Enjoy the timeless appeal of stage classics

The Gondoliers, The National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company. At Blackpool Grand Theatre in November 2015.
The Gondoliers, The National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company. At Blackpool Grand Theatre in November 2015.
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A debut national tour by the UK’s leading Gilbert and Sullivan company will come to Blackpool in the autumn.

The National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company will make its debut at the Grand Theatre, with new versions of the popular operettas The Mikado, The Gondoliers and HMS Pinafore.

Based in Harrogate, Yorkshire, the company was set up in 1994 as a link between the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, now in its 22nd year, and former members of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company.

And after a short pilot tour last year, a full scale tour of the Savoy operas - hailed as the ‘most ambitious professional light opera company tour since the late 1970s’ - has been launched for 2015.

Chairman and founder of the company Ian Smith is looking forward to sharing its love of the operettas and spoke of his pride at their growing reputation.

“The English National Opera, Opera North and Scottish Opera all throw the occasional G&S into their repertoire,” he said. “We do nothing but G&S and it is a tribute to the evergreen popularity of the shows, that theatres around the country see and value the prospect of a week’s visit to their theatre.

“There is no doubt the prospect of three different shows over five or six days is particularly attractive.

“Who would have thought 140 years ago that these operas would remain as popular around the world in 2015 as ever, and that they would continue to be translated into new languages – Japanese, Hungarian, Estonian, Yiddish and many others.

“Earlier this year a production of The Pirates of Penzance was announced for South Korea.

“What we offer our audiences are the best Gilbert and Sullivan productions they will see. They are faithful to the original foundations laid down by Gilbert himself, high quality acting and singing, young, enthusiastic and talented chorus, colourful costumes and sets and a fantastic orchestra.

“And the great thing is these are not just our words but the endorsement of national and regional press, theatre managers – and equally important the theatre goers.”

* The National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, Grand Theatre, Blackpool, Tuesday to Saturday, November 10 to 14. Call (01253) 290190 for tickets.