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 Companys 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 youre 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 was the Set Designer for the Company's 2017 production of Iolanthe and its previous ten productions. The book is available from Amazon.com for $10 plus shipping and handling.

Our History. 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 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 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. In 1983 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 the goal has been to produce the best possible performances which are true to the traditional Gilbert & 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 some of the critical positions. 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, Inc.
Annual Productions 1960-2017
 
Year Opera Producer Director Music Sets
1960 The Gondoliers 1 Nettie Breslin Nancy Lorie Roland Bailey Harold Bradley
1961 Yeomen of the Guard 1 Louise Pliss Nancy Lorie Roland Bailey Harold Bradley
1962 H.M.S. Pinafore 1
  & Trial by Jury 1 Nancy Lorie Nancy Lorie Roland Bailey Robert Wallis
1963 Ruddigore 1 Nancy Lorie Nancy Lorie Roland Bailey Charles Walls
1964 The Mikado 1 Nancy Lorie Nancy Lorie Roland Bailey Harold Bradley
1965 Iolanthe 1 Nancy Lorie Nancy Lorie Roland Bailey Harold Bradley
1966 Pirates of Penzance 1 Barbara Currie Ruth Stack Roland Bailey Harold Bradley
1967 The Gondoliers 2 Barbara Currie Ruth Stack Roland Bailey Geoffrey Plampin
1968 Princess Ida 1 Geoffrey Plampin Ruth Stack Roland Bailey George Sikes
1969 H.M.S. Pinafore 2
  & Cox and Box 1 Charles Walls David Currie Roland Bailey James Kazanis
1970 Yeomen of the Guard 2 Charles Walls David Currie Roland Bailey Ernest Arnett
1971 The Mikado 2 Geoffrey Plampin Janice Roberts Roland Bailey James Kazanis
1972 Ruddigore 2 Winfield Smith Janice Roberts Roland Bailey Paul Shedd
1973 Iolanthe 2 Winfield Smith Janice Roberts Roland Bailey Ralph LaMantia
1974 Patience 1 Winfield Smith Robert Ashenhurst Roland Bailey Ralph LaMantia
1975 Pirates of Penzance 2 Winfield Smith Robert Ashenhurst Roland Bailey Roland Kulla
1976 The Gondoliers 3 Winfield Smith Janice Roberts Roland Bailey Roland Kulla
1977 H.M.S. Pinafore 3 Marnie Deranian Robert Ashenhurst Roland Bailey Winfield Smith
1977 The Sorcerer 1 Winfield Smith Robert Ashenhurst Roland Bailey Winfield Smith
1978 Yeomen of the Guard 3 Ralph LaMantia David Currie Roland Bailey Winfield Smith
1979 The Mikado 3 Ralph LaMantia Robert Ashenhurst Roland Bailey Winfield Smith
1980 Ruddigore 3 Ralph LaMantia Ellen Martin Roland Bailey Winfield Smith
1981 Iolanthe 3 Myrna Lane Ellen Martin Roland Bailey Roland Kulla
1982 The Gondoliers 4 Beata Boodell David Currie Roland Bailey Matthew Owens
1983 H.M.S. Pinafore 4 Beata Boodell David Currie Roland Bailey Matthew Owens
1984 Princess Ida 2 Beata Boodell David Currie Roland Bailey Matthew Owens
1985 The Mikado 4 Beata Boodell David Currie Roland Bailey Roland Kulla
1986 Pirates of Penzance 3 Robert Ashenhurst David Currie Michael Jinbo John Vinci
1987 Ruddigore 4 Myrna Lane Robert Ashenhurst Mark Stahura Ralph LaMantia
1988 Yeomen of the Guard 4 Myrna Lane David Currie Michael Melton Calvert Audrain
1989 Iolanthe 4 Helen Scharbach David Currie John Avery Calvert Audrain
1990 The Gondoliers 5 Zarina O'Hagin David Currie John Avery Calvert Audrain
1991 H.M.S. Pinafore 5 Patricia Werhane David Currie Guy Bordo Calvert Audrain
1992 Patience 2 Helen Scharbach David Currie Guy Bordo Calvert Audrain
1993 Utopia, Limited 1 Patricia Werhane David Currie Guy Bordo Calvert Audrain
1994 The Mikado 5 Mitchell Brown Michael Kotze Guy Bordo Calvert Audrain
1995 Pirates of Penzance 4 Mitchell Brown Michael Kotze Antoinette Arnold Calvert Audrain
1996 Yeomen of the Guard 5 Mitchell Brown Michael Kotze Antoinette Arnold Paul Billingsley
1996 The Grand Duke 1 Mitchell Brown David Currie Martha Swisher (Concert version)
1997 The Sorcerer 2 Mitchell Brown Nicholas Martin Antoinette Arnold Paul Billingsley
1998 Iolanthe 5 Mitchell Brown Nicholas Martin Antoinette Arnold Calvert Audrain
1998 Trial by Jury 2 Ruth Lidecka David Currie Martha Swisher (UC courtroom)
1999 Ruddigore 5 Helen Scharbach David Currie Antoinette Arnold Paul Billingsley
2000 H.M.S. Pinafore 6 Mitchell Brown David Currie Jeri Johnson Calvert Audrain
2000 Ivanhoe 1 Gwyneth Aubrey David Currie Martha Swisher (Concert version)
2001 Princess Ida 3 Margaret Schroeder David Currie Jeri Johnson Calvert Audrain
2002 The Mikado 6 Cedric Chernick Michael Kotze Steven Huang Paul Billingsley
2003 The Gondoliers 6 Cedric Chernick Adam Kozlowski Steven Huang Calvert Audrain
2004 Patience 3 Mark A. Johnson Jill Van Brussel Chung Park Calvert Audrain
2005 Pirates of Penzance 5 Mark A. Johnson Adam Kozlowski Andrew Koehler Calvert Audrain
2006 Yeomen of the Guard 6 Mark A. Johnson Jaime Axtell Andrew Koehler Calvert Audrain
2007 H.M.S. Pinafore 7 Mark A. Johnson Thrisa Hodits William C. White Victoria Granacki
2008 Iolanthe 6 Mark A. Johnson Thrisa Hodits William C. White Victoria Granacki
2009 Ruddigore 6 Trip Driscoll Thrisa Hodits David Cubek Victoria Granacki
2010 The Mikado 7 Mark A. Johnson Thrisa Hodits David Cubek Victoria Granacki
2011 The Sorcerer 3 Trip Driscoll Thrisa Hodits Timothy Semanik Victoria Granacki
2012 The Gondoliers 7 Nancy Levner Thrisa Hodits Timothy Semanik Victoria Granacki
2013 Pirates of Penzance 6 Nancy Levner Thrisa Hodits Robert Whalen Victoria Granacki
2014 H.M.S. Pinafore 8 Nancy Levner Charlie Marie McGrath Robert Whalen Victoria Granacki
2015 Yeomen of the Guard 7 Nancy Levner Shane Valenzi Matthew Sheppard Victoria Granacki
2016 Princess Ida 4 Nancy Levner Shane Valenzi Matthew Sheppard Victoria Granacki
2017 Iolanthe 7 Nancy Levner Shane Valenzi Matthew Sheppard Victoria Granacki