“In the coming by-and-bye!”

—Lady Jane
Future Shows

Poster design by Tom McGregor and Mary Olson

Future Shows

Princess Ida – Spring 2018

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company is pleased to announce that it will present Princess Ida, from March 2nd through March 25th of 2018.

This steampunk inspired production of Princess Ida will be directed by Joe Andrews, with Music Direction by Dr. Randal A. Buikema

Princess Ida; or, Castle Adamant tells the story of Princess Ida and Prince Hilarion, who were married in infancy by their fathers, King Gama and King Hildebrand.  Ida, however, refuses to be bound by the decisions that others have made for her and has left her father’s court to establish a college for women from which all men are barred.  Hilarion and his friends infiltrate the castle, disguised as women, in Hilarion’s attempt to win Princess Ida’s love.  King Hildebrand, however, grows impatient and storms the castle.  Ida is abandoned by her women, who fear a military conflict, and is failed by her brothers who offer to fight for her, but lose.  Ultimately, as she has come to know Hilarion, realizes that she loves him and decides for herself that she will consent to their marriage.

In Princess Ida, Gilbert satirizes feminism, women’s education and Darwinian evolution, which were controversial topics in conservative Victorian England.  The operetta is based on a narrative poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, called The Princess, written in 1847.  Gilbert had written a farcical musical play, based on the poem, in 1870, and lifted much of the dialogue of Princess Ida directly from his 1870 farce.  Princess Ida is the only Gilbert and Sullivan opera in three acts and the only one with dialogue in blank verse.

Princess Ida was produced between Iolanthe and The Mikado, when Gilbert and Sullivan were at the height of their creative powers.  The score is Sullivan at his best, and some people consider that Gilbert’s libretto contains some of his funniest lines.

Two excellent internet resources for information about Princess Ida

Wikipedia – Princess Ida

The Gilbert & Sullivan Archive – Princess Ida

The Mikado – Spring 2019

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company is pleased to announce that it will present The New Mikado, in March of 2019.

This production is based upon the adaptation by R. A. Shiomi of the original version of The Mikado, and will be directed by Rick Shiomi.

In Shiomi’s re-imagined version of The Mikado, flirting is still declared a crime and punishable by death.  Yet there is a lot of flirting going on in the town of Ti-Tea-Pu, in the land of England.  In anticipation of the arrival of the monarch, The Mikado, a tailor has been appointed Lord High Executioner and must behead someone before his majesty arrives.  The tailor himself is involved in a love triangle and attempts to set up his rival, Franky-Poo, before he loses his own head.  It’s all the fun and games of Gilbert and Sullivan, with a modern twist.

Shiomi describes his vision for this retelling of the classic operetta, “Our re-imagined production of The Mikado will deconstruct the unfortunate stereotypes while still retaining the humor and classic music; getting at the heart of the universal human experience through the lens of our diverse contemporary American culture.”

Rick Shiomi’s editorial in which he discusses his previous mounting of this production can be found here.


All performances will be at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, at Plymouth Congregational Church, located at 1900 Nicollet Avenue South, in Minneapolis.

If you would like to be notified about when to order tickets, we invite you to add your name to our mailing list. This way we will know how to contact you! We never sell our mailing list to other parties.

“The Present as we speak becomes the Past,
    The Past repeats itself, and so is Future!
    This sounds involved.  It’s not.  It’s right enough.”

—Lady Blanche
Princess Ida