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11 powerful baritone musical theatre songs for auditions

By BBC Maestro

If you’re a baritone looking to audition for a musical theatre show, you’re in luck as there are plenty of great numbers to choose from. With that in mind, here are the best baritone musical theatre songs – there’s sure to be something for every singer on this list. 

How to choose baritone audition songs

Baritones have deep, rich voices that work well for a range of different characters. Tenors often get cast as the romantic male lead in musicals – but there’s no shortage of baritone leading parts too. Baritones also often get the chance to play complex and emotional characters, comedic character roles, villains and father figures – so there’s really something for everyone as a baritone. 
 
For this reason, it’s important to choose a song that reflects the type of character you’re auditioning for. If you’re aiming to take the lead in a musical, choose a song sung by a strong lead role. If you’re auditioning for a character role, pick a song that gives you the opportunity to show off your comedic acting skills. Or if you want to play a tortured, emotional soul, go for a song that allows you to express yourself. 

Good male baritone audition songs 

So, with that in mind, we’ve chosen a selection of baritone audition songs that run the gamut of character types, from leading men to villainous roles. 

1. Bring Him Home from Les Misérables

If you want to make a strong impression at your audition – and you have a strong baritone voice – you can’t go wrong with Bring Him Home. This poignant song is sung by Jean Valjean as he prays for the safety of Marius who is caught up in the June Rebellion in Paris. 
 
It’s one of the best-known and best-loved songs in musical theatre – so you’ll need to feel confident that you can pull it off. But if you can, it will give you a fantastic opportunity to showcase your voice, as well as your acting abilities, as you’ll need to be able to convey your depth of feeling and emotion for Marius throughout the song. 

2. The Music of the Night from The Phantom of the Opera 

The title character in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s famous musical is typically played by a baritone singer – but if you have a wide vocal range, you could showcase your talents with this song, which begins in a tenor range and moves into a lower register. 
 
The song comes in Act 1 of the show, when the Phantom sings The Music of the Night to capture the attention of Christine Daaé. The song is both haunting and romantic, allowing you to express your acting abilities through the complex character of the Phantom. 

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3. Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific 

Sometimes, you can’t go wrong with the classics. South Pacific premiered on Broadway in 1949, but it’s still a popular musical to this day, and Some Enchanted Evening is a lovely choice to show off your vocal range as a baritone.  
 
Sung by Emile de Becque, who’s an older romantic character, it’s perfect if you want to show off your maturity and emotional depth. The song describes love at first sight, making it a great choice if you want to show off your storytelling abilities and emotional connection to both the song and the subject matter. 

4. I Believe from Book of Mormon 

If you’re auditioning for a comedic character, there’s no better choice than a song from Book of Mormon – although you should bear in mind that this show isn’t to everyone’s taste, so this choice is definitely only right for certain settings. 
 
One of the more contemporary baritone audition songs on our list, I Believe is sung by Elder Price, who’s usually played by a tenor – but there aren’t any particularly high notes in this song, so it’s a great choice for a baritone, too. Because it’s a funny song, it’ll be important for you to practise so you get the comedic timing just right – and you’ll need to bring bags of energy, because this is a song that needs to be delivered with confidence. 

5. Pretty Women from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 

This dark musical from Stephen Sondheim offers several great choices for baritones, and this is one of the best. It’s a duet with Judge Turpin but don’t let that put you off – it still makes an excellent choice for a baritone, as most auditions are time-limited, and you won’t be expected to sing the entire song, anyway. 
 
Sweeney Todd is a dark, dramatic character, giving you plenty of opportunity to show off your acting skill as you delve into the twisted psychology of Todd. 

6. Wait For It from Hamilton

Another contemporary baritone audition song, Wait For It is sung in a low tenor or baritone, giving you the chance to show off your vocal range – and because it has pop and R&B notes, it’s a good choice if you’re auditioning for a modern musical where you’ll need to sing different styles of songs. 
 
The song is sung by the character of Aaron Burr, as he reflects on his decision to stay patient and make calculated decisions, in the face of Hamilton’s fast rise to power. It gives us an insight into the mind of Burr, adding complexity to his character, and allowing you the opportunity to not only showcase your vocal talents but also your acting abilities.  

7. One Song Glory from Rent 

One Song Glory is a rock-inspired song from the first act of Rent, in which struggling musician Roger expresses his desire to leave a lasting legacy through his music. It’s a song of emotional exploration and introspection as Roger worries about leaving the world without making an impact. 
 
If you’re a strong and confident baritone, it’s a great choice for an audition, allowing you to convey a range of emotions from vulnerability to intensity. If you’re auditioning for a rock or contemporary musical theatre show, then One Song Glory could play to your strengths very well. 

8. Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin from Oklahoma!

Another classic Rodger & Hammerstein musical, Oklahoma! debuted in 1943 – meaning that its songs are extremely well-known. But that shouldn’t put you off, as a strong rendition of a classic is sure to leave a lasting impression on the panel. 
 
The song is sung by Curly McLain, the cowboy protagonist of the show, and it perfectly displays his sunny personality and uplifting outlook on life. It’s a classic song that’s much-loved by audiences all around the world, and is a great choice if you’re auditioning for another classic musical theatre show.  

9. Be Prepared from The Lion King 

Most of the songs from The Lion King are written for tenors, but this song, sung by Simba’s sinister uncle Scar is perfect for baritones – and ideal if you’re auditioning for a villainous character, as you’ll get the chance to show off your dark side.  
 
When performing this song, bring heaps of confidence and don’t be afraid to go dramatic with your acting – for villains like Scar, bigger is often better. 

10. If I Can’t Love Her from Beauty and the Beast

This is a big, emotional ballad, sung by the Beast after he lets Belle go – and realises that he can probably never be with her. It marks a turning point for the character as he acknowledges the depth of his feelings for Belle. 
 
That makes it the perfect choice if you want to show that you can act as well as sing, as the song demands not only vocal strength but an ability to convey complex emotions. If you want to showcase a deep connection to the character and an ability to show emotional depth and growth through the course of a single song, If I Can’t Love Her is a strong choice for any baritone. 

11. You’ll Be Back from Hamilton 

You’ll Be Back is sung by King George III and, like all songs sung by this character, it’s comedic and entertaining. It’s typically sung by a tenor but it also works for a baritone voice, giving you the chance to flex your vocal skills and show off your range.  
 
If you’re auditioning for a comedic character, this song offers something different from more traditional musical theatre ballads, and when done well, is sure to leave the panel with a positive lasting impression of you. 

Broaden your musical theatre horizons 

Whether you opt for a musical theatre classic or a contemporary song, you’ll have a chance to showcase your talent and make a lasting impression with one of these songs. If you want to learn more about musical theatre, take a look at Sir Tim Rice’s BBC Maestro Course, Writing and Performing Musical Theatre. In it, he explains everything you need to know about writing, producing and performing in a hit musical. 

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