October 25, 2018
It’s audition season! I’m very excited to be in New York City for a few days as I’ve returned for another audition for a young artist program.
Honestly, for us young singers, this can be a difficult season. The applications we send in may not be accepted, or the audition is granted but with no contract or feedback from our audition. Those of us who are currently in graduate programs can become even more discouraged – it’s not easy to travel when we’re in school and are unable to pursue a full-time job that would grant us more financial stability. Most of my graduate school colleagues support themselves or are unable to rely on their parents for financial help. So, the costs of traveling are an unfortunate but necessary expense. Many of us turn to friends or relatives who generously take us in and let us borrow their couch or air mattress for a day or two.
On this trip, I’m staying at a friend’s apartment. Her view of the city is unparalleled, because right across the street is The Metropolitan Opera. Looking out the window and sipping my night-before-audition tea, I look and I’m mesmerized.
I’m amazed at how many times I dreamt about singing in that theatre when I was just 16 and trying to sing along with La Boheme. I’m amazed at how beautiful that hall still is, and always will be, to so many people. I’m amazed that as I’m writing this, that tradition of operatic excellence is being carried on by tonight’s premiere of Tosca. And most of all, I’m amazed that my journey is just beginning.
These auditions can be very difficult. As performers, we go into a strange room and lay our souls bare at a piano in front of a panel of strangers, hoping that our voice or our package might be something similar to what they’re looking for. It’s an incredibly vulnerable position to be in, but we do it. We have to. Because there’s a truth that we need to communicate that cannot be explained in a tweet or a photo or a headline. We have some primal feeling that needs to escape our body somehow, and we also have the need for others to feel that way too.
“Where words fail, music speaks.” – Hans Christian Andersen