I made semi-finalist, this year, which means I scored 90 or above on my performance. I sang three pieces: "I Attempt from Love's Sickness to Fly" by Henry Purcell, "Reflets" by Lili Boulanger, and "Going to Heaven" by Aaron Copeland from a poem by Emily Dickinson.
I am way thrilled!
Each year, they organize this better and better. The first year I auditioned, they did classical and musical theater students all on the same day, and they didn't announce the finalists until after 5pm. I didn't get out of there until nearly 6:00. The second year, they managed it a little better. Last year, they had classical students perform on one day, and musical theater students on another, which reduced a lot of crowding. This year, they were finished announcing the finalists by 2:30pm, and I was able to leave at about 3pm, after listening to all nine of the adult finalists (for beginner, intermediate, and advanced adults). Getting to leave by 3pm was great, and I suspect the teachers (who were judging) appreciated it, too.
I've already decided that my aria for next year will be Micaela's aria from Carmen that I was going to do for NATS this year, except it was killing me. It's "Je dits que rien ne m'epouvante". I had a difficult time with it because I wasn't breathing properly for the high notes; I wasn't keeping my throat open enough for them. I need to work on that if I want to improve as a singer and as a soprano. I also need to start working on longer pieces--which will require me to learn them faster.
Of the adult pieces I heard yesterday, I really liked one by Mozart called "Ave Verum." There is also a kick-ass aria (way high tessatura) from La Bohem called 'Quando men vo" that I'm considering, and my brain keeps telling me, "Don't be insane!"
The lady who sang "Quando men vo" had an almost shrill voice; the notes sounded high and piercing, and my synesthesia impression was of whiteness and a very sharp, glass-like quality. I don't want to sound like that, but I guess it really depends on the nature of my voice and how I shape the music.
My only reservation about doing the "Ave Verum" is that, if I'm going to sing Latin prayers, I really prefer to sing them as Gregorian chant done in the correct style, not as the text of a Gregorian chant set to classical music. That really ticks me off. I felt the same way about singing "Greensleeves" as a classical piece, when, really, it needs to be accompanied by a lute, not a piano. But, hey, that's my pet peeve. I'll talk things over with my voice teacher when we decide which pieces I'll work on for 2011 NATS during the coming year.