November 2011

2012 POSA Auditions, Round 1

Next week, at NYC's Symphony Space, Portland Opera will hold its yearly auditions for the Portland Opera Studio Program. The ears listening from behind the table will be Christopher Mattaliano, General Director; Clare Burovac, Director of Artistic Operations; and Rob Ainsley, Associate Music Director.

A fact sheet about the auditions:

-- Of 368 applicants, we will hear 50 in New York, and another 35 at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (CCM)

-- The auditions take place in two rounds. The first round of auditions takes place Monday and Tuesday, November 28 and 29; callbacks are the morning of November 30.

-- As with most vocal auditions, singers will perform two arias, one of their choosing followed by one of the panel's choosing. For those who have never had the experience of a voice audition -- that's just about all of us, right? -- a singer brings in a rep list of arias he/she is offering. A good rep list has arias of varying styles, often from several different periods of music (unless you're a Baroque specialist or something of that ilk), in several different languages. You get to pick the first thing you sing, and then the panel looks over your rep list and picks the next aria.

-- While the preliminary round is mostly about how you sing, the callbacks are often a chance for the panel to get a feel for your personality. Are you pleasant? Do you have a personality? Are you a good fit for our company? In the callback round, singers probably will just be asked to sing something off their list, without getting to choose.