Yeomen of the Guard

Libretto by William Schwenk Gilbert and Music by Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan

Directed by Joan Brooks, Stage Director, and Michael Alexander, Music Director/Orchestra Conductor

The Yeomen of the Guard, or The Merryman and His Maid, opened October 3, 1888, at the Savoy Theatre and ran for 423 performances. The darkest of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, Yeomen ends with a broken-hearted main character and at least two reluctant engagements, rather than the usual armful of marriages. However, Gilbert's "pointed" satire and punning one-liners abound, there are plenty of topsy-turvy plot complications, and many believe that the score is Sullivan's finest. Indeed, some enjoy Yeomen particularly because of its ever-changing emotional balance of joy and despair, love and sacrifice.

The setting of Yeomen is laid in the Tower of London in Shakespearean times. The plot concerns Colonel Fairfax, a gentleman, soldier and scientist, who has been sentenced to be beheaded in an hour on a false charge of sorcery. To avoid leaving his estate to his accuser (a cousin), and with the help of the Lieutenant of the Tower, Fairfax secretly marries Elsie Maynard, a strolling singer. The bride agrees to be blindfolded during the ceremony and expects to be a well-paid widow in an hour. With the help of the Meryll family, Fairfax escapes, throwing the Tower into confusion and the astonished Elsie (and her mentor, the jester Jack Point, who loves her) into despair. But Fairfax, disguised as Leonard Meryll, woos Elsie, and after a number of plot complications are worked out, she falls in love with Fairfax and leaves Jack Point broken-hearted.

Produced by Madison Savoyards, Ltd. at Music Hall, 925 Bascom Mall

Performances: July 17 - July 26, 2009

Performance Times: Friday, July 17, 2008 - 7:30 PM; Saturday, July 18, 2008 - 7:30 PM; Sunday, July 19, 2008 - 3:00 PM; Friday, July 24, 2008 - 7:30 PM; Saturday, July 25, 2008 - 7:30 PM; Sunday, July 26, 2008 - 3:00 PM

Ticket Prices: (Reserved Seating) $30 Adults, $28 Seniors, $15 Students, $5 Children (under 13). Premium and discount seating available. Reserve early as seating is limited! Tickets are available at the Wisconsin Union Theater Box Office (262-2201) and Vilas Hall Box Office (262-1500) and online at

Call 608-262-2201 for reservations or more information.

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Auditions for the men's chorus and 3 men's principal roles (1st & 2nd Yeomen, Leonard Meryll) for the 2009 production: The Yeomen of the Guard are scheduled for June, 7, 2009. Call (608) 231-9005 for an appointment.

Please prepare a song you are comfortable with that best displays the range appropriate for the role you are auditioning for.

Please fill out the audition form, note schedule, and bring to audition from the website,