“Now, Jurymen, hear my advice.
All kinds of vulgar prejudice
I pray you set aside:
With stern, judicial frame of mind
from bias free of every kind,
this trial must be tried.”

Trial by Jury
The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company’s Production of

Trial by Jury

December 1979 to April 1982

Photo Gallery

Trial by Jury Program – Company Letterhead

Trial by Jury Program – Minneapolis Public Library

Trial by Jury Program – Nelson M. Hauenstein Concert

Trial by Jury Program – 1981


Stage Director: Rusty Greene, Jean Micklson Black
Music Director: James Hart, Timm Rolek

Trial by Jury was the first production staged by the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company in December 1979.  The company staged the show nineteen times, at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center and at numerous other venues, through April 1982, with occasional changes in the cast and production staff.

Trial by Jury was the first successful collaboration between W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.  It was created in 1875 to fill one-half of a double bill for the London commercial theatre.  The one-act operetta was written, rehearsed, and put on stage in just a few short days’ time, to replace a short play which was being vigorously rejected by the public.  The show was a fine example of light-hearted Victorian entertainment.  It lampoons the British judicial system and, in particular, a case of “breach of promise of marriage.”  The cast consists of a menagerie: a womanizing judge, a slippery lawyer, a tearful plaintiff, a roguish defendant, a prejudiced jury, a simplistic usher, a bevy of singing bridesmaids, and a crowd of enthusiastic spectators.  The most irregular proceedings result in a verdict of mirth and merriment.

Two excellent internet resources for information about Trial by Jury:

Wikipedia – Trial by Jury

The Gilbert & Sullivan Archive – Trial by Jury

Trial by Jury 1979 Show Poster

Show Poster

“With a sense of deep emotion,
I approach this painful case;
for I never had a notion
that a man could be so base,
or deceive a girl confiding,
vows, etcetera deriding.”

—Counsel for the Plaintiff
Trial by Jury