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.
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.
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”
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
An American Tail: Fievel Goes West is a 1991 sequel to An American Tail – the films tell the story of a family of Jewish-Russian mice who emigrate to the Wild West.This song is sung by Tanya, sister to the film’s hero Fievel, who dreams of being a singing star. She sings this song as she daydreams in an under construction saloon. It is also heard over the end credits sung by Linda Rondstadt.Dreams to Dream is based on a melody heard in the first movie An American Tail. James Horner went on to write the Titanic mega-hit lovesong “My Heart Will Go On”.The song is all about following your dreams and having faith that if you believe them then your dreams can come true. Perfect for an audition!“There is a star
Waiting to guide us
Shining inside us
When we close our eyes”
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.
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.
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.
Be bold, daring and creative and you can’t go wrong.
Musical Theatre Actor Hub Advice