A joyful play that "hits all the right notes"! Clever and funny as well as inspiring. If you love Handel's Messiah, this play is a MUST SEE! This play has the feel of a juicy soap opera, with dueling diva sopranos, a plot combining religious protest, political alienation, social humiliation, and a sex scandal. Based on actual historical facts, George Frederick Handel is in trouble: his last opera flopped, he is no longer in favor with King George II and preachers are raging that his latest work is blasphemous. In this climate, he struggles to present "The Messiah." Handel's travails are linked with those of his leading soprano. Forced into retirement because of a scandal, she is slated to make her comeback in his new masterpiece and fears a nasty reception. A malicious, back stabbing alternate is waiting in the wings to replace her. A devious bishop and Handel's bulky librettist add to the conflict in this true story of the politics and passion that nearly prevented "The Messiah" from ever being performed.
August 8, August 14, August 15... and if necessary August 21/22 at 7PM
Powerhouse Theatre, Waveny Park, New Canaan, CT. NOTE: ALL AUDITIONERS MUST BE FULLY VACCINATED.
GEORGE FREDERICK HANDEL: LEAD ROLE (age to pass for late 50's) Male - A heavy man but by no means lugubrious, Handel speaks with a slight German accent, has a sardonic sense of humor, a passion for good music, and high appreciation for excellent musicianship. VOCAL PART: Spoken, Tenor or Bass SONGS: Chorus: “Hallelujah”.
KITTY CLIVE: LEAD ROLE (age to pass for early 30's) Female - Singing actress, Drury Lane Theatre Kitty is pretty, cocksure, and extremely tough. She is street smart rather than highly educated, speaks in Cockney when emotional, and has a killer voice—and temper. She hates Susannah with a passion. ‘Kitty’ Clive (1711-1785, active 1728-1769) was a first songster and star comedienne of British playhouse entertainment. Clive led and created new forms of English musical theatre. VOCAL PART: Spoken, Soprano SONGS: Solos: “How Beautiful Are the Feet,” “Come unto Him” Chorus: “Hallelujah”.
SUSANNAH MARIA CIBBER: LEAD ROLE (age to pass for late 20's) Female - Singing actress, formerly of Drury Lane Theatre VOCAL PART: Spoken, Mezzo-Soprano Beautiful and frail, Susannah’s reputation has been ruined by circumstances beyond her control, affecting her confidence, career, health, and personal life. Still, she persists. It was said Cibber sang with simple sweetness and feeling, both of which appealed to Handel’s musical sensibilities. Susannah Maria Cibber (née Arne; February 1714 – 30 January 1766) was a celebrated English singer and actress. VOCAL PART: Spoken, Mezzo-Soprano SONGS: Solo:“Sing unto God,” “Coventry Carol,” “He was Despised and Rejected” Chorus: “Hallelujah”.
MARY PERDARVES: LEAD ROLE (age to pas for early 40's) Female - Music patron The twice widowed 18th-century Englishwoman thrived in her middle-age as a social butterfly, amateur artist, and trusted authority on everything from court fashion to natural science. She is well dressed, kindly, and at times seems batty—but don’t fall for it. VOCAL PART: Spoken, Alto SONGS: Chorus: “Hallelujah”.
KING GEORGE III: Supporting Role (age to pass for late 50's) Male - King of England Passionate, volatile, not educated but always striving to learn more, King George grieves the loss of his beloved wife, Caroline. He has a good sense of humor and a strong sense of honor. VOCAL PART: Spoken, Tenor or Bass SONGS: Chorus: “Hallelujah”.
BISHOP HENRY EGERTON : Supporting Role (age to pass for mid-30s) Male - Clerk of the Closet for the Royal Household Egerton is educated, pompous, and inflexible in his beliefs and practices. He despises Handel. VOCAL PART: Spoken, Tenor or Bass SONGS: Chorus: “Hallelujah”.
CHARLES JENNENS: Supporting Role (age to pass for early 40's) Male - Squire of Gospel, librettist of Messiah Jennens is extremely religious, meticulous, and insensitive to all others’ feelings and practices. He is a non-juror (one who refuses to swear an oath to royalty). VOCAL PART: Spoken, Tenor or Bass (pending other casting) SONGS: Solo: Opening verse to “All We Like Sheep” Chorus: “Hallelujah”.
JOHN CHRISTOPHER SMITH: Supporting Role (age to pass for late 40's) Male - Business manager, amanuensis for Handel Smith is quiet, efficient, and witty. Quietly and with good intentions, Smith both manages and manipulates Handel to do what is best. VOCAL PART: Spoken, Tenor or Bass SONGS: Chorus: “Hallelujah”.