“Can you sing?”

—Sir Joseph Porter
H.M.S. Pinafore

Auditions

Auditions for Utopia, Limited

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company will hold auditions for its March 2024 production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Utopia, Limited on Saturday, December 2, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm and Sunday, December 3, 2023, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. 

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

This production will be directed by Maureen Kane Berg, 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.

You can sign up for an audition appointment now.  To sigh up click here.

Utopia, Limited

Our revised version of Utopia, Limited takes place on an idyllic island, the inhabitants of which are of British descent, people whose great-great-great-grandparents had arrived to settle the uninhabited island over a century ago. During the years before the story takes place, Utopia has developed into an independent nation, which has recently renewed its relations with Britain.

Princess Zara returns to Utopia, after having completed her studies at Cambridge University’s Girton College, with a plan to free her father from the machinations of the two judges of the Utopian Supreme Court, by remodeling Utopia’s government. While Princess Zara’s reforms appear to be successful, are they, perhaps, too successful?

Utopia, Limited is satire aimed at corporate structure and greed, as well as governmental structures and party politics. It is also a unique Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, in which the driving force of the action is a college educated woman, Princess Zara, who takes it upon herself to reform her nation’s governmental and societal structures for the better. Princess Zara and her fiancé aren’t the typical operetta hero and heroine, struggling to be together, but already have a loving, mutually respectful relationship. In addition, Princess Zara’s two sisters are encouraged to reject the restrictive rules by which they’ve lived their lives and to be themselves. In these ways, Utopia, Limited is a remarkably progressive story, with a very contemporary message.

Our company has revised Utopia, Limited to address the various concerns with the original script. We encourage you to read about our revisions on our website’s Utopia, Limited Revised page and to review the revised script.

Roles in Utopia, Limited

Principals

King Nigel Paramount the Fifth,   King of Utopia (baritone)

Colin Phantis,   Judge of the Utopian Supreme Court (comic baritone)

Henry Scaphio,   Judge of the Utopian Supreme Court (comic baritone)

Thomas Tarara,   The Public Exploder (comic baritone)

Captain Fitzbattleaxe,   of the First Life Guards (tenor)

Captain Sir Edward Corcoran, KCB,   of the Royal Navy (baritone / bass)

Mr. Goldbury,   a Company Promoter (baritone)

Sir Bailey Barre,   an attorney (tenor)

The Princess Zara,   eldest daughter of King Paramount (soprano)

The Princess Natasha,   younger daughter of King Paramount (soprano)

The Princess Katherine,    younger daughter of King Paramount (mezzo-soprano),

The Lady Sophy,   Natasha and Katherine’s English Governess (contralto)

Mrs. Blushington,   of the County Council (mezzo-soprano)

Phyllis,  Utopian courtier (soprano)

Sarah,   Utopian courtier (speaking)

Margaret,   Utopian courtier (speaking)

Ensemble

Utopian courtiers, First Life Guards

Casting

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.

Covid-19 Vaccination Requirements and the Company’s Covid-19 Health and Safety Plan

In order to better ensure the health and safety of all participants in our production, we require all those auditioning to provide proof that they have received either the Fall 2022 bivalent or the Fall 2023 monovalent Covid-19 boosters. Those cast who have not had the Fall 2023 monovalent booster vaccination must do so and provide proof that they have done so by Friday, January 5, 2024, or they will be cut from the cast.

Those conducting auditions will have received the Fall 2023 monovalent Covid-19 booster vaccination.

The company’s current Covid-19 Health and Safety Plan can be viewed on our website. These protocols will be updated in the weeks again, based on CDC recommendations, and anticipated conditions for the winter and spring.

To Audition

You will sign up online to audition using a link that will be provided here in early November 2023.

When you submit for an audition appointment, you will be prompted to submit your performance resume, your head shot or another good photo of yourself, and proof you’ve received the bivalent Covid-19 booster vaccination, all 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.

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, December 4, 2023, starting at 7:00 pm. All those who will be called back will be notified via email on Sunday, December 3, 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.

Notification

We intend for casting to be completed by Monday, December 18, 2023.

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

Rehearsals are held on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, from 7:00 pm to 10:00 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 some Tuesdays and Saturdays.

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 are held at a venue to be determined, from Monday, January 8, 2024 to Saturday, February 17, 2023.

Rehearsals will be held at the Conn Theater, 1900 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis, from Monday February 19, 2023 to the Thursday, February 29, 2023 Preview Performance.

Directions – Google Map

Performance Schedule

Performances will take place with a 14 show production schedule, including the Preview Performance.

The performance schedule is as follows:

Thursday, February 29, 7:30 pm, Preview Performance
Fridays, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 7:30 pm, Evening Performances
Saturdays, March 2, 9, 16, 23, 7:30 pm, Evening Performances
Saturday, March 16, 2:00 pm, Matinee Performance
Sundays, March 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, please sign up for our audition mailing list.

“They sing so nicely too!”

—Lady Blanche
Princess Ida