CASTING CALL FOR PROFESSIONAL OPERA SINGERS
The Canticle of the Black Madonna is a new opera-oratorio featuring six principal characters, chorus, large chamber orchestra, and elaborate masks and costumes. Set in Louisiana in 2010, this potent story chronicles the journey of an American soldier returning from Afghanistan with PTSD who struggles with his shattered soul, his strained marriage and the crumbling economy in the wake of the Gulf Oil Spill and his wife’s courageous sacrifices to stand by the man she loves while facing an ecological disaster which radically changes their lives. Through a rich combination of modern opera and ancient oratorio, The Canticle of the Black Madonna reveals the healing power of their encounter with an ancient, primal force of divine love, represented by the Black Madonna, who transforms them both forever and touches all who witness it.
- Please come prepared with one audition piece from a contemporary opera written in English.
- No translations and no works from before 1900, please (see exception below for “angel” parts).
- Pianist will be provided.
- Please bring resume and head shot.
- Please read all the information on this page carefully and follow the instructions below to schedule your audition time.
- Callbacks will be held on Sunday, November 24. All the excerpts that successful auditions will be requested to sing at callbacks can be found here.
AUDITION LOCATION AND SCHEDULE:
Auditions will be held at:
The Presbyterian Church of Laurelhurst
935 NE 33rd Ave, Portland, OR 97232
Click here for directions
- Friday, November 22, 6:00-10:00 pm
- Saturday, November 23, 11:00-5:00
- Sunday, November 24, (Callbacks TBA)
OPEN CASTING FOR ALL PRINCIPALS
MARA: SOPRANO. Generally sits high in the tessitura (between C5 and G5) with rare high notes up to C6 (Top C) and rare low notes down to D4. Mara is the romantic female lead. Her character is complex, passionate, profound, angry, and loving. Ages 25-40 preferred.
ADAM: BARITONE. Generally sits in a mid-range baritone tessitura (between C3 and C4) with occasional high notes up to G4 and low notes down to Bb2. Adam is the opera’s protagonist. He is violent, scary, unpredictable, reflective, moody, physical, and ultimately powerful, masculine, and even tender. Ages 25-40 preferred.
THE BLACK MADONNA: CONTRALTO. Generally sits low in the contralto tessitura (between G3 and G4) with Eb3 as the lowest note. This part draws heavily on conventions of Baroque aria, including long, challenging melismas. The Black Madonna must have a commanding presence of loving authority. The ideal candidate would be over the age of 40 with a strong background in both dramatic opera and classical oratorio. You may be asked to sing a classical (ie Opera Seria/Da Capo) aria in addition to the contemporary repertoire. African Americans strongly encouraged to audition.
JOHN: BASS. Generally sits low in the bass range, between F2 and F3 with the highest notes around middle C. John is an older buddy to Adam, and must be physically large and imposing but also light-hearted and fun, with a strong sense of comedic timing. Some comfort with blues singing would be a plus. Ideal candidate would be between ages 35-50.
FEMALE ANGEL: SOPRANO or MEZZO. Generally sits within the treble clef with the occasional G or A above the staff. This is a specialized role requiring extensive training and comfort with period music, plainsong, chant, and/or organum. Early music specialists strongly preferred. Note, tenor/soprano pairs who have sung early music together are encouraged to audition as a pair.
MALE ANGEL: TENOR. Generally sits high in the tenor tessitura, mostly between C4 and A4. This is a specialized role requiring extensive training and comfort with period music, plainsong, chant, and/or organum. Early music specialists strongly preferred. Note, tenor/soprano pairs who have sung early music together are encouraged to audition as a pair.
ADDITIONAL NOTES REGARDING THE TWO ANGELS: These two characters sing entirely in an early music style and are nearly always paired. Auditioning talent is advised to prepare a demonstration of your ability to sing in an early music style. Successful auditions will also be asked to sing as a pair.
HOW TO SCHEDULE YOUR AUDITION TIME:
Please contact Tom Prislac at (503) 764-7177 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request an audition time.