“In the coming by-and-bye!”

—Lady Jane

Future Shows

The Mikado – Spring 2019

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company is pleased to announce that it will present The Mikado, from March 15 to April 7, 2019.

This production will be directed by Rick Shiomi and will present his adaptation of the original version of The Mikado.

In this 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.

In describing his vision for this retelling of the classic operetta, Rick Shiomi says, “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.

Two excellent internet resources for information about The Mikado

Wikipedia – The Mikado

The Gilbert & Sullivan Archive – The Mikado

Ruddigore – Spring 2020

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

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.

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“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