Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Auditions post follow-up: to move or not to move post of last week with audition tips garnered an unprecedented number of hits to this blog. Through the social media channels where I advertised it a number of discussions and comments came up.

The biggest area of discussion in an opera forum on Facebook was undoubtedly whether one should stand still in an audition or not. It seems that there are a whole range of opinions on this:

"Very interesting blog, and some very valid points. The only thing I would say is that the 'standing still' thing is not universal - some panels take standing still as 'not acting' or want to see how you move on a stage. Virtually impossible to predict which side of the divide a panel falls on, though my experience suggests that Anglophone panels tend to prefer stillness and European/non-anglophones are much more idiosyncratic in this regard!"

"I agree with the comment above, and have heard so from directors- show us you can move! There does seem to be a divide."

"I agree with the first post about the movement, but even here in (continental) Europe, there are a lot of "less is more" fans on the other side of the audition table. Irritating but at least I have learned to suggest rather than lunge." 

"I have heard so many people say Don't move around too much in auditions - it is fascinating now to see so many people say the opposite. When I'm on the other side of the table I much prefer people to stand still!"

So, you see, there is no universal opinion on this. I will stand by what I said - that it is best to stand still and let the rest of you express what you are singing with your face and voice being prominent in this process. Gestures also take on an added weight when they come from stillness.

It is very interesting that there appears to be a cultural divide in this issue, with the 'standing still' school of thinking being more prevalent in the UK.

But at the end of the day, it's up to you to decide it you want to step forward at a key moment in the music, if you want to be rooted and subtle, or if you want to rush up and grab the hands of a panel member as you declare undying love in your aria. (This may have unforeseen consequences for your career though. Don't say I didn't warn you.)

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