2019 Space Opera Auditions Information

2019 AUDITION INFORMATION:
PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE PAGE

 
 

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This light-hearted galactic odyssey by NCFO Founder and Artistic Director David Bass is based on a familiar science fiction tale of heroes and villains, robots and aliens, unlikely adventures and supernatural nonsense. Space Opera is non-stop singing and non-stop action in two acts and features lyrical music in a variety of popular and classical styles that will appeal to audiences of all ages. Presented by an inter-generational cast in English with side titles.
[CLICK HERE TO READ A FULL SYNOPSIS]
[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD AN AUDITION FLYER]

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

PERFORMERS: Everyone who wishes to perform needs to schedule an audition! The audition process includes the vocal evaluation as well as time to fill out forms, be photographed, and discuss schedules and volunteer job requirements.

NON-PERFORMERS: If you would like to be involved in some capacity other than as a performer, we welcome people who would like to experience other aspects of our production. Opportunities are available in areas such as set construction, ushering, makeup and backstage! If interested, contact auditions19@familyopera.org or call 617-835-3162.

FAMILIES OF PERFORMERS: PLEASE NOTE that every family must sign up for a volunteer job at the time of auditions. In order to be prepared to choose a job, please read through this entire web-page, especially the section entitled FAMILY PARTICIPATION AND WORK REQUIREMENTS below.

WHEN

Saturday and Sunday October 13 and 14, 2018
Saturday and Sunday October 20 and 21, 2018
Auditions will be scheduled at 15-20 minute intervals from 1:00 PM until 7:00 PM.

WHERE

23 Norris Street
Cambridge, MA 02140
[CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS]

TO SCHEDULE AN AUDITION AND FOR MORE INFORMATION

Email auditions19@familyopera.org or
call 617-835-3162.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

The entire audition process (which includes filling out forms, photographing, and discussing the schedule and participants' responsibilities, as well as the vocal evaluation) usually takes about an hour and a half.

AGE REQUIREMENT

Anyone currently 7 or older can participate, from children to adults, inexperienced to classically trained. There is no maximum age.

We ENCOURAGE participation in our productions by multiple family members, both onstage and offstage.

We REQUIRE that:

  • an adult perform onstage with all children currently younger than 10
  • an adult attend rehearsals with all children currently younger than 12

We may also ask that an adult perform or attend rehearsals with some children above these age limits.

FAMILY PARTICIPATION AND WORK REQUIREMENTS

We ask all cast member families to help in the following ways:

  • We require all participating families to sign up for a minimum of 8 hours of work on general tasks that support the production (set construction, painting, rehearsal cleanup, concession table, sewing costumes, etc.).
  • Participants may sign up to manage a specific task for the production (time commitment varies).
  • Participants may sign up to join an NCFO standing committee, working on issues not related solely to the current production (e.g., fundraising and development, publicity and marketing, logistics, etc.)

When you come to auditions, we will ask you to tell us what jobs you would be willing to do. You can download a description of all available jobs HERE. Please come with more than one job in mind. You can improve your chances of getting the job you want by discussing it with the auditions manager beforehand, when you schedule your audition.

DONATION AND FEES

NCFO is a self-supporting non-profit organization. We do not charge a fee for participating in our production, nor do we charge admission to our performances. We gratefully accept voluntary, tax-deductible donations to help cover our production costs. Please consider donating to North Cambridge Family Opera, in any amount, if you enjoy being part of our production or attending our performances.

WHAT TO BRING TO AUDITIONS

Please bring information about your schedule (and/or your family's schedule) for November through early April, so that we can discuss potential conflicts.

Also, please bring your checkbook, in case you would like to make a donation to the opera company at auditions, before it slips your mind.

Come prepared to be photographed.

REHEARSAL AND SCHEDULE INFORMATION

We will hold an organizational meeting and first rehearsal on SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11 (tentatively at 3:00pm). It is extremely important for everyone in the cast as well as for at least one responsible adult from every family to attend this meeting. Regular rehearsals begin (tentatively) on SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2. We then rehearse every subsequent Sunday until performances EXCEPT:

  • Christmas Eve eve (Sunday, December 23)
  • Bowl Game Weekend (Sunday, December 30)
  • President's Day weekend (Sunday, February 17)

Please note that we WILL be rehearsing on Martin Luther King Day weekend (Sunday, January 20), as well as the second Sunday of school vacation week (Sunday, February 24).

The ENTIRE CAST rehearses on Sunday afternoons. The entire company rehearses from about 4:00 to 6:30. In addition, some members of the chorus are also in small ensembles, which rehearse between 2:30 and 4:00 (which of the several small ensembles that rehearse in this time window will vary from week to week). Major soloists may be scheduled to rehearse at any time between 12:30 and 6:30 every week, and minor soloists will also be called to rehearse early at one or two rehearsals. We always end all rehearsals on time at 6:30. We try to plan and publish a rehearsal schedule for each month, but things change from week to week. We send emails with the final schedule, usually the Friday before each Sunday rehearsal.

On very rare occasions, we may require major and some minor soloists to rehearse on a weekday evening or two as well, but we're not expecting the need for this to arise.

Final rehearsal and performance schedule (tentative):

Runthrough Rehearsals March 16 and 17
Dress Rehearsals March 23 and 24
Performances March 30 and 31, April 6 and 7

 

ALL CAST MEMBERS must attend scheduled runthrough rehearsals (tentatively scheduled for Saturday, March 16 and Sunday, March 17, 2019) and dress rehearsals (Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24, 2019); therefore it is important to check your family's schedule before accepting a role in this show. You will be scheduled for two 4-hour runthroughs (one on Saturday and one on Sunday) and two 4-hour dress rehearsals (one on Saturday and one on Sunday) on these very important weekends. These are the rehearsals where everything comes together and many things get changed, so it is critical to be there!

Tentatively, two performances a day are scheduled for March 30 and 31 and for April 6 and 7, with each cast member scheduled for four of these eight performances (ordinarily one per day). However, this schedule may be modified pending availability of the venue and number of participants.

RUNNING TIME

This opera will run about 120 minutes in performance, plus a 20-minute intermission.

PREPARING FOR THE VOCAL AUDITION

The vocal audition is easy and low-key: our musical director will:

  1. lead you through a set of vocalization exercises
  2. probably listen to you sing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (or some other song you are comfortable with singing)
  3. have you sing any music you may have prepared for solo roles or close harmony ensembles

Ordinarily, all family members who want to perform in our show audition at the same time. We will make an audio recording of a portion of your audition to help us with casting. If you are auditioning for a lead role, we will make a video recording of your prepared solo (see below) so that we can evaluate both your singing and your acting abilities.

If you wish to be considered for one of the principal roles, please come prepared to sing the music provided. The printed and recorded music to audition for lead roles is available for download in the AUDITION MATERIALS section below, or can be obtained from:

You don't have to decide which role to sing for: how we cast you will not depend on which song you sing, so just choose the song(s) that fit well in your range. Please do NOT ask the director what role you or your child should try out for, as it really doesn't matter.

If you are not auditioning for a lead role but are interested in a small, elite chorus, you should learn a short passage (see below) to demonstrate your skill at singing harmony.  Even if you are not interested in a close harmony ensemble, it would be helpful for my casting efforts if you could learn and sing this passage to show me your abilitiy to sing harmony, but it is not required. If you do not want a lead solo or to be in a close harmony ensemble, you don't need to prepare anything to sing.

CASTING

We put a great deal of thought into casting the opera. We double cast each role, so each soloist sings in four of the eight performances. We often are able to give everyone who wants one a solo, although we cannot guarantee it. There is always a lot of singing to do in the chorus and in smaller ensembles, though.

Because our shows are double cast, we must divide participants into two casts before final role assignments can be made. It may be a month or two before you find out your solo assignment, so please be patient.

We endeavor to assign solos that will challenge you but not overwhelm you. We consider not only ability to sing, act and dance the role, but also age, number of years participating in the opera, and roles sung in previous NCFO operas. We will not assign you a solo role that requires you to sing harmony (see the table below) unless you have demonstrated the ability to do so in audition (to do otherwise would not be fair to the other ensemble members).

AUDITION MATERIALS

If you want to be considered for one of the larger solo roles: you MUST prepare using the sheet music and MP3s provided below. You can audition with the music for any voice part. You will be asked to sing two songs, a solo with just the accompaniment and an ensemble piece with other voices singing as well. It is therefore important that you practice with both the provided MP3s that will be played at your audition.

If you are not interested in one of the larger roles, but would like to be considered for a close harmony ensemble, or if you would just like to have fun demonstrating your harmony skills (which I appreciate, helps me with casting), you may sing "Oh Dear 2" (under "Materials for Harmony Auditions" below).

All other auditions require no preparation.

 

Materials for Principal Solo Auditions

Sopranos - Sing Luke in "Tatooine" (Luke is a moody teenager stuck in a boring life at home)
                 ALSO sing Han's part in bars 37-58 of "Alderaan" (show your ability to sing patter and harmony)
     For Tatooine:
          See the score
          Hear Tatooine with Luke singing
          Hear Tatooine without Luke singing (this is what will be played at your audition)
     For Alderaan:
          See the score
          Hear bars 34-58 with Han singing
          Hear bars 34-58 with just the orchestra
          Hear bars 34-58 with all voices
          Hear bars 34-58 with all voices except Han (this is what will be played at your audition)

Mezzo Sopranos, High Altos - Sing bars 16-40 of "Jabba Jive" (You are a charicature of a crime boss)
                 ALSO sing Han's part in bars 37-58 of "Alderaan" (show your ability to sing patter and harmony)
     For Jabba Jive:
          See the score
          Hear bars 16-40 with Jabba singing
          Hear bars 16-40 with just the orchestra (this is what will be played at your audition)
     For Alderaan:
          See the score
          Hear bars 34-58 with Han singing
          Hear bars 34-58 with just the orchestra
          Hear bars 34-58 with all voices
          Hear bars 34-58 with all voices except Han (this is what will be played at your audition)

Tenors and Low Altos  - Sing bars 24-60 of Obi-Wan's part in "Anakin" - Ben is haunted by tragedies in his past
                 ALSO sing Obi-Wan's part in bars 37-58 of "Alderaan" (show your ability to sing patter and harmony)
     For Anakin:
          See the score
          Hear the passage with just Obi-Wan's part sung
          Hear the passage with just the orchestra playing (this is what will be played at your audition)
     For Alderaan:
          See the score
          Hear bars 34-58 with Obi-Wan singing
          Hear bars 34-58 with just the orchestra
          Hear bars 34-58 with all voices
          Hear bars 34-58 with all voices except Obi-Wan (this is what will be played at your audition)


Basses and Baritones - Sing bars 14-43 of "The Battle II" - Vader emotions run the gamut as his evil
                 intentions are upset by forces beyond his control.
                 ALSO sing the chorus bass part in bars 46-56 of "Oh Dear 2" (focus on precision)
                 NOTE: If "The Battle II" is a little high for you, you can sing "Jabba Jive" down an octave instead.
                             See music for Mezzo Sopranos, High Altos above.
     For The Battle II:
          See the score
          Hear the passage with Vader singing
          Hear the passage without Vader singing (this is what will be played at your audition)
     For Oh Dear 2:
          See the score
          Hear bars 46-56 with just the bass part sung
          Hear bars 46-56 with just the orchestra
          Hear bars 46-56 with all parts sung
          Hear bars 46-56 with all voices except bass (this is what will be played at your audition)

 

Materials for Harmony Auditions ("Oh Dear 2")

Soprano
     See the score
     Hear bars 46-56 with just C-3PO's part sung
     Hear bars 46-56 with just the orchestra
     Hear bars 46-56 with all parts sung
     Hear bars 46-56 with all voices except C-3PO (this is what will be played at your audition)

Alto
     See the score
     Hear bars 46-56 with just C-3PO's part sung
     Hear bars 46-56 with just the orchestra
     Hear bars 46-56 with all parts sung
     Hear bars 46-56 with all voices except C-3PO (this is what will be played at your audition)

Tenor
     See the score
     Hear bars 46-56 with just the tenor part sung
     Hear bars 46-56 with just the orchestra
     Hear bars 46-56 with all parts sung
     Hear bars 46-56 with all voices except tenor (this is what will be played at your audition)


Bass
     See the score
     Hear bars 46-56 with just the bass part sung
     Hear bars 46-56 with just the orchestra
     Hear bars 46-56 with all parts sung
     Hear bars 46-56 with all voices except bass (this is what will be played at your audition)

 

Principal solo roles are listed below. All ranges span at least one but no more than two octaves.
Voice parts and ranges are moving targets. Notes can be changed and passages transposed as required.
"Harmony" refers to singing harmony as a soloist in a small ensemble. (All choruses sing harmony.)
As indicated, many suggested voice parts can optionally be sung up or down an octave.

In addition, there are 35 supporting solos. There should be plenty of solo opportunities for everyone.