Pirates and sailors, the day has finally come. G&S Fest – a celebration of the founding fathers of British comedy opera, Gilbert & Sullivan, has today announced the program of its first edition. Presented by State Opera South Australia, G&S Fest is the only event of its kind in the southern hemisphere and brings together some of the best bits of very British humour and song over two action-packed weekends in May 2023.
State Opera Artistic Director and one of the world’s foremost interpreters of Gilbert & Sullivan, Stuart Maunder AM aims to deliver a memorable entertainment experience for aficionados and first timers alike.
Major highlights of the festival include crowd favourites Pirates of Penzance and H.M.S. Pinafore at Her Majesty’s Theatre, a quirky immersive presentation of aperitif-sized opera (45 mins) Trial By Jury at the Supreme Court, and a ‘Big Sing’ community version of The Sorcerer which will bring together dozens of G&S and choral enthusiasts for one massive performance.
A well-rounded program of family-friendly operatic works, sacred music, and one-off-events includes some special draw cards for die-hard fans, such as a Mother’s Day High Tea with Stuart Maunder himself taking the stage, exclusive movie screenings, a quiz night and a Lads&Lasses Long Lunch, where some of Australia’s most beloved G&S stars of all time will be sharing behind the scenes stories, anecdotes and a delightful meal.
“Festival goers can expect more than just the operas on stage – there will be many opportunities to share conversation and laughs, and for those coming in from interstate and overseas, each weekend of the festival is intended as a complete experience,” Maunder said.
Bringing these G&S gems to life is a group of some of Australia’s finest voices and character performers including Ben Mingay, Antoinette Halloran, Jeremy Kleeman, Nicholas Jones, John Longmuir, Desiree Frahn, Nicholas Cannon, Douglas McNicol and Jessica Dean, who will take on multiple roles across the major productions.