Last Saturday morning, the halls of the Wortham Theater Center were bustling as young people of all ages poured through the doors. Houston Grand Opera was holding auditions for its spring production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music. The turnout was a record-breaking 450 hopeful performers, making these the largest children’s auditions in company history—it took 12 hours for the HGO team to hear everyone sing!
Only six singers would go on to grace the Wortham stage as the von Trapp children, with six cast as covers, when the company presents the musical next spring, from April 26 to May 12, 2024.
With the casting call open to children across Houston, these auditions represented a golden opportunity. To be selected meant a paid engagement and a chance to perform on the Wortham stage alongside HGO’s acclaimed Chorus, Orchestra, and a cast of world-class opera stars, among them Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, who is set to play Maria (and also recently made her film debut opposite Peter Dinklage in And She Came to Me).
Children and their parents sat expectantly outside the audition room, waiting for their chance to share their talents with HGO Chorus Director Richard Bado, who will not only lead the HGO Chorus but also conduct the musical next May. From outside the audition room, you could hear bright, young voices belt enthusiastic renditions of My Favorite Things and Do-Re-Mi. As they emerged, we asked a few of them how it went.
“My whole family, we just love musicals. I want to perform on a Broadway stage someday. When I heard about this on social media, I knew I had to audition.”
“I’m actually terrible at auditioning. I just get so nervous. My vocal instructor recommended that I come here as practice. It was different than I expected, but in a good way.”
“I’ve loved music since I was five years old. It’s why I wanted to come here today, and I think it went well.”
Callbacks took place the next day, and the auditions continued. Though HGO’s search for the six Von Trapp children is now complete, this story is far from over. It’s safe to say that even those who weren’t selected will be at the Wortham to see the curtains rise for this beloved production.
“Our family all loves The Sound of Music,” one mother shared. “My daughter was adamant about coming back to see the show, no matter what happens.”
Join us next spring as the six talented young singers and the rest of the cast take to the Wortham stage to perform this family-friendly classic!