Image of Sir Arthur Sullivan
festivals heading

There will be no  Sullivan Festival in 2017. However, Sullivan Society members will be joining with the Deutsche Sullivan-Gesellschaft for a weekend of events in Leipzig from 19 - 21 May.  The next Sullivan Festival is expected to take place at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, on 14/15/16 September 2018. 


The programme for 2016's event is shown below for interest.




Friday 23 September

7.30 Dinner

9.30 Cabaret with Russell Painter (tenor), Leon Berger and Bruce Graham (baritones) and Tim Smith (piano)

Bar open until 11pm


Saturday 24 September

8.00 Breakfast

9.00 Auction. A founder-member of the Society has donated his collection, including a Sullivan signature; the published facsimile of the Mikado full score; vocal score and libretto of No Cards; and a number of other rarities. Please note that we are NOT accepting other lots for this special sale.

10.00 Illustrated talk by Martin Yates: 1873 in English Oratorio, covering J.F. Barnett’s The Raising of Lazarus, Macfarren’s St. John the Baptist and, of course, The Light of the World.

11.00 Coffee

11.30 Members’ Favourites: members talk about and play a favourite piece of music.

12.00 Reception and launch of the new Oxford University Press vocal score of The Yeomen of the Guard, edited by Colin Jagger, Director of Music at Portsmouth University. Philip Croydon of OUP will speak, then Colin will discuss his work on the score, with musical illustrations provided by students of Portsmouth University. The new score will be available for sale along with other OUP music publications, including David Russell Hulme’s score of Ruddigore.

1.30 Lunch, then afternoon free to enjoy the campus grounds, pop into Cirencester or have an excursion a little further afield.

5.30 Patience, or The Rival Curates: A presentation by Roger Wild looking at how parts of Patience might have sounded had Gilbert stuck with his original plan to feature clergymen rather than aesthetes.

Patience: Jo Robinson

Angela: Laura Jamie Anstice

Duke: Dave Anstice-Pim

Colonel: Matthew Siveter

Revd. Lawn Tennison: Matthew Siveter

Chorus: Students from Portsmouth University,

Other parts by members of the cast

Narrator: Rosemary Wild

Piano: Martin Yates

Musical Director: Colin Jagger

7.00 Dinner

8.30 Respectful Perversions: Glitter & Twisted Theatre Company present a new revue specially created for the Sullivan Society. Numbers will be drawn from Sullivan’s theatre work, plus material from other Savoy shows of the 1890s. G&T will explore links between the pieces and present some bold new interpretations. Musical Director: Suzanne Barnes; Director: Simon Moss


Sunday 25 September

8.00 Breakfast

9.00 Annual General Meeting of the Sullivan Society (members only)

9.30 Illustrated talk by Stephen Turnbull: The Flip Side. Some unlikely and entertaining discoveries from a lifetime’s collecting Sullivan recordings.

10.30 Coffee

11.00 Illustrated talk by David Hill: The Crystal Palace. A look at the famous venue that played such a key rôle in Sullivan’s career from the première of The Tempest in April 1862.

12.00 Cox and Box: A musically complete, semi-staged performance of the original version to mark the opera’s 150th anniversary.

Box: Russell Painter

Cox: Leon Berger

Bouncer:  Bruce Graham

Piano: Tim Smith

1.15 Lunch

2.30 Talk by J. Donald Smith: Mrs. Ronalds.  A look at the life of Sullivan’s long-term companion.

3.00 Sullivan’s Loves:  A selection of songs by Sullivan and dedicated to, or associated with, the loves in his life. Plus songs by others, including Mrs. Ronalds herself.

Jo Robinson (soprano),

Matthew Siveter (baritone),

J. Donald Smith (narrator),

Martin Yates (piano).

4.30 The Long Day Closes