“In the coming by-and-bye!”

—Lady Jane
Patience

Future Shows

The Sorcerer – Spring 2023

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company is pleased to announce that it will present The Sorcerer, for four weekends, from March 10 to April 2, 2023.

This production will be directed by Gary Briggle, with Music Direction by Dr. Randal Buikema.

The Sorcerer’s plot involves an engaged couple, Alexis and Aline, the son and daughter of the community’s two aristocratic families.  The couple wish that everyone could be as happy in love as they are.  In addition, Alexis believes that love should level all ranks and social distinctions.  To achieve both goals, Alexis hires John Wellington Wells of J. W. Wells & Co., Family Sorcerers, to put a love potion into the tea that the villagers will drink at a celebration in honor of the couple.  The love potion causes everyone in the village to fall in love with the first person they see, regardless of rank or social distinction.  This results in the pairing of comically mismatched couples … including Alexis and Aline’s parents.  All is made right in the end, when a sacrifice is made to break the spell.

The Sorcerer was Gilbert and Sullivan’s third collaboration, following Trial by Jury and proceeding H.M.S. Pinafore.  The operetta satirized Victorian era class distinctions and operatic conventions.  The success of The Sorcerer cemented Gilbert and Sullivan’s partnership and set the pattern and style that made Gilbert and Sullivan’s following operas so successful.  The Sorcerer opened on November 17, 1877 and ran for 175 performances.

Two excellent internet resources for information about The Sorcerer:

Wikipedia – The Sorcerer

The Gilbert & Sullivan Archive – The Sorcerer

H.M.S. Pinafore – Fall 2023

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company is pleased to announce that it will present H.M.S. Pinafore, for four weekends, in the fall of 2023.

The performances will be at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, at Plymouth Congregational Church, located at 1900 Nicollet Avenue South, in Minneapolis.

The story takes place aboard the British ship H.M.S. Pinafore. The captain’s daughter, Josephine, is in love with a lower-class sailor, Ralph Rackstraw, although her father intends her to marry Sir Joseph Porter, the First Lord of the Admiralty. She abides by her father’s wishes at first, but Sir Joseph’s advocacy of the equality of humankind encourages Ralph and Josephine to overturn conventional social order. They declare their love for each other and eventually plan to elope. The captain discovers this plan, but, as in many of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, a surprise disclosure changes things dramatically near the end of the story.

H.M.S. Pinafore humor focuses on love between members of different social classes and lampoons the British class system in general. The operetta also pokes good-natured fun at patriotism, party politics, the Royal Navy, and the rise of unqualified people to positions of authority. The title of the piece comically applies the name of a garment for girls and women, a pinafore, to the fearsome symbol of a naval warship! H.M.S. Pinafore was and remains one of the most successful and popular of Gilbert and Sullivan’s works and is the work that firmly established Gilbert and Sullivan’s place in history.

Two excellent internet resources for information about H.M.S. Pinafore:

Wikipedia – H.M.S. Pinafore

The Gilbert & Sullivan Archive – H.M.S. Pinafore

Utopia, Limited – Spring 2024

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company is pleased to announce that it will present Utopia, Limited, for four weekends, in the spring of 2024.

The performances will be at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, at Plymouth Congregational Church, located at 1900 Nicollet Avenue South, in Minneapolis.

Utopia, Limited, or The Flowers of Progress, is a rarely performed Gilbert and Sullivan gem! In our revised version of the operetta, Princess Zara returns to the South Pacific island nation of Utopia, after having completed her studies at Cambridge University’s Girton College, with a plan to free her father from the machinations of the two judges of the Utopian Supreme Court, by remodeling Utopia’s government on the English model. Are Princess Zara’s reforms, however, too successful? Is it possible that she forgot something critical?

Two excellent internet resources for information about Utopia, Limited:

Wikipedia – Utopia, Limited

The Gilbert & Sullivan Archive – Utopia, Limited

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.

“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