I am currently musically directing a community theater production of Sweeney Todd.
We have cast a female to play the part of Toby, and in the song "Not While I'm Around", she is not able to achieve sufficient volume on the opening notes of the number.
The song starts on an Eb, moves to F, then Eb, Ab, and Bb. She has a great tenor timber to her voice, and once she gets up to the Ab, she sounds great. We have 16 days until the show opens, and my question is twofold.
First, are there any good exercises that a singer can do in order to improve the volume on the low end of their range?
Second, if it comes close to performance time, what does music theory have to say about these two choices:
changing the melody to something like Ab, Gb, Ab, Ab, Bb, or
having her begin the song an octave higher, and then on the third line of the song change back to the original octave?
I personally do not like how the second choice sounds, as it seems to bring about a very drastic change, but I am wondering if there is precedence for something like this, or if conventional musical theory has anything to say.
Here is the first two bars, which is repeated in the next two bars: