Nelson opera auditions for Jorinda

Auditions for dancers, singers, and puppeteers will be held on June 13.


Nelson Community Opera will be auditioning later this month to fill the remainder of the cast for next November’s operatic world premiere of Jorinda, by Nelson composer Doug Jamieson.

“We have filled the four principal singing roles and now we need to recruit four principal dancers who will animate those same four roles as well as a women’s chorus of about ten singers,” said the opera’s producer, Marty Horswill.

“Since Jorinda is staged as a puppet show, we also need a number of puppeteer/stage hands who will be on stage in costume manipulating the puppets as well as various set pieces.  Our puppet masters will train these puppeteers so they need not have any previous puppetry experience.”

“My original concept for Jorinda was that the opera would be staged entirely as a puppet show,” said composer Doug Jamieson.

“Once we analyzed in detail all of the movements required to animate the story line we realized that some of the essential actions of the principal characters were simply beyond the technical capacity of a puppet.

“To solve this difficulty but still keep the feel of a puppet show we have decided to cast the four principal roles as dancers wearing masks. Slava Doval of  Dancefusion will now join the Jorinda production team as the show’s choreographer. It has been an amazing journey to watch Jorinda evolve in the hands of our talented team of artistic directors, designers and puppeteers,” Jamieson concluded.

Loosely based on one of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, Jorinda tells the story of an evil witch who captures children — eating the boys and turning the girls into caged birds.

As the opera opens, Jorinda, the heroine, briefly escapes on a stormy night just long enough to meet and fall in love with her shipwrecked hero, Jaren.

The rest of the opera follows the lovers’ adventures as they struggle to overcome the witch’s evil powers.

Allison Girvan will sing the role of Jorinda and Nelson’s current cultural ambassador, Bessie Wapp, will sing the role of the Witch. Tenor Roger Ley sings Jaren and Sydney Black sings Grungella, the toad.

Dancers interested in auditioning for one of the four principal dance roles should contact Slava Doval at 250-352-0047 or by email at Singers (soprano and alto only) wanting to audition for the women’s chorus should contact Doug Jamieson at, and anyone interested in becoming a puppeteer/stage hand should contact Marty Horswill at 250-352-2595 or by email at

Auditions will take place Saturday, June 13 or by special arrangement.

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