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“Can you sing?”

—Sir Joseph Porter
H.M.S. Pinafore


Auditions for Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld / Concert Performance of The Pirates of Penzance

Auditions for Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company will hold auditions for its Fall 2017 production of Jacques Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, Saturday, June 3rd, 1:00 to 5:00 pm, and Sunday, June 4th, 5:00 to 9:00 pm.  Call Backs will be held on Monday, June 5th, starting at 7:00 pm.

This production of Orpheus in the Underworld will be directed by Lesley Hendrickson, with Music Direction by Marina Liadova.

The auditions will be held at Lake Harriet Methodist Church, at 4901 South Chowen Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55410.


All principal roles for the production will be cast through these auditions.  No principal roles are pre-cast.

While approximately a third of the chorus is already filled by performers who are company members, the remaining chorus vacancies, all voices, will be filled through these auditions.

All positions receive a stipend of $200.00.

To Audition

We ask you to bring a performance resume as well as a completed audition form, which we will email to you.  Those without performance resumes may simply submit a completed audition form.  We also ask you to bring a copy of your head shot or another good photo of yourself.

Please audition with a song or aria in English.  Your selection may be an opera or operetta piece, a Gilbert and Sullivan selection, a show tune, etc.  No pop or rock music please.

An accompanist will be provided.  We strongly recommend that all those auditioning prepare an accompanied piece rather than something unaccompanied.

You do not need to prepare a monologue.  The Directors may provide you with sides during your audition.  If they do so, you will rehearse the sides privately with others who are auditioning and then present to the Directors.

Call Backs

Most of those being considered for a named role in the production will be asked to come to Call Backs, which will be held on Monday, June 5th, starting at 7:00 pm.  You will be notified via email if you are being called back.  Those emails will be sent out on Sunday, June 4th, after auditions are completed that evening.

You will be notified for which role or roles you’ll be asked to read and sing.  Sides will be provided at Call Backs. The music that will be used for all specific roles is available for you to review here.

     Eurydice Music

     Orpheus Music

     Pluto Music

     Jupiter Music

     Diana Music

     Juno Music

     Cupid and Venus Music

     Public Opinion Music

     Mars Music

     Mercury Music

Roles in Orpheus in the Underworld

      Eurydice  (soprano, 4 arias, 2 duets, high F in cadenzas, may be double cast)

      Public Opinion  (mezzo – possible countertenor)

      Venus  (soprano)

      Cupid  (soprano)

      Juno  (mezzo)

      Diana  (soprano)

      Love Police  (2 soprano soloists)

      Orpheus  (tenor)

      Aristaeus / Pluto  (tenor)

      Jupiter  (baritone)

      Mars  (bass / baritone)

      Mercury  (tenor)

      Dr. Morpheus  (tenor)
      Judges  (3 tenor / baritone / bass)


Earth dwellers, violin students, gods & goddesses, additional Love Police, hounds and cats of hell, and voices of Cerberus  (NOTE:  chorus SST parts lie very high relative to Gilbert & Sullivan choruses)

Rehearsal Schedule

Full Cast Introductory Rehearsal:  Tuesday, September 5, 2017, from 7:00 to 10:00 pm.

Chorus rehearsals begin promptly at 7:00 pm and run until 10:00 pm on Monday and Thursday nights.  The chorus will be called to rehearse on Tuesdays, as necessary.

Principal rehearsals will be scheduled by the Directors, and will generally occur, as scheduled, on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 10:00 pm and Saturday mornings from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Principals will be called on Mondays and Thursdays, as necessary.

Rehearsals are held at Lake Harriet Methodist Church, 4901 Chowen Avenue South, Minneapolis, from Tuesday, September 5th to Saturday, October 14th.

Directions – Google Map

Rehearsals will be held at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, 1900 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis from Monday, October 16 to the Thursday, October 26, 2017 Preview Performance.

Directions – Google Map

Tech Week: Sunday, October 22nd to Wednesday, October 25th, night off on Tuesday, October 24th.  Estimated call: 6:30 to 11:00 pm.

All cast will be called for the Understudy Rehearsal, Friday, October 20th.
Estimated call: 6:30 pm.

Preview Performance / Final Dress Rehearsal: Thursday, October 26th.
Estimated call: 6:30 pm.

Performance Schedule

Thursday,   October 26,                                 7:30 pm,  Preview Performance
Thursday,   November 16,                              7:30 pm,  Evening Performance
Fridays,     October 27, November 3, 10,17,   7:30 pm,  Evening Performances
Saturdays, October 28, November 4, 11,18,   7:30 pm,  Evening Performances
Saturday,   November 11,                              2:00 pm,  Matinee Performance
Sundays,   October 29, November 5, 12, 19,   2:00 pm,  Matinee Performances

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company performs at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, 1900 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis.


We intend for casting to be completed by Monday, June 5th.  We will call those being offered principal roles first.  They are given a limited amount of time to accept or decline the offer before the offer will go to the next candidate.  After the principal roles have been filled, those being offered chorus roles will be called.  Finally, we will notify via email those whom we are unable to cast.  This process usually takes about two weeks, but everyone who auditions will be called or notified via email.

To Schedule an Audition

We are scheduling auditions now with everyone scheduled for a specific audition date and time. If you would like to schedule an audition, you may do so on our Orpheus and Pirates Audition Sign-Up page.

If you would like to receive direct notification for our future auditions, please sign up for our audition mailing list.

Auditions for The Pirates of Penzance Concert Performance

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company will present a concert version of The Pirates of Penzance with Jere Lantz and the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra, at the Lake Harriet Bandshell on Saturday, July 15th, at 7:30 pm and Sunday, July 16th, 5:30 pm.

Auditions for the principal roles for this concert will take place at the same time as auditions for Orpheus in the Underworld.  

The principal roles in this concert performance are reserved for those who have performed with the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company in one of our regular main stage shows.

Those who are auditioning for Orpheus in the Underworld and have not performed with us in one of our regular main stage shows are welcome to express an interest in singing in the chorus in the concert.  Chorus roles will be cast depending on available open positions.

Rehearsal Schedule

Rehearsals are held at Lake Harriet Methodist Church, 4901 Chowen Avenue South, Minneapolis.

Monday,    June 19th   7:30 – 10:00 pm  (Chorus)
Tuesday,    June 20th   7:30 – 10:00 pm  (Principals)
Thursday,  June 22nd   7:30 – 10:00 pm  (Chorus)
Monday,    June 26th   7:30 – 10:00 pm  (Chorus)
Tuesday,    June 27th   7:30 – 10:00 pm  (Principals)
Thursday,  June 29th   7:30 – 10:00 pm  (Chorus)
Monday,     July 10th   7:30 – 10:00 pm  (Chorus)
Tuesday,     July 11th   7:30 – 10:00 pm  (Principals)
Thursday,   July 13th   7:30 – 10:00 pm  (Full Cast)

Dress Rehearsal will be held at the Augsburg College Music Hall, 2200 S 7 1/2 Street, Minneapolis.

Saturday,  July 15th  9:30 am – 12:00 pm  (Full Cast)

Performance Schedule

Performances are at the Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis.

Saturday,  July 15th  7:30 – 9:00 pm
Sunday,     July 16th  5:30 – 7:00 pm

“They sing so nicely too!”

—Lady Blanche
Princess Ida