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When Marcy Irving isn't teaching Rock and Roll history at a local college or singing with one of the many groups in the Central Coast, CA, she lives in the delightful and enchanting world of Gilbert and Sullivan.

My interview with Marcy was filled with laughter! And evidently I need a ballgown stat.

If a local production company stages Gilbert and Sullivan in your area, there's a good chance it will be one of their 3 most popular operas.

Gilbert and Sullivan Fan Favorites

Marcy mentioned 3 of Gilbert and Sullivan's 14 operas that are the most performed and most familiar to audiences:

The Mikado: Set in the Japanese town of Titipu, “The Mikado” is a comic opera that tells the story of Nanki-Poo, the son of the Mikado of Japan, who disguises himself as a wandering minstrel to escape an arranged marriage. Filled with mistaken identities, romantic entanglements, and catchy tunes like “Three Little Maids from School,” this opera is an audience favorite.

The Pirates of Penzance: Ahoy, mateys! “The Pirates of Penzance” follows the adventures of Frederic, a young pirate apprentice who falls in love with the beautiful Mabel. However, his plans for a peaceful life on land are complicated by his sense of duty to his pirate comrades and his own sense of honor. Featuring beloved songs such as the thespian-favorite “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General,” this swashbuckling tale is a delight for all ages.

HMS Pinafore: Step aboard the HMS Pinafore for a nautical adventure like no other! This comedic operetta takes place on the deck of the British ship Pinafore, where love and class distinctions collide in hilarious fashion. From the lovelorn sailor Ralph Rackstraw to the pompous Sir Joseph Porter, each character adds to the charm of this seafaring tale. Highlights include the spirited anthem “He Is an Englishman” and the romantic duet “Refrain, Audacious Tar.”

Follow Central Coast Gilbert and Sullivan:

Have you seen a Gilbert and Sullivan production? I'd love to know which one!

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