Auditions for Iolanthe - Nov. 13 and 15

The Sudbury Savoyards announce auditions for Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera Iolanthe, to be performed in April 2018. All roles (5 Men, 6 Women) are open.

Audition Dates

Monday, November 13 and Wednesday, November 15. Callbacks if needed on Thursday, November 16. Registration begins at 7:00 PM, auditions begin at 7:30. Note Location: First Parish of Sudbury, 327 Concord Road, Sudbury, MA. Map


Rehearsals begin with a read-through on Friday, January 26, 2018. In general, chorus is called Mondays and Fridays; principals are called most Wednesdays and some Mondays and Fridays. All must be available for Tech Week, March 30 – April 5 (no call on Easter Sunday; we will work with you on other religious obligations).


Performances will be Saturday, April 7 and Saturday, April 14; two performances each day, at 2:00 and 8:00 PM. Maynard High School, 1 Tiger Drive, Maynard, MA

Audition Procedure

Chorus: No audition required, but please attend on November 13 or 15 to register. It helps us if we know, as early as possible, how many people will be in the chorus.

Principals: No appointment necessary. Bring your resume; headshot optional (we will have a camera). Prepare a song in English that shows your strengths, from the Gilbert & Sullivan or classic musical theater repertoire. Songs from Iolanthe are welcome but not required. We will provide an accompanist; bring sheet music in your key. If your song has strophic verses (i.e. with identical music), plan to sing one verse. You will be singing in a room full of supportive fellow singers; expect them to applaud and to sing any chorus parts of your song. After all have sung, you will be assigned into groups to read dialogue. Feel free to familiarize yourself with your character’s dialogue in advance; the libretto is available online from the Gilbert and Sullivan Archive.

Character descriptions and vocal ranges are available here.

Vocal Score

We will be using the Schirmer score, which contains the dialogue. It is available for purchase at Amazon or Sheet Music Plus.

From Stage Director, Tony Parkes

I’m thrilled to be involved in this production! Many people (I am one) consider Iolanthe to be Gilbert & Sullivan’s masterpiece. They wrote it halfway through their joint career, when they were at the height of their creative powers. The words and music are so well integrated that they seem to have come from a single author. The show seems to offer more of everything: more satire, more romance, more drama, more genuine emotion. It has the best men’s chorus number in all G&S, the best Act 1 finale, the best love duet, the best patter song, and one of the two best overtures. There are principal parts of all sizes, from a few lines to several songs and lots of comic dialogue. The chorus can get really involved as the British House of Lords and a band of fairies go head to head.

This production will be largely free of gimmicks. Our philosophy of directing G&S is to approach it as we would any play or musical composition, hoping to bring out layers of meaning where we can find them and, overall, letting the words and music speak for themselves. We’ll try to be funny where the authors were funny, serious where they were serious. We won’t be inserting current topical references or otherwise trying to make the show more “relevant” to a modern audience. The political situation may have changed, even in Great Britain, since 1882, but the themes dealt with are timeless: love vs. law; law vs. justice; whether to sacrifice one’s happiness, or even one’s life, for a greater good. This, I think, is what makes Iolanthe great and has kept it popular while many more recent shows have faded from memory.

From Music Director, Kathryn Denney

My vision, as music director of Iolanthe, is to bring Sullivan's music to life and to present Gilbert's words clearly and expressively. I would like to use the orchestra and chorus together to bring out the dramatic beauty in the score, and to enhance the humor in other parts of the story.

When I direct a chorus, I care very much about diction, blend and achieving a healthy sound. I choose tempi that allow the words to be easily understood but that propel the appropriate energy of the music. For lead pieces, I allow the soloist a collaborative approach to the tempo, and I make sure that the tempo is consistent through each performance and most rehearsals (excluding early reading tempi).

My main goal, in any production I direct, is to make every person involved feel important and successful, while giving the audience a high-quality performance.