About Us

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company is a Twin Cities based theater company, dedicated to bringing the works of Gilbert & Sullivan, Britain’s foremost light opera collaborators, to life for modern audiences, from life-long Gilbert and Sullivan fans to those who are seeing their operettas for the first time.

The company’s primary annual offering is a fully staged production of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.  The company has challenged itself to present productions of the highest artistry, authenticity, and impressive production values.  Productions are performed with a full thirty-two piece orchestra and casts of up to forty members.  Actors are drawn from an established group of performers with long-term commitment to the company and new performers, drawn from the Twin Cities theater community and selected through open auditions.

As part of its educational mission, the company also assists schools and community organizations looking to perform the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, bringing these operettas to new generations.

Our Reputation

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company has long enjoyed a reputation for staging works of the highest quality.  We strive to maintain this reputation by insisting on the best in terms of the production staff we employ, our sets, lighting, costuming, our orchestra and, of course, the casting of our operettas.  Our audiences have responded enthusiastically, many of whom return year after year, as we sell out individual performances and even entire runs of our productions.

While the company had long considered its reputation to be local to the Twin Cities area and greater Minnesota, we were pleased when Opera America magazine, a national publication, recently recognized The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company, along with of a number of other prestigious opera companies, in an article entitled, Opera in the Upper Midwest.

In addition, the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company was voted the winner of a 2017 BroadwayWorld Minneapolis Awards for Best Lighting Design: Alex Finner – The Gondoliers and two 2016 BroadwayWorld Minneapolis Awards, including the award for Best Director of a Musical: Joe Andrews – Iolanthe, and the Best Ensemble Performance in a Musical: Iolanthe!

Our Home

The company makes its home at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, a theater facility near downtown Minneapolis, where all its main productions have been staged.  The company strives to make its offerings accessible to the widest audience by keeping ticket prices as low as possible, showing productions on Twin Cities public access cable TV, and including for each production at least one audio described performance for the visually impaired.

For the Love of Theater

We are, at heart, a theater company of people who do what we do out of love for the works and for the joy of sharing Gilbert and Sullivan with the community.  The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company encourages participation from people of all backgrounds.  We invite you to come and join us in the fun “with joyous shout and ringing cheer!”

“And now that I’ve introduced myself, I should like to have some idea of what’s going on.”

—Major General Stanley
The Pirates of Penzance