For those of us who know and love the wonderful works of Gilbert and Sullivan, there is always hope that we will be able to pass on an appreciation of their beautiful music and delightful humor to the next generation. This has certainly been a hope for many members of the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company. The question, of course, is how might this be accomplished? In the fall of 2018, a number the newer, younger members of the company suggested to the company’s Board an innovative answer to this question.
They proposed staging cabaret performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s songs in Twin Cities nightclub venues, with three goals in mind. First, the cabarets would provide an opportunity for many company members to sing solos, especially the many very talented members who might not otherwise have the opportunity in the company’s mainstage productions, given the usual limited number of principal roles. Second, the cabarets would be fund raisers for the company. While the cabarets would be free to the public, donations from the audience would be invited. After the cabaret’s expenses were covered, the remaining funds would go to the company. Third, the cabarets would publicize the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company to new audiences who might not know about the company or who might not otherwise attend a mainstage performance. Ideally, it would help to build the company’s audiences.
Pleased with the initiative, the company’s Board gave the “go ahead” and the first cabarets were successfully staged. The result was that all expectations were met and the cabarets have now become a wonderful new Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company offering to the public.
“So bumpers aye, ever so many
And then, if you will, many more!
This wine doesn’t cost us a penny,
Tho’ it’s Pommery seventy-four!”
The Grand Duke