Presenting fully staged grand opera, sung in English

As I’m sure you are all aware, the spread of COVID-19 globally is causing a lot of changes to our day to day life, with information changing daily and measures being put in place to slow the spread of the virus and protect the most vulnerable in our society.

As such, Bristol Opera will be following guidelines set by the UK Government and the WHO around social distancing.

  • Opera rehearsals will be suspended with immediate effect until 25th June. This is subject to any changes in guideline between now and then
  • Auditions for Hugh the Drover will be delayed until further notice. We will make an announcement when a new date is arranged
  • Our production of Hugh the Drover will be postponed until September/October. This is dependent on the availability of the venue and performers
  • Subject to changes to official guidelines, we are considering rehearsing through summer, effectively bringing our summer break forward.

Arne, Graham and the rest of the committee are working hard behind the scenes to ensure we are all ready to go when restrictions are lifted. In the meantime, keep yourselves safe and we look forward to seeing you when we meet again.

Auditions for Hugh the Drover will be taking place on Thursday 26th March, at Horfield United Reformed Church between 7:30PM and 9:30PM. If you would like to audition for any of the roles below, please contact auditions@bristolopera.co.uk. Alternatively, we are still accepting new members who with to join the chorus. Please contact membership@bristolopera.co.uk or see this page for more information.

Principle Roles

Role Voice Type Role Details
Hugh the Drover Tenor The romantic lead. An outsider who won’t give up his wandering life and settle down.
Mary Soprano The girl who is about to be trapped in a loveless marriage when Hugh comes into her life.
The Constable Bass-Baritone Mary’s father. Very pompous. Thinks he can bully Mary into marrying the man of his choice.
John the Butcher Bass-Bariton A vicious thug, but the man the Constable wants Mary to marry.
Aunt Jane Mezzo-Soprano Mary’s aunt, fussy and motherly, but ultimately accepting that Mary can only be happy with Hugh.
The Turnkey Tenor A jobsworth whose love of alcohol makes him pretty useless.

Other Roles

In addition to the main roles, there are several smaller parts. Those wishing to audition for these roles may also join the chorus.
Role Role Details
The Cheap-Jack A dodgy pedlar at the fair. Can be played by a man or a woman.
The Showman Another person trying to make a living from the fair, who is very patriotic and also arranges the boxing-match between Hugh and John. Can be played by a man or a woman.
The Ballad-Seller Can be played by a man or a woman.
The Shellfish-Seller Male role
The Primrose-Seller Female role
Susan, Nancy, William and Robert An SATB Semi-Chorus
The Fool Not the village idiot, but a jester who accompanies the Morris Dancers. Can be played by a man or a woman
The Innkeeper Sings one line
The Sergeant An important part, who saves Hugh from being lynched.

If you are not yet a member of Bristol Opera, a £10 audition fee will be required. If you are successful in your audition, this fee will be put towards your membership fee for the period. Please see our membership page for information about fees,

Hugh the Drover will be performed on Saturday 20th June 2020 at Tyndale Baptist Church. This will be a semi-staged production.