Sometimes it’s the “I Want Song” at the top of the show. Sometimes it stops the show as the 11:00 number. Either way, the dramatic ballad is a staple of any contemporary musical theatre performer’s book. This week we’re highlighting 5 dramatic ballads for various voice types. As with all songs on our blog, you can purchase and download these and hundreds more once you subscribe to ContemporaryMusicalTheatre.com
IN MY HEAD
Music & Lyrics by: Gregory Jacobs-Roseman
Performed by: Kristine Reese
Emily realizes on the day of her ex’s wedding, he is not the man of her dreams after all, she has just been writing a “happy ever after” story in her imagination. To be sung by a soprano mix, this 2016 MAC Award Nominee for Best Song by Gregory Jacobs-Roseman from his show, Save The Date. It has a driving beat for a ballad, and offers an actress a chance to make lots of discoveries as Emily realizes that in the real world relationships take work.
Music & Lyrics by: Alanya Bridge
Performed by: David Irvine
In this heartbreaking song by Alanya Bridge, Paul finds himself in turmoil after Ally reveals she still has feelings for a former lover. A song for a legit tenor it challenges the singer to run through the whole gamut of emotions: shock, anger, and guilt, all the while reigning it in with a simple, evocative melody. A great dramatic break-up song.
YOU DON’T KNOW LOVE
Music by: David Sisco
Lyrics by: Tom Gualtieri
Performed by: Mamie Parris
What’s more dramatic than a goddess falling in love with a mortal? This stunning ballad from David Sisco & Tom Gualtieri’s musical, Falling to Earth, is sung by the goddess Venus after fighting with her lover, Paphos. Venus reflects on their relationship and her own limits and fears. It demands a healthy mezzo willing to delve into the depths of her own emotional self. But who wouldn’t want a chance to play the goddess of love?
Music & Lyrics by: Lawrence Rush
Performed by: Nathaniel Hackmann
Is there a more romantic character in literature than Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice? In Lawrence Rush’s lush musical version of the story, Mr. Darcy, in the guise of a Broadway baritone, gets to sing this stunningly simple song as he finds himself falling for Lizzy. I love how he slowly discovers his feelings, how surprising they are to him, and how hard he tries to fight them.
Music by: Chris Miller
Lyrics by: Nathan Tysen
Performed by: Sarah Charles Lewis
Dramatic songs aren’t just for grown ups! This beautiful dramatic ballad for a young girl is from Chris Miller & Nathan Tysen’s musical version of the beloved children’s book, Tuck Everlasting. This title song finds 11 year old Winnie having to make the tough decision whether to drink from a spring that grants immortality, or go back to her family and live a finite life.
Thanks for delving into the drama with us. Check back next week for our list of the top Comedic Up-Tempos for Women).
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