The Operas of Gilbert and Sullivan: A Brief Survey

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Thursdays, 9:30-11:00 a.m.   4-week course begins 5/20

This course will present an overview of the fourteen operas of W.S. Gilbert (1836-1911) and Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900) and a more detailed examination using video excerpts of five: Trial by Jury (1875), H.M.S. Pinafore (1878), The Pirates of Penzance (1879), The Mikado (1885) and The Gondoliers (1889). We will attempt to determine why so many of the works continue to hold the stage (at least in the English-speaking world) more than 130 years after their inception and discuss their influence on later types or examples of musical theater. Morton Achter, a former college professor who holds a Ph.D. in music and theater history from the University of Michigan, has directed, musical-directed, choreographed or assisted with 16 productions of G & S in various formats dating back to the 1960s. He has also directed numerous other plays, operas and musicals at the professional, community or college levels, and has taught classes on opera and the symphony for MSC since 2010.