Module 3 Response weekend – Final audition preparation

Probably one of my favourite weekends to date – we got to ‘play’ around with one of our chosen audition arias using the tools worked on in our previous input session with Barbara and Paul. It was a weekend which also explored the culmination of months of input sessions – deciding what works for us as individuals, and seeing just how differently we approach our arias.

Sunday we were joined by the lovely Jayke Branson Thom ( )  who provided us with some last minute tips which could be incorporated in our mental and physical preparation when faced with any stressful situation. Below are a few points which struck a chord with me:

  • Take your time prior to entering the room, and likewise take your time walking to the panel, to the pianist, and to your standing position. Time will inevitably feel like it’s rushing past in such circumstances, so really try to ensure you slow yourself down, and make the room your space.
  • Ensure you have eye contact with each member of the panel as you talk.
  • Set the agenda of your audition – smile, and be approachable.
  • Don’t stand with your knees and feet locked – this prevents you from moving instinctively if you wish to do so.
  • Arm movements. Yes? No? Fundamentally – if they are part of your character portrayal, ensure that ANY movement carries a sense of energy and purpose.
  • Who are you talking to / singing too in the room? Are they on stage, or in your mind?
  • If you get something wrong during your aria, move onto the next character’s thought.
  • There must be a need to sing the start of each phrase, and equally (especially in Baroque music) there needs to be a reason behind the B section and the da capo.
  • Sustain a thought, and enjoy making the text yours.
  • The walk out of the room is just as important as the walk in – you may still be being watched, so try to avoid showing any negative signs of how you felt you performed (I always save this moment of wallowing for the train ride home, with a giant slice of cake!!!)

Notes from the pianist:

  • No loose sheets! Tape all your music together – don’t leave anything to chance.
  • Mark your breaths and any cuts clearly in the music.
  • Don’t feel apologetic about talking to your pianist and securing your tempo – this is your time to make the most of a situation, so give yourself every advantage.

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