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Acting in Plays, Singing/voical range and audition songs


my vocal range is d3-d6, with possibly c3 and e6/f6 if i do not sustain the note. i am not sure which vocal category this would fall under, but i am looking for an audition song that shows off my full range. I've sung Defying Gravity from Wicked to show off my belt range, A Heart Full of Love from Les Mis to show off soprano, and i can sing many guys' songs, tenor and occasionally baritone, as Iv'e sung Stars by Javert from Les Mis before. The problem is, i can't find a song which has all of these characteristics and can show off my entire range, bottom note to top note.

It may be important to note i am signifigantly more comfortable in the extremes of my vocal categories (D6-b4 for alto notes, f5-d6 for soprano notes).

I would really appreciate it if you could introduce me to a few songs that can show off belt, soprano, as well as alto, and will show off my full range!
Thank you!

ANSWER: Hello, Heather –

Thank you for the question. I appreciate all the surrounding information.

The song you are looking for does not exist in the Broadway repertoire. If it did – considering the length of time you've been studying to accumulate this range – you would be the first to know about it.

What you are telling me is that your range covers a stretch of three octaves plus a major 4th. Do you have something on-line that I can listen to? Somewhere in there is the actuality of your true and competitive and marketable range. In the real world, you cannot be both a contralto and a high soprano. With the kind of drive you have and your need to demonstrate the vocal agility you possess – the world of musical theatre is not your niche. It does not offer a singer such as yourself the kind or the amount of repertoire that can sustain you in a career.

What is possible, however, is that you may be either a coloratura mezzo soprano or a coloratura soprano. Again, it is not possible to be both or to market yourself as both.

My job as a professional vocal coach is to identify your true vocal category and to train you accordingly. Then it's about working with you on repertoire that you have chosen or which has been assigned to you.

I strongly urge you to investigate the Classical repertoire. Here you will find all kinds of opportunities to demonstrate your acquired skills and through a ton of repertoire that furnishes and exploits a wide vocal range.

Check out these youtubes for examples of three amazing coloratura artists in live performance. Keep in mind that none of them uses a microphone in the concert hall or opera house in which they were recorded.

Beverly Sills, coloratura soprano, sings "Je suis Titania" from MIGNON.

Marilyn Horne, coloratura mezzo-soprano sings "Una voce poca fa" from IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA:

Also, watch Marilyn Horne with coloratura soprano Joan Sutherland sing the duet "Mira, O Norma" from NORMA. You can easily hear the difference between a soprano and a mezzo-soprano in these two legendary opera stars:

I am a vocal coach to working singers in the San Francisco Bay Area. I'm also an entertainment critic for – and Classical music reviewer for – When you're ready to come to San Francisco for vocal coaching, contact me at:

Check out my web site:

See my recent interview with popular TV host, David Perry, on "Ten Percent":

Below are links to my articles and youtubes on the San Francisco Bay Area entertainment and cultural scene:

"Christmas Holiday" – at the Deanna Durbin Festival, Stanford Theatre, 12/21-23

In Conversation with Peter Gallagher – Coming to the Venetian Room

Melody Moore steps into Tosca — Opening Night at San Francisco Opera

Patricia Racette – A Definitive 'Tosca' at San Francisco Opera

'Moby-Dick' opens at San Francisco Opera: A Conversation with Composer Jake Heggie

Vasily Petrenko, BRIT Male Artist of the Year, Conducts SF Symphony, 10/5–6

Marco Vratogna Is Sensational as Rigoletto at San Francisco Opera

A conversation with Joshua Bell, featured guest artist at opening of SF Symphony, 9/19

San Francisco Opera Opens 90th Season With Verdi's 'Rigoletto'

Jazz vocalist Nicole Henry makes San Francisco debut

Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford duke it out at The Castro Theatre's 90th Anniversary

San Francisco, starring Jeanette MacDonald, to be featured at the Castro Theatre's 90th Anniversary

The Wizard of Oz Meets the San Francisco Symphony

The "It" Girl, Clara Bow, A Featured Star at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, July 12–15

Jun Kaneko's 'Magic Flute' Is Stunningly Visual

Samuel Ramey is Leo the Great in San Francisco Opera's 'Attila'

'Victor Herbert, Collected Songs' – A Great CD

Tom Judson Is Making It Big In San Francisco

A Chat with Dominique Labelle, featured this week in PBO's 'Alexander's Feast'

A Look at Gennadi Nedvigin, Principal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet

Organist Christopher Houlihan Makes A Powerful Debut at Davies Symphony Hall

RICHARD WINSOR – An Interview With the Star of 'Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake in 3D'

EDDIE MULLER – On the Slow Death of 35mm – An Interview with the "Czar of Noir"

DEANNA DURBIN – The Leading Lady of NOIR CITY, Wednesday at The Castro Theatre

THOMAS JANE – An interview with the star of HBO's "Hung" and 3D Thriller "Dark Country"

KRISTIN CLAYTON– A Conversation with "The Diva" of Teatro ZinZanni

DIANE BAKER – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK

CAMERON CARPENTER – An Interview with Seán Martinfield

AT LAST! – ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY – An Interview with Seán Martinfield

MARNIE BRECKENRIDGE – An Interview with “La Princesse” of Philip Glass’ Orphée

A Conversation with Elza van den Heever

CUBAN BALLET – An Interview with Octavio Roca

A Look At "Giselle" with Ballerina Lorena Feijóo

ZUILL BAILEY – A Conversation

Best regards,
Sean Martinfield

[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Thank you for informing me that the song I am looking for does not exist in the Broadway repertoire; now I can stop searching for one! I have never considered singing a classical song for an audition, nor has it has ever occurred to me that musical theatre may not be the right career for me. Would you suggest opera instead?
Also, what would be the best way to identify myself as either a coloratura mezzo or a coloratura soprano?  
Thank you so much for the songs you have introduced to me. I really appreciate it and I think they might be exactly what I'm looking for!
Thank you again,

I do not currently have anything online, but I'd be happy and honered to make something for you to watch!

Hi, Heather –

Thank you for the follow-through question.

My job as a professional vocal coach is to identify your true vocal category. That must happen in person. You describe your range as being 3 1/2 octaves. Until I hear you sing, I don't know if your stated vocal range – from C3 to F6 – is not only audible in a standard concert hall, but is balanced and free of noticeable breaks. I have to hear you in order to make such a crucial determination, i.e., that you are either a Mezzo or a Soprano. Once that happens, then I train you accordingly.

At the moment, my best suggestion is that you listen to more selections by the artists I previously mentioned. Add to this list Edita Gruberova and Natalie Dessay (coloratura sopranos), and Joyce DiDonato and Cecilia Bartoli (coloratura mezzo-sopranos). Their voices are totally sensational and their repertoire is completely gorgeous.

You may not care for any of it.

But if you do, then the vocal coach you want to have help you is on the Faculty of the accredited music conservatory or university with a reputation for an excellent vocal performance program (specifically classical) nearest you. Do your research. Some faculty members teach privately. Tell them specifically that you want to know your vocal category. The musical term is "fach".

If what you want is to be able to pay your bills with the sound of your voice, a private consultation like this will be the best investment of your life.

It was for me.

Best regards,
Sean Martinfield

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Sean Martinfield


I am a professional vocal coach in San Francisco. I have published over 3300 responses related to vocal training - particularly as it relates to Musical Theatre, Pop/Standard, and Opera. I have 30 years of experience as a personal trainer to working singers and actors in the San Francisco Bay Area. I sang professionally for 20 years and know what it means to live the life of a musician. I can determine your voice category, i.e., Tenor, Baritone, Bass, Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Alto, Alto Belter, etc., and how to broaden and strengthen your range. Need an audition song for a Broadway Musical? I can assist you with your song selections and help you build an audition portfolio that demonstrates your vocal category and meets the requirements specified in the audition notice. I have created a vocal methodology, "The Belter`s Method". It will enable those in Cabaret and Musical Theatre to practice more efficiently because it focuses on the vocal demands of professional performers and will keep you performance-ready. If what you want is a better voice and more control over your career moves and choices, contact me at: I am also a music and cultural critic for and I interview internationally recognized musicians, singers, dancers, and recording artists -- particularly those who are now appearing or scheduled to perform in San Francisco.


As a vocal coach, I work primarily with singers and actors throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. My students range from absolute beginners to working professionals, from kids to senior citizens. The vast majority of my clients come to me through recommendation. I know how to identify any singer's vocal category, i.e., soprano, tenor, alto, baritone, etc. I know how to muscle-up every singer's vocal range and to expand it beyond conventional definitions. I have developed a vocal methodology for those who want to know how to belt, THE BELTER'S METHOD. There are a number of major components to my work as a vocal coach. The first is to identify the client's vocal category and to strengthen and maximize the vocal range accordingly. Then it's about teaching a reliable vocal workout that will enable the client to gain better control of their musicianship. That includes scale work to expand the vocal range and to improve placement, breath control, and diction. Then we work on material for the audition portfolio, the immediate job or assignment, a recording session, etc. My task to is to better equip singers and actors who are hoping to or relying upon their performance skills and vocal endurance to maintain a career in the Performing Arts. My clients regularly appear in cabarets and musical productions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Some have worked in New York and gone on National Tours. For more information, Contact me at:


San Francisco State University – BA in Theatre Arts; graduate work in Theatre, Philosophy, and Comparative Reiligion. Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley – Graduate work in Ethics

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