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Sweeney-Song from Show?-Help 
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Fresh Face
Fresh Face

Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:09 pm
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Location: USA
Post Sweeney-Song from Show?-Help
Hi guys

Well, our school is doing Sweeney Todd very soon here.

My range is about E2 to E4 (comfortably) and then i go into the rafters with the higher voices :P

Umm, so I really want a lead this year and I think the only part that will fit (vocally) is Sweeney. I know that your voice isn't the only thing casting is based on but I think Sweeney is the part I will audition for. If you think i can possibly do something else, let me know.

So the real questions are, is it okay really to perform a song from the show?
I know its kinda like taboo to audition with a song from a show but I think its smart (especially with Sweeney). So do you think its okay to audition with a song from the show and what would you recommend?
I was thinking Epiphany....

If you think I shouldn't use a song from the show, what would you recommend as the best song?

Thanks a lot for your help!


Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:16 pm
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Tony Winner
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:12 am
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If your most comfortable range is E2-E4, you may be better suited as Judge Turpin. He sits mid range for most of his songs, though he does have an F in his "Johanna" I believe. Sweeney has more frequent notes above E than the Judge - "Epiphany" and "A Little Priest" are good examples.

As far as whether to sing songs from the show...it really depends on the venue. Are we talking high school? Have you seen people audition with success usings songs from the particular show? Generally, it is discouraged to sing songs from the show. Instead, you should look for songs by the same composer, or songs in the same style. But sometimes casting committees prefer songs from the show. It's kind of a case-by-case thing and I can't speculate for your purpose.

I will, however, advise against using "Epiphany". It's more of a sprechgesang (speech-singing) piece and in that way it's restrictive in terms of showing your voice quality. Plus it's all hysterical in places, and if I was on a casting committee I'd want to dismiss you as soon as you started - "Oh here we go...another guy about to yell his head off and act crazy."

If you're going with a song from Sweeney, "My Friends" would be better choice. But if you end up going for the Judge...I think it'd be clever to use "Hello Little Girl" from Into the Woods.


Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:35 am
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Fresh Face
Fresh Face

Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:09 pm
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Lol

Umm, the last note of Epiphany I can hit. I guess my range is also psychological. If I know the song then I can hit high notes but on scales I start to tense up (I know) after E. I think thats the highest sweeney note (the F)
This is a high school performance.

I was also thinking hard about the judge but the character really just doesn't mesh well with me. So I wanted to avoid him.

I was also thinking Toby...? ehh Idk :P

More suggestions, comments, etc. would be greatly appreciated :D

Thanks in advance


Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:03 am
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Broadway Legend
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I find it strange that you'd be considering Toby or Sweeney, I mean they are such different roles, lol.

In any case, I'm not sure I'd personally audition singing "Epiphany", I think out of the context of the show it might seem weak, or ridiculous/cringeworthy'ly' overdone if too 'strong', I just personally wouldn't do it.


Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:18 am
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Tony Winner
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dolbinau wrote:
I'm not sure I'd personally audition singing "Epiphany", I think out of the context of the show it might seem weak, or ridiculous/cringeworthy'ly' overdone if too 'strong', I just personally wouldn't do it.


This is perhaps a better way of saying what I said.

Toby has to sustain a higher tessitura, up to a solid A, I believe. In other words, you have to be very comfortable with notes above the staff. The way you describe your voice, I'm not sure Toby's the best choice.

In case you don't already know, here's the voice hierarchy for the male leads, starting from lowest and going to highest:

Judge Turpin
Sweeney
Anthony
Toby
Pirelli (operatic tenor)
Beadle (countertenor)

The way you describe your voice, I'm not even sure you could pull of Anthony. So if you are not game for the Judge, Sweeney's your best bet. And if it's high school, I wouldn't care too much about finding a song from another show.


Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:40 am
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Fresh Face
Fresh Face

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Oops, sorry. I didn't mean toby. I meant anthony. I mistyped.

If it makes sense, the lighter I sing (in other words not full out belting) the higher I can go. So Joanna is possible but...yea. I cant be too operatic like the real show but i can make all of the notes. Whats funny is that according to wikipedia, both Todd and Anthony go up to F#4s.

Umm, okay. So Epiphany=bad song to sing for Sweeney.

Okay, so My Friends would be a good song to sing for sweeney?

Any ideas if I decide to go with with Anthony...

Thanks so much for your help so far you guys :)


Last edited by Polaris on Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:22 pm
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Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
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"My Friends" would be good for Sweeney. For Anthony, you could pick an old Broadway love song. Something like "If Ever I Would Leave You" or what.

Another idea - "Let Things Be Like They Always Was" from Street Scene might be an interesting choice. It's an operatic bass-baritone piece.


Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:43 pm
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Fresh Face
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Alright, thanks for that Panic :)


Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:09 pm
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I did "My Friends" for an audition a while back -- it only goes up to a D, IIRC, and that was on the louder section, so it's a nice bass audition piece for when Sondheim's okay or expected. It's also creepy as all get-out if you act it out. I liked it so much, I found myself a Mrs. Lovett and I'm doing it for a Halloween-themed cabaret in October.


Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:16 am
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I believe My Friends goes up to an E, actually. Still a good bass piece.


Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:06 am
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