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Published: Wednesday, 8/25/2010

Auditions: Ballets search for Nutcrackers, Opera fills chorus

Dancers perform in the Toledo Ballet's 2009 ‘Nutcracker.' The ballet is holding auditions for this year's shows Saturday at its Westfield Franklin Park headquarters. Dancers perform in the Toledo Ballet's 2009 ‘Nutcracker.' The ballet is holding auditions for this year's shows Saturday at its Westfield Franklin Park headquarters.
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Dreaming of Sugar Plum Fairies, Snowflakes, and, of course, the Nutcracker himself? Maybe not, but many dancers are as auditions for the annual holiday family productions are underway in the Toledo area.

It's another sign of the start of the 2010-2011 performing arts season. Here's another: Season of the Arts, The Blade's annual calendar of all major arts events from September 2010 through June 2011, is coming Sept. 19.

One of the country's oldest productions of The Nutcracker, the Toledo Ballet version, is holding auditions Saturday at its Franklin Park headquarters for the upcoming 70th anniversary shows, Dec. 11 and 12 in the Stranahan Theater.

St. Louis choreographer Gen Horiuchi will choreograph and TB school director Lisa Lang will stage the performances. Dancers must be 7 years or older and are not required to study at Toledo Ballet.

Auditions begin at noon Saturday and continue to 5 p.m., with proficiency-level classes to be attended by all hopefuls. A complete schedule of audition classes is online at toledoballet.net.

An audition fee of $15 will be collected and dancers should bring a good head-shot photograph for the program. Early arrival to complete paperwork, warm up, and get an audition number is suggested.

Information: 419-471-0049.

• In Monroe, the River Raisin Ballet Company also will hold auditions for its production of The Nutcracker. They will be 10:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on Sept. 4. Production dates for the annual event are Dec. 3, 4, and 5 in the River Raisin Centre for the Arts, 114 South Monroe St., Monroe, Mich.

Auditions will be held in the Cass Street Studios just behind the Centre, where company founder and director Gail Choate-Pettit, who choreographs and stages the Tchaikovsky classic, oversees classes in the Cecchetti dance method.

For more information on auditions and the company, call 1-734-242-7722 or e-mail info@riverraisinballet.com.

• Ballet Theatre of Toledo will hold auditions Sept. 18 for its production of The Nutcracker Nov. 26-28 in the Valentine Theatre at the BTT studios, 1124 Corporate Dr., Holland. Level-specific audition times are 1 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. A $55 costume fee will be required (but returned if dancer is not cast) at the audition. For a complete schedule and more information, call 419-861-0895 or check ballettheatreoftoledo.org.

• The University of Toledo Community Chorus will begin its new season with rehearsals at 7 p.m. Monday in Room 1019 of the UT Center for the Performing Arts. No auditions are required; registration will begin at 6:15 p.m. Monday. Music and parking passes will be available at that time. Stephen Hodge, director of choral activities at UT, will conduct the choir. Fall semester performance will be Nov. 21 at St. Hyacinth Church. For more information, contact Dr. Hodge 419-530-4558.

• The Perrysburg Symphony Chorale starts rehearsals at 7:30 p.m. Monday in First United Methodist Church, 200 West Second St., Perrysburg.

Wayne Anthony will return to conduct a season of classical, sacred, and traditional music including works by Ralph Vaughan Williams, G.F. Handel, and folk songs. Auditions are not required. For more information, contact Wendie or Chuck Kiskaddon at 419-874-9126.

• If you've never sung in an opera chorus, you've missed a distinctive and memorable experience learning to sing beautiful music (and, often, a bit of a new language) while watching famed singers rehearse with both conductor and stage director. Then, there are the costumes and makeup, the lights and the exciting performances in the Valentine Theatre — all elements of this congenial world.

The Toledo Opera is always looking for singers willing to work hard and have great fun at the same time. Renay Conlin, general and artistic director, says this year's season production of Igor Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress (Nov. 12 and 14) will require a large chorus. Rehearsals will start next month. To schedule a private audition with Conlin, call 419-255-7464.

• The University Musical Society Choral Union will hold auditions at 6 p.m. Monday in the University of Michigan Modern Languages Building auditorium 4, and 6 p.m. Sept. 13 in the Great Lakes Room of Palmer Commons, Washtenaw Avenue and Palmer Drive. The venerable 170-voice chorus will perform the Messiah (Dec. 4-5) with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra; Mahler's Symphony No. 8 with Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra March 18-19, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 April 14-16.

Jerry Blackstone is director. Auditions for singers of all ages comprise vocal exercises to identify range and timbre, a prepared solo, and sight-reading of a Bach chorale. Accompaniment is provided; auditions need to supply piano score. To schedule an audition, contact Kathy Operhall, manager, at 734-763-8997 or e-mail at choralunion@umich-edu.

• The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra has openings for professional section violinists, violists, cellists, bassists, and percussionists; a principle oboe, bassoon II, horn III, trumpet III. Auditions will be held daily starting Sept. 20. For a concise schedule of times and repertoire, check www.a2so.com/auditions.

An audition fee of $15 should be sent with resume; deadline for submission is Sept. 10.

Music director and conductor Arie Lipsky plans a full season of general and themed concerts starting with the Sept. 26 program of music by Michiganders and winding up April 30 with Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 3.

This weekly column welcomes submissions by professional and amateur instrumental, choral, dance, and opera presenters seeking to engage with the public. Notices for performances, auditions, and major changes are included. Items should be sent via e-mail to svallongo@theblade.com at least two weeks ahead of the event being announced.



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