Crossover Repertoire Ideas for Sopranos PART 1
Crossover singing has become a necessity for singers. The ability to sing arias and musical theater songs are a coupled expectation for performers. With audition season in full swing, I was inspired to start blogging about repertoire ideas. Let me first say, my first love was musical theater (I love opera too, but it’s not how I started). While I ended up studying classical voice in school, I continued to sing musical theater rep for the sheer joy of singing it and because there was always a need or opportunity for it. There still is! Have you noticed how many opera houses have musical theater shows included in their seasons?! See, singers do have to do it all! So here is part one of a series of repertoire posts. I hope these repertoire posts will provide you with new ideas for yourself or your students. These songs could be used for recitals, studio classes, auditions, etc. Here is the first installment of musical theater songs for classical sopranos. Enjoy!
“No other love” from Me and Juliet
While many people are quite familiar with The Sound of Music and The King and I, Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers also wrote another beautiful show called Me and Juliet. The musical comedy involves the romantic relationships that happen off stage while preparing for the opening of a Broadway show. The “show-within-a-show” has many classic Rodgers and Hammerstein style songs, but I was drawn to this number. It is a relatively short ballad that has some fun melodic skips into the lower register. I think this is a great piece for sopranos because it has both moments for a warm “chest” voice and moments of lovely G5’s perfect for the high soprano. It is also a great piece if you want to show off or work on legato. The entire song is only 36 measures—great for legit musical theater auditions!
“Somebody Somewhere” from Happy Fella
This Frank Loesser song is stunning! However, it is not easy. The range is nice for a high soprano, but with some challenging vowels on the high G’s. The melody and accompaniment has a jazz influence, which is a fun transition and change for classical sopranos. It allows for an exploration of new types of vocalisms and phrasing.
“My True Love” from Phantom
I had to throw Phantom into the mix, but no, it is not the one you are thinking. Maury Yeston’s Phantom has a somewhat similar plot to The Phantom of the Opera, but focuses on the relationships between the theater manager named Carrière, Christine, and the Phantom. In this song, Christine sings to the Phantom about her desire to see his true face without the mask. The song sits fairly high and hovers around the passaggio (E5 & F5). Therefore, a soprano with a good handle on the passaggio should add this to their repertoire. For most auditions, this is considered a contemporary musical theater piece as the show premiered in 1991. (The audition requirements usually say “post-1960s,” so this would would qualify.)
“I Don’t Need a Roof” from Big Fish
I love to sing this song! The music itself is not challenging and the range is not significantly difficult. It does require a solid mix, but I find a mix is much easier for sopranos to learn how to mix. This ballad also has a few good 16-bar or 32-bar audition cuts you can use.
“Nobody Makes A Pass At Me” from Pins and Needles
This is a great early comedic song to add to a soprano’s repertoire. It has a wonderful up-tempo patter section. If your strength is acting, this song is for you! The show premiered in 1937 and has many references to that era so you might have to look up some of them…I know I did.
“No One Else” from Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
I have been dying to see this show after watching the performance on the Tony Awards this past year. This is a wonderfully unique ballad that is great for sopranos to explore more contemporary musical theater repertoire, while still having the opportunity to show off the upper register. The song does require the use of the mix belt. Also, the music is somewhat difficult due to the rhythmic intricacies between the melody and accompaniment.
These are definitely NOT the only options out there or my only suggestions. I have simply chosen a few of my favorites of the moment. I will continue to post more repertoire selections for sopranos, as well as mezzo/belters, tenor, and baritone. So keep an eye out for those posts! Toi, toi!
*You can find the first two songs in Hal Leonard’s The Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology for Soprano Volume 1. “My True Love” is in Volume 2. “I Don’t Need a Roof” is in volume 6 of The Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology for Soprano. “Nobody Makes a Pass at Me” is in Volume 4 of the same series for soprano. I purchased “No One Else” from musicnotes.com. However, it is also in the Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 Vocal Selections book found here: https://www.amazon.com/Natasha-Pierre-Great-Comet-1812/dp/1495091260.