“Can you sing?”

—Sir Joseph Porter
H.M.S. Pinafore

Poster design by Tom McGregor and Mary Olson, Artwork by John Atkinson Grimshaw, courtesy of Bridgeman Images

“They sing so nicely too!”

—Lady Blanche
Princess Ida


The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company will hold auditions for its February – March 2016 production of Iolanthe on Sunday, October 18, 2015, 5:00 to 9:00 pm, and Monday, October 19, 2015, 7:00 to 10:00 pm. Call Backs will be held on Tuesday, October 20, 2015, starting at 7:00 pm.

This production of Iolanthe will be directed by Joe Andrews, with Music Direction by Randy Buikema.

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

Casting …

All principal roles for the production are 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 are paid a stipend of $200.00.

To Audition …

To sign up for an audition time, please complete an Audition Form. You will be contacted via email to confirm that an audition time has been scheduled.

We ask you to bring your performance resume, if you have one. We will have everyone complete an audition form. Those with resumes, however, may simply refer to their resumes on the 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 dialogue (sides) at your audition. You will rehearse the sides privately with others auditioning and then present it to the Directors.

Call Backs …

Most of those being considered for a named role in the production will be called back on Tuesday, October 20th, starting at 7:00 pm. You will be notified that you are being called back on Monday, October 19th, although most of those notifications will occur via email after auditions are completed that evening at 10:00 pm.

You will be notified for which role or roles you’ll be asked to read and sing. If you would like to do so, you may review the dialogue and music prior to call backs here:

Chancellor Music

Chancellor Dialogue

Chancellor, Mount, Toll Dialogue

Mountararat Music

Tolloller Music

Mountararat, Tolloller Dialogue

Strephon Music

Phyllis Music

Strephon, Phyllis Dialogue

Queen Music

Iolanthe Music

All Fairies Dialogue

Willis Music

Roles in Iolanthe to be cast …

The Lord Chancellor (comic baritone)

Strephon, an Arcadian Shepherd (baritone or bari-tenor)

George, Earl of Mountararat (baritone)

Thomas, Earl Tolloller (tenor)

Private Willis, of the Grenadier Guards (bass)

Queen of the Fairies (contralto)

Phyllis, an Arcadian Shepherdess and Ward in Chancery (soprano)

Iolanthe, a Fairy, Strephon’s mother (mezzo-soprano)

Celia, a Fairy (soprano)

Leila, a Fairy (mezzo-soprano)

Fleta, a Fairy (speaking role/chorus)


Men: Chorus of Dukes, Marquises, Earls, Viscounts, Barons

Women: Chorus of Fairies, who never age

Rehearsal Schedule …

Full Cast Introductory Rehearsal: Monday, January 4, 2016, from 7:00 to 10:00 pm.

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

Principal rehearsals will be scheduled by the Directors, and will generally occur on Tuesday from 7:00 to 10:00 pm, Wednesday 7:00 to 10:00 pm, as necessary, and Saturday mornings from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. Principals will be added to the Monday and Thursday rehearsals, as necessary.

Rehearsals will be held at Lake Harriet Methodist Church, 4901 Chowen Avenue South, Minneapolis,
from January 4, 2016 to February 11, 2016.

Directions – Google Map

Rehearsals will be held at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, 1900 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis
from Monday, February 15, 2016 through the Thursday, February 25, 2016 Preview Performance.

Directions – Google Map

Tech Week: Monday, February 22, 2016 through Wednesday, February 24, 2016.
Estimated call: 6:30 to 11:00 pm.

Preview Performance / Final Dress Rehearsal: Thursday, February 25, 2016.
Estimated call: 6:30 pm.

Performance Schedule …

Thursday, February 25, 7:30 pm, Preview Performance
Fridays, February 26, March 4, 11, 18, 7:30 pm, Evening Performances
Saturdays, February 27, March 5, 12, 19, 7:30 pm, Evening Performances
Saturday, March 12, 2:00 pm, Matinee Performance
Sundays, February 28, March 6, 13, 20, 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.

Notification …

We intend for casting to be completed by Monday, November 2, 2015. 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. Everyone who auditions will be called or notified via email.

Auditions Mailing List

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