Audition Gilbert & Sullivan’s THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD


Bay Area theater Auditions

Gilbert & Sullivan’s THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD

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, with three-dimensional characters, gorgeous music, and pathos and tragedy. Many people say it’s their favorite G&S show (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 not necessary if you can sing and act the role. Yeomen is a multi-cultural production and performers of color are especially encouraged to apply. Some roles may be double-cast or understudied.

Under sentence of death and imprisoned in the Tower. Various plots to save him from execution form the plotline of the piece.

JACK POINT • Baritone
Jester. Travels/performs with Elsie Maynard; hopes to marry her. A complex character, emotionally demanding acting role

The head of the Yeomen of the Guard, an old friend of Fairfax, father of Phoebe and Leonard.

WILFRED SHADBOLT • Bass or dark baritone
Head Jailer and Assistant Tormenter. In love with Phoebe and frustrated by her infatuation with Fairfax.

Lieutenant of the Tower. Another old friend and admirer of Fairfax. Elegant, authoritative. (Pronounced “Chumley.”)

Son of Sgt. Meryll, brother of Phoebe. Small role, but sings in a very important and wonderful trio.

A traveling singer/dancer, partner of Jack Point. Sweet and innocent, somewhat passive, but with great emotional reserves.

PHOEBE MERYLL • Mezzo-Soprano
Daughter of Sergeant Meryll. Feisty, strong-willed, impetuous. In love with Fairfax; pursued by Wilfred.

Housekeeper to the Tower and a tower of strength in her own right. Straight-laced, strict, commanding.

KATE • Soprano
Dame Carruthers’ niece – chorus role with soprano line in a rather difficult a cappella quartet. Excellent intonation 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 6 to 8 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.

Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek
Friday 28th January, 2011 – 8pm
Saturday 29th January, 2011 – 2pm
Saturday 29th January, 2011 – 8pm
Sunday 30th January, 2011 – 2pm

Novellus Theater at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
Friday 4th February, 2011 – 8pm
Saturday 5th February, 2011 – 2pm
Saturday 5th February, 2011 – 8pm
Sunday 6th February, 2011 – 2pm

Bankhead Theater, Livermore
Saturday 19th February, 2011 – 8pm
Sunday 20th February, 2011 – 2pm

AUDITION DATES: Auditions will be held Sunday September 19, Monday September 20, and Tuesday September 21, from 7:00 to 10:00 PM 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 [email protected] requesting an audition appointment. Give your first and second choices of times (e.g. first choice – between 7:30 – 8:00 on Sunday; second choice – around 9:00 PM on Tuesday), and a phone number as well as your email address, 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, SEPTEMBER 26TH, 2 – 8 PM.

REHEARSALS will begin on November 15th and will be held Sunday – Thursday. A tentative schedule will be available at the auditions, and more detail will be provided as soon as available. We will take breaks for the major holidays, but will probably not be able to cast people with extensive holiday travel plans.

THE VOCAL SCORE is available at music stores (we recommend San Francisco Music Center, 207 Powell Street (2nd Floor, at O’Farrell), 415-781-6024) or online services such as J.W. Pepper or We use the G. Schirmer edition. Cost is around $15.

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.

Non-Equity; Non-AGMA; Some Pay

Stipends for leads will range from $200 – $750, depending on size and difficulty of role and whether double-cast. All chorus singers will be offered expense reimbursement up to $150 to help offset costs such as purchasing tights and footwear, voice lessons and coaching, travel and lodging, etc.


Performances January/February 2011