Auditions for The Pirates of Penzance
The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company will hold auditions for its fall 2022 production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance on a Saturday, June 18th, from 3:00 to 7:00 pm, Sunday, June 19th, from 5:00 to 9:00 pm, and Monday, June 20th, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm.
Auditions will be held at Lake Harriet Methodist Church, at 4901 South Chowen Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55410.
This production will be directed by Gary Briggle, with Music Direction by Dr. Randal Buikema.
The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company presents its shows at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, 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.
You may sign up for an audition HERE.
COVID-19 – Auditions, Casting, Potential for Postponement
Those conducting auditions will be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
All those auditioning must be vaccinated for COVID-19, including at least one booster. Documentation will be required upon submission for an audition appointment.
We will have a COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan in place for this production, including our expectations for testing, masking, quarantining, etc. These protocols will be updated in the late summer based on conditions this fall
Our being able to stage The Pirates of Penzance will depend on that status of the COVID-19 pandemic by early September 2022 and whether the State of Minnesota will allow for theater productions to take place, without masks and social distancing for the cast. If conditions do not allow for this and/or if State restrictions are still in place, the production will likely be postponed until the fall of 2023.
The Pirates of Penzance
The Pirates of Penzance is one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular operettas and tells the story of Frederic, who was apprenticed as a child, to a band of pirates by his nurse who, being hard of hearing, had mistaken her master’s instructions, apprenticing the boy to a “pirate” instead of a “pilot.” Upon completing his 21st year, Frederic rejoices that he has fulfilled his indentures and is free to return to respectable society. It turns out, however, that he was born on February 29th in leap year, and he remains apprenticed to the pirates until his 21st birthday … several decades in the future. By the end of the opera, the pirates, a Major General who knows nothing of military strategy, his large family of beautiful daughters, and the timid constabulary all contribute to a delightful cacophony that can be silenced only by Queen Victoria’s name.
Roles in The Pirates of Penzance
|Major-General Stanley||(comic baritone)|
|The Pirate King,||(bass – baritone)|
|Frederic, a Pirate apprentice||(tenor)|
|Samuel, the Pirate King’s lieutenant||(baritone)|
|Sergeant of Police||(bass)|
|Mabel, Major-General Stanley’s daughter||(soprano)|
|Ruth, a piratical maid of all work||(mezzo – contralto)|
|Edith, Major-General Stanley’s daughter||(mezzo)|
|Kate, Major-General Stanley’s daughter||(mezzo)|
|Isabel, Major-General Stanley’s daughter||(speaking role / chorus)|
Major-General Stanley’s daughters, the daughter’s chaperones, pirates, police
All principal roles for the production will be cast through these auditions. No principal roles are pre-cast.
While approximately a third 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.
When you submit for an audition appointment, you will be prompted to submit your performance resume as well as your head shot or another good photo of yourself.
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 to the Directors.
You may sign up for an audition HERE.
Most of those being considered for a named role in the production will be asked to return to Call Backs, which will be held on the Monday, June 20th starting at 8:00 pm. You will be notified via email on Sunday, June 19th, after auditions have been completed, if you are being called back.
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 and sides that will be used for specific roles will be available on this page in the near future.
Ensemble rehearsals begin promptly at 7:00 pm and will run no later than 10:00 pm on Monday and Thursday nights. While most ensemble rehearsals will be scheduled on Monday and Thursday nights, the ensemble may occasionally be called on Tuesday nights and/or on Saturday mornings between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm.
Most principal rehearsals will be 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 8, 2022 to Saturday, October 29, 2022.
Rehearsals will be held at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, 1900 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis, from Monday October 31, 2022 to the Thursday, November 3, 2022 Preview Performance.
Two Potential Performance Schedules
The dates that the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, the theater where the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company performs, will be available are still to be determined.
As a result, there are currently two different scheduling options for the production. Those cast in the production must be prepared to commit to either option.
With both potential options, rehearsals start on the same day, Tuesday September 8, 2022 and the final performance is on the same day, Sunday, November 20, 2022.
Currently Planned Performance Schedule
Performances will take place with a 11-show production schedule, including the Preview Performance. This schedule includes the option of adding a 12th performance on Thursday, November 17th, if there is sufficient audience demand.
The performance schedule is as follows:
Thursday, November 3, 7:30 pm, Preview Performance
Fridays, November 4, 11, 18, 7:30 pm, Evening Performances
Saturdays, November 5, 12, 19, 7:30 pm, Evening Performances
Saturdays, November 12, 2:00 pm, Matinee Performance
Sundays, November 6, 13, 20, 2:00 pm, Matinee Performances
Potential Additional Performance (depending on audience demand):
Thursday, November 17, 7:30 pm, Evening Performance
Potential Performance Schedule
Performances will take place with a 15-show production schedule, including the Preview Performance, which is as follows:
The performance schedule is as follows:
Thursday, October 27, 7:30 pm, Preview Performance
Fridays, October 28, November 4, 11, 18, 7:30 pm, Evening Performances
Saturdays, October 29, November 5, 12, 19, 7:30 pm, Evening Performances
Saturdays, November 5, 12, 2:00 pm, Matinee Performances
Sundays, October 30, November 6, 13, 20, 2:00 pm, Matinee Performances
We intend for casting to be completed by June 26, 2022.
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 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.
Sign Up to Be Notified About Auditions
If you would like to receive direct notification for our auditions in the future, please sign up for our audition mailing list.