Auditions for The McAdo

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company will hold auditions for its November 2024 production of a new adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, revised and retitled The McAdo, on Saturday, June 22, 2023, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm and Sunday, June 23, 2023, from 12:00 to 3:00 pm.

Auditions will be held at the Golden Valley East office building, at 820 Lilac Drive North, in Golden Valley. Please park in the West Lot and enter the building through the building’s main doors.

This production will be directed by Joe Andrews, with Music Direction by Dr. Randal Buikema.

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company presents its shows at the Conn Theater, 1900 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403.

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company welcomes and strongly encourages people of all races, identities, and backgrounds to audition. We believe that our shows are brought to life when the stories unfold onstage within a fully realized community, with both lead and chorus characters having distinct identities and relationships.

The opportunity to sign up for auditions will be provided here in late May 2024.

The McAdo

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company will present a new adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, revised and retitled The McAdo, for four weekends, in November 2024. This reimagined version of the show, graciously shared with us by Gilbert & Sullivan Austin, is set in the highlands of Scotland.

Lanky Doug, a strolling minstrel, arrives in the Scottish town of Ballydew, seeking to marry the beautiful Wynn Somme. He learns, however, that Wynn Somme is already engaged to Coco, a cheap tailor, who has been unexpectedly raised the rank of Lord High Executioner. Heartbroken, Lanky Doug contemplates suicide. In the meantime, Coco is unable to find someone to execute, as he must do, before the arrival of the clan Laird, the McAdo. Coco hits on a plan that will solve both of their problems. He will offer Lanky Doug a month of marriage to Wynn Somme if Lanky Doug allows Coco to execute him at the end of that month. What Coco doesn’t realize is that Lanky Doug is the son of The McAdo and has run away to avoid marriage to the bloodthirsty Katishagh. The arrival of The McAdo complicates matters, but ultimately brings the story to a delightful, satisfying conclusion.

For this upcoming production, the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company owes an extraordinary debt of gratitude to the members of Gilbert & Sullivan Austin, who invited and strongly encouraged the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company to produce its reimagined version of the operetta, set in Scotland. Surprisingly few changes to Gilbert’s libretto and Sullivan’s score were necessary to transport the story to Scotland. The fact that it is possible to transport this operetta from its original to a new setting speaks to the underlining universality of the piece as a delightful commentary on human folly and isn’t tied to one fictional local or another.

For a fuller discussion about this and previous revisions to The Mikado, we invite you to read our full presentation on The Mikado Revised page of our website.

Roles in The McAdo


     The McAdo, Laird of the McAdo Clan (bass)

     Lanky Doug, His son, disguised as a wandering minstrel (tenor)

     Coco, Lord High Executioner of Ballydew (comic baritone)

     Pubagh, Lord High Everything Else (baritone)

     Pischtusch, a noble lord (baritone)

     Wynn Somme, ward of Coco (soprano)

     Pretty Jean, ward of Coco (mezzo-soprano)

     Wee Jo, ward of Coco (soprano)

     Katishagh, an elderly lady, in love with Lanky Doug (mezzo-soprano, alto)


     Chorus of School-Girls, Nobles, Guards, and Scotsmen


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

In addition to casting the principal roles, the directors will cast covers (understudies) for each principal role through these auditions. These covers (understudies) will be cast as members of the chorus, but will be offered the opportunity to appear in the principal role in one performance, by mutual agreement with the person cast in the principal role.

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

All performers will be offered a stipend of $200.00.

To Audition

You will sign up online to audition at a specific time using a link that will be provided here in late May 2024.

When you submit for an audition appointment, you will be prompted to submit your performance resume and your head shot or another good photo of yourself, both of which will be required to audition, as noted above.

We prefer that you audition with a song or aria in English, but other languages are acceptable. Your selection may be an opera or operetta piece, a Gilbert and Sullivan song, 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 it to the Directors.

You will be required to demonstrate the ability to speak the dialog with a light Scottish accent.  Examples of the accent are given in the following links.

Link to woman speaking in a Scottish accent.

Link to a man speaking in a Scottish accent.

Call Backs

Call Backs will be held only if deemed necessary by the Directors. Some or all roles may be cast based on the auditions, without Call Backs.

If Call Backs are held, they will be scheduled for Monday, June 24, 2024, starting at 7:00 pm. All those who will be called back will be notified via email on Sunday, June 23, 2023, after Sunday’s auditions have been completed.

Those being called back will be notified of which role or roles they’ll be asked to read and sing. Sides will be provided at Call Backs. The music and sides that will be used for specific roles will be available on this page in the future.


We intend for casting to be completed by Monday, July 8, 2024.

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 goes to the next candidate. After the principal roles have been filled, those being offered Ensemble roles will be called. Finally, we will notify via email those whom we are unable to cast. This process may take up to two weeks, but everyone who auditions will be called or notified via email.


Rehearsals will be held at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, from Monday, September 9, 2024, to Saturday, October 19, 2024.

Rehearsals are held on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm, and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Typically, the chorus rehearses on Mondays and Thursdays. The Directors, however, may call the chorus to rehearse on Tuesdays and Saturdays as necessary.

Typically, the principals rehearse on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Principals will be added to the Monday and Thursday rehearsals, as scenes which include them are rehearsed.

All cast members must understand that they might be called and should be available all Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

All cast members are expected to attend every rehearsal to which they are called unless their absence has been approved in advance or due to illness or emergency. Those who miss more than two rehearsals may expect a reassignment of blocking and business on stage. Excessive absenteeism may result in dismissal from the cast.

Rehearsals will be held at the Conn Theater, 1900 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis, from Monday, October 21, 2024, to the Thursday, October 31, 2024 Preview Performance.

Directions – Google Map

Performance Schedule

Performances will take place with a 15-show production schedule, including the Preview Performance.

The performance schedule is as follows:

Thursday, October 31, 7:30 pm, Preview Performance
Fridays, November 1, 8, 15, 22, 7:30 pm, Evening Performances
Saturdays, November 2, 9, 16, 23, 7:30 pm, Evening Performances
Saturdays, November 9, 16, 2:00 pm, Matinee Performances
Sundays, November 3, 10, 17, 24, 2:00 pm, Matinee Performances

Attendance for Tech Week rehearsals and all performances are mandatory, except for only the most serious circumstances of illness or emergency, or in the very exceptional event that the role has been cast with the understanding that a person will be missing a specific performance. Without any exception, however, the Directors or Stage Manager must be notified by the cast member of a pending absence. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from the cast.

Sign Up to Be Notified About Auditions

If you would like to receive direct notification for our auditions when the opportunity to do so begins in late May, please sign up for our audition mailing list.