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
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.
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!)
Follow Your Heart is from the hilarious show Urinetown.The show is a satire on the legal system, capitalism and bureaucracy and it is itself a parody of lots of musicals.Follow Your Heart is sung by the romantic leading lady Hope Cladwell, the daughter of the dastardly CEO of the Urine Good Company, a mega-corporation controlling the public toilets in a world raged by a twenty year drought! Hope sings Follow Your Heart to the dashing leading man Bobby Strong, it speaks of their belief in the power of the heart and their hope for a new world.The humour of the song will come from playing it completely straight, any ‘knowing-ness’ that the character is a caricature and that the song is a pastiche will not work. Like all good comedy, really play it straight and the humour will come from the audience not from you.
Evening Primrose is a television musical movie based on a short story about a poet who seeks refuge from the world by hiding in a department store. There he meets a society of ‘night people’ who live in the store and he falls in love with a young girl called Ella.Ella has never seen the outside world and wants to leave with Charles and experience the world.It is a wonderful song and is full of innocence and hope.
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.
Its a most unusual day is from the 1948 film ‘A Date With Judy’Its a very sweet song with lots of range. The song is sung by Judy in the move and is the swing number she is planning to sing at the high school dance. The film is worth watching for the fantastic Carmen Miranda!It is a really classic song, and has been covered by everyone form Andy Williams to the Muppets! The song is a celebration of the exuberance of life.
Parade is an epic show dealing with the 1913 trial of Leo Frank who was accused and convicted of raping and murdering a thirteen-year-old employee. The trial was sensationalised by the media. When Frank’s death sentence was commuted to life in prison by the departing Governor of Georgia, Leo Frank was kidnapped by a lynching party and hanged from an oak tree.This song is sung by Lucille, Leo Frank’s wife, who is singing to a young reporter who has seen the case as a way to build his own career and become famous. This is a real actor’s song and has tremendous power when handled correctly
Sweeney Todd is melodramatic and almost operatic throughout, this song is one which can really show off a true soprano.Johanna is being kept by Judge Turpin almost as a prisoner and in this song she is likening herself to a caged bird. Keep your spirit and voice bright and ‘bird-ish’ when singing it. Each phrase ends with a long note, try to hold it and not decrescendo.Outside the sky waits, Beckoning, beckoning, Just beyond the bars. How can you remain, Staring at the rain, Maddened by the stars?
Be bold, daring and creative and you can’t go wrong.
Musical Theatre Actor Hub Advice