AUDITIONS FOR PRINCESS IDA
A Comic Operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan
Directed/Choreographed by Kaleigh Richards, Musical Direction by Winnifred Hume
At the Pumphouse Theatre April 26th to May 11th, 2019
Princess Ida is having nothing to do with men, never mind love, or marriage. She is so firm in her belief that she has locked herself away in a University, attended only by women, and that is exactly where she plans to stay. She was betrothed to young Prince Hilarion from a very early age, and her failure to arrive to meet him with her father, King Gama, could be interpreted as an act of war, but still, she is having none of it. In fact, she’s willing to fight the men who show up on her doorstep if need be. Her fellow chaste and heretofore uninterested female friends, on the other hand, find themselves face to face with Cupid and less keen to do battle. A lesser known work of the dynamic duo, Princess Ida is nonetheless brimming with those qualities we love in the works of Gilbert and Sullivan: humour, sweeping and intelligent lyrics, witty commentary, danger and commotion! In the end, love wins the day, and for more than just our royal couple. It’s an exciting conclusion to our 24th season, so jump for joy and gaily bound down to the theatre to join us for Princess Ida!
Princess Ida is based on the 1847 narrative poem “The Princess” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in which the title character escapes an arranged marriage to found a women’s university. The libretto is drawn from W.S. Gilbert’s 1870 play (also called “The Princess”), with new music by Arthur Sullivan. Sullivan’s music is particularly well-regarded in this piece; his settings for the songs in Act Two are known as ‘the string of pearls.’ Principal roles include Princess Ida, Lady Psyche, and Lady Blanche for the women, and Prince Hilarion, King Hildebrand and King Gama for the men (among others).
Princess Ida (Female, 18 – 35) – Soprano
The daughter of King Gama, sister to Arac, Guron and Scynthius and betrothed to Prince Hilarion whom she has not clapped eyes on for the last twenty of her twenty-one years. Ida is the founder and leader of the Ladies College in Castle Adamant and is committed to her cause. A fervent orator and militant campaigner she has no time for men and even less for dalliances with them. She sees herself in the charismatic mold of Joan of Arc or Ms. Pankhurst but tends to lecture rather than persuade. A high Soprano role with some demanding singing.
Prince Hilarion (Male, 18-35) – Tenor
Hilarion is the son of King Hildebrand and, twenty years ago, at the age of two was betrothed to Ida. As a Prince he is not possessed of any great intellect or personal qualities but does have a beautiful lyric Tenor voice. He has drifted amiably through life thus far and would like to enter marriage in a similar manner. Almost a Bertie Wooster figure of privileged inconsequence, he is unperturbed by donning drag and his appearance and behaviour seem unchanged and appropriate in either garb.
King Hildebrand (Male, 35 – 100) – Baritone/Bass
A leader of great authority and fortitude, Hildebrand knows what he wants and is used to getting it. He is the father of Prince Hilarion and will brook no hitch in his plans for the boy. A powerful Bass voice and stage presence would be ideal and the ability to be a comic foil to some of the more ridiculous characters would be an advantage.
Lady Psyche (Female, 20 – 45) – Soprano
Professor of Humanities at the college, she enjoys a senior position at the college but must be young enough that Hilarion and his crowd knew her as a child. She is well versed in her field, possessed of sharp wits and a lively sense of humour, however, she is also Florian’s sister and is remarkably easily persuaded to try to help them hide in the castle.
Melissa (Female, 18 – 35) – Mezzo Soprano
As the daughter of Lady Blanche, Melissa is young in action and attitude even if not in years. She is not, by nature, adventurous, militant or keen to put herself forward although she can be manipulative on occasion. She blossoms as events unfurl and by the end is determined to fly the nest and leave her Mother and academia behind.
King Gama (Male, 35 – 100) – Baritone
A man described by all as twisted of body and mind. He freely admits to being a misanthrope of almost unparalleled degree. Gama takes gleeful delight in pointing out the foibles, hypocrisy, weaknesses, idiocy or mendacity of the world around him – ideally to their faces. He could be the one sane man in this world of fools or could it just be that when you’re a king no-one dares to tell you that you are acting like a toddler… Artists auditioning for this role should be comfortable with patter singing.
Arac (Male, 18 – 50) – Baritone/Bass
The leader of the three sons of Gama and brother to Ida. All three are simple men of action – very, very simple. To call them dumber than a bag of rocks might insult the rocks but they mean well and are devoted to their sister. A Bass of the bassiest order, Arac leads their trio and sings the top line.
Scynthius (Male, 18 – 50) – Baritone/Bass
The third son of Gama, hewn from the same mould as his brothers. A Bass of profound lack of profundity, Scynthius drops to the bottom of the trios.
Guron (Male, 18-50) – Baritone/Bass
Second son of Gama and brother to Ida with exactly the same character as the others. A Bass of granite proportions, Guron sings the middle line of the trio.
Lady Blanche (F, 35 – 65) – Alto
Professor of Abstract Science at the college. To all outward appearances, the perfect example of the absent minded professor and the second in command to Princess Ida. Lost in her ivory tower of abstract thought and philosophy, she baffles most who hear her speak but is there more to her utterances than first appears? Her boss is much younger than she is. She believes the castle would be better served under the rule of wisdom and experience.
Cyril (Male, 18 – 50) – Tenor
Cyril is Hilarion’s good friend and fountain of terrible ideas. A cheerful and bluff young man, he is blessed with a sunny optimism, boundless appetites and absolutely no ability to think of the consequences of his actions. A creature of impulse and charm – or a Labrador puppy in human form – Cyril is, by far, the least convincing of the three as a female impersonator.
Florian (Male, 18 – 50) – Baritone
Hilarion’s other friend. As a Baritone, Florian is obviously more responsible and level-headed than Cyril but he possesses a whimsical sense of humour and is just as willing as his friends to hare off on an adventure. Takes to dressing as a woman like he was born to it and may not be changing back after the finale.
Sacharissa (Female, 18 – 35) – Soprano
She is in charge of tending to any wounded created by the invading army. An inquisitive if naïve mind and not afraid to speak her mind
Chloe (Female, 18 – 35) – Soprano, mezzo or alto
Three short but varied scenes for this student at the castle but no solo singing required. Punished for doodling a perambulator and yet trusted enough to lead the Rifles during the castle’s siege.
Ada (Female, 18 – 35) – Soprano, mezzo or alto
An undergraduate at Castle Adamant, she becomes the bandmistress in the defense of the castle.
Male & Female Ensemble – (any age) – any vocal range
The ensemble consists of town’s people, female college students and army. Dance skills an asset, but not required. The choreography calls for basic dancing ability in addition to strong vocal ability and a keen comedic sense.
Note, Morpheus practices inclusive casting and that any person, of any identity may submit for roles. Just because it is listed at male (for example), does not mean it is not open to trans, non-binary or even gender reverse casting.
- A prepared comedic monologue to highlight your abilities (approximately two minutes)
- A prepared song in any style that best shows off your voice. No matter what style of music you choose to sing bring your best character performance to your audition song!
- Bring your music on an MP3 player with a regular 1/8″ headphone connection or your own speaker; There will be no accompanist.
- A cold read may be requested
- Please bring your resume and headshot to the audition
Not a traditional actor? That is okay, get in touch with us and we will find a way for you to showcase what you have to offer.