Auditions Set for Beggar’s Opera

A scene from the film of 'Beggar's Opera', starring Lawrence Olivier

Auditions for the Philipstown Depot Theatre’s fall production of Beggar’s Opera will be held Tuesday, May 22, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Depot Theatre in Garrison, Friday June 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Philipstown.info space at 69 Main St., Cold Spring, and Saturday June 2, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Depot Theatre. Please email NancySwann@aol.com  for specific audition time.

Beggar’s Opera was the first musical theatre work for the English stage; it was such an instant hit that it became the longest running play in English history. The Depot Theatre production will combine the delightful music of the time played by a string ensemble, woodwinds and a harpsichord, with stage and musical direction by Gordon Stewart. The stories and characters from Beggar’s Opera went on to form the later musical — with entirely different music — Kurt Weill’s Threepenny Opera.  A film of Beggar’s Opera was made in the 1950s, directed by Peter Brook and starring Lawrence Olivier.

Characters and ensemble parts will be auditioned. Auditioners are asked to come prepared to sing a song of their choosing. Familiarity with the music from this show is not required; it will be provided for callbacks.

Characters include:

MacHeath – the magnetic rascal of London, both a highwayman and ladies man. High Baritone (age 30-40)

Mr. Peachum – the J.P.Morgan of the London criminal world at the time. His successful business is built on gangs who impersonate beggars, cripples, and other unfortunates. Bass Baritone. (40s and up)

Locket – jailor and crony of Peachum, who has found a way to maximize the earning potential of being a warden. Bass Baritone. (40s and up)

Filch – chief henchmen of Peachum, leader of Peachum’s business, familiar with MacHeath’s world of crime. Tenor. (25-35)

Polly Peachum – highly protected daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peachum who becomes the focus of MacHeath’s considerable appeal. To the great dismay of her parents, she returns his affections. Soprano. (20-35)

Mrs. Peachum – the co-owner of Peachum, Inc., she is a very forceful, strong-willed woman who is more than an equal in running the Beggars’ Co. Extremely protective of her daughter, Polly. Mezzo Soprano. (40 and up)

Lucy – daughter of Mr. Locket; had been MacHeath’s main object of affection until he met Polly. In no way would she be described as shy. Polly’s competition. Mezzo Soprano (18-30)

Jenny Diver/Diane Traipse- MacHeath’s favorite Lady of the Night. High Mezzo Soprano. (25-40)

Ensemble- great parts for Ladies of the night, MacHeath’s gang and Chorus. Limited rehearsal time required for ensemble.

Performances are currently scheduled to run October 26 – November 18.


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