I have a weakness for t-shirts. Whenever I am out shopping for clothes a t-shirt inevitably finds its way home with me. This new t-shirt typically becomes my “favorite” and I gladly wear it as often as possible. After time and use it becomes faded, worn, and no longer fits. I have a drawer in my dresser overflowing with the many t-shirts I have collected over the years.
Arias can be like that too.
When we first get a new aria it fits us well, it shows off our best aspects, it hides our less-favorable ones, and it quickly becomes our favorite. As we grow as singers and performers these favorites begin to show their age. Eventually our voices outgrow these arias, they begin to show off old habits and techniques, and its time to move on.
It’s not always easy to let go of that once favorite aria, but more often than not it’s for the best. The excitement and motivation of a new aria can inspire the practice needed to learn it. A new aria will not carry old technique and performance habits are difficult to break.
This isn’t to say that we must abandon these arias completely. It is prudent to have a stable of arias from which you can form you repertoire list for an audition. In fact, sometimes taking a break from an aria and revisiting it later is exactly what we need in order to rework it with new technique.
But what do I do when I need to find a new aria? Where do I look? How do I determine if an aria is suitable? My plan is to start a series on aria selection with posts on how to select new arias, and resources for finding new arias. Stay tuned!