“Welcome, gentry, for your entry
Sets our tender hearts a-beating.
Men of station, admiration
Prompts this unaffected greeting.
Hearty greeting offer we!”

—The Women’s Chorus
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 music direction by Dr. Randal Buikema.

Ruddigore, or The Witch’s Curse, is Gilbert and Sullivan’s parody of Victorian melodrama in which there is a hero in disguise, a villain who carries off a good-mannered, poor-but-virtuous-heroine, a snake-in-the-grass opportunist who claims to be following his heart, a delightfully theatrical mad woman and ghosts who come to life to enforce a curse!  In Ruddigore, Gilbert turns the moral absolutes of melodrama upside down: good becomes bad, bad becomes good, and heroes take the easy way out!

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, 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.

Now the Baronet of Ruddigore, Robin is confronted by the ghosts of his ancestors who step from their picture frames in the gallery of Ruddigore Castle to confront him for failing to commit his daily crime.  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.

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.

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

—The Full Company