It’s a strange time to be a legit soprano, isn’t it? Finding legit soprano musical theatre songs isn’t hard — all of the grand Golden Age shows are littered with gorgeous tunes for high voices. But when you scan the current Broadway landscape…well, you probably won’t find many composers writing with a legit sound in mind.
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But never fear, beloved sopranos! You don’t have to be stuck singing songs like “If I Loved You” and “I Could Have Danced All Night” until you die! (We adore both of those songs, but there’s only so many times a girl can sing them before she goes in search of something new.)
There are plenty of gorgeous, soaring legit songs that leave your audience smiling and let you work through your full range!
So! Whether you’re looking for soprano songs to sing for musical theatre auditions, or you need something to for a benefit or concert, we’ve got you covered! Here are 10 of our recent finds. We’re including the links to the sheet music where we can; these are affiliate links, which means that we might get a small commission if you buy through the link (this doesn’t affect your purchase price, of course). Thanks for helping Theater Love spread the joy of theater!
1. When you want to let your legit vibrato fly: “Inside Out”
This song, which is from A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, starts out so beautifully, with a catchy little melody that pulls your audiences in. And then it leaps up above the staff, giving you the chance to float or put some weight into your voice — or both! Later in the piece, there are plenty of opportunities for trills and operatic improv. It is impossible to listen to without being impressed…and if you’ve gotten a little lazy, technique-wise, this is a good song to help you get back in shape.
We love this song as an audition piece for the high legit soprano roles in musical theatre: Eliza Doolittle, Amalia Balash, Sarah Brown…hell, it could even work for Maria in West Side Story (with the right acting choices). It sounds sweet and ingenue-y, but don’t be fooled — there’s plenty of opportunity to show off your acting chops, too. We love the idea of a sly, calculating take on the piece.
2. When you want a soaring love ballad: “The Man In The Street”
This song is from I Married an Angel, a 1930s musical that is almost never produced in theatres. In fact, in 2019, there’s only one planned production (at New York City Center in March). Why does that matter? If you’re looking for a song that can sets you apart from the other sopranos at a musical theatre audition or a concert, this is the one.
This song makes the most of your legit sound (see Kristin Chenoweth below), offering some delicious chances to open up the most powerful parts of your voice. So satisfying to sing! Add a gorgeous recital dress and a full orchestra (a piano will do just fine) and you’ve got the perfect Golden Age glam.
3. A song to demonstrate your emotional range and acting skills: “Simple Little Things”
Legit soprano meets a Texas twang? We are on board. This song is from 101 in the Shade, and it’s a little reminiscent of “Someone to Watch Over Me”…sort of. Regardless, it’s a sweet, wistful song. Most of it sits in a really comfortable range, with plenty of room to open up your legit vibrato.
When it comes to musical theatre auditions, this song offers SO MUCH room for acting. The character is essentially a 1950s spinster (thank God we’re not there anymore!) — and if you’ve ever felt alone and wanting a partner, you’ll be able to mine so much emotion! For that reason, it’s probably a good choice if you’ve had a little experience and a little heartbreak. (Finally, a use for it.) Get it right, and you’ll have your listeners tearing up before you’re done.
4. When you want a song to show off your soprano range: “If It Is True”
We’ve only just discovered My Life With Albertine, a strange little musical about Proust and his mistress. (I guess we know why it’s not produced often?) The melody is simple and almost lullaby-like in the beginning — and then it opens up into some gorgeous high notes that let your legit soprano shine. The version below is pretty, but we’d love to hear it with some more weight to the vibrato.
Also, an interesting fact: there are zero musical theatre productions of this show planned for 2019 (at least as of publication). That means that you might even be able to make a bored director sit up and pay attention. Make sure you do a little research into the musical, because you know someone is going to ask about it!
5. When you need to show that legit sopranos can be funny, too!: “The Physician”
Legit sopranos don’t get many comedic musical theatre roles, which is why we love this song so much. The anatomy lingo paired with little legit moments is adorable — and if you can bust out a few ridiculous facial expressions, you’ll have your audience cracking up.
When it came to picking a favorite recording, we couldn’t choose between the two versions below. Julie Andrews, because…well, obviously. (We didn’t think we could love her more, but the dancing! And listen to those little turns around 0:57!) And of course, a concert version, because the song is particularly comical coming from a soprano in a formal dress. You could use it to add a bit of levity in the middle of a serious concert, or slip it into a more Broadway-style cabaret. It fits everywhere!
6. When you want to indulge your inner opera singer: “Somebody Somewhere”
This song is from The Most Happy Fella, a musical that walks the line between musical theatre and operetta. You’ll hear that in this recording, where Kelli O’Hara gives us a little peek at her opera roots (gorgeous!). This song manages to strike that elusive balance where the melodic line matches the swell of the emotion perfectly — it doesn’t feel manufactured at all. Plus, requires some serious singing, making it a good option for both auditions and concerts.
Now, technically this is a love song — as so many of the legit soprano musical theatre songs are — but really, it’s about being needed. So, if you’re tired of playing the “I need a man to complete me” angle, you have plenty of options.
7. When you want to stretch your legit soprano sound: “The Mist”
And now, for something totally different! “The Mist” has a distinct haunting vibe — which makes sense, considering it’s from the surprisingly fun Wildhorn musical, Dracula. It’s a completely unexpected song to add to a concert; probably not the best choice for an audition, though.
Want to hear these songs in person? Check out How to See Broadway Shows When You’re Broke.
Now, you might see Frank Wildhorn’s name and wonder how on earth your legit soprano is going to work. Not to worry! This song really benefits from a rich, not-straight-but-smooth tone and the occasional satisfying release of your vibrato. It’s an easy way to stretch yourself without wandering into belter territory. (Listen to Kelli O’Hara do it above; she strikes exactly the right balance!)
8. When you want a musical theatre song that’s not about a man (directly, anyway): “How Will I Know”
This song comes from the short-lived but lovely musical Death Takes A Holiday. The character is singing about a massive shift in her life — and how she’s doubting all of her choices up to this point. The words are a little angsty, but the accompaniment and the melody are hopeful, which makes it an interesting acting challenge. We haven’t tried to make a 16-bar or 32-bar cut, but if you can find a good one, it could be an interesting theatre audition choice. (Let us know if you do!)
Vocally, this song sits in a super comfortable range for a legit soprano. It’s not super vocally demanding, and it’s contemporary enough that you could possibly use it as an audition piece for a newer musical. And interestingly, we could only find one YouTube recording of the full song — something we’ve never encountered before!
9. When you want a funny, uptempo legit soprano song: “Feelings”
An uptempo musical theatre song that actually makes use of your legit soprano? This is it. It’s from The Apple Tree, a musical that Kristin Chenoweth did very early in her Broadway career. In the song, Eve (as in Adam and Eve) is singing about the feelings she’s experiencing — basically, love and lust. There’s so much room for comedy! We love the line “If I’m objective and observant, if I can keep an even keel, I’ll be the first to pin a name to what I’m the very first to feel.”
This song is just technical enough to show your musicianship, but not so technical that it’s intimidating. With its fun, bouncy tempo, it adds a little life to a musical theatre review or a concert.
10. When you want that satisfying R&H musical theatre vibe: “Come Home”
You know how some musical theatre songs are just so satisfying to sing? This is one of them. (Rodgers and Hammerstein really knew how to write for legit sopranos, didn’t they?) Fortunately, this song is just as fun to listen to as it is to sing, so it’s the perfect addition to a concert. Allegro isn’t performed often, but in the musical, this song is sung by the ghost of the lead character’s mother (hello, The Secret Garden).
At Theater Love, our legit sopranos love a song that lets you work through your low to high range. This one has it all! It requires you to sing seamlessly right through the passaggio, and there are some jumps to keep things interesting. Above, listen to Elizabeth Llewellyn’s impossibly perfect leap at 3:28!
Need more Broadway song options? Check out our picks for Comedic Songs for Legit Sopranos.
And now it’s your turn! We’re always on the lookout for new things to sing — what are the legit soprano musical theatre songs you’re loving right now?