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Favourite Gilbert & Sullivan

(28 Posts)
Tony2018 Mon 27-Aug-18 17:36:09

Does anyone have a favourite Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera? I’ve watched eleven of them on a DVD set over the last week and my favourites are:
1. The Mikado
2. Pirates of Penzance
3. HMS Pinafore
I have seen all three of these before live at the theatre.
My least favourite would be Yoemen of the Guard.

merlotgran Mon 27-Aug-18 17:47:50

The Gondoliers
HMS Pinafore
The Mikado

Happy memories of school productions and watching my brother in HMS Pinafore dressed up as Buttercup. grin

All boys schools had to make do with the women being played by boys whose voices hadn't broken.

Jane10 Mon 27-Aug-18 17:58:15


Anniebach Mon 27-Aug-18 17:58:44

The Gondoliers

The Mikado

Maybelle Mon 27-Aug-18 18:03:41

My favourites are
Mikado, Iolanthe and Trial by Jury
Least favourite is Ruddigore

Fennel Mon 27-Aug-18 18:05:06

"He led his regiment from behind
He found it less exciting"
Which was that from?

B9exchange Mon 27-Aug-18 18:06:43

I was taken to see Trial by Jury and Box and Co as an 8 year old and loved it. Just seen The Pirates of Penzance at an outdoor performance, limited case, but still loads of fun. All time favourite would be Ruddigore, just love it when the ghosts emerge from the portraits! Agree wouldn't put Yeoman of the Guard top of the list, but Mikado and Gondoliers would have to be up there. Wish there were more live performances, they always find something topical to include.

B9exchange Mon 27-Aug-18 18:07:03

Limited cast!

annodomini Mon 27-Aug-18 18:15:14

My first G&S when I was about 10, was The Gondoliers, but I think my favourite is Iolanthe.
My Dad had LPs of most of them and I loved to follow the scripts in a couple of books he had. He took us up to Glasgow when the D'Oyley Carte company visited.

Tony2018 Mon 27-Aug-18 18:26:25

The quote about leading his army from behind is from Gondoliers. I think it’s about the dead Duke.

The best live performance I’ve seen was by an amateur G&S society from Derbyshire performing at a tiny theatre in Birmingham. They were also going on to or already had performed it at the Gilbert & Sullivan festival at Buxton. The singer who was to play the lord high executioner had had to be replaced at short notice but the replacement was brilliant and stole the show, his acting was so funny. I’ve also seen Pirates of Penzance by an amateur group at the theatre in Stafford and professional productions of Hms Pinafore at Symphony Hall in Birmingham and the Grand in Wolverhampton.

I really enjoyed the Ruddigore in the DVD I just watched - Vincent Price was the wicked baronet!

I didn’t enjoy the Yoemen DVD so much partly because the sympathetic character but also I wasn’t so keen on the 16th or 17th century setting compared to the 19th century setting of most of the others.

Tony2018 Mon 27-Aug-18 18:29:33

Should have been ‘the sympathetic character died at the end’

Greyduster Mon 27-Aug-18 18:33:15

Mikado, first last and always!

“That youth at us should have its fling
Is hard on us
Is hard on us;
To our prerogative we cling —
So pardon us
So pardon us
If we decline to dance and sing!”
And “Gentleman of Japan”. Brilliant!

The overture to Yeoman of the Guard is very uplifting.
I saw D’Oyley Carte perform Gondoliers back in the sixties. Whilst it is not one of my out and out favourites, it was truly memorable.

Tony2018 Mon 27-Aug-18 18:43:14

Greyduster, Mikado is always my very first favourite as well since seeing it live in Birmingham. I love the ‘what a how de do’ song, I couldn’t believe how funny it was seeing them go off stage and then come back on repeating it. I always end up feeling a bit sorry for Kateisha.

Hellosunshine Mon 27-Aug-18 18:56:34

This thread brings back fond memories of my late mum. Her local church did (very well) a G and S production every spring which I would go to with her and we would also go to the City theatre and see an occasional excellent performance, usually The Mikado, our favourite.

Day6 Mon 27-Aug-18 19:14:42

Love G&S.
We performed The Pirates of Penzance at school and I'll be forever "Climbing over rocky mountain, skipping rivulet and fountain". The first I heard, so it remains my favourite. I was in the chorus but bought the LP when I was 14 because I loved the music so much. Always try to go and see a G&S production, even if it's an amateur group. Always great fun.

ChaosIncorporated Mon 27-Aug-18 20:10:05

Mikado is my all time favourite.
Pinafore runs a close second.

Did anyone else see the drama on G&S and the making of the Mikado, a couple of years ago? I think it was on BBC2, and was excellent.

pollyperkins Mon 27-Aug-18 20:58:24

Ruddigore is my favourite followed by Iolanthe. Although they are all very funny I find the Mikado, Pirates and Pinafore a bit hackneyed as they are done so often.
Yeomen is the least funny and has a sad ending which I'm not keen on.

Tony2018 Mon 27-Aug-18 21:45:19

Was the drama called ‘Topsy Turvey’, with Jim Broadbent in it? I haven’t had chance to see it yet, I’ll keep a look out in case it is on tv again or on the iplayer.

Flossieturner Mon 27-Aug-18 21:45:44

I saw Pirates of Penzance on the TV with Keith Michelle. My son loved it and watched it over and over. Then when he was 6 took him to the Savoy to see a live performance. He made the people next to him laugh by joining in the Pirate King. I kept trying to shush him.

M0nica Mon 27-Aug-18 23:45:19

Yeoman of the Guard

For some reason I cannot stand the Gondoliers.

DH has been singing and producing both proper opera and operetta since he was at school (which was a very long time ago). I think I have seen him sing some role in almost every single G&S opera, some of them several times.

Eloethan Tue 28-Aug-18 00:22:33

I don't like listening to/watching Gilbert & Sullivan but I guess it might be quite good fun to sing.

Hilltopgran Tue 28-Aug-18 01:11:08

Favorite memory was watchig Iolanthe at an outdoor performance in pouring rain, the fairies had bare feet and transparent macs over their costumes, when a frog started crossing the stage area in a series of jumps.

We live near enough to Buxton to go to the G& S festival each year, and enjoy seeing something different each year. The Buxton Opera house as a setting adds to the performances.

Fennel Tue 28-Aug-18 17:51:47

My favourite memory of G and S is the family get- togethers around the piano when I was a child. There was an amateur operatic group in our town, and my Dad played the piano for them. Mum and some aunties were in the chorus. One auntie was a good singer and sometimes got a main part.
I was too young to join in, but remember the pleasure of everyone taking part.
As others have said, their musicals seem to appeal to amateurs as well as professionals.

rubysong Tue 28-Aug-18 19:14:02

I am in a community choir and a few years ago we put on Trial by Jury. I was the bride's mother and produced lots of unlikely items from a large bag (including saucy undies)! It was all great fun and we did enjoy doing it.

Iam64 Tue 28-Aug-18 19:20:37

If I was a technical wizard, I'd post a link to Randy Rainbow's parody of the Pirates of Penzance. It stars the Donald and is imo an absolute joy.
The head teacher of my high school was a real fan of Gilbert and Sullivan and we "did " the Pirates of Penzance when I was in about year 10. It was a riot.