Gilbert and Sullivan Festival

Gilbert and Sullivan Festival

10 May 2019

People often ask, who were Gilbert and Sullivan? Or, what are Gilbert and Sullivan?

Dramatist W.S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan were theatrical partners of the Victorian era producing fourteen comic operas together.

Their work parodied Victorian England and still delight audiences around the world. They gambolled through the subjects of the day, laughing at the latest crazes and poking fun at pillars of the British Empire, taking everyday life and building in a bit of nonsense, like fairies rubbing elbows with British lords, gondoliers ascending to the monarchy, and pirates emerging as noblemen who have gone astray!

The two men collaborated on fourteen comic operas between 1871 and 1896, of which H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado are among the best known.

  • The Gondoliers
  • The Grand Duke
  • H.M.S. Pinafore
  • Iolanthe
  • The Mikado
  • Patience (opera)
  • The Pirates of Penzance
  • Princess Ida
  • Ruddigore
  • The Sorcerer
  • Thespis (opera)
  • Trial by Jury
  • Utopia, Limited
  • The Yeomen of the Guard

The Gilbert & Sullivan Festival was founded in 1994 and for the first 20 years was staged in Buxton Opera House in the Derbyshire Peak District. In 2014 the Festival moved to its new location at The Royal Hall, Harrogate in North Yorkshire.

Known around the world for being simply the friendliest and happiest Festival there is, it has become a truly English phenomenon. This celebration of Sir Arthur Sullivan’s glorious music and W S Gilbert’s razor-sharp, witty dialogue combines music and political satire that characterises the ever-popular work of Gilbert & Sullivan with the backdrop of the regal spa town of Harrogate.

The comedy operas are as relevant today as all those years ago, and should be on everyone’s “must see” list this summer.

Our Gilbert and Sullivan Special Interest coach tour includes two evening shows at the Gilbert & Sullivan Festival, however the fun doesn’t stop there, we also include 3 excursions to make the most of your time in Yorkshire:

An excursion to Harrogate, a fashionable former spa town that still retains the grandeur of yesteryear, with beautifully preserved buildings, green parkland, spectacular gardens and a myriad of boutiques and tea shops.

A morning through Airedale to reach Skipton where the main street is overlooked by the medieval castle. Then it’s onto Grassington, located in the heart of lovely Wharfedale before returning via pretty Pateley Bridge, nestled beside the River Nidd famous for the oldest sweetshop in England and for being an area of outstanding beauty.

We also include a half day excursion to pretty Holmfirth, forever associated with the popular TV comedy, Last of the Summer Wine, where you can discover Nora Batty’s house and Sid’s Café.


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