Actor Hub know how difficult choosing a musical theatre audition song is. There are so many shows and so many songs, it can be overwhelming.
We have a series of articles with some ideas and choices, these are some of our favourites and are songs which we think can show off both your range and singing ability, but more importantly can demonstrate your acting ability, you joy at building a character and creating a performance.
It is vital that when you choose a song you really look at it in the context of performance. Read the whole script, try to get an understanding of the character and why they are singing this particular song.
A musical director will be listening to your voice, seeing if it can fit in with the show, they will be able to spot your vocal ability it is what they are trained to do. Chances are you wouldn’t be there if you couldn’t sing.
What I always think is more important is that you can act, and this is what the director is looking for. They want actors who can bring life to a show and to characters, they want to know you can act and sing. If they just wanted singers, then they would hire a singer. You are an actor, you have trained in acting, in bringing alive a character, so make sure you choose a song which can demonstrate that.
Here is a list of Soprano songs which we feel would work well at any audition. Click on the title or image to watch a video of the song.
Soprano Songs for Musical Auditions
These are songs which will hopefully guide you when looking for a musical theatre audition song, have a watch of the video, listen to the song and if you like it then try and read the script or watch the show and get a feeling for the character, if you can do the character and the song justice … then go for it … if not keep looking and if you find something else let us know via Twitter @actorhub and we can add your choice to the list.
Click on title to view the video
Click on image to buy from Amazon
Click on title to view the video
Click on image to buy from Amazon
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!”
Billy Elliot the musical is by Elton John and is based on the hit movie of the same name.The show revolves around Billy Elliot growing up in a mining community in County Durham in the North East of England. Billy’s struggle to learn ballet dancing in the macho community is mirrored by the family and community struggle caused by the miners’ strike of the early eighties.The Letter is sung by Billy, Mrs Wilkinson and Billy’s mother in a flashback. He has brought things which inspire him to his dance teacher to base a dance around. The letter is from his mum, written as she was dying. It was meant to be read when he was eighteen but he has read it already.The song is beautiful and heartbreaking and if you can really get in touch with the strength of a mother’s love then you will be able to deliver this song with love and emotion. The song can easily be made into a solo.
The ‘Toy Story’ movies are complete favourites of mine and they are movies which really touch adults hearts and emotions. Perhaps the most beautiful moment of Toy Story 2 is this heartbreaking song by Randy Newman.The song is sung by Jessie the Cow Girl toy who sings about how she was once loved but is eventually forgotten by her owner Emily.Although the song is sung by a Toy about her owner growing old and losing interest in her and eventually throwing her out as rubbish, the emotions in the song are completely human and ring true about any relationship breaking down and ending.If you sing the song with complete honesty and really try and connect with those feelings of loss and lonliness you will really connect with the hearts of any audition panel.“So the years went by
I stayed the same
But she began to drift away
I was left alone
Still I waited for the day
When she’d say I will always love you”
It Never Was You is from Kurt Weill’s Knickerbocker HolidayKnickerbocker Holiday is a romantic comedy from 1938, but also is a political allegory equating Roosevelt’s ‘new deal’ with fascism.Kurt Weill was a German composer who is best known for his collaborations with Brecht.Sung by Tina Tienhoven, daughter of the head of the town council. Tina is in love with Brom Broeck, a commoner, they hope to marry but Brom wants to be more respectable first.The song, like a lot of Weill’s songs, is a standard. It is a beautiful love song and has been covered by everyone from Judy Garland to Megan Mullally! Don’t let that put you off, standards are standards because they are beautiful songs.Connect with the truth of the song, with the huge longing of searching for your one true love, connect with the romance and try to connect to the heart and you will hit the right note (and hopefully the right notes!)
Light in the PIazza is a 2003 musical by Adam Guettel which tells the story of Margaret Johnson a wealthy Southern woman and her relationship with her emotionally stalled daughter Clara, whilst they spend a summer in Italy in the 1950s.The entire score is more classical and operatic than a lot of recent musicals which are probably considered pop or rock in sound. The Light in the Piazza has unexpected shifts in harmony and extended melodic structures, it is heavily orchestrated and is bilingual.Fable is sung right at the very end of the show by Margaret. She has given Clara her blessing to marry and is left alone on stage and opens up about her repressed doubts and yearnings about love and realises that the mere chance of love should outweigh all of the terrible risks she has associated with it.The song is beautiful and powerful“For the arms you could fall into forever
For the joy that you thought you’d never know
For here at last away you go
To a man who looks for you”
My White Knight is from The Music Man and is a classic ‘dreamer’ songSung by librarian Marian Paroo near the end of Act One. She is being wooed by con man ‘Professor’ Harold Hill, but she will have nothing to do with him. In the song she sings of her ideal man and why she is not interested in Harold.A lovely song full of character and emotion. The song needs to be played and sung with innocence and truth and it can be a real heartbreaker.
Songs For A New World has no story so if you choose a song from this to audition with, you need to do your homework. Build a story and a character around the song show them you can act and create.A recurring theme in Songs For A New World is parents. Mothers are portrayed as nurturing and fathers destructive, with a few exceptions. This song is one of the exceptions. This is a song about a woman abandoning her children and husband, the kids must be young because one of them is afraid of the dark. You need to know why she is leaving, is it best for them or for her. Play with performing it in different emotional states, don’t go for the obvious, see how this changes the song, see how this changes the performance. The beauty of a song like this is that you can build your character and see what works best for you.
Tales From The Bad Years is a musical revue by Kerrigan and Lowdermilk.The show is a series of short self contained songs and musical scenes, all about being twenty-something.The songs from this show are perfect for auditioning for drama school as they dealk with issues you will be familiar with at student age. The songs are about youth, determination and unexpected love.Not A Love Story is a song dealing with the end of your first love, how the romance ends and you drift apart. Its a beautiful song, its modern, its probably not one they’ve heard hundreds of time. If you can find the sheet music, then give it a whirl.
Be bold, daring and creative and you can’t go wrong.
Musical Theatre Actor Hub Advice