Valley Light Opera Auditions for “The Gondoliers”

Valley Light Opera announces auditions May 24, 25 and 28th for its 44th annual Fall production, Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers to be presented in the Fall of 2018 at the historic Academy of Music in Northampton, Massachusetts November 2nd, 3rd, 9th and 10th at 7:30 PM and 4th and 11th at 2:00PM.

Music Director: Aldo Fabrizi
Artistic/Stage Director: Michael O. Budnick
Choreography: Susan Edwards Dresser and Nicole Newell

All roles are open. Set in Venice and Spain, this lively and colorful work includes some of Sullivan’s most beautiful and soaring tunes along with extravagant singing and dance ensemble numbers. True to form, the operetta is also full of Gilbert’s most biting satire and hilarious wit. No one is safe and the society and government targets are still relevant to modern day. The Gondoliers is the most popular and often-performed of the Gilbert and Sullivan comic operettas after the “Big Three .”

Unique among the Gilbert and Sullivan comic operettas, The Gondoliers includes roles for no fewer than 9 principals, along with many opportunities for named characters with speaking roles and featured solos in the ensemble.

As usual, Valley Light Opera’s The Gondoliers will be performed as a full, elaborately staged production, complete with a large orchestra and ensemble, splendid sets and the sumptuous costuming for which the company is renowned.

AUDITION SIGNUP IS REQUIRED!! Please sign up for a slot at
Walk-ins may be accommodated if there is time, but audition slots usually fill up fast.

Auditions will take place at the following locations, dates and times:

Bangs Community Center, 70 Boltwood Walk, Amherst MA Thursday May 24th from 7-9:30PM

Wesley United Methodist Church, 98 North Maple Street, Hadley, MA on Friday May 25th from 7-9:30PM and on Monday, May 28th from 11AM-4PM.

Again, sign up for an audition slot here:

Callbacks may be requested at the directors’ discretion and will take place at Bangs Community Center, Amherst on May 31st.

Rehearsals will be in Hadley and/or Amherst, start in early September and are typically held on two weekdays from 7-9:30 and Sundays 5-9:00 (with snacks coordinated by rotating cast member volunteers and company dinner on Sundays) Rehearsals will be at the Academy daily in the evening during tech week just prior to opening night.

Auditioners should be familiar with plot summary and descriptions of the show and characters/relevant music selection for the part they are auditioning. A great general resource is The Gilbert and Sullivan Archive here The 1961 D’Oyly Carte Opera recording is one the best and is available on line with dialog here (Act 1) and here (Act 2) Piano-Vocal scores will be placed on reserve at Jones Library in Amherst and Forbes Library in Northampton.

Character descriptions, vocal ranges, required audition vocal selections and readings (sides) may be accessed at the links provided below, and will also be available on our web site at

Character descriptions:

Principal Character Readings:

Vocal Selections:

Vocal Ranges:

Auditioners should prepare to sing one number from the Gilbert and Sullivan canon or music in the style of Gilbert and Sullivan or similar musical theater. (Please bring sheet music if not from The Gondoliers – Piano accompaniment will be provided.) Additionally, auditioners for principal roles should be prepared to sing the musical selection indicated for their character. Auditioners may also be asked to match pitch and/or demonstrate vocal range. Auditioners for lead roles should be prepared to read from the indicated dialog and are strongly encouraged to practice and work on their character interpretation prior to the audition. All auditioners should bring comfortable shoes as you will be asked to demonstrate your movement and dance capability. There will be opportunities in the cast for participants with varying levels of dance experience and expertise, as well as featured dance roles.

Audition forms are accessible via the Google Drive link here:
or on our web page at, and will also be available at the audition. Please fill out your audition form in advance or arrive early enough to complete it prior to your audition.

Valley Light Opera is committed to diversity and everyone is encouraged to audition and participate. We traditionally may cast some children in the ensemble. Age and gender are noted as played on stage – we may cast across age and gender as long as the actor can play the indicated age and remain true to the gender of the character and vocal range.

We also have MANY roles behind the scenes. If you have a talent for theatre arts and sciences, or want to learn – we welcome volunteers at all levels for backstage, technical, costume, administration, publicity and assistants to the production team – whether or not you audition or are cast!

Valley Light Opera is a primarily volunteer organization and is a not-for-profit based in Amherst, MA. Each year for over 40 years the VLO has produced fully-staged, orchestrated and lavishly costumed productions of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and other large musical theater works. Rehearsals are typically in Hadley or Amherst, and performances at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Applicants who are unfamiliar with the VLO are encouraged to explore our website at

Questions? You can leave us a message here or email the directors at You can also visit our facebook page at


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