Best Audition Songs for Baritones | Musical Theatre


Hello my name is Betsy and I’m a singing
teacher at TakeLessons. Today we’re going to talk about some of the best baritone
audition songs that will help you stand out from the crowd.
We’ll cover a mix of Broadway classical pop and some comedic songs. You’ll also
find out which songs are the most overdone in musical theater auditions. So
stay tuned and don’t forget to click on the link in the description box to try
our free online singing classes. So my best tips for baritones for audition
songs are to think about your own personality. There’s such a wide range of
roles that baritones play whether you’re a bouffant or you’re actually the leading
man and not a tenor in this case. If you’re trying out for a villain you
might want to think about that type of role and do something that’s a little
bit heavier or scary. So you have to kind of think about what you’re trying to
project, what the role type is and what the musical is. The most important thing
to do is and this is especially true for younger singers- you don’t want to use
anything with profanity, anything that’s on a current Broadway show, you just
don’t want to use luck be a lady tonight, something that’s super overdone, or
basically anything from Phantom of the Opera because that’s super popular. Again
just staying away from something that’s too dark or inappropriate or like I said
using any kind of profanity or anything that’s gonna make the judges
uncomfortable, because that’s gonna reflect upon your audition and make them
think uncomfortably about you in a role, which is what you exactly don’t want to
do. One good song that might be a good choice for you is ‘pretty woman’ from
Sweeney Todd. This is gonna be more of a lyrical song that can show off some
acting ability like I said if this is one of those rare roles that a baritone
actually has a love interest and isn’t a villain or the clown or some kind
of juxtapose character. This is a good song to show off your acting and set
yourself up as a leading man. Another good one if you’re younger especially or
if you’re going for that kind of class clown, bouffant type role would be
‘greased lightning.’ Everybody knows the song but for a younger male to sing it
and kind of really kind of lend his personality it can be done really well
and you can also show off a little bit of your comedic and acting chops, as well
as if you’re able to incorporate some dancing
into it. It’s a little quicker song so that would show you in that kind of
light. Another good song would be ‘if I were a rich man’ from fiddler on the roof.
Again if you’ve got some kind of comedic acting ability to really show off and
just kind of show a little bit more personality. If this is for a father or a bouffant type role that would be great. One that’s done a
little bit more but if you have a higher tessitura – that is, your range can stretch –
beauty and the beast ‘if I can’t love her’ is a really good song if you do have
the ability to sing a little bit higher. As a baritone sometimes roles do expect
a little bit more out of you so if you can choose something that has a higher
range stretch or if you do have that mid tone belt and you want to show that off,
a song like that would really be a great audition piece to just let the producer, director, casting people know that, hey I do have this range and I am
comfortable using it. So best songs for comedic roles. So this is normally when
you’re the best friend or you’re the class clown or that type of role. You
want to choose something that’s going to show that you have comedic timing, that
you do have the ability to act through a song. Remember in these comedic roles
it’s not as important that you’re a great singer – it’s more important that
you’re a good actor. So you want to show the director that you’re a good actor,
that you have comedic timing, that you can tell a story through a song and
and really sell it that way. If the director wanted just a great singer,
they’d hire a great singer but that’s really not the point of comedic roles.
You just need to think of yourself as an actor first. ‘Les poissons’ from The
Little Mermaid is a great song to really act out and just get that kind of like
fake rage and really build the audience up. It’s gonna be done a little bit more
especially in children’s theaters and and young adults so be careful with that
choice and just kind of see what kind of role you’re going for. ‘Mama says’ from
Footloose is another great song. It’s belty and can really show off a
comedic range. ‘Me’ from Beauty and the Beast IS super funny. You can really let
yourself go with that one and again it’s gonna be more appropriate for like a
younger audience or for a director that wants to see
you in a role that’s okay and geared for children. Musicals that you would want to
use a pop song for would be something that’s written more recently. I think
using a pop song to show off your range is great. One of my best tips for doing
this though is to think about pop singers and their voice type. So who do
you like listening to, who do you sing along with really well? Especially as a
young singer, maybe we don’t have a lot of lessons, or working with a
professional under your belt. Think about who you’re comfortable
singing with along with on the radio. Voices like Josh Groban or Elvis Presley
or Eddie Vedder, Jim Morrison from The Doors. Something a little bit older.
Think about those voices. Something like ‘Sweet Caroline’ from Neil Diamond or
‘America,’ that’s a great choice for a young singer. ‘Light my fire,’ ‘Riders on the
storm,’ again from the Doors – great choices for showing off that baritone range.
‘You raise me up’ if you have a little bit higher or you can hold that mid tone out, like that would be great to sing some Josh Groban and really show off a little
bit more of your classical training. So for classical audition songs I would
definitely recommend to consider your role strongly. ‘Who are you auditioning
for’ is going to be almost as important if not more important than what’s
comfortable in your voice type, because the role that you’re singing could vary
so diversely in classical music. Whether it’s an
oratorio and you can be a little bit more straight faced or if again you’re
playing the buffoon type character where you want to be something funnier, comedic.
You have to show that difference. If you’re talking about like a dramatic
role maybe go to Verdi in Rigoletto. ‘Pari siamo’ is just a great piece for a
baritone to audition with. Verdi was the king of Italian drama as far as opera
goes and you would want to choose something that’s equally dramatic and
has the ability to kind of showcase that. If the role that you’re playing is going
to be sung in English you might want to sing an aria that’s in English. So the
Ballad of Baby Doe- ‘Warm as the autumn light’ is beautiful and lyrical. The song
is set really nicely in the middle of your tessitura so it’s gonna show off
that strong middle range and it has some just beautiful lines and it’s right
around three minutes so it’s a pretty good choice if you get to sing that much
time at an audition, which is normally the cap for any classical singer to be
able to showcase. So Rossini’s Barber of Seville has great songs for baritones. If
you have some nice vocal agility and you do want to show off your comedic chops,
‘Largo al factotum’ is a great piece. Again it’s in Italian so you’re gonna be able
to show that off if this show that you’re auditioning for is in Italian.
It’s beautiful classically but it’s also one of the most recognizable pieces, so
if it’s a classically leaning show but the audience or the judges aren’t
necessarily super schooled in opera pieces, they’ll recognize this one and
it’ll be a nice one that they can kind of hum along – as well as admire and
appreciate what you’re doing vocally. Another good one if you’re auditioning
for a comedic role is from Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The catalog aria is just super
funny so if you do have the ability to act and you do have the ability to
showcase some personality this would be a great one to do. Even though it’s not
in English people still understand your jokes and your gestures if you have the
ability to really act it out and show that you can do that. And it gives
directors just a great idea of what they can do with you musically as well as
with your acting. So if you need something up-tempo as a baritone there are some
really good choices out there for you. ‘Surrey with the fringe on top’ from
Oklahoma is super fast and fun, just remember you have to spit out those
words just as super clearly as you can because you’re not in that super high
tenor or soprano register where maybe the audience can hear you a little bit
more clearly. As soon as you lower that tessitura you have to work even harder
to get that diction out so remember that. ‘I can’t stand still’ from Footloose is
another really good option especially again if you have a very very high range
that would be great for you to show off and showcase. The bigger stretch you
can give a director in your audition the more they can imagine you in a role that
does have that kind of same range. Boy From Oz has a great piece called ‘Not the boy
next door.’ Again this is a great song that has that mid-range, that just shows
you as a powerhouse singer. We talked about it before in the comedic section
but ‘Me’ from Beauty and the Beast is also a good one to show that you’re able to
carry an up-tempo piece and not lose people’s interest or fatigue or show
that you can’t you know spit those words out with people understanding you. So
some top tips in general for baritones: think about the role you’re auditioning
for, think about what you’re comfortable with. Are you comfortable being a
comedian? Or you may be just more comfortable being like a love interest
or maybe a more serious role. Are you fine with being a villain? Think about
the roles that you want to audition for, think about the shows that are coming up
in your area, and kind of think about what you would be willing to show a
director because they want to see the very best version of you so that they
can cast you into that show. Things to expect during an audition: you really
want to be prepared for them to cut you off and not get frazzled. Maybe have a
backup song, maybe if you would have picked a comedic song maybe also pick
something that’s a little bit more lyrical just in case they want to hear
your singing abilities – they can see you act already just fine.
I would expect to be vocalized so go in with your scales ready, go in already
vocalizing your voice from the bottom at the top, go back down, stretch it a little
bit further lower, stretch it a little bit further higher.
As a baritone that range is just gonna be super important because they
might try to pigeonhole you into a role that maybe needs a little bit more of a
stretch than you’ve shown in your song so you having those vocalizing abilities
with a pianist on the spot is important to think of and important to be
comfortable with and not get nervous about. Can you think of any other good
audition songs for baritones? Leave a comment and let us know. And you
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