The singer shares her audition dos and don’ts for people wanting places at her masterclasses.

As part of her Carnegie Hall Perspectives residency, acclaimed mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is planning on presenting a series of three masterclasses. Four lucky singers will be selected to participate in a series of public events next year and streamed live online. The chosen singers will also get to attend a performance of Rossini’s La donna del lago at the Metropolitan Opera – the production to star DiDonato herself. With applications open, Joyce has posted a video for aspiring applicants sharing her wisdom for standing out from the crowd in auditions.

Joyce’s Five Top Tips:

Be exceptionally well prepared. Great language, fraseggio (that’s ‘musical phrasing’ in layman’s terms), musicality, and presentation. It should look like you put some time and effort into it. Greatness comes from the months and years leading up to auditions; inspiration doesn’t strike on the spot. So rehearse, prepare!

Dress as yourself. Present yourself as best you can, and dress for your own style. Make sure you’ve put thought into it. Make it look like you’re ready to take the stage anywhere in the world.

Keep it classy. You want to present yourself as someone who is serious about the business, and someone worth listening to. On written applications, check your spelling!

Take your time. You have to represent where you are at that moment, and if you can’t put something together in time, it’s worth taking a step back to make sure you’re truly ready.

Don’t be an imitation. Your best chance is to be yourself! Learn from the greats, appropriate talents that you admire, but make it your own.

Joyce’s final words of encouragement are to dismiss the fear that the audition panel is against you – on the contrary, they want you to be great. “Walk in knowing that they are on your side. They’re rooting for you to be brilliant.”

Applications for Joyce Didonato’s master classes are open to opera singers worldwide until October 15. Four places are offered to successful applicants, with the program running in New York from Feb 21-23 2015.