Mezzo Soprano

Mezzo Soprano Songs: 11 Audition Songs

Mezzo soprano Donna Murphy singing in front of a blue curtain

If there’s one thing we adore at Theater Love, it’s songs for mezzo sopranos — mezzos have some of the meatiest, most exciting roles in musical theatre. That means that you get to choose from a huge variety of exciting, gloriously singable songs.

We’ve been working on gathering our favorite mezzo-soprano songs, as well as some new audition songs. That way, whether you’re auditioning for a musical or looking for a mezzo-soprano song to sing in concert, we’ve got you covered. Our favorite part? These songs also work for sopranos — especially if you’re looking for a piece to ease the strain on your higher register during a full concert.

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Top image courtesy of Drama League under CC BY 2.0 (cropped from original)

1. When you want contemporary mezzo audition songs from musical theatre: “Toll”

If you’re looking for contemporary mezzo audition songs, we love this tune! It’s got a healthy dose of the conversational style that’s so popular in modern musicals — but it also has a lovely melodic line, so it stands on its own outside of the show. This is huge, especially when you’re singing in concert or auditions; listeners need songs that are strong enough to hold up outside of the show.

The lyrics bring about a sweet and funny story that you don’t often hear in musical theatre. We love how Jeff Blumenkrantz uses pedestrian language in a surprisingly elegant way. (How often do you sing “tollbooth” and “blue Chevrolet”?) The wording is clever, and the unexpected words shock your audience into paying attention. Best of all? “Toll” is so much fun to sing. It leaves a lot of room for interpretation, which is handy for auditions. Belt it, sing it in a completely legit style, or use a mix. It sounds great any way you go!

Sheet music for “Toll” (plus so many other amazing Jeff Blumenkrantz songs!)

2. When you want to bring the musical theatre drama: “How Many Tears”

What, you’ve never seen the show Martin Guerre? Neither have we. It’s one of those rarely produced musical theatre audition songs, which is fantastic when you’re auditioning — you can rest assured that there won’t be a million other people singing the same piece. If you’re looking for a concert song for a mezzo-soprano, it works perfectly. It tells a complete story, all in less than 4 minutes. The accompaniment is relatively simple, so it sounds perfect on a piano.

Our favorite part? “How Many Tears” is a lovely, melodic mezzo-soprano piece that’s absolutely overflowing with emotion. The character is heartbroken, but you can easily introduce an element of anger or wistfulness. If we were making an 16-bar cut, we’d take the end of the song — it builds beautifully into a glorious crescendo. If you’re a belter, let it rip. If you’re a legit mezzo, bust out your biggest vibrato to blow the roof off.

Sheet music for “How Many Tears” (digital download!)

3. A mezzo soprano song that shows off your comedy chops: “Mr. Right”

Are you trying out for a comedic role in a show? This song gives you plenty to work with. It’s from Love Life, a concept musical from 1948. There are some time-specific references, but otherwise, it’s pretty easy to put a contemporary spin on this piece. With its bouncy melody and comical lyrics, it would be a fun addition to a concert for a mezzo-soprano, too.

The best part? This is one of those mezzo audition songs from a show that works for all types of voices — so you can sing it whether you’re a belter (see Jeannine Wacker) or you have a more legit sound (see Lauren Worsham). If you can nail the comic timing of the lyrics, you can have the audience laughing through the whole thing!

Sheet music for “Mr Right” (plus so many other fantastic Kurt Weill songs)

4. For mezzos with serious vocal flexibility: “Nothing”

Mezzos are hardly hurting for character roles, and this song is a perfect example. It’s the perfect storm of uptempo fun, quiet introspective moments, exuberant belting, and even little hints at a ballad. The lyrics are fantastic, of course, but the music can bring so much flexibility to show off your voice in a show or concert! We love it for audition songs, but it’s a hilarious (and touching) addition to a vocal recital or concert, too.

So at Theater Love, our people have all seen the show A Chorus Line — but we’ve never heard “Nothing” sung quite like Ruthie Henshall does here. We love love love that gorgeous mezzo weight to her voice, and she really uses it to her advantage in this performance. Our favorite part? Listen to how she leans into the notes from 0:51-0:55. Glorious!

Sheet music for “Nothing” (digital download!)

5. When you need a solid ballad option for audition songs: “Goodbye My Love/Journey On”

Is there anything more moving than a good mezzo ballad? This song from the show Ragtime is so delicious to sing — and if you can summon up all of the emotion from your life and power and pour it into the crescendo, you can have the audience holding their collective breath. So beautiful! Plus, the melody is just lovely.

This song has a decent range for a mezzo-soprano, but most of it sits right in a comfortable place. It’s lovely in a legit sound, but you could easily work in a mix. We’re picturing this song as the penultimate piece before intermission in a concert. It’s got that beautiful build and a life that just gets right to the listeners’ hearts. (How much do we love Tracy Lynn Olivera?)

Sheet music for “Ragtime”

6. For a Romantic French Mezzo-Soprano Vibe: “Storybook”

Oh, how we love this song! If you haven’t sung this song, now’s the time! It’s from the show The Scarlet Pimpernel, which hasn’t been on Broadway since 1997 — in other words, you can rest assured that it won’t be overdone at musical theater auditions! It’s a good choice for a concert; it works well in a small cabaret or a big performance hall.

Now, if you have the luxury to sing this piece with the full instrumentation, that’s obviously the best choice — never turn down the chance to sing with a full orchestra. But, if you’re like the rest of us mezzo-soprano peasants, a good piano will do. Bonus points if you can find people to play the accordion and really drive home that adorable French vibe from the show. And, the ending is a fantastic chance to work on your French pronunciation!

7. For a Singer with a Taste for Jazz: “My Own Brass Bed”

This song is just so luscious and jazz-y and Old Hollywood-y — it would be so delicious and indulgent to sing. It’s from the show The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and we all but guarantee no other mezzo-soprano singers will be singing it at your next concert or audition. We love how Tammy Grimes stretches out those little falls in this version, making the most of every note.

Are you looking for concert songs for mezzo sopranos? This is a nice little amuse bouche that can be used to transition between styles or to create a little moment between intense songs in the show. It’s super short and sweet — the perfect opportunity to show off what you can do and then leave them wanting more. And if you need something that’s easy on the voice, it doesn’t get much more gentle than this!

Sheet music for The Unsinkable Molly Brown

8. For a Classic Broadway Sound with an Edge: ”You Don’t Know”

So you know Meredith Wilson; he wrote the show The Music Man. In addition, he wrote the show that “You Don’t Know” comes from. It’s called Here’s Love, and it has just a hint of that signature Wilson sound — but with a surprising edge and a 1960s-era modernity that makes it really interesting to listen to. You’ll still get to show off your legit vibrato, but you can explore the darker themes.

Our favorite part about this song? It’s got so much good potential for drama! The character is clearly feeling emotional in her life, and there are so many ways you could play it. Angry, heartbroken, disdainful…so much fun! Plus, if you have a strong upper range, you can really lean into the “heart full of hate” climax note.

Sheet music for Here’s Love

9. Audition Songs for Singers with Personality: “What Makes Me Love Him?”

Have you ever seen the show The Apple Tree (or The Diary of Adam and Eve, as it’s also called)? Neither have we, since it’s in the back catalog for most people. This show isn’t produced very often, which is awesome when you’re looking for mezzo-soprano audition songs. (Interestingly, Kristin Chenoweth — a seriously high soprano — played this role on Broadway in the early 2000s, but it falls nicely into a lower range if your high notes aren’t there.)

With its lilting accompaniment and calming tune, this song feels like a life lullaby. The familiar chord progressions are instantly soothing — they make your audience pause, sigh, and relax into the performance. (Isn’t that a lovely experience at a concert?) But take a minute to listen to the lyrics; they’re not as sweet and charming as they might sound. Eve is going through all of her objections to Adam, and slowly taking them out as she realizes how she feels. It’s so easy to empathize with, and we love the sweet resolution.

Sheet music for “What Makes Me Love Him?” (digital download!)

Sheet music from The Scarlet Pimpernel

10. One of Our Favorite Mezzo-Soprano Songs (with a Bernadette Flair): “So Far”

Do you look to Bernadette Peters for repertoire ideas? This could be one of your next audition songs. The range is easy, with a quite a few good opportunities to show off your vibrato. We love that the melody is catchy but not super predictable; it makes a few unexpected turns on the back end, which is crucial when you’re singing in an audition or a concert. Those tiny variations are just enough to keep your audience listening carefully.

Not a lover of Bernadette? (We feel you.) This song works beautifully if you have a more lyric or legit voice. (See the second video) Another good sign? We couldn’t find many performances of this song, which means that it’s not one of those no-go audition songs for mezzo sopranos. In other words, you can rest assured that your listeners probably haven’t heard it many times.

Sheet music for “So Far” (digital download!)

11. For a Mezzo-Soprano with a Contemporary Legit Sound: “If I Could Fly”

Say what you want about Frank Wildhorn — the man knows how to write for women’s voices (especially mezzo-soprano voices) in a way that’s somehow safe, singable, and fascinating to listen to. (Listen to contemporary Broadway songs for mezzo sopranos; that’s harder than you might think!) That’s why we love “If I Could Fly”; it’s so much fun to sing, but you can do it without wrecking your chords!

We think this song works best for legit mezzo-soprano singers who can really lean into the vibrato — BUT if you’re a belter, you could back into the sustained notes instead, for a totally different effect. Whichever way you go, this song lends itself well to emotional interpretation. You can act your heart out, which is perfect when you need audition songs for a dramatic role in a musical.

When you’re a mezzo-soprano, the hunt for new audition songs can be a real challenge. Whether you’re auditioning for a musical theater production or looking for songs from a back catalog to sing in a concert, these pieces are a great place to start. What are we missing? What are your favorite mezzo audition songs right now that we might like?