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10/10
Absolutely terrific, involving, interesting and sometimes moving
TheLittleSongbird9 April 2012
Having loved opera for goodness knows how long and being a follower of the Met HD series, I was very taken with this documentary film. Prettily filmed, hosted engagingly by Stephanie Blythe, and constantly interesting as it follows the finalists in their last week of preparing for the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, it is a must see for any opera enthusiast or any aspiring singer(like me).

The music is wonderful, from Eugene Onegin, La Fille Du Regiment to L'Arlesiana, it is a musical treat really. And all the finalists are excellent, each showing personality, a distinctive voice and a willingness to succeed. I enjoyed the passion and poignancy of Michael Fabiano's performance of Lensky's aria and the bravado and easy going charm of Alex Shrader's Ah Mes Amis, yes the aria with the notorious 9 High Cs, but I was the most moved by Ryan Smith's E La Solita Storia Del Pastor, not only because the performance was so poised but Smith sadly succumbed to cancer in 2008.

What I also loved was how the staff Marco Armiliato, Carrie-Anne Matheson and others treated the finalists. There is no pressurising(into saying someone will be eliminated), malice or exploitation, wants these finalists to succeed, treat them with respect and warm nurturing and remind them that even if you don't win you are still a winner. Plus when they do give any sort of constructive criticism, they are firm, honest but polite, none of the hyperbolic and verging on insulting tactics you find on TV. Not only that, but for what goes on behind the scenes. It is all very interesting and informative for anybody whether you want to aspire to be like these talented singers or not.

As for the stories of the finalists, these are genuinely poignant, (especially with Smith)interesting and heartfelt, with no manipulation, forced sob stories or distorted truths in sight. Instead they are honest and as far from artificial as you can come, and you root for not one of the finalists but every single one of them. As far as I'm concerned, they were all wonderful and all winners in their own way. Overall, a truly terrific documentary film. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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9/10
A terrific film about a tough, tough competition
Red-12518 February 2012
"The Audition"(2008) was directed Susan Frömke. The movie is a documentary about the weeks preceding the Metropolitan Opera's 2007 National Council Auditions. The film is tension-arousing, because winning the competition is an important step towards an opera career. This competition is prestigious, but it is incredibly intense.

About 1,800 singers enter the competition, and only six are winners. The problem for the judges--and for us watching the movie--is that the 12 finalists are all excellent, experienced singers. They're all great, but only half of them will be winners.

The movie is interesting because the participants are kept busy in the week leading up to the competition. They pick their costumes, have breathing and acting lessons, work with the conductor (Marco Armiliato), and try to establish some sort of group cohesiveness, despite the fact that they are competitors.

As far as I could tell, nothing was staged for the movie--what we see is what was actually taking place. Of course, some of the singers were interviewed in front of the camera, and that was not a natural part of the process. Even so, this was a real documentary. We watched the competition unfold just as it was happening. This is reality--not reality TV.

"The Audition" is a wonderful film and definitely worth seeking out and seeing. We watched it on DVD, and it worked very well. If you like opera, this film is a must. If you're not an opera fan, you will still understand and enjoy the movie. If you hate opera, probably better to pick another film.
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A stirring documentary that deserves a better title
mathmaniac1 July 2017
If you would like to bury your film (documentary or otherwise) in the heap of film that pours out into world inhabited by viewers, you can do this: name your film 'The Audition.'

People love actors, they love acting, they love film, they love music, they love the 'audition' of meeting other people, they love empathizing with someone who interviews for a job - they love auditions.

Name your film 'The Audition' and no one will EVER find it.

It is too bad that the decision was made to make this film one of many with that name because it will float to the top only for those who are fishing for this particular audition film.

I nearly gave up looking. I enjoyed the music, I enjoyed the film, and quite accidentally discovered it while looking for something else on amazon. I'm glad I watched it but I think it takes a tremendous effort to distinguish this from among the many many MANY with the same name.
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