Best Songs for Musical Theatre Auditions for Tenors

Tenor Songs For Musical Theatre Auditions
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There are so many shows, and only so much time! Choosing the perfect song for a musical theatre or drama school audition can sometimes be pretty overwhelming. We hope Actor Hub can help.
It is important that you choose a song which not only shows off your singing voice but demonstrates your acting ability, a musical director will need to know you can sing but what is possibly most important when auditioning for a role rather than as a company member is that you can act.
Choose a song which moves you, which connects with you. Look at the character who sings the song, could you play that role, does it speak to you? It is vital you research the character, where the song comes in the show, and what it is there for, why is the song sung?
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 Tenor songs which we feel would work well at any audition. Click on the title or image to watch a video of the song. Bookmark this page and keep coming back as we are always updating and adding to this list.
Tenor Songs for Musical Auditions
This list will hopefully guide you when looking for a musical theatre audition song, have a watch of the video, listen to the song and see if you like it. Do try and read the script or watch the show. If you find something else or have a recommendation let us know via Twitter @actorhub and we can add your choice to the list.

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  • Stephen Schwartz’s work became so popular after the success of his musical Wicked, but the song Corner of the Sky from the musical Pippin has always been a favourite for auditions.
    The musical Pippin tells the story of a young prince on his search for meaning and significance. Pippin, the young man, sings Corner of the Sky right at the top of the show and it tells of his dreams to find where he belongs and his quest for an extraordinary life.
    Although overdone, it really is a classic I Dream/I Wish song and is perfect for young actors. It has innocence and vulnerability in bucket loads and will show off your type, your acting and your singing all in one making it great for casting purposes. And lets not forget it has a fantastic falsetto ending to boot!
  • Floyd Collins is a 1996 musical by Adam Guettel (rhymes with kettle!)
    William Floyd Collins was a celebrated pioneer cave explorer. in 1925 whilst exploring some new caves in Kentucky he slipped and became trapped in a narrow crawlway seventeen metres below the surface, the battle to save him became a media sensation. The gap in the cave where he was getting water and food collapsed after four days and although they could keep in voice contact with Collins after fourteen days he died of exposure, thirst and starvation.
    The song How Glory Goes is the final song in the show and is hugely moving. It tells of his faith, and how he is now ready for death and to be in heaven with his mother and his God.
    The song keeps hold of Floyd’s inquisitive character, of the explorer desiring something new. Floyd is a fascinating character for any actor and this song is a real tour de force of emotion, acting and singing.
  • Carousel was the second musical by the team Rogers and Hammerstein. The story revolves around carousel barker Billy Bigelow, whose romance with millworker Julie Jordan comes at the price of both their jobs. He attempts a robbery to provide for Julie and their unborn child; after it goes wrong, he is given a chance to make things right.
    When Julie has announced her pregnancy to Billy, he is overwhelmed with happiness. He imagines all the fun he will have with his son, Bill Jr, then he realises the child could be a girl, and reflects soberly on the duties he will have being a father to a girl. All of this reflection is done alone on stage in the epic musical song ‘Soliloquy’
    The song is seven and a hlaf minutes long! And through it Billy daydreams happilly, then is horrified, then disappointed, then tender, and then motivated. It is a huge song for any singer and is done well can be a tour de force. It is the closest I think musical theatre gets to having an aria.
    Interestingly when Sinatra released ‘Soliloquy’ as a single the song was not complete on Side A it had to continue on side B.
    “I-i got to get ready before she comes!
    I got to make certain that she
    Won’t be dragged up in slums
    With a lot o’ bums like me”
  • One of Sondheim’s few flops ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ has recently been revived to great acclaim thanks to the wonderful Menier Chocolate Factory.
    The song appears in the show twice. Sung once by a man and once by a woman – this means it should be easy for you to find the song in both male and female keys.
    This also lets you choose which way you want to sing this song – once it is sung at the beginning of a romance, full of the initial glow and thrill of love, it is also sung full of hurt and pain as it is looking at a relationship which just won’t heal.
    The version in this video is the male version full of the excitement of new love. Sung by Frank as vows at his wedding to Beth.
  • The eighties movie Footloose was terrific (I remember it at the cinema … yes, Im that old!) in 1998 a stage musical opened and has played both Broadway and the West End.
    It tells the story of Ren a Chicago teen who moves to a small town in which, as a result of the efforts of a local minister, dancing and rock music have been banned!
    This song opens the show (and the movie!) Ren is dancing off his stress of his long work day on his last visit to his local dance club before he moves to the small town of Bomont!
  • Do I Hear A Waltz was conceived as a small chamber musical and is one of Broadway’s lost gems.
    The story deals with the loves and lives of a group of visitors to and the inhabitants of Venice.
    Stay is sung by the character of Renato di Rossi who has fallen in love with New York secretary Leona Samish.
    It is a strange but beautiful ballad which needs to be delivered with total honesty and conviction. It is a proposal from a married man, who is totally laying his cards on the table:
    “I am not the dream come true – But stay – Not perfection, nor are you – But stay”
  • Not While I’m Around from the deliciously macabre and dark Sweeney Todd makes a wonder audition song.
    The song is sung by Tobias a young boy to Mrs Lovett who he has come to care for as a mother. He is trying to warn her of the ‘dangers’ of Mr Todd. It is a sweet and simple song but behind that sweetness is a real danger, the fear of a serial killer and the all encompassing protective love which Toby feels for Mrs Lovett.
    The singing of this must not be sweet and saccharine you need to give it emotional truth and it must be both real and felt.
  • A Man Of No IMportance is a musical by Flaherty and Ahrens based on the 1994 Albert Finney film about an amateur Dublin theatre company putting on a production of Salome at their local church. Alfie Byrne the director of the theatre company is struggling with his own sexuality as well as with the church’s objections to his theatrical endeavours.
    The Streets of Dublin is sung by Aflie’s colleague Robbie who is is trying to get into the cast of his play, and who he is also secretly in love with. Robbie is having none of Alfie’s theatrical wishes and urges Alfie to come out with him and see the real world and how vivid and vibrant real life can be.
    The song is a celebration of the characters and gritty life of Dublin and when done well is a joy to listen to. When singing it really imagine the sights you are singing about and how alive it is making you feel to be in the hear and now.
  • King of the World is sung by a man in prison, as Songs for a New World doesn’t have a story as such, we have to create the back story from the song itself.
    For me the song is about a political activist who has been imprisoned for his beliefs but knows that the fight and the cause are bigger than him. Even in jail, even facing death, this is a man who survives.
    You could play this in a number of ways, might be interesting to play it as a serial killer who believes in himself and believes what he has done was for the greater good this might give it a darker interesting edge, or play it as a Martin Luther King Jr type of persecuted activist. Either way works and each gives it a unique slant.
  • Hallelujah is a beautiful song from Leonard Cohen which found fame through a cover by John Cale and has since been covered by Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright and Alexandra Burke.
    The song pops up a lot in movies and tv shows and Cohen himself has said ” “I was just reading a review of a movie called Watchmen that uses it and the reviewer said – ‘Can we please have a moratorium on “Hallelujah” in movies and television shows?’ And I kind of feel the same way…I think it’s a good song, but I think too many people sing it.”
    The John Cale version of the song features in the 2001 film Shrek but Rufus Wainwright’s version appears on the soundtrack – Wainwright suggests this might be because of his open sexuality.
  • ‘Luck Be a Lady’ is a song which is now better known as a stand alone song rather than being a song from a show. The song is from the point of view of Sky Masterson, a gambler, who hopes that he will win a bet – the outcome of which decides whether or not he will save his relationship with the girl of his dreams.
    It has become a signature song of Frank Sinatra’s and a ‘Rat Pack’ classic.
    The song was sung by Marlon Brando in the 1955 film version of Guys and Dolls and has been recorded by all manner of artists from Dee Snyder to Chrissie Hynde to Barbra Streisand!
    The song was named #42 in the American Film Institutes top 100 movie songs.
  • This song comes in Act Two of Les Mis and is a prayer from Valjean begging God to save the life of Marius and return him to Cosette. It is a beautiful song.
    The song does not feature in the original French version of this musical and that is because it was written specifically for the actor Colm Wilkinson who was the original Jean Valjean in the London production.
    The song is a favourite of male stage stars for their ‘solo’ albums and concerts as it has some wonderful high notes but is also filled with emotion.
  • This is one of my favourite songs by Jason Robert Brown. It is a beautiful song about the relationship between brothers, it hits home for me being the acting-geek of a family of sporty brothers!
    Jason write this for his brothers wedding where he was asked to deliver a toast but decided to do it with a song. If it connects with you like it did with me then it will be a lovely number to deliver at audition, full of emotion and telling a real story about differences and how they come to mean nothing when a relationship is so strong.
  • Empty Chairs at Empty Tables is Marius’s big solo from Les Miserables – it occurs in Act Two after the battle. Sitting on his own in the cafe he is the last of his friends to survive and sings of regret as he reminisces the loss of his friends at the barricade.
    This song again did not feature in the original French version of this Musical theatre masterpiece, some of the tune the same as ‘The Bishop of Digne’
    The song is pretty heartbreaking and needs a huge amount of emotion behind it. I think this version from the film is particularly strong as it is so underplayed.
  • Chess is the musical written by Abba long before Mamma Mia was a twinkle in Bjorn’s eye! The story involves a love triangle between two rival chess players, one from the US and one from Russia, and a woman who manages one but falls in love with the other. Sounds riveting, huh! The drama comes from the piece being played out during the Cold War between Russia and the US and the propaganda which went on behind these world chess championships.
    Anthem is the big number which ends Act One and is sung by the Russian Chess Champion Anatoly who has won the world chess championship and has immediately defected from the Soviet Union to be with his new love Florence. The song is sung to reporters who ask him why he is defecting and he sings of his love for his country but also how his countries borders lie around his heart.
    A big belty song which can show off your power but also a song full of emotion and heart. Really play this for the truth, act it with all you have.
Be bold, daring and creative and you can’t go wrong.