2024 Rain Dance Auditions

AUDITION INFORMATION FOR

 

Auditions, by appointment only, 1pm to 7pm:
In person October 14-15, 21-22; On Zoom October 16-20
Performances tentatively late March, 2024

 

Click HERE for a synopsis of the opera with music and a detailed description of the solo roles
Download an auditions flyer
To receive future audition and performance notices, sign up on the NCFO mailing list HERE.

Everyone age 7 or older who wishes to perform is accepted*, but...
We need to hear you sing for casting and voice part assignments, so...

Please schedule a time to sing for us, as follows:
EITHER email auditions24@familyopera.org
OR call 617-835-3162.

Your audition will take 30-60 minutes and will include:

  • a vocal evaluation,
  • completing and confirming information you will have filled out online, and
  • having your picture taken.

​​* Please note that children under 10 require a participating adult.

AUDITION SUMMARY

This year we are offering both in-person as well as virtual (Zoom) auditions.
Please note that in-person auditions are preferred, especially for:
- new members, and
- anyone interested in a more major role.

  • In-person auditions are at 23 Norris Street, Cambridge
    • 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM, October 14-15, 21-22, 2023 (Saturday and Sunday), by appointment
    • Please take a COVID rapid test before in-person auditions, or wear a mask
  • Virtual auditions are online, by appointment, October 16-20, 2023
  • Before you come, you will be asked to fill in an online Google Form for your contact information and volunteer interests.
  • Everyone should come prepared to
    • be photographed
    • sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and "Row, Row, Row Your Boat"
    • sing the Harmony Audition (Lower Lioness) material provided below IF you're interested in a more challenging close harmony ensemble
    • sing the Harmony Audition (Lower Lioness) AND the Solo Audition material provided below IF you're interested in a lead role
  • Adults should also come prepared to
    • discuss your family's schedule from November through March, so that we can flag potential conflicts
    • discuss the online information and volunteer forms you filled out prior to your audition
    • make a voluntary contribution to NCFO if you like (your contribution won't affect our casting decisions).

AUDITION DETAILS​​

 

WHO CAN AUDITION

  • Anyone currently 7 or older can participate, from children to adults, inexperienced to classically trained. There is no maximum age. Everyone gets in!
  • 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, on a case-by-case basis.
  • The aforementioned adult needn't be the child's parent, and can be responsible for more than one child if they like.

FAMILY PARTICIPATION AND VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS

  • We ENCOURAGE participation in our productions by multiple family members, both onstage and offstage.
  • We REQUIRE that all cast member families contribute a minimum of 8 hours of work on tasks that support the production (set construction, painting, rehearsal cleanup, concession table, sewing costumes, ushering, makeup, backstage, etc.)
  • We are ALWAYS LOOKING for
    • people with an organizational flair to assume leadership roles making the opera company function (e.g., publicity and marketing, logistics, fundraising and development, etc.) and
    • people with a creative flair to help bring this production to life (singing, stage direction, sets and scenery design, props, lighting, costumes, etc.)

We will ask you to sign up for a job at auditions. You can download a description of all available jobs HERE. Please come with more than one job in mind. If you have strong preferences for a particular job, let Emilija know 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 ($200 to $250 per family is typical), if you enjoy being part of our production or attending our performances.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

  • NOVEMBER 5 or 12 (Sunday) - organizational meeting (tentatively at 3:00pm). VERY IMPORTANT for everyone in the cast to attend, including at least one responsible adult from every family.
  • NOVEMBER 12 or 19 through FEBRUARY 24 - regular rehearsals every Sunday 12:30-6:30* EXCEPT:
    • just after Thanksgiving (Sunday, November 26)
    • the two weeks before Christmas (Sunday, December 17 and 24)
    • New Year's Eve (Sunday December 31)
    • President's Day weekend (Sunday, February 18)
  • We WILL be rehearsing on Martin Luther King Day weekend (Sunday, January 14), as well as the second Sunday of school vacation week (Sunday, February 25).
  • March 2, 3, 9, and 10 - Runthrough rehearsals and dress rehearsals (MANDATORY - this is where everything comes together)
  • March 16, 17, 23, and 24 - Performances (two each day, with each cast member scheduled for one performance on each day)

*The entire company rehearses from 4:30 to 6:30. Those who are in small choruses will occasionally be called between 2:30 and 4:30. Major soloists may be scheduled to rehearse at any time between 12:30 and 6:30, and minor soloists will also be called early at one or two rehearsals. Precise schedule depends on who is available and what needs work and is announced a few days before each Sunday rehearsal.

Check your family's schedule before accepting a role in this show. Your availability may affect our ability to cast you.

PREPARING FOR THE VOCAL AUDITION

Ordinarily, all family members who want to perform in our show audition at the same time. The vocal audition will consist of:

  • a set of vocalization exercises to warm you up
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star in a number of different keys (or some other song if your prefer), and
  • maybe also Row, Row, Row Your Boat, sung as a round.
  • If you want to be considered for one of the larger solo roles or ensembles, you must also prepare the music provided below:
    • If you are interested in being in a more challenging small ensemble (i.e., Leverets, Lionesses) in addition to the main chorus, please practice and come prepared to sing the LOWER LIONESS passage
    • If you wish to audition for one of the larger solo roles, please come prepared to sing the LOWER LIONESS passage and one the four solo songs below. It doesn't matter which one, just choose one you're most comfortable singing (your choice won't affect our casting decisions).
    • It is VERY important to practice with all of the MP3s, for both the LOWER LIONESS passage and your chosen solo song, particularly the ones that will be played when you audition.

We will evaluate you on all aspects of the song you sing in audition, including intonation, rhythmic precision, dramatic presentation of the character, and ability to sing harmony, so please work on each of these aspects. We will make an audio recording of a portion of your audition and sometimes a video to help us with casting.

AUDITION MATERIALS

Those not aspiring to a large solo or a small ensemble don't need to prepare anything to sing.

HARMONY AUDITION For those who wish to be considered for a small ensemble (Leverets or Lionesses):

LOWER LIONESS passage from "Wear the Crown" (for those interested in large solos or small ensembles):
See the score
Hear the passage with all voice parts sung
Hear the song with your part sung
Hear the song without your part sung
Hear what will be played when you audition

SOLO AUDITION Songs for those interested in a large solo (select ONLY one, and also learn the LOWER LIONESS HARMONY AUDITION passage above):

Dad's in Trouble (soprano), a dramatic passage in which Mandisa, Roli's wise and loving wife and mother of his leverets, passionately persuades Roli to confront Tau
See the score
Hear the passage with all voice parts sung
Hear the song with your part sung
Hear the song without your part sung
Hear what will be played when you audition

Running with Mr. Hare (mezzo), a rollicking jig, sung by Roli the brilliant but reclusive hare with energy and cockiness
See the score
Hear the passage with all voice parts sung
Hear the song with your part sung*
Hear the song without your part sung
Hear what will be played when you audition
     *Don't worry that Roli's part is sung by a different voice in measures 281-284. What you are hearing is correct.

Wear the Crown (tenor or high bari), Tau the Lion's diabolical aria, demonstrating his smooth, evil, manipulative nature, rapidly changing emotions, and vocal range
See the score
Hear the passage with all voice parts sung
Hear the song with your part sung
Hear the song without your part sung
Hear what will be played when you audition

The Eyes of Old Age (low bari or alto, sung an octave up), a gentle ballad sung warmly and beautifully by Koni the kindly, old, and very wise rhino.
See the score
Hear the passage with your part sung
Hear what will be played when you audition

Please report any incorrect links to David@FamilyOpera.org.

A NOTE ON CASTING

We put a great deal of thought into casting the opera. Usually we double cast each role, so each soloist sings in four of the eight performances. So far we have been able to give everyone who wants one a solo in each of our productions, and we hope to continue this tradition, but 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 will 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 (particularly Roli, Mandisa, Johnny and Jackie, and the Lionesses) unless you have demonstrated the ability to do so in audition (to do otherwise would not be fair to the other ensemble members).

PRELIMINARY RESPIRATORY DISEASE PROTOCOL FOR REHEARSALS

Safety is our first concern. We are quite aware that singing is one of the easiest ways to spread respiratory illnesses. This is our current policy:
- We require all participants to be up to date on their vaccinations, per the CDC. See their website HERE for the latest on what this means.
- We will be requiring KN95 or equivalent masks for rehearsals as conditions warrant. The rehearsal studio is well-ventilated with large fans.
- We also ask that members be symptom-free to attend rehearsals.
- We have a committee that will be evaluating the prevalent risks of COVID, flu and other communicable illnesses in the community on a regular basis and will advise us.
- We will all have to be flexible in order to ensure that we maintain a safe environment.