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10 inspirational soprano musical theatre songs for auditions

By BBC Maestro

Looking for inspiration for your next audition piece? We’ve collected some of the most iconic West End and Broadway songs for sopranos, which will help you create a showstopping repertoire.

From classic musicals like West Side Story to more recent productions like Hamilton, there’s a wide choice of potential audition songs among our top ten 

Choosing soprano audition songs 

If you’ve been invited to audition for a role or production, it can be tricky to decide what to sing. Sometimes the brief specifies a song or a style, but on other occasions there’s very little guidance. Happily, because there are so many excellent West End and Broadway roles for sopranos, you’ll have a lot of fantastic songs to choose from. 
 
In this article, we’ve collected ten favourite musical theatre audition songs for sopranos, which show off your broad vocal range and that typical beautiful clarity of tone. We’ve added notes about what other skills these songs highlight too; so if the audition brief asks for comic timing or the ability to move, that’s covered here as well.  
 
Do you have a lovely lower voice? Take a look at our selection of wonderful musical audition songs for mezzo sopranos and ​altos. 

Audition songs for sopranos

Here are some of the best musical theatre songs that demonstrate the soprano vocal range. 

1. Burn from Hamilton 

Who knows, you might even melt the casting director’s heart with Burn from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s highly acclaimed Hamilton. This poignant song is sung by Eliza Hamilton after she publicly finds out about her husband’s infidelity. During the song, she burns Hamilton’s letters. 
 
The song is a marvellous opportunity to connect with the character – if you want to demonstrate that you can show many emotions during just one song, choose Eliza’s heart-breaking solo. 

2. On My Own from Les Misérables 

On My Own is a very popular audition piece and some people may advise against performing it for that reason – however, it’s popular because it’s simply so good. If ever a song takes you on an emotional journey, it’s Éponine’s tale of unrequited love, when she finally drops her guard and cries her feelings to the empty Parisian night. 
 
So how do you make this song your own? In Sir Tim Rice’s BBC Maestro course, casting director Jane Deitch talks about bringing your own “twist” to an audition piece. Even if it doesn’t quite land, it still shows “imagination” and “bravery”.   

3. How Does a Moment Last Forever? from Beauty and the Beast 

Disney movies are a rich mine of songs for sopranos because most of their princesses sing in this range. If you want a more grown-up Disney soprano song, try How Does a Moment Last Forever a new song from the recent live-action Beauty and the Beast. It’s sung by various cast members during the movie, including Emma Watson as Belle, then is turned into a power ballad for the soundtrack by Celine Dion. 
 
It has some marvellous moments when your soprano range can truly soar. Its reflective themes of nostalgia and the passing of time make it perfect for a more mature soprano, and it’s a wonderful chance to show subtle emotional depth. 

4. One Night Only from Dreamgirls 

Are you looking for a big song that shows light, shade and the impressive power of your voice? This song from Dreamgirls can be performed as a showstopping up-tempo piece or slowed down until it’s almost a ballad – either way will suit your rich tones. 
 
If you’ve seen the movie, it can be hard to detach yourself from Jennifer Hudson’s performance. This is why casting agent Jane Deitch advises that performers learn their material from sheet music rather than by listening to existing versions by other singers. 

5. Unexpected Song from Song and Dance 

Unexpected Song is just that, as it’s from one of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black’s less famous works. Song and Dance is literally a show of two halves, with the ‘song’ and ‘dance’ acts separated by the interval. The song section is a one-woman piece called Tell Me On A Sunday, the account of a single British woman’s life in the US. 
 
This song is one of the more optimistic pieces in the show, when our heroine’s love life is actually going well. If you have a broad range, bookmark this song now. 

opened music sheet book on top of upright piano

6. Pulled from The Addams Family 

With Wednesday Addams back in vogue, Pulled from The Addams Family musical comedy has become a popular audition choice. It perfectly captures teenage confusion, and is a gift for a young soprano with strong acting and comedy skills. 
 
Wednesday is famous for her deadpan expression and voice, so the challenge with this piece is conveying her emotions and bewilderment without straying too far from her trademark delivery.  

7. I Feel Pretty from West Side Story 

If the brief calls for young, fresh-faced and light on your feet, this song from Sondheim and Bernstein’s classic musical should definitely be on your shortlist. West Side Story has recently enjoyed a renaissance thanks to the 2021 movie, so ‘I Feel Pretty’ feels like a more current choice again. 
 
The cheerful song has an edge of poignancy for the audience, who know what’s about to unfold, unlike the joyful Maria. Bringing a sense of youthful optimism and naivety to the song will help to build on its heartbreaking context, while still demonstrating movement and comedic skills. 

8. My House from Matilda the Musical 

Tim Minchin’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda is full of fabulous pieces for younger performers. This song, however, is perfect for the older soprano. My House is sung by Matilda’s teacher Miss Honey, and is a poignant celebration of her humble but much-loved little home. 
 
It’s a gently happy song, with plenty of opportunity to add subtle emotion. It’s one that can be heartfeltly delivered without performing wildly across the stage, so it’s a good choice if your vocals and acting are strong but you’re less confident with movement. 

9. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from Mary Poppins

You don’t have to perform a contemporary rap to demonstrate vocal dexterity, as this absolute classic demonstrates. Mary Poppins can be rather overlooked as a source for great audition songs, but there are some lovely pieces in there. 
 
Lyricist Sir Tim Rice advises that if you’re not sure what they’re looking for in an audition, choose a comedic song over a serious one. “People sitting through endless auditions… get brightened up a bit by a funny song.” This one provides a lively opportunity to show off vocal skills, movement and comedic timing. 

10. I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady 

Let’s finish on another of the real classic Broadway songs for sopranos, from Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady. This is one of the musical’s best-known numbers, and features when flower girl Eliza Doolittle finally masters the art of speaking RP (note: remember this in your diction!). 
 
It’s an absolutely charming song but can be challenging simply because it’s so famous. What spin can you put on it to make it your own? As casting director Jane Deitch says, you can “keep true to the original, but bring your own twist to it as well.”   
 
 
 
Do you feel inspired to revamp your repertoire after reading about these sensational songs? Learn more about how to prepare for a musical theatre audition in Sir Tim Rice’s BBC Maestro course, Writing and Performing Musical Theatre.  

Learn from theatrical star Tim Rice

Join Sir Tim as he shares advice on writing and performing for musical theatre. You’re one step closer to seeing your name up in lights.

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