Pretty poison: Lucrezia Borgia at New Amsterdam Opera
Heartbeat Opera: Dial Lady M for MurderReview
Even if you are producing the original Verdi version of Macbeth, you better have a great 'Lady M.' Here with the story focusing on that character, the singer must be equally unimpeachable. Enter Ms. Algozzini, a diminutive Italian soprano who blasts us backwards with her extraordinary vocal cannon.
NYOANext!: The sound of (opera) music in the BronxReview
Seven opera companies from NYOA's fifty company membership, performed arias and duets from familiar operas and from some upcoming productions which are part of the NYOANext! Festival.
Tosca at Heartbeat Opera: art to the point of distractionReview
Shadi G can only get to her concept by imposing an element which proves to be downright distracting. She has added to the cast two non-singing members of "the secret police" who are ominously watching the proceedings and who even try, on several occasions, to arrest members of the cast.
The Elton John Act VII: Don't stop playing & never look back! The dreaded sight-readingHow-To
The good news is that sight-reading can be worked upon and improved, though sadly too many people get bogged down in thorny nests of notes, and are unable to clear them away in order to find the music that lies beyond.
The Elton John Act VI: Between the Sheets – The Opening of Der RosenkavalierHow-To
There is no getting around what this stirring scene that opens Richard Strauss' opera Der Rosenkavalier is all about. Everything in the music depicts a morning of frantic and illicit rumpy-pumpy between the Marschallin and her younger lover Count Octavian.
The Elton John Act V: Riding the Rollercoaster – The Act II Finale from Le nozze di FigaroHow-To
Just as you would coach a singer, make sure you are taking appropriate breaths for the phrases you are singing, as otherwise it is here you will start feeling ill! This will also have the advantage that you are not tempted to rush a phrase because you are running out of breath.
Brilliant: a compassionate Bluebeard and a comforting CastleReview
Finley's Bluebeard is caring, soft-spoken, and deliberately gentle. The scene opens in silence with him preparing to bring Judith home. He's so excited to see her, he kisses her photo and practically skips out the door.
The Elton John Act IV: Fiddly for the Fingers – The "Smugglers’ Quintet" from CarmenHow-To
Though this excerpt can be frustrating at times due to its technical challenges, I promise it gets easier. Nevertheless, if I can, I always avoid starting with it in an audition, as it works best for me when my fingers are a little warmed up and I'm feeling a little more comfortable with my surroundings.
The Elton John Act III: Violent, sadistic & utterly engaging - the Maid Scene from ElektraHow-To
Whatever the staging, the atmosphere the music creates is oppressive, nasty and yet sometimes tender, and without a feel for the context of the whole piece, you will always struggle to recreate the senseless violence of the maids in this opening scene.
The Elton John Act II: Trampolines & tongue-twisters - the set audition excerptsHow-To
Sometimes the full-fat beginning of Der Rosenkavalier is also requested. The key here is to pace the excitement in the right way, as on stage a lot of love is being made.