusing to perform in what appears to be a haunted Opera House.
  • Candide is a musical which is probably more of an operetta than it is traditional musical theatre. It is based on the novella by Voltaire. It is a long, tangled and epic plot with the hero Candide searching for the ‘best of all possible worlds’
    Candide beleives that Cunegonda, his betrothed, is dead and has set out on a journey of discovery. Cunegonde turns up alive in Paris, being supported by a welathy lover living in the house of a Marquis and a Sultan. She is being aided by an Old Lady who is serving as her governess. Cunegonda draps herself in her jewels and sings ‘Glitter and Be Gay’
    The song is brilliant fun, Cunegonda is bemoaning her lost purity, largely because she feels that she ought to do so, and is trying to convince herself that her glee and delight in jewelry is a sign of character when faced with adversity rather than a sign that she has always liked pretty, shiny things!
    If ‘Soliloquy’ is a musical theatre aria for a male singer, then ‘Glitter and Be Gay’ is a musical theatre aria for a soprano.
    “And yet of course I rather like to revel, Ha ha!
    I have no strong objection to champagne, Ha ha!
    My wardrobe is expensive as the devil, Ha ha!”
  • 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’
  • I Could Have Danced All Night is from the 1956 musical My Fair Lady about a cockney flower girl who takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins who himself has a wager with a friend that he can make her pass as a lady. The musical has been called ‘the perfect musical’ by historian Mark Steyn in his book “Broadway Babies Say Goodnight: Musicals Then and Now”
    This song is sung by Eliza Doolittle in Act One, she sings it expressing her excitement after an impromptu dance with her tutor in the small hours of the morning.
    The song was placed at number 17 in the American Film Institutes top 100 songs of cinema. It was originally sung by Julie Andrews but has been covered by everyone from Jamie Cullum to The Brady Bunch! My favourite beinga cheeky cha-cha-cha version by Peggy Lee!
  • 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.
  • 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.