Weedpatch 2018 Auditions



AUDITIONS: October 14, 15, 21, and 22, 2017
PERFORMANCES: March 17, 18, 24, and 25, 2018


Download an audition flyer (300 DPI OR 600 DPI)



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 auditions18@familyopera.org or call 617-233-8912.

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.


Saturday and Sunday October 14 and 15, 2017
Saturday and Sunday October 21 and 22, 2017
Auditions will be scheduled at 15-20 minute intervals from 1:00 PM until 7:00 PM.


23 Norris Street
Cambridge, MA 02140


Email auditions18@familyopera.org or
call 617-233-8912.


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.


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.


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.


NCFO is a self-supporting non-profit organization. We do not charge a fee for participating in our production. In order to cover our production costs, we request a voluntary, tax-deductible donation from each family. All donations in any amount are welcome and gratefully accepted.


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.


We will hold an organizational meeting and first rehearsal on SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5 (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, NOVEMBER 12. We then rehearse every subsequent Sunday until performances EXCEPT:

  • just after Thanksgiving (Sunday, November 26)
  • Christmas Eve (Sunday, December 24)
  • New Year's Eve (Sunday, December 31)
  • President's Day weekend (Sunday, February 18)

Please note that 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).

The ENTIRE CAST rehearses on Sunday afternoons. The entire company rehearses from about 4:30 to 6:30. In addition, some members of the chorus are also in small ensembles, which rehearse between 2:30 and 4:30 (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 try very hard to 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 3 and 4
Dress Rehearsals March 10 and 11
Performances March 17 and 18, 24 and 25


ALL CAST MEMBERS must attend scheduled runthrough rehearsals (tentatively scheduled for Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4, 2018) and dress rehearsals (Saturday, March 10 and Sunday, March 11, 2018); 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 17 and 18, 24 and 25, with each cast member scheduled for four of these eight performances (usually one per day). However, this schedule may be modified pending availability of the venue and number of participants.


This opera will run about 100 minutes in performance, plus a 20-minute intermission.


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.


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).


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. Except for those singing high soprano, you will be asked to sing both with just the accompaniment and 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 demonstrate your harmony skills (helps me with casting), you may sing "Away, Far Away" (under "Materials for Harmony Auditions" below).

All other auditions require no preparation.


Materials for Principal Solo Auditions


High Sopranos - Sing Sarah's part from Act 1, Scene 2b (bars 52-71)
                             Sarah is euphoric because the new teacher thinks she sings beautifully
     See the score
     Hear bars 52-71 with just Sarah's part sung
     Hear the trio (bars 59-71) with all parts sung
     Hear bars 52-71 with all voices except Sarah (this is what will be played at your audition)

Mezzo Sopranos, High Altos - Sing bars 59-71 (the trio) of Agnes's part from Act 1, Scene 2b
                                                    Sarah's grandmother is trying to soothe her son's anger
     See the score
     Hear the trio (bars 59-71) with just Agnes's part sung
     Hear the trio (bars 59-71) with all parts sung
     Hear the trio with just the accompaniment (this is what will be played at your audition)
     Hear the trio with all voices except Agnes (this will also be played at your audition)

Tenors and Low Altos  - Sing bars 40-51 (the trio) of Leo's part from Act 1, Scene 3 - with irrational enthusiasm
     See the score
     Hear the trio (bars 40-51) with just Leo's part sung
     Hear the trio (bars 40-51) with all parts sung
     Hear the trio (bars 40-51) with just the accompaniment (this is what will be played at your audition)
     Hear the trio (bars 40-51) with all voices except Leo (this will also be played at your audition)

Basses and Baritones - Sing bars 20-34 and 59-71 (the trio) of Cal's part from Act 1, Scene 2b
                                         Cal is bitter from the misfortune which has befallen him
     See the score
     Hear the song with just Cal's part sung (bars 20-34)
     Hear the trio (bars 59-71) with all parts sung
     Hear bars 20-34 with just the accompaniment (this is what will be played at your audition)
     Hear the trio (bars 59-71) with all voices except Cal (this will also be played at your audition)


Materials for Harmony Auditions ("Away, Far Away")


     See the score
     Hear bars 119-131 with just soprano sung
     Hear bars 119-131 with all parts sung
     Hear bars 119-131 with all voices except soprano (this is what will be played at your audition)

     See the score
     Hear bars 119-131 with just alto sung
     Hear bars 119-131 with all parts sung
     Hear bars 119-131 with all voices except alto (this is what will be played at your audition)

     See the score
     Hear bars 119-131 with just tenor sung
     Hear bars 119-131 with all parts sung
     Hear bars 119-131 with all voices except tenor (this is what will be played at your audition)

     See the score
     Hear bars 119-131 with just bass sung
     Hear bars 119-131 with all parts sung
     Hear bars 119-131 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 fewer 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 or in small ensemble. All choruses sing harmony.
PLEASE NOTE: Suggested voice parts can optionally be sung up or down an octave,
so, for example, James could be sung by a mezzo rather than by a baritone

  Sarah   High Soprano A# - A Yes Multiple Scenes
  James Baritone A# - E Yes Multiple Scenes
  Cal Baritone A# - E Yes Multiple Scenes
  Agnes High Alto G# - E Yes Multiple Scenes
  Leo High Tenor C# - G# Yes Multiple Scenes
  Patty Mezzo Soprano C - E Yes Multiple Scenes
  Nora Soprano C - F# Yes Multiple Scenes
  Willy High Baritone A - G Yes Multiple Scenes
  Ruth Crawford High Alto C# -  E Yes Act II Scene 5

In addition, there are dozens of supporting solos, enough to accommodate a large cast.