The Art of the Audition

Auditioning amateur choristers – The conductor’s side of things Auditioning singers seems to be part of my karma. I audition singers for my amateur choirs, for my professional ensemble, as soloists, and for the Cirque du Soleil – as an Artistic Talent Scout for both new and existing productions. It is interesting to see what all auditions have in common, but also what changes from one audition to the next. In this blog post, I will describe how I proceed to audition amateur choristers. Know your group. The choristers who will sing in an ensemble are the ingredients for an overall musical and social recipe. Their level is a starting point: choristers will learn and evolve in time. But we all know that a good recipe needs good ingredients. (And we all know that a bad chef can mess up good ingredients, too!!!) I find that it is of critical importance to know the organisation you work for. Where are … Read More

Preparing Carmina Burana

A few months ago, I posted a French summary of my experience preparing Carmina Burana for a third party. Some of my readers and followers asked me to post a version in English, which I am sharing with you today!   Lately, I had to prepare the choruses from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana for the Orchestre Symphonique de Longueuil. In this blog post, I am sharing my observations regarding the preparation of a work for a third party. Since it is regularly required for a choir and its conductor to prepare in order to get inserted into a bigger ensemble, a number of changes is generated when it comes to the rehearsal schedule and the way the work is approached. The language: From the get go, it is necessary to know which latin pronunciation will be used (ecclesiastical or germanic), and to make sure all parties are using the same one. In our case, this also includes the soloists and … Read More