We sat down with Director, Noel Brown to discuss what he’s looking for in the audition process for Nova’s Dr Zhivago.

TP: Why did you chose to stage Dr Zhivago?

Noel: Because its different a classic story very dramatic and interesting and a good vehicle for Actor/singers who sing and perform in a similar style to Les Miserables.

TP: What are the challenges for the characters? What’s in it for the performer?

Noel: For the performers it is challenging both for dramatic acting and very good musical numbers a very interesting score. They need to bring these characters to life with convincing portrayals and dramatic interpretation from dialogue into music/singing.

TP: Is there much to do for the ensemble?

Noel: Yes and they also cover a large range of Cameo roles. See more below.

TP: What are you looking for in the auditions? i.e. character actors, strong operatic singers etc?

Noel: We are looking for people that can demonstrate an ability to convey a convincing character through their singing ability both musically and dramatically by telling the  story contained in the lyrics of their chosen song.  Obviously also good singing ability and a suitable vocal range for the role.

TP: What piece of advice would you give to potential auditionees?

Noel: Auditionees need to remember that we are just as concerned as they are to have them succeed in the audition so that we have a good cast to work with.  So in effect we are very much “on their side”. They should choose a song that they are totally at ease with and shows off their vocal prowess and range. Do not choose one that is difficult for you to sing or that you have recently learned and are not totally familiar and at ease with just yet. We do not want to see a lot of physical movement in the song but rather do want to see (as stated before) just a good interpretation of the words. It’s always best if you can find a way to combine your acting skills to complement the vocal storytelling.  Very important – Auditionees mustn’t restrict themselves to that chosen role (if indeed they are fully aware of it as this is a brand new musical production) and nothing else! By leaving the option of another part or ensemble as well (there is a huge amount of challenging work for ensemble and as stated a myriad of cameo roles that they will be required to play) so by leaving their options open they have a huge possibility of obtaining a really satisfying role in this Non Professional Premiere production.

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