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Buff Daddy

Audition where everyone sings the same song

Hi everyone.

There is an audition coming up for Les Mis (community theatre) where everyone who is auditioning has to sing the same song ie each role has a song prescribed by the audition panel.

I want to audition for Enjolras so have to sing "Do you hear the people sing". I'm looking for suggestions that will make my interpretation and presentation unique and memorable for the panel

Any suggestions?

Buff Very Happy
MlleTholomyès

Well, it'd definitely be memorable since you're playing a character that does not exist. I say go for it!

ETA: If that's a typo, then I say: go look at the "Enjolras Help?" thread. All the links are there.
Eppie-Sue

Buff Daddy wrote:
I want to audition for Enjolaras so have to sing "Do you hear the people sing".

First off, you might want to audition for Enjolras, I do believe Enjolaras is his distant cousin that dresses up in women's clothing and stutters incoherently. Wink

Um basic advice? Don't be GI Joe. Try to be calm and proud and noble and soft.
Buff Daddy

MlleTholomyès wrote:
Well, it'd definitely be memorable since you're playing a character that does not exist. I say go for it!


Gee thanks for you help. You could have just pointed out that I can't type! Rolling Eyes

Buff Very Happy
MlleTholomyès

Buff Daddy wrote:
MlleTholomyès wrote:
Well, it'd definitely be memorable since you're playing a character that does not exist. I say go for it!


Gee thanks for you help. You could have just pointed out that I can't type! Rolling Eyes

Buff Very Happy


*cough edit cough* Hey, if you had a character that constantly got his name spelt wrong, wouldn't you be a little bitchy? I think you bloody would.
Buff Daddy

MlleTholomyès wrote:
ETA: If that's a typo, then I say: go look at the "Enjolras Help?" thread. All the links are there.


I looked there (I have been on this site once or twice before) but that's more for a young kid who has the role in a SE production. This is an audition for a community theatre production where you have no choice on song to use in the audition.

Buff Very Happy
Buff Daddy

Sorry I'm sounding so narky at teh moment. I had a weekend where both my wife and young son were sick and I got very little sleep (hence the appalling typing).

Buff Very Happy
Eppie-Sue

Eppie-Sue wrote:
Um basic advice? Don't be GI Joe. Try to be calm and proud and noble and soft.


and you know, the "Enjolras Help" thread contains some good advice. Go and listen to David Thaxton on YouTube. All the links are in the DT Fangirling Thread. Don't even look at Drew Sarich and if you do DO NOT COPY HIM. EVER.
read the passages MlleTholomyès picked out for you they really are helpful to understand the character.

ETA: See, it's alright. It's just that when it comes to Enjolras, we can become a bit defensive. Because it's really easy to go down the cliché route with that character. Or to ruin it completely. And most Mizzies are pretty protective with Enjolras, this starts with the spelling and ends with the performance.
It's great that you care about how to do the part, but whenever it comes to questions like this, our primary concern is not that you'll get the role but first and foremost that you'll get the gist of the character. And I believe you can set yourself apart from most of the other people who audition if you actually know what he really was about.

oh and:
Buff Daddy wrote:
I looked there (I have been on this site once or twice before) but that's more for a young kid who has the role in a SE production.
... um.
Guys, we should just tell Broadway's Aaron Lazar and West End's David Thaxton that there was no need for them to actually read the book and base the character on the original version by Hugo. Surely their great performances have nothing to do with that.
MlleTholomyès

Eppie-Sue wrote:


Buff Daddy wrote:
I looked there (I have been on this site once or twice before) but that's more for a young kid who has the role in a SE production.
... um.
Guys, we should just tell Broadway's Aaron Lazar and West End's David Thaxton that there was no need for them to actually read the book and base the character on the original version by Hugo. Surely their great performances have nothing to do with that.


Anthony Warlow did as well. <33.
Orestes Fasting

Wow, supercilious n00b brigade much? Y'all haven't been here six months and you're lording your pet actors over someone who's been here more than six years. The Thaxton fangirling is fun, but seriously, get over yourselves.
curlyhairedsoprano91

Well done, Orestes.
lovesinging

Orestes Fasting wrote:
Wow, supercilious n00b brigade much? Y'all haven't been here six months and you're lording your pet actors over someone who's been here more than six years. The Thaxton fangirling is fun, but seriously, get over yourselves.


Thank you. I was hoping someone would be able to phrase something much more nicely than I would have.
Orestes Fasting

As for the audition: "Do You Hear the People Sing" isn't really the best song to show off characterization for the role, but you're stuck with it so oh well. A lot of actors go for the exuberant gung-ho "G. I. Jolras" approach, but that's not going to stand out unless you pull it off particularly well. What really struck me about Aaron Lazar's performance was how much intensity and energy he channelled into so little movement--he was taciturn, distant, almost consumed from the inside by the passion of his ideals. Those who've read the book might say he was contemplating some faraway vista of the future. Wink What amazed me is that a couple weeks ago I saw this kid fresh out of college in the role in a regional production, and he was doing the exact same thing and it was just as effective. Crappy, glorified-school-edition production, but this kid was spellbinding. So if you think you can pull off that kind of quiet intensity, it's definitely a way to stand out, and reading the relevant passages of the book would help for that.
Buff Daddy

Thanks for that Orestes. That's the kind of advice I was after. That's what I was considering as I have seen and heard so many people just belt the crap out of the song just trying to sound tough & macho.

I might have to go back and re-read the book.

Any other thoughts?

Buff Very Happy
lesmisloony

I'm no Enjy expert, but the musical performances I've seen that stood out to me were the ones with quiet intensity, like there was something smouldering inside him... haha, that sounds ridiculous... I should never try to make sentences at 4:30am.

...what Orestes said.
Eppie-Sue

Okay. I was tired (it was some time around 2:30 am round here. No excuse bit still.) and I might have overreacted. I'll admit it. But, you know, I did say the "Don't be GI Joe. Try to be calm and proud and noble and soft." which basically is what Enjolras is about (and what anyone would have said. And did say.) and I got no reaction whatsoever, so I tried to rephrase it using some examples. I'm sorry if I offended anyone, but I re-read it and I the only part I can see as a bit ... snarky was the last bit about the "school productions" and the book. But I did not mean that absolutely seriously and I really feel that the "Enjolras Help" thread contains some help for character interpretation (and we really looked for the right passages in the brick and all there) which is why I was a bit surprised that it was being shot down. Now of course we know that you've read the book (which is great) but seriously, at that point, how was I supposed to know?

And the Thaxton bits were not about fangirling. They were about finding good examples and from my point of view, those are the best examples for how to sing the part. I know Aaron Lazar is closer to book!Enjolras but I have not really heard a lot of him so I can't judge. And DT recordings are much easier to find on YouTube. That's all.

I don't really know why I am being considered to be a supercilious n00b there...
I'll just shut up. still tired.

ETA: regarding "DYHTPS". Will you be doing the whole song (including Combeferre's, Courfeyrac's and Feuilly's part) or just Enjolras' part/the chorus part in the audition?

Actually, I think you can bring a lot of book!Enjolras into this song, because its foundation are passages from the book - vital passages to Enjolras' character.
A whole bit is from Enjolras and his Lieutenants: "When facts, the premonitory symptoms of latent social malady, move heavily, the slightest complication stops and entangles them. A phenomenon whence arises ruin and new births. Enjolras descried a luminous uplifting beneath the gloomy skirts of the future. Who knows? Perhaps the moment was at hand. The people were again taking possession of right, and what a fine spectacle! The revolution was again majestically taking possession of France and saying to the world: "The sequel to-morrow!""
and, especially, from the "Citizens, do you picture the future to yourselves?"-speech (the whole idea of "Somewhere beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see?" and Feuilly's bit - "The blood of the martyrs will water the meadows of France: "You are about to die, that is to say to triumph, here. Citizens, whatever happens to-day, through our defeat as well as through our victory, it is a revolution that we are about to create.")
of course the climax of the speech is being paraphrased in the "They will live again in freedom"-part of the Finale...
Orestes Fasting

Quote:
I don't really know why I am being considered to be a supercilious n00b there...


Uh... the picking on spelling mistakes? Getting snarky and condescending because you weren't thanked for advice that wasn't actually very useful? Tag-teaming the OP with MlleTholomyès?

Honestly. I like you and I think you're a good addition to the forum, but this crap is getting out of control.
Eppie-Sue

okay. the bit about the spelling was simply a joke. I did not expect to be thanked for the "advice". and tag-teaming? we were simply posting at the same time, but that really is all. I did one small humourous comment about the spelling and then dismissed it and after that tried to explain, and I still think that advising to read the relevant passages was useful, and I really tried to be helpful with the last post about "Do you hear the people sing". The whole Thaxton, Lazar and Sarich comments were not relevant, of course, although I think that listening to other performers might be an inspiration. and as I said I was tired... but all of a sudden I'm being ostracised as a n00b and a poseur!?
I'm sorry.
Orestes Fasting

No, you're not being ostracized, you're being told you and MlleTholomyès were acting annoying and can you please rein yourselves in so we can get back to the fun squee and fangirling without making everyone who reads this uncomfortable.
Eppie-Sue

Sad sorry.

in good news, I'm not tired anymore and have nothing to do. So I'll try and explain a bit about how I could see an Enjolras audition with "Do you hear the people sing?" working. Of course, once again, seeing as you have read the book and are actually quite familiar with the character, you might already know this stuff. But again, I'll try.

I think to really get what that scene is about, you have to approach it in its context, so we have to have a look at "Red and Black", too. We have seen Enjolras' devotion ("out little lives don't count at all", however unEnjolraic it might be, it's still part of the libretto) and also his quite thoughtful approach to the idea of a revolution: "Have you asked yourselves what's the price you might pay?", and it has been made very clear that the students are just waiting for something to "get the ball rolling". As a metaphor, the pressure has been building inside the volcano and Lamarque's death just makes it explode and triggers off the actual revolt.

So, Enjolras does that "Lamarque is dead" solo which really is the intro to "Do you hear the people sing?": It's an optimistic, rallying call to arms.
Then, "DYHTPS" begins and this it not just about les Amis anymore. While everything he said in "Red & Black" was only directed at his friends, at the students, this is now the bigger picture, this is about the people, this is about a revolution which might spread over all of Paris and, hopefully, over all of France. It's just being underlined by the fact that the song sounds a lot like a national anthem and the lyrics are slightly similar to La Marseillaise, actually.
Enjolras ends the "Lamarque is dead" solo with the "they will come when we call!"-cry and then, at the beginning of the song, the mood changes: he is creating a scenario, a vision - I will quote the book -: "The people were again taking possession of right, and what a fine spectacle! The revolution was again majestically taking possession of France..."
he can already see it and feel it, and as the song evolves it becomes clear that this is certainly not "a game for rich young boys to play" but that Enjolras and the students are basically fading into the roles of martyrs, the devotion reaches the climax: "When the beating of your heart [imagery for life] echoes the beating of the drums [of war, of fighting]": they are giving their lives for this cause, for the revolution and, hopefully, for democracy and liberty, the "life" that is "about to start when tomorrow comes".

Combeferre's and Courfeyrac's parts echo this sentiment: This revolution is not a game, it is being described as a "crusade", once again, Combeferre refers to the "world [they] long to see", and Courfeyrac picks up the connection: only this fight will, eventually, lead to freedom.

Then, of course, the chorus repeats Enjolras' words, and if you're doing this as a solo part, you might want to alternate here a bit. Enjolras' part is relatively quiet compared to the repetition (not only because he's singing it alone Wink ) - when he first sings of the "people who will not be slaves again", then it's more like a vision that he shares with them. The chorus, however, adapts this in a more... majestical way, it's not just a vision but the outline, the guide and essence of the revolution they are about to experience.

Feuilly's part, once again, repeats the sacrifices that will - and must - be made: "some will fall and some will live [...] The blood of the martyrs will water the meadows of France" - a very fitting and important imagery, because not only does it capture what Enjolras is the novel describes like I already quoted above: "You are about to die, that is to say to triumph, here. Citizens, whatever happens to-day, through our defeat as well as through our victory, it is a revolution that we are about to create." but it's also a sentiment that echoes an important part of La Marseillaise: "S'ils tombent, nos jeunes héros/La terre en produit de nouveaux/Contre vous tout prêts à se battre!" ["If our young heroes fall/The earth will bear new ones/Ready to join the fight against you!"] and, of course, Enjolras' final "Let others rise to take our place, until the earth is free!"

It's all connected and it's important to see that this song is the transition between the rather uncommited and aimless sentiment that is evident in "Red and Black" because they don't have a real goal, a perspective, only ideas, and the cold hard facts that yes, there will be death and yes, they are ready to sacrifice their lives, but they can see and share Enjolras' vision of the future.

phiu. this might just be utter nonsense, but I felt like explaining. xD
lovesinging

Eppie-Sue wrote:
Then, of course, the chorus repeats Enjolras' words, and if you're doing this as a solo part, you might want to alternate here a bit. Enjolras' part is relatively quiet compared to the repetition (not only because he's singing it alone Wink ) - when he first sings of the "people who will not be slaves again", then it's more like a vision that he shares with them. The chorus, however, adapts this in a more... majestical way, it's not just a vision but the outline, the guide and essence of the revolution they are about to experience.


<3.

Are you doing the full song or just, say, a 16 measure excerpt? I'm curious in seeing which section of the song you're auditioning on. Anyway, best of luck and keep us posted!
Buff Daddy

Thanks for all the ideas and background information - it is appreciated.

They have sent us the music up to the chorus after Feuilly's (made sure I typed that one right Wink ) verse "Will you give all you can give..." where the full chorus joins in. So it's a fairly long song section for an audition. I have no idea whether they want all or part of the song. Will find out on the day!

Buff Very Happy
Ulkis

Nevermind, sorry.
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