Wanted: ‘Rabble’ chorus members willing to sing, shout, and carry on in Windham Orchestra opera production

BRATTLEBORO — The Windham Orchestra is looking for more than a few adventurous souls to join its 'rabble' chorus.

Puccini's Turandot includes a large group of singers tackling such roles as a bloodthirsty mob shouting for a beheading, to name one example.

Given the opera's size and scope, Windham Orchestra Musical Director Hugh Keelan is encouraging singers of any and all talent to join what he calls “the rabble chorus.”

“This opera is one of the great spectacle operas,” Keelan explains. “The chorus will be asked to take on a role that is relatively simple to sing, but extremely enjoyable to perform, and it adds to the volume and the bigness of the production.”

Performances of Turandot are set for Sunday and Tuesday, Oct. 14 and 16, at the Latchis Theatre in Brattleboro, and Thursday, Oct. 18, at the Academy of Music in Northampton, Mass. Ticket information will soon be announced.

Turandot is the story of the disguised Prince Calàf, who falls in love with the aloof Princess Turandot and must solve three riddles to escape execution and win her hand. Passing the test, he tells the still-reluctant princess that if she discovers his name before dawn, he will die and release her from her promise.

Working with the “rabble” chorus is what Keelan calls his “SWAT team” - a chorus of 20 or so members performing more detailed choral ensemble work.

Principal singers will include Jenna Rae as Princess Turandot, Alan Schneider as Prince Calàf, Cailin Marcel Manson as blind King Timur and Thomas Gregg as the Emperor. Rounding out the principal cast are James Anderson, Elizabeth Wohl, Michael Duffin, and Gary Clay.

Those interested in joining the rabble chorus can email [email protected] to learn more about rehearsals and the production itself.

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