In the history of musical theater, there are few bodies of work that have been so long — or so fervently admired — as the comic operas of Gilbert & Sullivan.
Covering the vast repertoire is the original revue, “The World According to Gilbert & Sullivan,” coming to Good Ground Park in Hampton Bays on Monday, July 1, at 7 p.m., courtesy the Gilbert & Sullivan Light Opera Company of Long Island.
Written and directed by Gayden Wren, with music directed by and accompanied by Thomas Z. Shepard, “The World According to Gilbert & Sullivan” is a merry travelogue through the world of the Savoy operas, from Venice to the South Pacific island kingdom of Utopia, Japan to the Spanish island of Barataria, to the German principality of Pfennig-Halbpfennig to, of course, London, England.
The show features at least one song from each of the 14 Gilbert & Sullivan operas, including “H.M.S. Pinafore,” “The Pirates of Penzance” and “The Mikado,” with famous favorites and delightful rarities for seasoned Savoyard and complete novice alike.
“Gilbert & Sullivan is truly immortal,” Wren said. “Today the songs of Irving Berlin, the Gershwins and Jerome Kern are legendary, but the shows for which most of those songs were written are never done anymore. Yet the Gilbert & Sullivan operas, which are twice as old, are done in their complete and original forms on a daily basis around the world—and are winning over audiences comprised of the great-great-great-grandchildren of the people who first heard them in the 1870s and 1880s.”
The Light Opera Company may be 63 years old, but it’s five cast members have well over 100 years of cumulative experience: soprano Kara Vertucci, mezzo-soprano Terry Hochler, tenor Michael Economos, baritone Gayden Wren and bass Martin Fuller.
“I’m absolutely confident that, a century from now, [these songs will] still be as popular as they’ve always been,” Wren said, “and it’s an honor, a privilege and a pleasure for us to be able to bring these wonderful shows to Long Island audiences for so many years.”
Admission is free. For more information, visit southamptontownny.gov/ggp-on-stage.