Ruddigore
The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company’s Production of

Ruddigore, or The Witch’s Curse

March 13 to April 5, 2020

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company is pleased to announce that it will present Ruddigore, from March 13 to April 5, 2020.

This production will be directed by Joe Andrews, with choreography by Penelope Freeh and music direction by Dr. Randal Buikema.

Ruddigore, or The Witch’s Curse, is Gilbert and Sullivan’s parody of Victorian melodrama, traditionally set in the Regency Period, decades before Gilbert and Sullivan’s time.  In our upcoming production, Director Joe Andrews will take us decades before our time with his vision of Ruddigore set as a 1940s film of the golden age of cinema with elements of classic MGM musicals, film noir, and the screwball comedies from Hawks, Vidor and Capra.

Ruddigore tells the story of Robin, a young farmer who has a dark secret.  He is really Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd, the rightful Baronet of Ruddigore, who has gone into hiding.  The Baronets of Ruddigore are cursed and anyone who succeeds to the title has to commit a crime every day, or perish in agony.  His younger brother, Despard, believing Ruthven to be dead, has assumed the title.  Robin is in love with Rose Maybud, a beautiful village maiden, but Richard, his foster brother, who is seeking Rose for himself, tells Despard of Robin’s deception, and Robin is forced to accept his true position, losing Rose to Richard in the process.

Once he becomes the Baronet of Ruddigore, Robin must face the ghosts of his ancestors who confront him to ensure that he commits his daily crime.  So far, he’s done so half-heartedly at best!  Robin eventually discovers a legal loophole in the curse which leads to a typically Gilbertian happy ending!

Ruddigore was the tenth collaboration between Gilbert and Sullivan, following The Mikado and proceeding The Yeomen of the Guard.  It opened on January 21, 1887 at the Savoy Theatre and ran for 288 performances.

The cast for this production of Ruddigore includes:

     Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd (Robin Oakapple): Seth Tychon Steidl
     Rose Maybud:                                           Sarah Wind Richens
     Sir Despard Murgatroyd:                           Joe Allen
     Mad Margaret:                                          Lara Trujillo
     Richard Dauntless:                                   Anthony Rohr
     Dame Hannah:                                         Deb Haas
     Sir Roderic Murgatroyd:                            Scott Benson
     Zorah:                                                     Sarah Mehle
     Old Adam:                                               Waldyn Benbenek
     Ruth:                                                       Cassie Utt

Chorus of Bridesmaids, Bucks and Blades, Townspeople and Ghosts

     Mary Mescher Benbenek                           Maggie Benham
     James Brooks                                           Kelly Danger
     Jeff Erickson                                            Doug Freeman
     Clyde Gerber                                            Alexander Gerchak
     Mary Gregory                                            Stephen Hage
     Gabe Heffernan                                        Rylan Hefner
     Shawn Holt                                               Dean Laurance
     Danielle Long                                           Adam Lowe
     Anna Maher                                              Wendy Matsutani
     Kali McMillan                                            Blanka Melbostad
     Charlotte Morrison                                    John Orbison
     Eric Pasternack                                         Richard Rames
     Sarah Shervey                                           Thomas Sonneman
     Scott Stivers                                             Rhea Sullivan
     Lydia Wildes                                             Holly Windle
     Thomas Yoder

Two excellent internet resources for information about Ruddigore:

Wikipedia – Ruddigore

The Gilbert & Sullivan Archive – Ruddigore

 

All performances will be at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, at Plymouth Congregational Church, located at 1900 Nicollet Avenue South, in Minneapolis.  Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 7:30 pm. The Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2:00 pm.

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.

Ruddigore Show Poster

Show Poster

Poster design by Tom McGregor and Mary Olson

“Spring and summer pleasure you,
Autumn, aye, and winter too
Every season has its cheer,
Life is lovely all the year!”

—The Full Company
Ruddigore