10 mistakes opera singers do while recording an audition video
The jury board doesn’t consider the quality of the video, but it can influence their decision indirectly: some details represent you badly, evidence unprofessionalism, or may remove you from competition due to rulebreaking.
These tips are useful whether you make an iPhone-shot or a professional video. So, read and save them to revise before the next recording:
APPEARANCE - Mind posture and gestures: avoid clumsy, relaxed, and other inappropriate poses, like postural clubfoot. Do not overgesticulate: bows, blinks, and signals to pianist are unacceptable. - Dress properly: If it is not a concert recording, a cocktail/evening dress or a smoking jacket would be too much. On the contrary, a casual look is also forbidden: jeans and hoodies, sneakers and boots are to be left in the wardrobe. Go with a dressy casual or semi-formal look. - Girls, wear makeup:
Yes, it’s sexist, but so is the industry: divas are to put makeup. Plus, it evidences your face and highlights your beauty. If you’re shooting with a pianist, ask him to follow the same dress-code: no blue jeans or acid T-shirts. Black jeans, a neutral top, and a pair of dark shoes would be fine.
IMAGE - Choose good angles and shoots: Avoid extreme long shots when your face is hardly recognizable or close shots where we only see your head or a torso. A full shot when a person is shown fully, from head to toe, is a nice option. - Check the background: No FBI needed, just be sure there are no “Happy Thanksgiving” mugs on the table behind you, no uncle entering the room, or no cat going mad about blinds. You are to draw everyone’s attention, not the mess in the background. - Use good lightning: The light should be focused on you. If it’s coming from your back, your face will be blurry. Make sure you don’t look like a scary shadow.
SOUND - Eliminate the mics: Studio recordings or concert recording with mics are forbidden at most competitions and auditions. Of course, you can use a filmmaking microphone or a phone-microphone, just no stands. - Do not edit: At the audition, they want to hear your “rough voice”, so if they note that you’ve manipulated the audio in Ableton, they’ll exclude you. No mercy here! - Avoid background sounds: Noises, sirens, neighbors’ rock music, and your fellow singer vocalizes from the next room are not to be heard in your video. Record in a silent place or ask everyone to keep quiet until you’re done.
Make sure your video is not under copyright (for example, I had this problem with La Verdi’s recordings). If you are not authorized to share it, make the material link available, not public.