Sunday, January 24, 2010
If you are a singer, a lover of singing, an artist in any discipline, or simply a homesick New Yorker, download the MetPlayer here (you can get a free trial for seven days) and watch The Audition, a documentary about the finals of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council competition. Although I wish that it included more background on the competitors, as well as a glimpse into the sacrifices they made to get to the Met stage (dues-paying merely alluded to in interviews with the singers), the film is a compelling glimpse into the backstage world of high-stakes professional singing. There are the glorious-voiced dramatic soprano held back by her weight, the bad-boy tenor from New Jersey, the dark horse who has struggled with spotty training, poor self-image, and personal bankruptcy (this is the candidate whom the audience is most able to see grow as an artist before our eyes, an exciting process), the seemingly arbitrary criticisms of the judges, and a cameo by a beloved former teacher of mine. Watch the trailer here.