Performances August 2017
Gilbert & Sullivan’s THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD is perhaps the closest G&S came to writing a grand opera. While still containing much of the humor for which G&S are known, YEOMEN is essentially a serious story. For many Savoyards – G&S performers and fans alike – it is the most beloved of the pair’s operettas for its intricate, brilliant plot, three-dimensional characters, gorgeous music, pathos and tragedy. (The title “Yeomen” are the “beefeaters” who guard the Tower of London, where the show is set.)
We are looking for strong singer/actors for the following roles. Experience in Gilbert & Sullivan is not necessary if you can sing and act the role. All Lamplighter shows are multi-cultural productions and performers of all ages, races and ethnicities are encouraged to apply. Some roles may be double-cast or understudied.
COLONEL FAIRFAX • Tenor – age 30 to 35
Under sentence of death and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Various plots to save him from execution result in a web of secrets and lies, and form the plotline of the piece.
JACK POINT • Baritone – age 30-40
Jester. Travels/performs with Elsie Maynard; hopes to marry her. A complex character, emotionally demanding acting role. Must move well. His inability to speak what’s in his heart has tragic consequences.
SERGEANT MERYLL • Baritone - age 50-60
The head of the Yeomen of the Guard, an old friend of Fairfax, father of Phoebe and Leonard. He risks his children’s safety and his own to save his friend Colonel Fairfax.
WILFRED SHADBOLT • Bass or dark baritone – age 25-35
Head Jailer and Assistant Tormenter. In love with Phoebe and frustrated by her infatuation with Fairfax. He fancies himself a wit and has ambitions to become a professional humorist. Not the sharpest tack in the box.
LIEUTENANT CHOLMONDELEY • Baritone – age 40-50
Lieutenant of the Tower. Another old friend and admirer of Fairfax. Elegant, authoritative. (Pronounced “Chumley.”) He assists Fairfax in a desperate attempt at revenge for false imprisonment.
LEONARD MERYLL • Tenor – age 30 to 35
Son of Sgt. Meryll, brother of Phoebe. A hero, returning from the battlefield to join the Yeomen of the Guard. Small role, but sings in a very important and wonderful trio.
ELSIE MAYNARD • Soprano – age 18 to 21
A traveling singer/dancer, partner of Jack Point. Sweet and innocent, but with great emotional reserves. She makes a desperate choice to save her sick mother, which imperils her freedom.
PHOEBE MERYLL • Mezzo-Soprano – age 18-21
Daughter of Sergeant Meryll. Feisty, strong-willed, impetuous. In love with Fairfax; pursued by Wilfred. She will use all her talents to get what she wants.
DAME CARRUTHERS • Contralto – age 45-55
Housekeeper to the Tower and a tower of strength in her own right. Straight-laced, strict, commanding. Her affection for the Tower itself is rivaled only by her ardent feelings for Sergeant Meryll.
KATE • Soprano – age 18-21
Dame Carruthers’s niece – chorus role with soprano line in a an important a cappella quartet requiring excellent intonation. Kate keeps track of all the goings on, and can produce evidence when needed.
As with most Gilbert & Sullivan shows, the chorus is a very important part of the action, and has much stage time and wonderful music. We need 8 to 10 each sopranos, altos, tenors and basses. Chorus men are particularly needed, as there are both Yeomen and townsmen; there are a few small speaking and singing roles that will be cast from the men’s chorus. We are also looking to cast 3-5 young singer/actors between the ages of 8 and 16.
Saturday February 25 from 5:00 to 9:00 PM
Sunday February 26 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM
Monday February 27, from 7:30 to 10:00 PM
AUDITIONS ARE HELD at the Lamplighters Rehearsal Hall, 469 Bryant Street (between 2nd and 3rd Streets in the South of Market section of San Francisco).
AUDITIONS ARE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Please send an EMAIL to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting an audition appointment. Give your first and second choices of times (e.g. first choice – between 1:30 – 2:00 PM on Sunday; second choice – around 8:00 PM on Saturday), and a PHONE NUMBER IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL, so that we can contact you on the day of the audition in case of any problems. You will be notified by return email of the date and time of your audition appointment. If you do not have email, you may call 415-227-4797 between the hours of 10 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday (or leave a message) – but EMAIL COMMUNICATION IS GREATLY PREFERRED.
AUDITION FAQs: Please come to the preliminary audition with two contrasting songs in English, preferably from opera, operetta or classical music theatre, that you feel will show off your voice well. You may only be asked to sing one song. An accompanist will be provided. Bring your music in the key in which you will sing it. Also bring your headshot and resume, if you have such materials, and your calendar so that you can give us any conflicts that you may have during the rehearsal period. If you are needed for a callback, you will be notified. CALLBACKS ARE SCHEDULED FOR SUNDAY, MARCH 5, 5 - 9 PM.
(subject to change):
Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek
Friday 4th August, 2017 - 8pm
Saturday 5th August, 2017 - 2pm
Sunday 6th August, 2017 - 2pm
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts
Saturday 12th August, 2017 - 8pm
Sunday 13th August, 2017 - 2pm
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, San Francisco
Friday 18th August, 2017 - 8pm
Saturday 19th August, 2017 - 2pm
Saturday 19th August, 2017 - 8pm
Sunday 20th August, 2017 - 2pm
Bankhead Theater, Livermore
Saturday 26th August, 2017 - 8pm
Sunday 27th August, 2017 - 2pm
CD RECORDING: Please note that we have plans to make an audio recording of this production in order to make commercial CDs for sale. We are not able to offer additional compensation for these recordings – all proceeds will directly benefit the Lamplighters. Performers will be asked to sign a consent, waiver and release for participation in this recording. If a role is double-cast, the directors will determine which performer will be included in the recording.
REHEARSALS will begin in late May and are usually held Sundays – Thursdays. A tentative schedule will be available at the auditions, and more detail will be provided as soon as available. We will take breaks for major holidays, but will probably not be able to cast people with extensive travel plans.
THE VOCAL SCORE is available at music stores is available at music stores or online services such as sheetmusicplus.com. We use the G. Schirmer edition. Cost is around $20.
PLEASE NOTE: As with any period production, cast members may be required to provide special undergarments that may be necessary (e.g. women, Merry Widows; men, dance belts), as well as tights and footwear. Also, it may be necessary for men to alter or eliminate facial hair. Cast members may be asked to donate a few hours to help with costumes, sets, mailings, etc.
Stipends for leads will range from $250 - $750, depending on size and difficulty of role and whether double-cast. All chorus singers will be offered expense reimbursement up to $200 to help offset costs such as purchasing tights and footwear, voice lessons and coaching, travel and lodging, etc.