Woman in black dress standing on stage

10 showstopping mezzo soprano musical theatre songs for auditions

By BBC Maestro

Show off the beautiful richness of your voice with the perfect audition piece.

We’ve selected ten much-loved mezzo-soprano musical theatre songs for auditions, all designed to suit your timbre and range. From the sass of Six The Musical to the sweetness of Moana, you’re bound to find a song here that appeals. 

Choosing mezzo-soprano audition songs 

As a mezzo-soprano, you’ll have your choice of musical theatre audition songs. That added depth naturally lends itself to belting and songs that need a jazzier tone. Your range, from smoky low notes to clear-as-a-bell top notes, is perfect for some of musical theatre’s best-known leading lady roles. Eva Peron and Sally Bowles are just two of the famous mezzo musical parts. 
 
When it comes to choosing your audition piece, hopefully, you’ve been given a steer. As well as finding an audition song that showcases your mezzo range, you’ll also need to demonstrate your other stage skills during your performance. Which songs best show your acting and movement skills, as well as your ability to understand and portray a character? 

Audition songs for mezzo sopranos 

Expand your repertoire of mezzo (also sometimes called second) soprano audition songs with these stunning musical numbers. 

1. Don’t Cry For Me Argentina from Evita 

It can be a risk to perform such a famous song at an audition. However, if you need to demonstrate how well you can act through song, this Rice and Lloyd Webber favourite is a gamble that could pay off. Lyricist Sir Tim Rice explains in his BBC Maestro course that while he’s heard this song performed beautifully, there’s a risk that it’s taken at face value as a romantic piece. 
 
Eva Peron is “really being a bit two-faced” in this song, according to Tim Rice, and any actress performing it has to demonstrate that she’s being “sincerely insincere”. It’s a tricky balance to pull off, but it’s very impressive if you do. 

2. Mein Herr from Cabaret 

Need something that shows you can act, sing, move, be sexy, cheeky and a bit vulnerable all at once? Sally Bowles from Cabaret is an excellent character for the mezzo-soprano that needs to demonstrate she has a lot of skills. 
 
You’ll need to think carefully about how you perform this, especially because Bob Fosse’s original choreography is so iconic. It’s a performance within a performance, so your challenge is to capture these layers and show the actress within the role. 

3. Hopelessly Devoted To You from Grease 

Does the role call for a ballad? Teen musical Grease has its fair share of tear-jerking songs and better-known dance numbers. For a mezzo vocal range, go for Sandy rather than Rizzo, such as this ballad made famous by Olivia Newton-John. 
 
The song wasn’t part of the original score but was added because Newton-John was contracted to have a solo number. That explains why it works so well as a stand-alone pop song and allows you to interpret it in your own way. 

an open book with sheet music on it

4. I Don’t Know How To Love Him from Jesus Christ Superstar 

A ballad about being romantically in love with Jesus Christ feels like a bit of a risk, but in the context of the Rice and Lloyd Webber musical, it’s a classic song about unrequited love. It’s sung by a slightly older and more experienced heroine, giving you the chance to bring plenty of depth and detail to Mary Magdalane’s interior monologue. 
 
The song saw success as a single in the music charts in the 1970s; however, for a more contemporary interpretation, take a look at pop singer Mel C’s version from the 2012-3 arena tour of the musical. 

5. How Far I’ll Go from Moana 

Finally, a Disney princess who has a mezzo range. This lovely song about teenage yearning and frustration, combined with deep love for her family and home fulfils the ‘I want’ function that appears in many a Disney princess movie.  
 
It was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and originally performed by Auliʻi Cravalho. She was a teenager at the time, so ideally, it’s a song for a younger performer. The singer has to convey Moana’s confusion: how can she balance her impulse to explore and escape with her love and loyalty for her home life?  

6. Don’t Lose Ur Head from Six The Musical 

Appropriately, number six comes from the popular Six The Musical. If you need to show a sassy side, this up-tempo song is a great choice. It’s performed by Anne Boleyn, and if you’re good at rapping, this is an opportunity to flex your vocal dexterity talents. 
 
It’s a song for a younger mezzo. If you’re an older auditionee (20+ in this case), take a look at the other wives’ repertoires: apart from Katherine Howard, all the wives are mezzo-sopranos. Note: this song can get a tad saucy towards the end, so if that doesn’t feel appropriate for your audition, opt for the junior version. 

7. Losing My Mind from Follies 

The mundane little details in this song from Sondheim’s Follies make all the difference. Coffee cups, chatting, household chores… If you’re good at World Weary, choose Losing My Mind. However, it’s also been performed as a more up-tempo role (step forward, Ms Liza Minnelli and the Pet Shop Boys), so you can literally set the pace. 
 
What does your audition brief ask for? If there’s an emphasis on acting through song and being an exceptional storyteller, this song is a good chance to demonstrate these skills. 

8. Funny Honey from Chicago

For sexy and sassy but chock-full of nuance, Chicago has a rich seam of audition songs. Funny Honey features plenty of classic love song motifs; however, as the song progresses, it’s clear that it’s an anti-love song, which says a lot more about the singer Roxie than it does about the subject, her husband. 
 
The song takes the audience on a journey through Roxie and Amos’ toxic marriage, so if you love to tell a story, it’s a great audition piece.  

9. Another Suitcase In Another Hall from Evita 

While we don’t like to repeat ourselves, this musical is an absolute gift for mezzo-sopranos, so it’s back to Evita for choice number nine. This song is sung by Juan Peron’s former mistress, who has just been unceremoniously evicted from her apartment by Eva.  
 
It’s been covered a lot, so you are working with quite a history here. Barbara Dickson sang it in a soprano range, while Madonna sang it as Eva Peron instead of the mistress in the 1997 movie version. Play around with the interpretation: what’s your connection to this famous song? 

10. Were I Thy Bride from Yeoman of the Guard 

If the audition piece calls for classical audition songs for mezzo-soprano roles, Gilbert and Sullivan can be an excellent option. G&S songs let you show off your acting skills as well as your vocal talents, and unlike many operas, these operettas are sung in English. 

 
While Yeoman of the Guard is more serious than some other G&S operettas, Were I Thy Bride can be used to demonstrate comedic ability, as Heather Shipp does in this clip from the BBC Proms. 

We’ve also gone higher and lower with guides to soprano and alto audition ​pieces. Whatever your vocal range, you’ll find the right audition song to show it off to perfection.  
 
Learn more about the whole audition process from lyricist Sir Tim Rice in his BBC Maestro course, Writing and Performing Musical Theatre. Sir Tim, with assistance from casting director Jane Deitch,  takes us through each stage, from preparation to performance.  

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