THE International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival is holding a three-day spectacular at Harrogate Royal Hall from January 7 to 9 to mark the New Year.
First up will be The Best Of Gilbert and Sullivan, Friday’s concert that asks the question: which is your favourite Gilbert and Sullivan opera? “There’s no need to decide when you can have a cavalcade of the very best of G&S, from the wonderfully familiar to the surprisingly unfamiliar, performed by the best G&S singers in the world,” says festival trustee Bernard Lockett.
The National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company (NGSOC), led by comic baritone Simon Butteriss and accompanied by the National Festival Orchestra, will be taking a whirlwind tour of the Savoy Operas, set in context by fascinating, historical, gossipy anecdotes that evoke the glitter and glamour of the 19th century Savoy Theatre.
Joining Butteriss on stage will be NGSOC stars Matthew Siveter, David Menezes and Amy Payne; the orchestra will be conducted by David Russell Hulme.
Enchantment awaits in The Magic Of Vienna New Year Gala Concert on Saturday. “Come on a magical journey through Vienna, the musical capital of the world, and celebrate the New Year in style,” says Bernard.
“Our annual gala concert will be an absolute treat, and what a fabulous Christmas present for that special person too. Enjoy a fantastic selection of the most beautiful pieces by Johann Strauss, Mozart, Lehar and more, brought to you by the renowned National Festival Orchestra, conducted by Aidan Faughey. Our soloists include international opera stars James Cleverton and Rebecca Bottone.”
The short winter season concludes with Charles Court Opera’s London production of G&S’s The Mikado, accompanied by the National Festival Orchestra, on Sunday night.
Behind closed doors at the British Consulate in the Japanese town of Titipu, the scheming, slippery Lord High Executioner is on the cusp of hatching one plot too far, with far-reaching, but humorous consequences for everyone involved, especially when the Mikado arrives.
“Containing such familiar songs as A Wandering Minstrel, I, Three Little Maids From School and I’ve Got A Little List, this punchy and hilarious satire promises to be a treat for operetta lovers and newcomers alike,” says Bernard.
Tickets for the 7.30pm performances are on sale on 01422 323352 or at gsfestivals.co.uk. Looking ahead, the 28th International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival will run at Harrogate Royal Hall from August 10 to 21, preceded by Buxton Opera House, Derbyshire, from July 30 to August 6. For more details, go to: gsfestivals.org.