Looking for the perfect tenor songs to show off your voice in an upcoming audition? Selecting the right song and learning how to sing tenor parts that truly showcase your vocal type is key. Here are a few tenor audition songs in a variety of styles. Any of these pieces are bound to impress if you’ve got the technique!
- “Yesterday” – The Beatles
- “Thinking Out Loud” – Ed Sheeran
- “Something’s Coming” – West Side Story
- “Bring Him Home” – Les Miserables
- “Passeggiata” – The Light in the Piazza
- “Una Furtiva Lacrima” – Elixir of Love
- “Nessun Dorma” – Turandot
Tenor is a wonderful voice type to have, but finding vocal repertoire in a baritone-heavy world is not always easy. Keep reading to find out which of these tenor audition songs is best for your unique voice and audition!
Top 6 Tenor Songs for Auditions
1. “Yesterday” – The Beatles
This is one of the most popular go-to tenor pop songs. The Guinness Book of World Records says it’s the most covered song in the world. But only true tenors can sing “Yesterday” in the original key, as composed by Sir Paul McCartney.
In fact, any Beatles song would be an excellent choice if you’re auditioning for a pop singing competition or a band. Lots of baritones would love to be able to sing these songs in their original keys, but lucky for you: you can!
2. “Thinking Out Loud” – Ed Sheeran
Looking for more modern tenor songs? Check out Ed Sheeran’s music for some great ideas of tenor pop songs. “Thinking Out Loud” is a well-loved, moderate-tempo song that can work for a variety of auditions, shows, or events. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser if you can hit the notes just right.
3. “Something’s Coming” – West Side Story
There are just as many tenor musical theatre songs, and it can be very hard to narrow down your selection! However, “Something’s Coming” from “West Side Story” is always a good choice, as it truly shows off a performer’s musicality, range, AND acting skills.
Remember that a good audition goes beyond vocal technique. The audition panels want to see that you are confident and know what you are singing about, too.
SEE ALSO: 400+ Songs to Sing for Every Occasion
4. “Passeggiata” – The Light in the Piazza
For more current tenor musical theatre songs, check out “Passeggiata” from “The Light in the Piazza.” It’s a graceful number for a young singer learning how to sing tenor parts. A classically trained tenor wanting to “crossover” into musical theatre could easily pull this off, but so could a more pop-ish tenor.
5. “Una Furtiva Lacrima” – Elixir of Love
When we think “tenor songs” in the opera genre we usually think of powerful, ringing high notes in heroic sounding arias. “Una Furtiva Lacrima” is a gorgeous aria from Donizetti’s “Elixir of Love.” This is suitable for a first aria for young lyric tenors.
Not only will it show off your understanding of “bel canto,” but it’s another opportunity to demonstrate your acting skills. The performer is pining for his love here! (No surprise – this IS opera, after all).
6. “Nessun Dorma” – Turandot
Another one of the best tenor audition songs for operas is “Nessun Dorma” from “Turandot.” Note: this aria is ONLY to be attempted by tenors who have been studying seriously for a long time.
This is a heavier aria by Puccini that requires impeccable technique. This aria is a real crowd pleaser that will get the audience on their feet if you can really nail those high Cs.
You’re one step closer to your next audition with these top tenor songs! Keep in mind that the most important resource for learning how to develop and perfect your sound is a voice teacher. An experienced vocal coach can assess if you’re ready for any of these tenor audition songs, and prepare you for the audition panels. Good luck, and break a leg!
Molly R. teaches online and in-person singing lessons in Hayward, CA. Her specialties include teaching beginner vocalists, shy singers, children, teens, lapsed singers, and older beginners. She joined TakeLessons in November 2013. Learn more about Molly here!
Photo by Barbara Müller-Walter