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Auditions for Young Performers - Yeomen of the Guard


Somerset Opera is looking for approximately 15 young singers to take part in their fully staged and costumed production of Yeomen of the Guard in July 2017.


We are looking for boys and girls aged from around 8 to 21, who are strong, musical singers, confident performers and good actors. 


Our Audition Workshop will take place from 1500 to 1800 on Saturday January 21st, 2017 at Temple Methodist Church, Upper High St, Taunton TA1 3PY



About SOG and the Young Performers Programme



Somerset Opera was founded in 1974, and grows more thriving by the year.  It regularly presents highly acclaimed fully staged and costumed Opera productions, with orchestra, using both talented local and professional soloists and other professional singers from further afield for principal roles, supported by an experienced local chorus.   Dynamic and creative directors are underpinned by excellent musical directors.  The company also puts on an annual touring production, and Young Performers Gala Concerts plus a variety of other musical events. 



In the past six years, some 60 or so young performers aged from 8 to 21yrs have been involved in our productions, ranging from Eugene Onegin, to Die Fledermaus to Macbeth, taking part not only as singers, but also as dancers, actors and puppeteers.  



It is a terrific opportunity for talented youngsters to be immersed in a full scale adult production.




Further info about the production



Yeomen of the Guard is regarded by many as one of the more complex and musically satisfying Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, and is full of catchy tunes, hilarious situations and witty lyrics, with many engaging characters and plenty for the chorus to do.



This is a big commitment for both the performer and their parents.  You will need to come to all rehearsals (unless previously agreed) and be ready and willing to work and concentrate hard. You will need to learn your music and words by heart.   The rewards will be amazing, and all our previous younglings have found it such a hugely enjoyable and valuable experience.



We ask that all parents each agree to attend 1 or 2 rehearsals (at St James’ or King’s College) to take a turn at supervising all the children.  We will also need volunteers to officially chaperone for performances.




Rehearsals and performance dates/venues



These rehearsal dates are provisional, for your guidance, and may be amended and/or added to if necessary.  We do understand that there may be some rehearsals that you cannot attend due to prior and/or other important commitments.


Music/staging rehearsals with adult chorus and principals (St James’ School, Cranmer Road, Taunton, Somerset TA1 1XU). (You may not be called every week for these).


Thursday evenings possibly starting in the Easter holidays and weekly during Summer term

1900 - 2100


There are likely to be some weekend rehearsals during June/July.


From Monday 10th July, rehearsals will transfer to the theatre at Kings College, South Road.  You will be called for several evenings during that week


Final and Technical rehearsals during the weekend 15/16th July


Dress rehearsal is on Monday 17th July eve



Performances (eve):-



Tuesday 18th July


Wednesday 19th July


(no performance Thursday)


Friday 21st  July


Saturday 22nd July 




At the Audition Workshop….



The emphasis will be on having fun, and we are looking forward to watching and listening to you all working and singing together.  We will do some ensemble singing, some drama and some movement. 



We would also like you to prepare a short (1 minute) unaccompanied song to sing as a solo - this could be a folk song, a song you do at school, an excerpt of a music theatre song or even a Christmas carol (but no pop songs, please).  Something that you like and know really well that will allow us to hear your voice.



The cost to attend the workshop will be £10, but financial considerations must not prevent anyone taking part, so if payment causes you difficulty, please let me know when you apply.




Website /Facebook



Have a look at the videos for Eugene Onegin and Macbeth.





Application to attend Audition Workshop



Please firstly double check that your child will be able to attend the rehearsals (as far as you can tell this far ahead) and ALL performances (!) and then please email to register your interest and request the email application form. 


Young Singers Programme


The Somerset Opera Young Singers Programme is linked with a range of activities:

  • Masterclasses and Workshops

  • Bursaries

  • Young Performers Programme

  • Somerset Song Prize

Masterclasses and Workshops



The Young Singers Programme offer one or more bespoke bursaries each year as determined by the Somerset Opera committee. 

The Cresswell Bursary helps young or inexperienced Members of Somerset Opera who wish to get to grips with new repertoire and/or refine their performing skills (not necessarily linked with a current production). To apply for a Cresswell Bursary, please simply submit the following information:


1. Name, address, date of birth


2. Musical background – what have you done?


3. Aspirations/what you want out of the scheme i.e. why apply


In most cases submissions should be accompanied by a reference letter from a singing or music teacher. However, if you do not have a current singing or music teacher and wish to apply to work with a singing teacher with a particular goal in mind, that’s fine too. Sadly we cannot say “yes” every time; but we will always discuss any proposal for a Cresswell Bursary in detail.


The committee will particularly favour applications that will be of benefit to the society. The Cresswell Bursary is only open to members of Somerset Opera. (If you’re interested but not yet a Member, please talk to us about joining!)


In addition, the bursary scheme provides focused support to young or inexperienced singers to prepare for and deliver a main role in the company’s production(s), as agreed by the Committee.


All correspondence regarding the Young Singers Programme should be addressed to the Secretary of Somerset Opera - Click here.



Young Performers Programme


The Young Performers Programme – run by Lisa Tustian (Young Performers Co-ordinator) – brings together a range of activities for those (aged around 10 to 21) interested in exploring the different aspects of stage work. This can include elements of dance, singing and theatre – in workshops and other activities that offer a taste of what it’s like to perform.


Two workshops were run in April 2014 linked with Verdi’s Macbeth. For photos of these workshops, click on the picture gallery page.


The Young Performers Programme also offers an opportunity for talented young singers, dancers and actors to take part in Somerset Opera’s main productions, including a full opera with orchestra, costume and set. 


Past and current productions include young performers taking part as singing waiters, Hungarian dancing girls, Cossacks, footmen, party-goers, peasants, witches, refugees, and a dog in full furry costume!


If you are interested in learning more about the Young Performers Programme, please email Lisa at





Somerset Song Prize


More information available soon about the next Somerset Song Prize.

This page was last modified on: 16 January, 2017 17:57


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