The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The Madison Savoyards will begin paying singers in its summer productions of Gilbert and Sullivan operas. Plus a FREE performance of a rarely heard work by Couperin is on Good Friday at noon. | March 23, 2016

ALERT: UW-Madison professor and baritone Paul Rowe has sent in the following note: “There is a great, free “concert” or performance on this Friday at Luther Memorial Church, 1021 University Avenue, from noon to 3 p.m. Singers Chelsie Propst and Christina Kay with organist Bruce Bengtson will be performing François Couperin’s “Leçons de ténèbres” or “Lessons in Darkness.” This work is rarely heard in performance at all, much less in this complete form. It is a fabulous piece and a great way to spend a Good Friday afternoon before Easter with its contemplative mood and its beautiful solos and duets. There will also be appropriate readings and some other music as part of the service. It is definitely worth hearing.” 

By Jacob Stockinger

Here is some good news for amateurs and semi-professionals who participate in community music-making and community theater.

For the first time in its 53-year history, the Madison Savoyards, Ltd. will pay its singers. (Below is a photo of the Three Little Maids from last summer’s production of “The Mikado.”)

Madison Savoyards The Mikado 2015

“It is an exciting next step for the organization, and will help us attract the best possible talent,” says newly installed Savoyards board president Shane Magargal. “For over 50 years, the Savoyards has kept these comic operas by Gilbert and Sullivan alive in Madison. This move will help us continue to remain a vibrant part of the local theatrical community for years to come.” (Below, are photos of W.S. Gilbert on the left and Arthur Sullivan on the right.)

Gilbert and Sullivan

Auditions for the Savoyards’ summer production, The Gondoliers, will be held at Edgewood College on Monday, April 4 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (Room Regina R5), and on Saturday, April 9 from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Mazzuchelli Hall, Room 208).

To schedule a time, send your request via email to audition@madisonsavoyards.org

Information about what to prepare can be found at www.madisonsavoyards.org on the “Auditions” page.

The Gondoliers will run at Music Hall, in the UW-Madison campus at the base of Bascom Hill, on July 29, July 30, August 5 and August 6 at 7:30 p.m.; and July 31 and August 7 at 3 p.m.

There will be pre-performance dinners both Fridays at the University Club.

The Madison Savoyards, Ltd. has been presenting Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas to Madison audiences since 1963, and is pleased to offer The Gondoliers for the fourth time in its production history. (At bottom is YouTube video with a brief excerpt from “The Gondoliers.”)

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3 Comments »

  1. About Mr. Rowe’s incorrect statement of there being a free “concert” this Friday at Luther Memorial from noon until 3.00 p.m.

    For him to label it as a “concert” is grossly misleading. It is an integral part of the Tre Ore service at LM, NOT a separate concert.

    It would be appreciated if The Ear could make this correction.

    Thank you,

    Lynn Washington
    LM member

    Comment by bratschespeilerin — March 23, 2016 @ 3:14 pm

    • Than you for read and replying.
      It doesn’t read in a disrespectful way
      And Mr. Rowe mentions Good Friday as the occasion.
      I made some minor adjustments and people can read your comment.
      It is indeed a performance and people can indeed go to hear it.
      I hope it goes well.

      Comment by welltemperedear — March 23, 2016 @ 10:57 pm

  2. I’m glad to see the Savoyards are going to start to pay their cast members. I was a member of the Savoyard Chorus for nine productions in the 1990’s and I know how hard we worked to put on a good show. We never complained about not being paid, but it would have been nice. More to the point, I’ve been disappointed to see how small the men’s chorus has been in recent productions and hope a stipend will encourage more men to join. Come on, guys!!!

    Comment by Steve Powell — March 23, 2016 @ 7:57 am


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