21 Contemporary Legit Soprano Musical Theatre Songs

legit soprano singing a musical theater song

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 for a casting director 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 for the best Broadway soprano solos. 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!

Top image courtesy of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under U.S. Government works license

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 a casting director 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.

Sheet music for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

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. (And Audra McDonald!) 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 in front of casting directors, 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 high 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!

Sheet music for My Life With Albertine

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 this is one of the great audition songs. 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!

Sheet music for The Physician (plus so many other Cole Porter songs!)

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.

Sheet music for “Somebody Somewhere” and other Frank Loesser songs

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. (Here’s a slightly longer version for a self-tape.)

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.

Sheet music from Death Takes a Holiday

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.

Sheet music from The Apple Tree

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!

Sheet music from Allegro

11. For sopranos with great emotional range: “She’s Not Me”

When you’re looking for soprano audition songs, Sierra Boggess is a great source for repertoire ideas. We love her, and we love this song! For the most part, it sits in a super-comfortable range — and then it lifts into the most beautiful, floaty notes that will have your audience holding their breath.

This song is a great option for a soprano with a good singing range — and a great emotional range. It’s equal parts introspective and ebullient, which makes it the perfect audition song for a soprano. Plus, there’s practically zero chance that anyone else at your audition will be singing the same thing!

Get the sheet music on the composer Michael Mott’s website.

12. A musical theatre song that wows your audience: “Flight”

Here at Theater Love, we are big fans of this song. It’s unbelievably versatile — we love it as a duet for two women, as a tenor audition song, and we think it’s one of the best best audition songs for sopranos out there. It starts out quietly, drawing your listeners in right away. Then, it explodes into the most gorgeous, soaring runs.

To be honest, we couldn’t find a solo soprano version that we loved on YouTube! (which pretty much means that you should be singing it, because no one else will, and you’ll give a great audition) Instead, here’s Nic Rouleau. He’s a pretty high tenor, so the notes translate nicely to a soprano range.

Sheet music for “Flight” (digital download)

13. When you want to stand out at an audition: “Sleepy Man”

Have you ever seen a production of The Robber Bridegroom? Neither have we. That means that this song is a great piece if you want something unexpected. All of the footage we could find is pretty dated (Idina even sang it back in the day). It has a lovely lullaby feel, and we love that it’s not super predictable. Plus, we guarantee that none of the other sopranos in the room will be singing the same thing.

If you’ve ever heard “Moonshine Lullaby” from Annie, Get Your Gun, this song might feel familiar. It has that same folksy, soothing feeling — and even an optional male backup. We’d love to hear it as a quiet moment in the middle of a concert.

Get the sheet music for The Robber Bridegroom

14. For a soprano with life experience: “I Won’t Mind”

This piece, which was written by Jeff Blumenkrantz, is from a musical that was never finished. It’s a heartbreaker — you think you know what’s happening in the beginning, and then it takes a completely unexpected turn. If you need to show emotional range during an audition, this is the piece for you. Be warned: this is a musical theatre song for a singer with some life experience.

The trick to mastering this song? Subtlety. In the hands of a gifted soprano (see Audra above), the emotional shift happens so quietly that the listeners don’t realize what’s happened right away. And when it hits them, it’s so sad and beautiful that you might just see a few tears. (Seriously — think too hard while you’re singing, and you’re almost certain to get choked up!) But if you can pull it off, it’s so, so powerful.

Sheet music for “I Won’t Mind” (and other Audra songs!)

15. To show off your singing flexibility: “Come to My Garden”

Are your soprano pipes in good shape? Give them a workout with this sweet song from the musical The Secret Garden. It’s deceptively simple — and then you come to those low note/high note jumps! This one requires a flexible voice and great technique.

Our favorite part? That gorgeous build in the middle of the piece (right around 3:30 in the video below), followed by the chance to open up your voice. The contrast between the quiet, soft notes and the dramatic high notes is so lovely. Now, technically this is a duet — we love how Sierra Boggess handles it here with the cellist.

Sheet music for “Come to My Garden”

16. When you want that Golden Age of Broadway sound: “Will You?”

Oh, Christine Ebersole, we love you. This piece has some serious Judy Garland and Julie Andrews vibes — the perfect musical theatre piece for all of you legit sopranos out there. We’re seeing it paired with a vintage gown at an evening recital. Or, use it to audition for any of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, or shows like My Fair Lady and The Secret Garden.

It’s no secret that the current Broadway landscape is kind of bare for legit sopranos. But ladies, if you’re tired of the screlting, this is a great song choice!

As a bonus, here’s Christine Ebersole singing “Will You” onstage.

Sheet music for “Will You?”

17. A musical theatre song for a badass soprano: “Woman”

You know how some musical theatre songs for sopranos are so melodic, they instantly draw you in? This is one of them. It’s got such powerful lyrics — ones that are, unfortunately, still ringing true. We love the badass girl power vibe, and also that it works for belters and legit sopranos alike. Belt the power notes or bust your biggest vibrato — it’s beautiful either way!

“Woman” has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and lyrics by Alain Boublil…sound familiar? That’s because these are the same guys who wrote Les Mis. You could easily use this song as an audition piece for Les Mis, especially if you’re going for Eponine. (For Fantine, go a little more legit with a hint of belt.) It shows off your emotional strength, which is ideal when you’re auditioning for a musical with a strong female lead.

Sheet music for “Woman” (digital download!)

18. For a subtle touch of jazz: “When I Look at You”

Okay, so some recordings of this song have that 80s Chess feeling. But — look past that, and you have a song that’s a little jazzy in the beginning (that tinkly piano backing!), with a good build to a killer belt opportunity. We love what Laura Osnes does with the song at Birdland. If you’re not a belter, it could certainly work if you just kept the jazz vibe and just build the emotion.

For this soprano song, you really need the entire piece to get the story. You could add it into a concert lineup, or perform it in a recital. We’re picturing it in a room with low light — just you and the piano. Amazing!

Sheet music for “When I Look at You”

19. When you want that delicious Bernstein feel: “A Little Bit in Love”

There’s one thing for certain: Leonard Bernstein knows how to write soprano songs. This song is no different! It’s fun, lighthearted, and it moves quickly. We love the transition from the words to the “mmm” — it’s so satisfying and feels so indulgent to sing! This piece sits right in the comfortable part of a soprano’s range, so it’s a good option when your voice is feeling a bit rusty.

Need an audition song? This one is ideal when you need to show off your ability to sing something other than a ballad. Plus, the text gives plenty of room to show your acting skills — the subtle kind. It seems simple, but this can be an incredibly challenging piece. It doesn’t require any physical staging — the acting is all in your face, your voice, and your presence. So much fun!

Sheet music for “A Little Bit in Love”
All vocal selections from Wonderful Town

20. The most unexpected of all soprano audition songs: “Stars”

Okay, bear with us — yes, this song is written for baritones, but the intense moments of Stars sit right in the loudest, strongest, most gorgeous part of a soprano’s voice.

So. If you’re a soprano with a nice, beefy middle range (as in, you have a seriously strong F-D on the staff), give this piece a try. We think it’ll become one of your favorite audition songs in no time! Keep it in the original key, or if you’re a higher soprano, maybe adjust it up a few steps. (Listen to Sierra Boggess singing it here; she has a stronger high range, and the lower notes just don’t get the same resonance. She would have benefited from raising the key.)

Plus, it’s ridiculously fun to sing, and there’s the novelty factor of a soprano singing such a well-known male song. The audience will be delighted. Sing it, and if you do, send us the clip!

Sheet music for “Stars” (digital download!)

21. “The Ballad of Jane Doe” from Ride the Cyclone

Break out your opera chops and your musical theater sensibilities for “The Ballad of Jane Doe,” which is one of the most spectacular legit soprano songs in musical theater. (Skip to 1:10 in the video to get to the song.) You’ll need serious breath support to sustain those soaring runs, but if you can manage it, it’s a guaranteed showstopper.

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?