Auditions are perhaps the most stressful moments opera singers can face. They are even more scary than a performance at an Opera production or a Lieder concert.

Somehow it takes you out of your comfort zone and makes you feel you’re being totally evaluated, even analyzed. You can’t be in judges’ minds. You can’t predict the answers. You can’t imagine what they want exactly to hear and watch.

One of the worst aspects of making auditions is the short time one has to present himself. Normally you have 10 minutes to sing the best you can and show the work you have been doing for ages. And how frustrating it can be.

And speaking about the days before: they can be totally unnerving. You want to take proper care of your voice. You want to eat and sleep well. You want to relax the most you can. But you’re always feeling anxious… And it becomes even more stressful if you think that moment you’re looking forward only lasts a few minutes.

In the book “Caruso and Tetrazzini on the Art of Singing” – about which I wrote an article you can read here – I read this:

“The road is full of discouragements and hardships, but there is always something new and interesting to learn, and to achieve success, whether for the public or merely for the home circle, is worth all the trouble one can take.” – L. Tetrazzini

But how to face anxiety? How to soften those stressful feelings?

Richard Miller’s “On the Art of Singing” states:

“The best cure for performance anxiety, then, is to direct attention away from oneself through the acquisition of a highly reliable vocal technique, excellent musical and textual preparation, systematic rehearsal  procedures, frequent performance outlets, a realistic attitude toward one’s abilities, and generosity of heart toward one’s colleagues and one’s audience.” – R. Miller

 

by Marina Pacheco

[Photo: Krystallenia Photography]