Valley Light Opera Seeks Stage Director & Music Director to Collaborate on “The Pirates of Penzance”

The Valley Light Opera seeks a stage director and a music director to collaborate on the company’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance at Northampton’s Academy of Music in November 2020.

The Pirates of Penzance was a great success when it premiered in 1879, and it remains one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most beloved creations. This lively, crowd-pleasing masterpiece unites what Sullivan himself rightly identified as an “exquisitely funny” libretto with a “strikingly tuneful” score. More information, including links to recordings and scores, can be found here.

Applicants should submit a letter of interest along with references and a brief theatrical/musical resumeé to by December 31, 2019. Those applying for the position of stage director should also include an outline of their artistic concept. Successful applications will demonstrate an understanding of the leadership needs of all-volunteer community theater.

The stage director creates the overall artistic concept of the show, and in order to realize it, must work closely with the music director as well as the set and costume designers, the choreographer, and the technical staff. The stage director blocks the show, coaches the principals’ dialogue, guides the cast’s acting in rehearsals, coordinates with the stage manager, and participates in regular meetings with the production team. The rehearsal process begins in early September, with three nights per week, and is capped by a full tech week prior to opening night.

The music director oversees all musical aspects of production in cooperation with the stage director and choreographer. The music director rehearses chorus, ensembles, principals, and orchestra, and conducts all performances.

All applications received before the deadline will be considered together, and decisions will be made in January 2020. Candidates may be asked to attend a board meeting to speak further about their vision for the production.

The stage director and music director will each be awarded a $500 honorarium at the conclusion of the show.

Valley Light Opera is a volunteer, nonprofit organization based in Amherst, MA. Each year for forty-five years the VLO has produced fully-staged, orchestrated and lavishly costumed productions of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and other musical theater works. Rehearsals are typically in Hadley or Amherst, and performances at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Applicants who are unfamiliar with VLO are encouraged to explore our website at

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