AUDITIONS: The Pirates of Penzance (2005)

Audition Calendar

Sing-through* – January 8, 2005, 2pm
Auditions** – January 16 and 23, 2005, 2-5pm
Callbacks – January 24, 2005, 7:30pm
First cast sing-through – January 27, 2005, 7:30
Rehearsals begin – January 30, 2005, 2pm

All above events will be held at
the Durham Arts Council

*The sing-through is open to the public, and everyone is invited to participate. Scores and refreshments will be provided.

**Auditions will be by appointment only, and will be scheduled in 15-minute intervals during the times listed above. Please call 919-632-4224 or send email to info@durhamsavoyards.org with your preferred date and time. Please bring sheet music. An accompanist will be provided.

December, 2004

Dear Pirates auditioners,

Please read this entire note. There are several topics of interest for the musical portion of the upcoming auditions. (Our director, Derrick Ivey, may have some additional considerations for the acting audition.)

This year I have a special request for anyone auditioning for principal singing roles in The Pirates of Penzance. Please, if possible, prepare the Preferred Selection shown below for the character you are most interested in playing. Or you may substitute another Gilbert and Sullivan selection, or even a non-G&S number, but the Preferred Selection will help us compare auditions more easily. If you choose an alternate audition piece, please also be prepared to sing the Minimal Passage for your role.

All of these selections are available for download1 from the table below. Click on character's name to begin download (caution: downloads may take a few minutes because of the size of the files).

If possible, please fill in two copies of our audition form1 and bring them with you to the audition.

List of Preferred Audition Selections

p., pp. = page(s) as numbered in the score.
m., mm. = measure(s) as counted from the beginning of the page.
Page and measure numbers are as given in the G. Schirmer (Bryceson Treharne) edition.


Preferred Selection

Minimal Passage


Second half of #7 ("Oh, is there not one maiden..."), from p. 47 m. 7 (with pickup) through p. 48 m. 14.

p. 48 m. 8 with pickup ("If you will cast your eyes on me..."), through m. 14.


#8 ("Poor wandering one!"), pp. 51 - 56.

p. 52 m. 25 ("Take heart..."), through p. 53 m. 14.

Pirate King

Second stanza of #3, (at words "When I sally forth..."), pp. 22 - 25.

p. 23 m. 6 with pickup ("But many a king..."), through p. 24 m. 2, using second stanza words.

Major-General Stanley

Second stanza of #13 (at words, "I know our mythic history..."), pp. 74 - 77.

Second stanza words from p. 74 m. 13 with pickup ("I know our mythic history..."), through p. 76 m. 3.


First stanza of #2 (at words, "I was a stupid nurs'rymaid..."), pp. 18 - 20.

Last note p. 19 ("A sad mistake..."), through all of p. 20, using second stanza words.

Sergeant of Police

First stanza of #24 ("When a felon's not engaged..."), pp. 173 - 176.

Last two notes on p. 175 ("When constabulary..."), through p. 176.


Any selection (optional), along with minimal passage at right (required).

p. 183 m. 6 ("Here's your crowbar..."), through p. 184 m. 8.


Any selection (optional), along with minimal passage at right (required).

All of p. 38 (from "Ev'ry moment...").


Any selection (optional), along with minimal passage at right (required).

p. 39 m. 8 ("Far away from toil and care..."), through p. 40 m. 7.

*Minor Singing Roles: Note that for Samuel, Edith, and Kate, only the Minimal Passage is required, but you may also sing a selection of your choice if you wish. (Isabel is a speaking role for a member of the women's chorus, and only requires a basic chorus audition.)

Multi-Role Auditions: Anyone who wishes to be considered for more than one role, please prepare the Preferred Selection for your first choice role, plus the Minimal Passages for the other roles. (You may, of course, use an alternate selection for your main audition piece, and prepare the Minimal Passages for all your roles of interest.)

Abridged Selections: Note that in most cases I ask for an abridged portion of the selection, such as one specific stanza of a repetitive song. If you strongly feel you need to sing more of the selection or a different passage of the piece to showcase your abilities, please let us know during your audition. If you choose a selection not on the list, please limit it to three minutes, or less if possible. Consider starting at an appropriate place within the selection leading into the passage(s) which best showcase your ability to sing the role. We want to give you every opportunity to make your abilities known to us, within the limits of our audition schedule. Please be considerate of your colleagues by helping us remain on schedule. We may stop you before you have completed your entire piece. This is not an indication of either positive or negative evaluation, but simply a way to save time once we have heard enough for our purposes.

Chorus Audition: If you are auditioning for chorus only, please feel free to sing any tune that you know well and are comfortable singing. It can be any style or origin, even a very simple everyday folk, pop, or patriotic song, as long as we can get a good feel of your vocal ability. It need not be long. A stanza of "My Country 'Tis of Thee" has been used more than once, and with good success.

Bring Music: An accompanist will be provided. As always, please supply sheet music in the correct key for our accompanist's convenience. Or you may sing without accompaniment if you wish.

Your Vocal Range: It would also be helpful if you can list the limits of your secure vocal range on your audition form, being the lowest and highest pitches you can always sing with pleasing musical tone. We will provide a blank musical staff on the audition form for this purpose. If you are not able to find this out ahead of time, or if you are not comfortable writing pitches on a staff, that's okay. We can find it during your audition.

Royal Chorus: Once again we will plan to use a Royal Chorus, portraying a noble retinue accompanying Queen Victoria to the theatre, and serving to reinforce the choral sound throughout the show. These ladies and gentlemen will be seated in the boxes near the stage. Anyone not able to commit to a full schedule of rehearsals for on-stage chorus might want to consider trying out for the Royal Chorus. You won't have any choreography to learn, and almost no staging. And you'll have a good seat to see the show! The singers I need for this special assignment should be good strong self-sufficient singers. The value of the contribution made by these valiant choristers cannot be overstated. Pirates is full of choral singing, and the Royal Chorus will be an especially important ingredient to our show this year.

See you at sing-through and/or auditions,

Alan Riley Jones

Music Director

A downloadable and printable version of this information is available here.1

Don't forget to bring two completed copies of our audition form1 with you to the audition.

The Durham Savoyards, Ltd. is a non-profit community theatre group and an affiliate of the Durham Arts Council. Auditions are open to everyone. All roles are volunteer and unpaid.

1Adobe Acrobat Reader version 4 or higher is required.