Feedback, to ask or not to ask

It’s a tricky one. On the one hand audition feedback helps us develop, lets us improve our audition technique and can be a balm on a declined audition. On the other it can reinforce our insecurities or even create new ones.

I recently auditioned with my go to aria, Susanna, and felt it went well. I had some nerves, but I held it together and sang nicely, to the best of my ability that day. I had pinned quite a lot to the audition, already knowing what the same people had thought of other singers I know (and we all have our own little league tables in our heads).

Shortly afterwards, I received a rejection, which stung as per, but also an offer of feedback. I was heartened, reasoning that, as an organisation for young singers, their feedback would be constructive and useful. How wrong I was. They tore me to shreds. Susanna, my go to, the aria all my coaches have said is perfect for me, the aria I felt I could audition with immediately upon waking up, the aria for all occasions was apparently ‘obviously unsuitable for my voice’ and I should ‘never’ audition with it. I had not sensed any of this in the audition, I had been pleased with my singing. It was a very harsh anti-climax.

I suppose I should have been more careful, I could have shielded myself from their potentially destructive opinions. But then, how would we learn? Every session we go to, with every coach or teacher, every audition, we are asking for another person’s very subjective opinion.

I can’t hide from the impact of this audition. I received the feedback just before going into another audition and it definitely impacted on my performance. I didn’t get that gig either.

It’s been nearly 2 months now and I’ve still not sung Susanna since.




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