OPERA-LYTES Audition Call for Man with a Load of Mischief

Opera-Lytes is thrilled to announce that we have received a 2020 NYSCA DEC Grant of $5,000 to support our June 2020 production of Man with a Load of Mischief!

This delightful chamber operetta has not been produced in Western New York (as far as we know) since its 1966 premiere. Mischief takes place in the early 19th century, when a carriage accident brings six people together at an English country inn called "Man with a Load of Mischief." The setting seems designed to spark a whirlwind romance for a lord and a lady, a maid and a manservant... but life and love are never that simple!

By turns wistful and sardonic, playful and passionate, Man with a Load of Mischief is a rare gem of lyric theater that also seriously engages with issues of social justice and personal integrity.

Opera-Lytes will present the show at Alleyway Theatre, June 4-7, 2020. The production team for the show includes David Magowan (music director), Lisa Berglund (stage director), and Wesley Krantz (set design).

Audition Information

Auditions for Man with a Load of Mischief will be held on Sunday, January 12, 3-5 pm, and Tuesday, January 20, 7-9 pm at Amherst Community Church (77 Washington Hwy). Rehearsals will begin in March 2020.

Please bring two contrasting songs, either operetta or lyric Broadway. An accompanist will be provided. You also will be asked to read one or two portions of dialog.

Auditions will be scheduled in groups at 20-minute intervals (i.e., 3:00, 3:20, 3:40, etc). Please email [email protected] to schedule an audition; you will be scheduled in the earliest available time slot on your preferred day, unless you specify a time.

The characters in Mischief are as follows:

  • The LADY (soprano) is in her late 20s or 30s, trying to escape from an exploitive relationship. She is brave, intelligent, and desperate. A former actress, she has been hurt many times in the past and has given up on the possibility of happiness.
  • The MAID (mezzo) is a country girl (late teens to early 30s) who is prepared to trade sexual favors for the high life of London. She tells herself she’s just being smart and doesn’t admit she wants something more meaningful from life. Like Nancy in Oliver, her music is sometimes boisterous and sometimes heartbreaking. If you are auditioning for this part it would be helpful to bring an up-tempo/belter type song and a ballad.
  • The LANDLADY (mezzo), age 30 or older, is a bossy, bustling woman, easily flustered, impatient with her husband but fond of him.
  • The LORD (baritone) might be any age from 20s to 50s. He appears to be suave and confident but he is in debt and has powerful enemies; he is not as smart as he thinks he is. His interest in other people extends no further than their usefulness to himself.
  • The MAN (tenor or high baritone), 30s or 40s, at first appears to be a perfect unemotional servant, but proves to be a romantic, heroic, thoughtful, and complicated person.
  • The LANDLORD (character baritone), age 30 or older, is cheerful, optimistic and rather naive. He admires rich people and believes that they are as lovely inside as they are outside. He is under his wife’s thumb and happy to be there.

We encourage you to listen to the original cast recording of Man with a Load of Mischief, which is available on YouTube at here and here.