Fonds SC537 - Victoria Gilbert and Sullivan Society fonds

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Victoria Gilbert and Sullivan Society fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the fonds.

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  • 1960 - 2016 (Creation)
    Victoria Gilbert and Sullivan Society

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2.76 m of textual records and other materials.

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The Victoria Gilbert and Sullivan Society (VGSS) is a non-profit community theatre group dedicated to the promotion of the arts in Victoria, and particularly the works of librettist Sir William S. Gilbert (1836-1911) and composer Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900) better known as the partnership ‘Gilbert and Sullivan’. The Society was first formed in 1945 by six members of the Christchurch Anglican Cathedral who wanted Gilbert and Sullivan operettas to be performed regularly in Victoria, B.C. The first production performed by the Society was HMS Pinafore at the York Theatre, now known as the McPherson Playhouse.

In 1952, the Victoria Gilbert and Sullivan Society changed its name to the Victoria Gilbert and Sullivan Operatic Society in order to undertake Broadway style musical theatre beyond the Gilbert and Sullivan oeuvre. A faction of steadfast Gilbert and Sullivan fans created a breakaway group, again named the Victoria Gilbert and Sullivan Society, while the Victoria Gilbert and Sullivan Operatic Society became the Victoria Operatic Society. Notable past members of the VGSS include singer Ken Lavigne, conductor Brian Jackson, former Christ Church Cathedral music director Michael Gormley, singer Leon Leontaridis, and the late Colin Skinner and Kathleen West (a former member of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company which originally staged Gilbert and Sullivan operas in the 1870s).

Every VGSS production is accompanied by a professional orchestra, including members of the Victoria Symphony and the Victoria Civic Orchestra, and performances range from full productions to music-hall style concerts. The VGSS board of directors—elected annually—organizes Society administration and operations.

In addition to performances, the Society awards annual bursaries to voice students in the Department of Music at the University of Victoria and to students attending The Canadian College of Performing Arts. These bursaries support students of music and theatre who wish to make performing their career.

Past Productions:

Full Productions
The Mikado 2004, 2011
Pirates of Penzance 2002, 2009, 2017
HMS Pinafore 1989, 2004, 2014
The Gondoliers 1990, 1998, 2006, 2016
Iolanthe 2007, 2015
Patience 1992, 2008
Ruddigore 1999, 2013
The Sorcerer 1993, 2010
Trial by Jury/Cox and Box 1987, 1996
Trial by Jury/Pineapple Poll 2016
Gilbert and Sullivan in Concert with the Civic Orchestra of Victoria
Pirates of Penzance 2013
HMS Pinafore 2012
The Mikado 2009

Other Productions
Live to Dream Benefit Concert 2015
Another British Music Hall 2011
British Music Hall 2010
The Rivals-A Musical Romp 2008
Appearance with Canadian Pacific Ballet 2007
An Evening with Gilbert and Sullivan 2007
Appearance with the Victoria Symphony 2006
Choral Concert 2005
An Evening with Gilbert and Sullivan 2005
Sentimental Journey 2004
Celtic Concerts 2003
Carol Concert 2002
Feel the Spirit 2002
Gilbert and Sullivan a la Carte 2002
HMS Pinafore and Utopia 2001
Sprig of Thyme 2001
Topsy Turvy! 2000
Benefit for the Victoria Conservatory of Music 2000
No Sex Please, We're Gilbert and Sullivan! 1994
Another Night with Gilbert and Sullivan 1991
Spring into Song with Gilbert and Sullivan 1991
Excerpts from Gondoliers, Iolanthe, The Mikado 1989
An Evening with Gilbert and Sullivan 1988

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records documenting the administrative and operational activities of the Victoria Gilbert and Sullivan Society including general business files, correspondence, financial records, publicity, documentation of the planning and presentation of performances between 1987 and 2016, and related media such as programmes, photographs, and audio-visual material.

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Revised by JF, March 29, 2019.

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