Our History. 

Robert Ashenhurst, with musical direction by Roland Bailey, the three founders of the Company. It involved more than one hundred people in performance and production. Most of these at that time were not at all familiar with the G&S tradition.

The Gondoliers was staged for the benefit of The Student Interests Program of the University High on November 18, 1960, a group of Hyde Parkers opened a production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers in the University of Chicago’s Mandel Hall. From this beginning grew The Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company, a not-for-profit corporation of the State of Illinois, which has staged more than fifty productions of the G&S full-length comic operas. That original presentation was directed by Nancy Lorie and associate director School, a worthy cause which allowed the group to use the University facilities. The same sponsorship, under the more formal organizational title Adventures in the Arts, endured for the major productions of the Company in Mandel Hall until 1983. That year sponsorship was assumed by the University of Chicago Department of Music and net proceeds from each production benefit the Department’s performance programs.

Throughout its history, the Company’s goal has been to produce the best possible performances which are true to the traditional Gilbert and Sullivan style. The Company is very proud of its foundation as a strictly amateur organization. However, in the past couple of decades, in order to improve the quality of the production, the Company has offered very modest stipends for cast and staff. Our participants continue to be community residents as well as University students, faculty and staff, and a not inconsiderable number of persons from outside the community, who apparently have found the Company’s ambiance worth a commuting relationship. The extended family of the Company also includes many present and former children, who have thus been given the opportunity to see and absorb, and sometimes participate in, this continuing tradition.



The Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company of Chicago: The First 50 Years traces the history of this Hyde Park mainstay. For those who have thrilled to the Company’s performances over the years, this book contains a complete chronology of its first 50 productions, with full cast listings, production crews, selected program covers, and many photos featuring the principal stars. If you are part of a group of G&S fans mounting your own production, you may be inspired by the sets and costumes created by a variety of designers. For those who simply love the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, there are plot summaries of each opera and anecdotes about their first staging by the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in London. Author Victoria Granacki has been the set designer for the Company’s past 13 productions. The book is available from Amazon.com for $10 plus shipping and handling.

 




The Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company, Inc.
Annual Productions 1960 – 2019

Year   OperaProducerDirectorMusicSets
1960   The Gondoliers 1Nettie BreslinNancy LorieRoland BaileyHarold Bradley
1961   The Yeomen of the Guard 1Louise PlissNancy LorieRoland BaileyHarold Bradley
1962   H.M.S. Pinafore 1
  & Trial by Jury 1Nancy LorieNancy LorieRoland BaileyRobert Wallis
1963   Ruddigore 1Nancy LorieNancy LorieRoland BaileyCharles Walls
1964   The Mikado 1Nancy LorieNancy LorieRoland BaileyHarold Bradley
1965   Iolanthe 1Nancy LorieNancy LorieRoland BaileyHarold Bradley
1966   The Pirates of Penzance 1Barbara CurrieRuth StackRoland BaileyHarold Bradley
1967   The Gondoliers 2Barbara CurrieRuth StackRoland BaileyGeoffrey Plampin
1968   Princess Ida 1Geoffrey PlampinRuth StackRoland BaileyGeorge Sikes
1969   H.M.S. Pinafore 2
  & Cox and Box 1Charles WallsDavid CurrieRoland BaileyJames Kazanis
1970   The Yeomen of the Guard 2Charles WallsDavid CurrieRoland BaileyErnest Arnett
1971   The Mikado 2Geoffrey PlampinJanice RobertsRoland BaileyJames Kazanis
1972   Ruddigore 2Winfield SmithJanice RobertsRoland BaileyPaul Shedd
1973   Iolanthe 2Winfield SmithJanice RobertsRoland BaileyRalph LaMantia
1974  Patience 1Winfield SmithRobert AshenhurstRoland BaileyRalph LaMantia
1975   The Pirates of Penzance 2Winfield SmithRobert AshenhurstRoland BaileyRoland Kulla
1976   The Gondoliers 3Winfield SmithJanice RobertsRoland BaileyRoland Kulla
1977   H.M.S. Pinafore 3Marnie DeranianRobert AshenhurstRoland BaileyWinfield Smith
1977   The Sorcerer 1Winfield SmithRobert AshenhurstRoland BaileyWinfield Smith
1978   The Yeomen of the Guard 3Ralph LaMantiaDavid CurrieRoland BaileyWinfield Smith
1979   The Mikado 3Ralph LaMantiaRobert AshenhurstRoland BaileyWinfield Smith
1980   Ruddigore 3Ralph LaMantiaEllen MartinRoland BaileyWinfield Smith
1981   Iolanthe 3Myrna LaneEllen MartinRoland BaileyRoland Kulla
1982   The Gondoliers 4Beata BoodellDavid CurrieRoland BaileyMatthew Owens
1983   H.M.S. Pinafore 4Beata BoodellDavid CurrieRoland BaileyMatthew Owens
1984   Princess Ida 2Beata BoodellDavid CurrieRoland BaileyMatthew Owens
1985   The Mikado 4Beata BoodellDavid CurrieRoland BaileyRoland Kulla
1986   The Pirates of Penzance 3Robert AshenhurstDavid CurrieMichael JinboJohn Vinci
1987   Ruddigore 4Myrna LaneRobert AshenhurstMark StahuraRalph LaMantia
1988   The Yeomen of the Guard 4Myrna LaneDavid CurrieMichael MeltonCalvert Audrain
1989   Iolanthe 4Helen ScharbachDavid CurrieJohn AveryCalvert Audrain
1990   The Gondoliers 5Zarina O’HaginDavid CurrieJohn AveryCalvert Audrain
1991   H.M.S. Pinafore 5Patricia WerhaneDavid CurrieGuy BordoCalvert Audrain
1992   Patience 2Helen ScharbachDavid CurrieGuy BordoCalvert Audrain
1993   Utopia, Limited 1Patricia WerhaneDavid CurrieGuy BordoCalvert Audrain
1994   The Mikado 5Mitchell BrownMichael KotzeGuy BordoCalvert Audrain
1995   The Pirates of Penzance 4Mitchell BrownMichael KotzeAntoinette ArnoldCalvert Audrain
1996   The Yeomen of the Guard 5Mitchell BrownMichael KotzeAntoinette ArnoldPaul Billingsley
1996   The Grand Duke 1Mitchell BrownDavid CurrieMartha Swisher(Concert version)
1997   The Sorcerer 2Mitchell BrownNicholas MartinAntoinette ArnoldPaul Billingsley
1998   Iolanthe 5Mitchell BrownNicholas MartinAntoinette ArnoldCalvert Audrain
1998   Trial by Jury 2Ruth LideckaDavid CurrieMartha Swisher(UC courtroom)
1999   Ruddigore 5Helen ScharbachDavid CurrieAntoinette ArnoldPaul Billingsley
2000   H.M.S. Pinafore 6Mitchell BrownDavid CurrieJeri JohnsonCalvert Audrain
2000   Ivanhoe 1Gwyneth AubreyDavid CurrieMartha Swisher(Concert version)
2001   Princess Ida 3Margaret SchroederDavid CurrieJeri JohnsonCalvert Audrain
2002   The Mikado 6Cedric ChernickMichael KotzeSteven HuangPaul Billingsley
2003   The Gondoliers 6Cedric ChernickAdam KozlowskiSteven HuangCalvert Audrain
2004   Patience 3Mark A. JohnsonJill Van BrusselChung ParkCalvert Audrain
2005   The Pirates of Penzance 5Mark A. JohnsonAdam KozlowskiAndrew KoehlerCalvert Audrain
2006   The Yeomen of the Guard 6Mark A. JohnsonJaime AxtellAndrew KoehlerCalvert Audrain
2007   H.M.S. Pinafore 7Mark A. JohnsonThrisa HoditsWilliam C. WhiteVictoria Granacki
2008   Iolanthe 6Mark A. JohnsonThrisa HoditsWilliam C. WhiteVictoria Granacki
2009   Ruddigore 6Trip DriscollThrisa HoditsDavid CubekVictoria Granacki
2010   The Mikado 7Mark A. JohnsonThrisa HoditsDavid CubekVictoria Granacki
2011   The Sorcerer 3Trip DriscollThrisa HoditsTimothy SemanikVictoria Granacki
2012   The Gondoliers 7Nancy LevnerThrisa HoditsTimothy SemanikVictoria Granacki
2013   The Pirates of Penzance 6Nancy LevnerThrisa HoditsRobert WhalenVictoria Granacki
2014   H.M.S. Pinafore 8Nancy LevnerCharlie Marie McGrathRobert WhalenVictoria Granacki
2015   The Yeomen of the Guard 7Nancy LevnerShane ValenziMatthew SheppardVictoria Granacki
2016   Princess Ida 4Nancy LevnerShane ValenziMatthew SheppardVictoria Granacki
2017   Iolanthe 7Nancy LevnerShane ValenziMatthew SheppardVictoria Granacki
2018   Patience 4Nancy LevnerShane ValenziMatthew SheppardVictoria Granacki
2019   Merrie England (German & Hood)Nancy LevnerShane ValenziMatthew SheppardVictoria Granacki