The Yorkshire-based National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company will spend six nights at the White Rock, Hastings this November with three brand new productions from Britain’s most famous theatrical partnership.
It is part of the most ambitious professional light opera company tour since the late 1970s which coincidentally featured the original touring G&S Opera Company – the D’Oyly Carte.
The shows in this year’s repertoire are three of the best known Gilbert and Sullivan works – The Mikado, The Gondoliers and HMS Pinafore.
The National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company was established in 1994 as the link between the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, now in its 22nd year, and former members of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company.
For 20 years the company presented definitive, professional Gilbert & Sullivan as part of the festival.
Last year it undertook a short pilot tour to half a dozen UK theatres and received such a warm reception that it was decided to move into theatrical touring in a much bigger fashion.
Audiences around the country will be able to enjoy the wit and magic of Gilbert and Sullivan performed by many of the country’s leading exponents of the world famous Savoy operas.
This year’s programme is directed by John Savournin. He has assembled an outstanding cast of G&S specialists which includes the experience of Richard Gauntlett, Bruce Graham, Oliver White, and Sylvia Clarke, working alongside the stars of tomorrow including Claire Lees, Amy J Payne, Elinor Moran, Robin Bailey and Kevin Greenlaw.
The 35-strong cast will be supported throughout the tour by the highly acclaimed National Festival Orchestra and the company’s resident conductor, David Steadman.
Ian Smith, chairman and founder of the National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company said: “ENO, Opera North and Scottish Opera all throw the occasional G&S into their repertoire.
“We do nothing but G&S and it is a tribute to the evergreen popularity of the shows, that theatres around the country see and value the prospect of a week’s visit to their theatre.
“There is no doubt the prospect of three different shows over five or six days is particularly attractive.”
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The six-night stint at the White Rock begins with perfomances of the Gondoliers on November 2 and November 3 . HMS Pinafore follows on November 4-5, and thenThe Mikado on November 6-7.