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about the society

April 2015

Our Vice-President Nigel Burton died on 28 March following a stroke. He was 67. A full obituary will appear in Magazine 88.

The Golden Legend is to be performed in Ripon Cathedral on 15 August, as part of the 22nd international Gilbert and Sullivan Festival. The performance will be sponsored by the Sullivan Society.

Surrey Opera are to present a fully staged production of Ivanhoe in Redhill in the week commencing 5 October and seek choristers.

Details of these two major events, and of other forthcoming performances in the UK and abroad, will be found below.

The BBC Concert Orchestra and the BBC Singers, conducted by John Andrews,  recorded Sullivan's complete incidental music to The Tempest this month. Macbeth was recorded last month for issue on the Dutton label. This is the first complete recording of the Macbeth music and the first complete recording since 1955 of The Tempest. The Macbeth recording will also include Sullivan's overture Marmion in its complete version. 

The publication of the forthcoming Oxford University Press  vocal score of The Yeomen of the Guard edited by Colin Jagger, ISBN 978-0-19-338920-5, price £14-95, now stands postponed until at least October 2015.

about the society

Grim's Dyke Hotel, W.S. Gilbert's former home on Harrow Weald presents various events in 2015:

Opera dinners at 7.30 (3-course dinner, two-course supper between June and September): Trial by Jury 10 May, 13 Sep; H.M.S. Pinafore 19 Jul; The Pirates of Penzance 19 Apr, 21 Jun, 16 Aug, 11 Oct, 6 Dec; Patience 7 Jun; Iolanthe 5 Jul, 20 Dec; The Mikado 2 Aug, 29 Sep, 29 Nov; Ruddigore 1 Nov (Hallowe'en special).

Cream tea concerts at 2.30: 10 May, 7/21 Jun, 5/19 Jul, 2/16 Aug, 13/27 Sep.

Tea with a G&S tune - Hilary Morgan at the piano: 11 Jun, 10 Sep, 8 Oct, 5 Dec.


Opera Anywhere  presents The Mikado 25 Apr 7pm at the Wyastone Concert Hall, Wyastone Leys, Monmouth 01432-361050

The Deutsche Sullivan-Gesellschaft presents Britannia in Bamberg, a celebration of British music. 12-15 Mar: British Music of the Twentieth Century; 17-19 Apr Discover Elgar; 7-10 May Purcell, Sullivan and Co. Music by Sullivan features in concerts on 18 Apr,19 Apr and 9 May. For the full programme, more information and tickets see

The Steam Industry and Szpiezak Productions in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre present Princess Ida at the Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED from 24 March - 18 April. Tues - Sat 7.30; also Sats 4/11/18 Apr 3pm and Sundays 3pm. Directed by Phil Willmott, who has revised the libretto, and starring Simon Butteriss as Gama. Tickets £14-£18. 0844-847-1652;

Opera della Luna presents The Ghosts of Ruddigore:  22/23 Apr 7.30 Lawrence Batley Theatre Huddersfield 01484-430528; 3 May Chipping Norton Theatre 01608-642350.

Nürnberger Symphoniker presents the 'Cello Concerto in D in the Meistersingerhalle, Nürnberg on 18 April 2015 at 8pm. Soloist Sebastian Hess, conductor John Carewe. Programme also includes Copland's Appalachian Spring and Dvorák's Symphony No. 8.

Charles Court Opera presents The Zoo and Trial by Jury at the King's Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, Islington, on Sundays 19/26 Apr and 3/10 May at 3pm and 7pm. Tickets £15 - £25: 0207-478-0160;

In Voice and Verse presents Shakespeare in Song for Ongar Music Club, Budworth Hall, High Street, Ongar, Essex CM5 9JG on 24 April at 8pm. A mixed programme including Sullivan's 'Sigh no more, ladies'Tickets from

Also Rule Britannia at Amersham Festival of Music, Chenies Manor, Chenies, Buckinghamshire. WD3 6ER 21 April evening; Wye Arts Association. Spring Grove School, Harville Road, Wye, Kent, TN25 5EZ  20 July evening. Rule Britannia is the programme formerly known as Elizabeth to Elizabeth and features 'When Thou tookest upon Thee' from the Festival Te Deum.

Hayes (Kent) Philharmonic Choir presents Mayday, a cantata by George Macfarren, on 25 April at Hayes Parish Church, Hayes St, Bromley, Kent BR2 7LH.  07989 192928; Hayes is easily accessible from central and south London and north-west Kent.

Sasha Regan presents her famous all-male production of The Pirates of Penzance in a UK tour as follows: week commencing 13 April Richmond Theatre; 20 April Theatre Royal, Winchester; 27 April Theatre Royal, Bath; 4 May Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford; 11 May Arts Centre, Warwick; 18 May The Spa, Bridlington; 25 May Theatre Royal, Brighton; 1 June Northcott, Exeter; 8 June Festival theatre, Malvern.

Upwell Gilbert and Sullivan Society presents Ruddigore on 23/24/25 Apr at Outwell Methodist church. Adults £7, children £4. Box office 01945-773070

The Kenwin Barton Gilbert and Sullivan Players present Ruddigore (concert performances with piano) in the following venues around Cornwall: 1 May Mylor Bridge Tremaine Hall; 8 May Lostwithiel Community Hall; 13 May Mount Charles Methodist Church; 20 May Mawnan Smith Memorial Hall; 10 Jun Tregony Village Hall; 17 Jun Redruth St. Andrew's Church; 24 Jun Falmouth Methodist Hall; 1 Jul Pat St. Mary's Church; 8 Jul Lanner Village Hall.

English National Opera presents The Pirates of Penzance at the London Coliseum commencing 9 May 2015. 9/14/19/23/29 May, 5/13/20/26/27 Jun at 7.30; 16 May at 6.30; 23 May, 13 Jun at 12.30; 21 Jun at 3pm. Directed by Mike Leigh. The performance of 19 May will be the subject of a live cinema relay. 020-7845-9300;

The New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players present The Gondoliers at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at New York University on 17/18 May.

The Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, presents a revival of Cox and Box - Mrs. Bouncer's Legacy: 21/22/23/25/26/29/30 May 7.45; 23/30 May 2.45; 28 May 1.45 and 7.15, then touring. Sheffield theatres (0114-249-6000) 1/2 Jun 7.45, 2 Jun 2.15; Middlesbrough Theatre (01642-815181) 4-6 Jun 7.30, 5 Jun 2.30; Theatre Royal, Wakefield (01924-211311) 16-19 Jun 7.30; 20 Jun 4pm and 8pm. Directed by Chris Monks, the first half is an affectionate gender-reversed version of the 1867 version of Cox and Box, Chris Monks' second-half sequel presents a similar dilemma in the same room 150 years later.

Odyssey Opera presents The Zoo, in a double bill with Walton's The Bear, at Boston University Theatre, 264 Huntingdon Avenue, Boston MA 02115 on 22 May 7.30, 24 May 3pm. These performances are part of a five-week season entitled The British Invasion. Tickets on sale 13 April:

Carlos Greull presents The Zoo in the Raubtierpark (zoo) at Subingen, Switzerland in on 25 May 2015. Further details in due course.

Chapel End Savoy Players present The Gondoliers on 28/29/30 May at 7.30; and 30/31 May at 2.30. Deaton theatre, The Forest School, London E17 3PY. Tickets £5-£14: 020-8527-0215

Valley Light Opera and Amherst Ballet present The Zoo and Pineapple Poll on 26,27 and 28 June at the Acacdemy of Music, Northampton, MA (USA) Poll will use a reduced orchestration made by Bernard Kwiram, in consultation with Sir Charles Mackerras, for performances in Seattle in 2004. These performances mark the conclusion of VLO's fortieth anniversary celebrations, as well as the 84th birthday of the group's founder, Bill Venman, a very long-standing Sullivan Society member. Tickets available from the Academy of Music (

Illyria presents a UK tour of Iolanthe:

11 July 7.30 Wintershill Hall,  Durley, Hants SO32 2AL; Sunday 12 Jul 6.30 Ness Botanical Gardens, Nesston, South Wirral CH64 4AY; 0845 030 4063 14 Jul 7.30 Lytham Hall, Lytham St Annes FY8 4JX 01253 736652; 16 Jul 7.30 Corfe Castle nr Wareham BH20 5EZ 0844 249 1895; 17 Jul Coleton Fishacre, Kingswear TQ6 0EQ; 18 Jul 7.30 Chepstow Castle, Chepstow NP16 5EZ 01291 625981; 19 Jul 7pm Hartland Abbey, Hartland, Bideford EX39 6DT; 21 Jul 7pm Northam Rectory, Great Torrington EX39 1AW; 22 Jul 7.30 Tonbridge Castle Tonbridge TN9 1BG 01732 7709; 24 Jul 7pm Rose Bank Gardens, Great Malvern WR14 4PZ; 25 Jul 7pm Dunham Massey Altrincham WA14 4SJ 0844 249 1895; 26 Jul 7pm Clumber Park, Worksop S80 3AZ 0844 249 1895; 27 Jul 6.45 Jubilee Park, Canary Wharf E14 5AB; 28 Jul 7.30 Castle Gardens, Sherborne DT9 5NR 01935 814633; 29 Jul 7.30 Castell Aberteifi / Cardigan Castle SA43 2TB; 30 Jul The Hawth, Crawley RH10 6YZ; 31 Jul Lincoln Castle LN1 3AA.

1 August 7pm Berkhamsted Castle, Berkhamsted HP4 1LJ; 2 Aug 3pm Temple Enclosure, Wanstead Park, Epping Forest E11 2LT; 5 Aug 7.15 Plas Glyn-y-Weddw Arts Centre Pwllheli LL53 7TT; 6 Aug 7pm Abergavenny Castle Grounds NP7 5EE 01873 850805; 9 Aug 2.30 The Minories, Colchester CO1 1UE; 11 Aug Hutton-in-the-Forest, Penrith CA11 9TH; 12 Aug Pitmedded Garden, Ellon, Aberdeenshire AB41 7PD; 13 Aug 7.30 Logie Steading Forres IV36 2QN; 14 Aug 7pm Raby Castle, Staindrop, nr. Darlington DL2 3AH; 15 Aug Dorney Court Kitchen Garden nr Maidenhead SL4 6QP; 16 Aug 5pm Eggesford, Great Torrington; 8 Aug 7pm Manor Green, Lynmouth EX35 6EN; 19 Aug 7.30 Penlee Park Penzance TR18 2QP;  20 Aug 7.30 Sterts Theatre, Upton Cross, Liskeard PL14 5AZ; 21 Aug 7pm Newstead Abbey, Ravenshead, Notts NG15 8NA; 22/23 Aug 8pm The Festival at Hever Castle, Edenbridge TN8 7NG 01732 866114.

Forbear! Theatre  presents Ruddigore at the Barons Court Theatre (at the Curtain's Up pub, 28a Comeragh Road, London W14 9HR),Tuesdays - Sundays 30 Jun - 12 Jul at 7.30.Tickets £16 (£12 concessions): 020-8932-4747

Ohio Light Opera presents Ruddigore on 8/10/12/28 Jul at 2pm and 17/23 Jul and 6 Aug at 7.30; and The Yeomen of the Guard.on 22/26/30 Jul, 1/5 Aug at 2pm. Freedlander Theatre, 329 E University Street, Wooster, Ohio 44691.

Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Victoria (Australia) presents The Contrabandista at Knox Community Arts Centre, Mountain Hwy, Bayswater on 16/17/18 Jul at 8pm and 18/19 Jul at 2pm. Musical Director Timothy Wilson; director Andy Payne.

Much Loved Productions present A Feast of Gilbert and Sullivan at Gawsworth Hall, Cheshire on 22 July at 7.30. 01260-223456

Twenty-second International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival: Harrogate,  1 - 23 August 2015

The programme for the 2015 Festival has been announced and will feature the following professional performances in the Harrogate International Conference Centre and Royal Hall:

The Gondoliers: National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company (1/21 Aug mat & eve)

H.M.S. Pinafore: NG&S Opera Company (2 Aug mat & eve, 20 Aug mat & eve))

Patience: NGSOC (14 Aug eve, 15 Aug mat & eve, 22 Aug mat & eve))

The Mikado: NGSOC (16 Aug mat & eve, 23 Aug mat & eve)

Ruddigore: Charles Court Opera (8 Aug mat & eve)

There will be performances of all the G&S canon from The Sorcerer to Utopia Limited inclusive by a total of thirteen different amateur groups, as well as further performances, including The Grand Duke, Trial by Jury and The Zoo, in the Harrogate Theatre.

Following on the success of 2014’s “Sullivan Spectacular”, there is to be a second, from 14 - 16 August, the highlight of which is to be a performance of The Golden Legend in Ripon Cathedral on the evening of Saturday 14 August. The performance, which is sponsored by the Sullivan Society, will feature the Leeds Philharmonic Chorus and an orchestra from the Royal Northern College of Music, conducted by James Hendry. On 16 August there will be An Evening with Donald Maxwell at the beautiful and unique Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond.  The three-day Spectacular also includes talks by Ian Bradley, a performance of The Window, a choral workshop with Martin Yates and an exposition at the piano by Martin of The Golden Legend.

The National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company presents an autumn tour of H.M.S. Pinafore, The Mikado and The Gondoliers, including Hall for Cornwall, Truro 31 Aug - 2 Sep; Darlington Civic Theatre 15-19 Sep 01325-486555; Grand Theatre, Blackpool 10 - 14 Nov. More details as they become available.

Scottish Opera presents H.M.S. Pinafore in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh, as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, on 23 Aug at 5pm. Cast includes John Mark Ainsley, Toby Spence, Neal Davies, Elizabeth Watts. Conductor Richard Egarr. Tickets £12-£44: 0131-473-2000;

The 2015 Sullivan Society Festival will take place at the Royal Agricultural University. Cirencester on 11, 12 and 13 September 2015. Sullivan's great-great nephew Scott Hayes will talk and launch his new book of the composer's letters to his family. J. Donald Smith will talk on Sullivan and the Grant family. John Balls on Sullivan and the Titanic. Musicians taking part include James Hendry and a string quartet from the Royal Northern College of Music; Matthew Siveter, and Martin Yates, who will give an exposition on the score of The Light of the World. There will be a Sullivan service with the opportunity to sing in the choir, as well as further talks. To see a full programme, please click on "NEXT SULLIVAN FESTIVAL" at the head of this page.

Surrey Opera  presents Ivanhoe at the Harlequin, Redhill, in the week commencing 5 October. Surrey Opera works with young, up-and-coming professional soloists and a professional orchestra. They wish to augment their (amateur) chorus so as to do full justice to Sullivan’s score. Music rehearsals take place on Monday nights at Clyde Hall, Clyde Road, Croydon CR0 6SZ (ten minutes walk from East Croydon station), with occasional Thursday nights. During the six-week production period rehearsals will be on Mondays, Thursdays and possibly the occasional Saturday. If you would like to be considered as a chorister, please contact the company’s Administrator, Penny Locke, to arrange an audition. 020-8654-6205; 07817-416004 (mob); Sight-reading ability is not essential, but would be useful. 

 More precise details of the production - casting details, performance dates and times and, most importantly, how to book tickets, will be posted as they become available.

The company is keen to secure sponsorship and donations to help with the costs of this production, which they expect to be considerable. For more information see

Tano Rea presents The Great Big Gilbert and Sullivan Show at the Theatre Royal, Lincoln on 17 Oct.

Kidlington Amateur Operatic Society presents Utopia Ltd. from 21-24 Oct at Gosford Hill School, Kidlington. (near Oxford) Tickets (01865) 375613.

We understand that the English National Opera production of The Mikado is to be revived again in November/December 2015 and January 2016.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival presents The Yeomen of the Guard in repertoire from 24 Feb - 30 Oct 2016. Adapted by Sean Graney, Andra Velis Simon, Matt Kahler; directed by Sean Graney.

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra presents the suite from The Merchant of Venice and three dances from The Tempest in a Shakespeare concert on 1 June 2016.

Updated 16 April 2015