- We meet fantastic people from all over the world who share a love of Gilbert & Sullivan. And what a friendly bunch they are. It is impossible to feel alone or lonely at a G&S Festival – there’s just too much going on and too many people to sit and chat with. Long-standing friendships (and even marriages) are created as a result of that first discussion about a show just seen….!You can join our “FRIENDS OF THE FESTIVAL” Charity here and help ensure the future of this fantastic event.
- You can see just about every show that Gilbert & Sullivan wrote at every Festival – or usually most of them! And that includes rarely performed productions such as Utopia Ltd and The Grand Duke. It’s a wonderful way to really get to know Sullivan’s wonderful music and Gilbert’s laser-sharp wit!
See the full programme HERE
- You can perform at the Festival from 9 years of age to over 90! There is an opportunity for everyone. The Festival Youth Production is open to anyone between 9 and 19 years. The UNIFest competition caters for students. The competing societies take care of those in-between years and the magnificent Bus Pass Opera gives people 60 years and above the chance to “tread the boards” again in The Royal Hall. And in 2018 we have a 92 year old gentleman flying all the way from New Zealand specially to perform in their production of The Yeomen of the Guard.
- You can see or hear “something G&S” from 9.30 every morning until the early hours the following morning when the Festival Club goers are finally shooed out of the doors by security staff!
- The National Festival Orchestra, led by Sally Robinson has played at every Festival since the very first in 1994. Their players are, without doubt, an amazingly talented bunch of individuals who play morning, noon and night with such aplomb. Simply the finest G&S band you will find.
Don’t miss their spectacular Sullivan Overture concert on August 17th.
- There is a great sense of “family” at the Festival and it’s very usual to be sitting at a table in the Festival Club with one or other of the “stars” of the professional National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company.
- Performers come from all over the world. This year we have large group joining us from Fraser Valley in Canada and the Savoy Company will visit from Philadelphia.
- Where else could you find a four-day Symposium about Gilbert & Sullivan? This year “The Magic of Gilbert & Sullivan” delves into the history, the music and all things G&S. Experts from around the world will take part in this fascinating insight into the UK’s first musical theatre partnership that paved the way for Rodgers and Hammerstein, Rice and Lloyd Webber and many more.
- The National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company is the Festival’s own, professional company and every year performs a minimum of four brand new productions. In 2018 they will perform SIX new productions. A versatile and hugely talented group of professionals who “hit the road” after the Festival and go on tour around the UK. What an achievement!
- It’s all done without any public funding whatsoever……… and there aren’t many opera festivals and indeed opera companies in the UK who can say that!!