THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
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Based on the 1910 horror novel by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera is a thrilling and romantic account of the legendary Phantom, a musical genius who dwells deep beneath a majestic opera house in Paris. Shunned by society for his horrible facial deformity, he takes a promising young soprano, Christine, under his wing and grooms her for operatic fame, all the while falling deeply in love with her. As Christine grows ever more successful and a handsome young man from her past begins to successfully court her, the Phantom descends into a jealous rage and terrorizes the opera company with increasingly dangerous threats. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score soars with such famous tunes as “Think of Me,” “All I Ask of You,” “The Music of the Night,” and the title song, “The Phantom of the Opera,” and Phantom has gone on to become a cultural tour de force – one of the most successful musicals of all time and Broadway’s longest running hit.
We are excited to mount this ambitious and spectacular project. Like Les Miserables, Phantom is sung through… there are very few spoken lines. The style is operatic (as you might expect, given that it’s set in an opera house.) Costuming is grand, sets are grand, special effects are grand – the lead and supporting characters shoulder much of the challenging musical work but there are several spectacular chorus numbers as well.
This will provide an opportunity to feature an entirely different musical style than we have heard in recent Campolindo shows. The choreography will feature a small ballet ensemble as well as some less technical and very accessible “movement” required of the full cast. We’re looking forward to your participation.
To our knowledge, no other Bay Area high school has mounted a production of Phantom of the Opera.
Casting is by audition for ALL ROLES including Ensemble. Depending upon the number of auditions, we may create two casts of Principals and either one or two casts of Ensemble. All who complete an audition will be cast in the show. We plan 8 performances at this writing and each cast member will perform in at least four (depending on the final results of auditions, cast size and artistic direction.)
Auditions are open to all members of the Campolindo Choral Music Program. Auditions will be held by appointment in mid-October. (Times TBA). There will be a Callback Workshop after the first round of auditions to allow those invited to callbacks an opportunity to learn music from the score. Callbacks will be held the following week (specific times TBA). Casting will be posted very soon thereafter.
All cast members are required to audition.
Auditioning does not obligate you to be in the cast if unanticipated conflicts occur, but you can’t be in the cast if you don’t audition. Prepare 16 – 32 bars of a Broadway Musical solo (please don’t sing us the whole song… wonderful as it may be.) For anyone seriously interested in a “named role” in the show, we suggest listening to the soundtrack before picking an audition song and selecting something that is of a similar genre to one of the songs your desired character(s) sing in the show. It is strongly suggested that you begin your search for an audition song NOW. (PLEASE SEE THE APPENDIX to this announcement FOR MORE DETAILS ON SELECTING AN AUDITION PIECE.) An accompanist will be provided. For more information about the Spring Musical, including audition tips, please review the Spring Musical Handbook available on the Campo Choir website:
Email the Director at firstname.lastname@example.org for suggestions. There is a list of past audition songs available at the Campo Choir website as well. For those new to auditioning and unfamiliar with the Musical Theatre catalog, Mr. Roberts will teach one song for boys and one song for girls in a group setting early in the school year. It is acceptable for freshman auditioners to use one of these “group taught” songs for the audition, although you may pick one of your own if you prefer.
The main thing is to pick something you are comfortable singing (whether perfect for the role or not.)
The Campolindo Musical Theatre program is a voluntary, after school program that is supported in part by MEF, by ticket sales and by an additional participation donation from each cast member that pays for costumes, sets, props, a professional staff and commemorative T-shirt. The program receives no Acalanes School District funding. After casting we will ask that you pay the participation fee ($150 at this writing) on-line before winter break. The technical, costuming and set requirements for Phantom of the Opera are extensive (this will be at least as “big” a show as any every produced at Campolindo.) Your help in defraying some of those costs early in the process is appreciated. Details will be announced. Scholarships are available upon confidential request for anyone for whom these amounts constitute a financial hardship.
MUSICAL THEATRE BOOT CAMP
Several sessions of “Boot Camp” may be taught by the Artistic Staff on selected evenings in December, if time allows, to introduce students to acting technique, movement and other Musical Theatre topics before rehearsals begin. Dates and times TBD. All cast members who have not previously attended a boot camp are expected to attend.
REHEARSALS AND PERFORMANCES
The regular rehearsal schedule begins in earnest January 7th. Rehearsals are typically scheduled from 6 pm to 9 pm Monday through Friday, with several Saturday mid-day rehearsals as well. Cast members will only be called for scenes in which they appear and so will not necessarily rehearse every night. We do not rehearse on long weekends (Presidents’ Day) and we take a hiatus when other Choral performances are scheduled and during Finals Week.
The following are “no conflict rehearsals & performances” and you are expected to be available for them. Please arrange to be available on these dates. There will be 2 technical rehearsals, 2 dress rehearsals, 2 preview performances and 8 public performances of Phantom of the Opera (all split by cast). The venue for most rehearsals and all performances is CPAC. Performance/rehearsal schedule is subject to change based on audition results.
- Technical Rehearsals (all day) Saturday 3/9 & Sunday 3/10 (one for each cast)
- Dress Rehearsals (evening) Tuesday 3/12 & Wednesday 3/13 (one for each cast)
- Matinee Performances: Saturday 3/16, Sunday 3/17, Saturday 3/23, Sunday 3/24 (closing)
- Evening Performances: Friday 3/15 (opening), Saturday 3/16, Friday 3/22, Saturday 3/23
SELECTING AN AUDITION PIECE
Rule Number One: Don’t wait until the week or day before your audition to pick a song.
Guidelines for any Campo Musical Audition:
- If you are new to the program or have difficulty picking a song, Mr. Roberts will provide one or two “standard” audition songs for boys and girls that can be learned in a group setting. Take advantage of this if you “just don’t know where to start.” We would expect most Juniors and Seniors to have the wherewithal to pick their own song, however.
- 16 – 32 bars of a song are generally enough. Pick the portion of the song that best shows off your voice, range and talent. If it’s a few bars longer, that’s fine, but please don’t repeat verses.
- All audition songs should be accompanied so therefore must have sheet music available in your key… cuts should be clearly marked and the music should be double-sided in a loose-leaf binder suitable for sight-reading — please no plastic report binders, corner-stapled sheets or song books (unless they are spiral bound).
- You should MEMORIZE your audition song.
- Songs should be from a Broadway Musical (not just random picks from your iTunes library)
- You should not select a song from the show that you are auditioning for.
- An audition is like an interview – dress decently (not ties and jackets, no tuxes, no gowns, it’s not a “formal”. On the other hand, no cut-offs, halter tops, sweatshirts, tee-shirts.)
- Here is a list of possible audition pieces.
- Suggested steps for selecting an appropriate song for The Phantom of the Opera:
See “Rule Number One” above.
- Review the synopsis (above) of the show and/or watch YouTube videos regional productions of
the show to see what character(s) you are interested in playing, based on the character and the
music they have to be able to cover. (The vocal range for each of the named characters is provided above).
- Review the music in The Phantom of the Opera (the album from the Broadway Cast is available on iTunes).
- Consider the songs that your character(s) would be singing in the show and try to pick something in a similar style (if your character doesn’t sing any ballads, for example, it’s probably not a good idea to sing a ballad for your audition. If your character doesn’t do any 1940’s style tap numbers, that’s probably not a style you should pick for your audition song.) (If you are interested in being in the Ensemble and don’t have a particular character in mind, your range of possibilities is greater.)
- Pick a number of songs that appeal to you and find out if sheet music is available. Some sheet
music is available for immediate download on line and in some cases you can get automatic
immediate transpositions into your key as well. Most individual songs are not expensive.
Sources for sheet music:
e. Local music stores – songbooks, compilations, collections of Broadway songs
f. Friends, vocal coaches, etc.
- Review your selection(s) with a music teacher or accompanist (to make sure that the music can
be reasonably sight-read at the time of the audition… some songs are torture for our accompanist and you should avoid these because you will want and need a good accompaniment).
- Pick a song and make the necessary cuts (consult with Mr. Roberts or your own knowledgeable
resource for this.)
- PRACTICE and prepare. Don’t wait.
- See rule number 1.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Do you have a handbook with more information?
A: Yes, click here for a printable version of the Spring Musical Handbook.
Q: Do I need to audition if I’m only interested in being in the ensemble?
A: Yes. If you are planning on being in the ensemble, you still need to audition, although you may have a bit more latitude in the style of song selection. The main thing is to pick something that you can sing competently.
Q: Can I sing a capella?
A: No. The show is all “accompanied singing” and so it makes sense that we would be looking for you to sing with an instrument behind you.
Q: What if I mess up? Can I have a second chance?
A: Yes. This is not American Idol – we want you to have every opportunity to do as well as you are able and we recognize that people get nervous in these situations. Just ask to start again or pick up where you left off. On the other hand… don’t come in poorly prepared.
Q: What are you looking for in an audition?
A: Are you well prepared? Can you sing in tune and in rhythm? Can you tell a story (i.e. bring some character to your performance) while you sing? Can you be understood? Are you confident? Do you listen to directions? Do you have a positive, enthusiastic attitude? Do you act like you will be easy to work with in rehearsal? Are you taking the process seriously?
Q: What are things to look out for or “not to do” in auditions?
A: An audition provides an over-all impression about you as a person and as a performer. Negatives: slouching; downcast expression; sloppiness or carelessness in attire, speech or attitude; not listening; failing to follow directions; lack of preparedness; lack of focus; “I don’t really care” attitude. Positives: good posture, positive outlook, confident approach, appealing attire, good volume and diction when speaking and singing, giving your best effort, showing potential, knowing the words and music, taking charge of the stage, respect for others in the room.
Q: What should I wear?
A: Wear something that is flattering, conservative and comfortable. This is not a “jeans” event, nor is it a “Prom Night” event. You are trying to appeal to the adult audition panel. There is no need to be the flashiest person in the room, but you don’t want to be remembered as the one person in your group who wore jeans and a t-shirt, either. Please no hats, flip-flops, uggs, slippers or other “shuffle-shoes”. Tuxedos, suits, short skirts, tight dresses, spike heels are not suggested.
Q: I don’t consider myself a good singer… so I’ll probably get cut. I’m better off not to bother, right?
A: Wrong! If you prepare for your audition by picking a song, learning the words and music and then trying your best to perform it for us, the chances of getting cut are slim, no matter how accomplished a singer you are. The people who get cut are those who don’t bother to prepare well… and of course those who just give up and never get up on stage in the first place.
Q: I can’t dance at all… is there a place for me in this show?
A: Yes. The dance requirements for Phantom of the Opera are reasonable and we will accommodate non-dancers in the show. We structure the dance sequences to feature those who have good dance skills, but others are typically in those scenes as well.