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
Saturday Night was Sondheim’s first musical which was written in 1954 but was never produced until 1997 due to an unfortunate set of events!Set in 1929 in Brooklyn a group of friends spend their Saturday Nights restless because they have no dates. Gene, who works in Wall Street in a menial job dreams of escaping Brooklyn and becoming a member of the exciting Manhattan society.This song comes at the very end of the show as the various characters look forward to the future, they have realised they are happy with the life they have in Brooklyn and look towards the future.Saturday Night ends and the characters finally are looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.
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”
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.
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.
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.
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!)
A beautiful ballad from the musical movie Evening Primrose.The character of Ella barely remembers the outside world having been raised from the age of six, after she fell asleep in the hat department, as part of a society who live within a department store ( … I know, just go with me on this one!)She has not seen the sun for thirteen years, but she tells Charles what she remembers with this song. She likens the natural world of the outside to the artificial world she has been raised in.“I remember trees – Bare as coat racks – Spread like broken umbrellas.”The song is full of long phrasing and so requires great control. It was written for a woman to sing but I have heard men sing it too.
The Glorious Ones is a musical by Flaherty and Ahrens set in 17th Century Italy and concerning a theatre troupe in the world of commedia dell’arte. It is based on the book by Francine Prose.The musical is a mixture or slapstick and serious, and tells the story of commedia dell’arte and how its bawdy comedy captured the publics adoration. The Glorious Ones has been called smutty, nutty, sentimental and moving.This song is sung by Isabella, an aristocratic young woman who joins the troupe and falls in love with group’s protégé, Francesco. This really is an incredible song for a soprano, it is a beautiful story song up there with Meadowlark and talks of creativity and creation so is perfect for an actress audition song.
Be bold, daring and creative and you can’t go wrong.
Musical Theatre Actor Hub Advice