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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  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • Kiss the Girl is a song from the movie and subsequent stage musical ‘The Little Mermaid’ by Disney.
    The song is sung by the crab Sebastian and is a calypso ballad encouraging a young man to kiss his female love interest before it is too late.
    The song was nominated for the Oscar for Best Original Song but lost out to another Little Mermaid song, Under The Sea.
  • A long time favourite for male rock and pop auditions, Elton Johns Your Song found new fame in Moulin Rouge.
    The song is a mix of folk and jazz and the lyrics express the romantic thoughts of an innocent.
    If you intend to try your hand at this, or any other ‘pop’ or ‘rock’ song really take the time to work out the story, who is singing, what are they singing about. Don’t settle for doing an impression of Elton singing it, or even Ewen MacGregor in Moulin Rouge, find out your own story and characters and tell it and sing it from the heart, only then can you truly own it at an audition.
  • Warren Beatty’s 1990 movie Dick Tracy, probably became more famous because of the presence of Madonna in it than anything else. It is worth revisiting, it is a quirky beautiful movie and has some great Sondheim songs throughout.
    Live Alone and Like It is sung by the character of Breathless Mahoney (Madonna) and is used a background music during the film.
    The song is a celebration of the single life and works sung by both female and male voices. You can build in a backstory to this song and either sing it as a carefree ‘I’m happy with this single life’ attitude –
    Or you could sing it more uncertain style, like the singer is trying to persuade himself that he is happy with the single life (just like in this video!)
  • 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”
  • 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”
  • Anyone Can Whistle is set in an imaginary town which has gone bankrupt. The only place which is doing well is the local sanitorium, known as ‘The Cookie Jar’.
    This song comes at the end of Act Two, the ‘Cookies’ have escaped and are hiding amongst the townspeople, but no one can tell who is mad and who is sane. Fay Apple a young nurse with the help of Hapgood, one of the Cookies, decide to tear up the inmates records and let them be free.
    The song is sung by Hapgood as the freed ‘Cookies’ dance. It is a delightful song full of careless optimism, Hapgood is an ‘idealist’ and this delight for life and opportunity shines through in this song.
  • The wonderful Giants in the Sky is sung by Jack – of the Beanstalk fame! – in Act One of Into The Woods.
    Jack has been up his beanstalk and he sings this song to explain his exciting and thrilling adventures he has been on.
    The song for me has hidden meaning, as it is all about Jack turning from boy to man and his relationship with ‘the female giant’. Its about Jack growing up, experiencing the real world, seeing scary but wonderful things and missing his childhood innocence.
  • Meet The Robinsons was released in 2007 and is loosely based on the book ‘A Day With Wilbur Robinson’. The films has twists and turns as the characters travel back and forth through time.
    The central character, an orphan, Lewis is desperate to be able to find out why his mother abandoned him and perhaps even stop her doing it. This song is sung at the very end of the movie when Lewis has come to a realisation that he must appreciate what life has given him and the family and friends he already has – and keep moving forward.
    The song is more pop-rock than traditional broadway musical, but could really suit the right voice and the right audition. I love it, I think it tells a story about living for the here and now, living for today and appreciating the ‘little wonders’ of life.
    “Our lives are made,
    In these small hours,
    These little wonders,
    These twists and turns of fate,
    Time falls away,
    But these small hours,
    These small hours still remain.”
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Be bold, daring and creative and you can’t go wrong.