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The Face on the Barroom Floor and Emperor Norton (NY premiere)
music by Henry Mollicone
libretti by John S. Bowman

Chelsea Opera is seeking principal singers and covers for its November 7/8, 2014 production of The Face on the Barroom Floor and Emperor Norton (NY premiere). All position are paid. Performed with piano quartet, conducted from the piano by the composer. Interested singers should submit their materials (resume, headshot and MP3 file or link to a live performance, preferably in English) to asap. Please submit all materials (resume, headshot and mp3 recording of a LIVE performance or video link) as attachments no later than Friday, June 13, 2014.

Singer will be required to prepare two contrasting arias in English that demonstrate their vocal and acting ability.

Audition times: Tuesday, June 24 and Wednesday, June 25 (evening). You must be available for callbacks on Thursday, June 26 (evening).

Audition Location: Christ and Saint Stephen’s Church - 120 West 69 th Street, NYC (between Broadway and Columbus). A pianist will be provided at no cost to you, or you may bring your own.

Auditions are by invitation only. Local singers preferred as no housing or transportation provided. Managed or unmanaged singers welcome but must be of professional caliber. A strong dramatic sense is as important as quality of voice. Applicants must affirm they are available through the entire rehearsal period (Oct 6-Nov 8, weekday evenings). Any/all conflicts must be listed in advance and be approved by Company.


characters – Barroom (time: the present and a flashback to yesteryear)

rich sounding lyric soprano with high C

Isabel (a young opera singer)/Madeline (a dance hall girl)

lyric tenor with a solid high C

Larry (Isabel’s friend)/Matt (a painter, in love with Madeline)

charismatic and strong sounding baritone

Tom (a bartender)/John (the bartender also in love with Madeline

Synopsis: In two tales, separated in time but parallel in characters and theme. In present day Central City, CO, Isabel, a member of the opera chorus, and her friend Larry visit the Teller House bar. Larry orders champagne and asks about the face painted on the floor. Tom, the bartender, tells the story, which is enacted as he becomes a 19th century bartender named John, who welcomes the bargirl Madeline (played by Isabel) as they toast to the future. A disheveled traveler, Matt (played by Larry), enters and orders drinks for all while Madeline is asked to sing. Unable to pay for the drinks, Matt offers instead to paint a portrait on the barroom floor of the only woman he ever loved. John discovers the portrait is of Madeline. The two men fight until Madeline throws herself between them, with tragic consequences. Larry, now back in the twentieth century, laughs drunkenly at the old legend and forces Isabel to dance with him. Tom now reveals his past romantic relationship with Isabel, and challenges Larry. Events in the past repeat themselves in the present, continuing the legend of the face on the barroom floor. (Running time: 25 mins.)


characters – Norton (time: the present and various recreations of past events)

lyric soprano

Diana, an actress

strong mezzo who can portray an authoritative character, as she and the Intruder need to both be strong in their arguments. 

Marla, a playwright

strong lyric tenor with reasonable vocal stamina

Michael, an actor

strong baritone with good stage presence


The Intruder (Norton)

Synopsis: Diana and Michael arrive at a theatre to audition for a play about Emperor Norton. They are interrupted by the arrival of Marla, the playwright. She is astonished that they have been invited to audition since the play is unfinished, but decides she can use their talents to work out the more difficult scenes of the play. A man emerges from the shadows dressed as a 19th-century emperor, protesting that the scenes bear little resemblance to Norton’s actual death. He also challenges their perceptions, coaxing them to restage various episodes in the play. Marla, Diana and Michael begin to see how the threads of the mystery come together. Marla is won over and joins her destiny with The Intruder’s: Empress to his Emperor, in the realm of fantasy, spirit, art, and love. (Running time: 1 hour)

Chelsea Opera/Auditions Coordinator
P.O. Box 277 - Old Chelsea Station
New York NY 10113-0277

Application deadline – June 13, 2014

Submission Requirements:

Singers interested in specific roles should submit their materials to Please include your resume, headshot and an mp3 and/or video link to a LIVE performance.


Please send all materials as attachments with email. Website info is appreciated but should not be sent in lieu of attachments.

If unable to email materials, please send résumé and headshot via regular mail to:

Chelsea Opera/Auditions Coordinator
P.O. Box 277 - Old Chelsea Station
New York NY 10113-0277

Location of performances:
St. Peter’s Church in Chelsea – 346 W 20th Street, NYC (between 8th/9th Ave.)






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