The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company (GSVLOC) was founded in 1979 by Dick Fishel and Jim Hart to provide a performing opportunity forÂ Gilbert and Sullivan enthusiasts in the Twin Cities. That year, the GSVLOC was born with a performance of the duo's one act courtroom gem Trial by Jury.
The GSVLOC has since presented all fourteen Gilbert & Sullivan's operettas, ranging from perennial favorites H.M.S. Pinafore and Pirates of Penzance to the lesser-known Grand Duke and Utopia, Limited. The company has also reached outside the traditional repertoire and performed Orpheus in the Underworld by Jacques Offenbach and The Zoo by B. C. Stephenson and Arthur Sullivan.Â
Several local luminaries have graced GSVLOC productions. In recognition of the company's 1985 production of The Mikado, then Minneapolis Mayor Donald M. Fraser declared Minneapolis and the fictitious town of Titipu to be sister cities. University of Minnesota President Kenneth Keller also awarded the GSVLOC a "Doctorate of Human Fetters" in 1987 to honor its production of Yeomen of the Guard.Â
In addition to an annual fully staged production, the GSVLOC presents concerts that include choral and orchestral compositions of Sir Arthur Sullivan as well as other light opera works. The GSVLOC has performed with the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra, the Rochester Symphony Orchestra, and at events throughout the greater Twin Cities area. As part of its mission, the company also assists schools and community organizations looking to perform the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, bringing these operettas to new generations.
An amateur theater company in the best sense of the word, the GSVLOC encourages participation from people of all backgrounds. As the 25 year anniversary of the GSVLOC approaches, the company remains committed to bringing the works of Britain's foremost light opera collaborators to life for modern audiences.
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