Trial By Jury Last performed 1989, performed twice by the society.
A one-act pony often performed with either Pinafore or Sorcerer. The story concerns the raffish Edwin who is being sued by Angelina for 'Breach of Promise of Marriage', a suit which is no longer admissible in the courts, but was fairly common in Gilbert's day. The plaintiff flirts with the court in an effort to secure a favourable verdict, but the learned Judge eventually tires of the lovers' quarrel and comes up with a novel judgement.
The Sorcerer Last performed 2010, performed 3 times by the society.
John Wellington Wells, from a respectable family firm of sorcerers, has invented a love potion that is guaranteed to make all those who drink it fall madly in love with the first person they see. Young nobleman Alexis decides to feed the potion to the guests celebrating his betrothal to the lovely Aline, but hilarity ensues as the surprising & indeed alarming results become clear.
G&S’s earliest surviving full length collaboration has 9 principals (4 women, 5 men) with a fair bit in the way of solos, & lots of joint chorus stuff. Fairly equally balanced between men & women.
HMS Pinafore Last performed 1998, performed twice by the society.
Lowly seaman Ralph Rackstraw is in love with Josephine, his captain’s daughter, but the disparity of their ranks means that she is dismissive of him. However, having been told by First Lord of the Admiralty Sir Joseph Porter (who is also a contender for her hand) that love levels all ranks, she agrees to elope with Ralph. Hilarity ensues. But can the secret kept by an old woman save the couple when they are betrayed?
2 good female roles & 1 smaller, 4 good male parts & 2 smaller. Not much chorus stuff for the women outside the finales- definitely one for the boys!
The Pirates of Penzance Last performed 2007, performed 5 times by the society.
Apprentice Frederick is glad to be out of his indentures to the Pirate King on reaching the age of 21, and promptly falls in love with Major-General’s daughter Mabel. However, the pirates aren’t that easily outwitted and a shock is in store for the lovers when a most ingenious paradox is revealed. The plot thickens as terrified police creep up on the pirates, the pirates creep up on the Major-General, and then the ladies arrive…
2 main female roles, 2/3 smaller ones. 3 major men’s roles, 2 slightly smaller ones. Plenty for both choruses.
Patience Last performed 2006, performed 4 times by the society.
Bunthorne, an aesthetic poet, is beloved by twenty lovesick maidens, yet he does not love them, instead preferring the decidedly unaesthetic milkmaid Patience. However, Patience doesn't know what love is, until reunited with childhood friend Grosvenor (another poet). Nevertheless, hilarity ensues as, believing that love must be unselfish, she decides to marry Bunthorne on the grounds that it will make her unhappy! The maidens transfer their love to Grosvenor, but the 35th Dragoon guards, their former sweethearts, have a plan…
2 main female roles, 3 smaller ones. 3 bigger male roles and 2 smaller. More for the female chorus than the male, although much of it is repetition.
Iolanthe Last performed 2003, performed 5 times by the society.
The House of Peers are all in love with Phyllis. However, she is in love with Strephon, a poor shepherd who (unbeknownst to her) happens to be half a fairy. His mother, Iolanthe, rallies the fairies to his cause and sends him into Parliament as a liberal conservative. However, the Lord Chancellor isn’t one to give up and it seems that only the secret of Strephon’s father can save the day…
3 good female parts, 2/3 smaller, 4 good male parts & 1 lesser one. Both men & women’s chorus are about equal with quite a lot to do.
Princess Ida Last performed 2005, performed 3 times by the society.
Based on Tennyson’s poem "The Princess". Prince Hilarion was wed in infancy to Ida, daughter of King Gama, but before she was due to come to him at the age of 21, she rejected mankind and set up a women’s university, where men are not allowed. Hilarity ensues as Hilarion and his friends disguise themselves as girls to enter and cause havoc, before one of them gets drunk and reveals them, and Ida falls into the lake. Hilarion saves her, but can he persuade her to marry him? The answer seems to be no, but his father is outside with an army and they hadn’t invented artificial insemination…
3 major women’s roles, 1 smaller and 3 with an odd line here and there. 5/6 good men’s roles, another 2/3 smaller ones. More chorus stuff for women than men. 3 acts rather than 2 makes it seem long, although it’s not really much different.
The Mikado Last performed 2009, performed 6 times by the society.
Nanki-Poo, son of the Emperor of Japan (Mikado) is disguised as a wandering minstrel to avoid having to marry Katisha, an elderly lady or be condemned to death for flirting. He is in love with Yum-Yum, the ward of the Lord High Executioner, Ko Ko, but unfortunately, Ko-Ko intends to marry her himself. Nanki-Poo agrees to allow himself to be beheaded if only he can marry Yum-Yum first - until she discovers this would mean that she has to die as well! Hilarity ensues as they strive to find a way out of this how-de-do.
2 girls' parts & 2 smaller, 4 main men’s parts & 1 smaller. The chorus stuff is relatively equally split.
Ruddigore Last performed 2008, performed 4 times by the society.
Many years ago, the Baronet of Ruddigore was placed under a curse necessitating that he and his heirs must all perform a crime each day or die. Ruthven Murgatroyd, heir to the title, fled from the curse to live disguised as a farmer. However, when he falls in love with the prim and proper Rose Maybud and asks his foster brother Richard to speak to her for him, his disguise begins to crumble. Richard, falling in love himself, reveals the secret in an attempt to win Rose’s heart. The ghosts of the baronets appear, and hilarity ensues…
3 good female parts & 1 smaller one, 5 men’s parts. While there’s more chorus stuff for the girls than the men in Act 1, Act 2's more equal.
The Yeomen of the Guard Last performed 2012, performed 3 times by the society.
G&S’s only serious opera is set in the Tudor Tower of London. Colonel Fairfax has been unjustly sentenced to death. Not wishing to die without an heir, he secretly marries (blindfold) strolling singer Elsie Maynard, who is already engaged to jester Jack Point. A guard called Sgt. Meryll and his daughter Phoebe (who is in love with Fairfax) contrive his escape, and disguise him as one of the Yeomen of the Guard. When this is discovered, Point panics, Elsie faints into the disguised Fairfax’s arms & hilarity ensues as everyone tries to woo everyone else, usually in song. It all ends happily for Elsie & Fairfax, but what happens to Jack Point?
Definitely requires a reasonably large male chorus! Not a huge amount for the girls to do. 3 good female parts, 1 smaller one, and lots of men’s parts of all sizes. (Way-hey!)
The Gondoliers Last performed 2011, performed 5 times by the society.
Marco & Giuseppe are the most attractive gondoliers in Venice. Having chosen their brides by a game of blind man’s bluff, they go off to get married. However, their dreams are somewhat upset when the Grand Inquisitor arrives with news that one of them is the long-lost son of the late King of Barataria. What he doesn’t tell them is that the lost prince was married in infancy, therefore one of the gondoliers is now an unintentional bigamist. Hilarity ensues as Marco & Giuseppe, ruling as one individual until it is revealed which is the true king, set up a 'despotism strict' where everyone is absolutely equal - until the woman the baby prince was married to arrives to claim his hand…
Lots of principal roles, 4 main female ones plus 4 smaller, 5 main male ones plus 3-4 others. Lots of chorus stuff for both men & women.
Utopia Ltd Never performed by the society fully-staged.
Hilarity ensues when King Paramount decides to turn the island of Utopia into a model of Englishness, with the help of his daughter and the friends she’s brought with her from England. But the two Wise Men responsible for keeping the King in order aren’t happy, and they’re developing a capital plot…
2 main women’s parts, 2 or 3 smaller ones. LOTS of men’s parts. A fair amount of chorus stuff, fairly equally split between men & women.
The Grand Duke Never performed by the society fully-staged.
A troupe of actors conspire to overthrow the miserly Grand Duke of Pfennig-Halfennig. But after one of these sausage roll eating conspirators accidentally betrays them, they have no option but to resort to a Statutory Duel to settle the matter - whoever draws the lowest card from a pack becomes, in effect, non-existent. However, the new Grand Duke appears to have acquired rather a lot of wives…
3/4 bigger female parts & a couple of small ones, 4/5 main male parts & some little ones. Lots of stuff for joint choruses, some for men alone.