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Tour Director
Practical Information

  • In the words of Tour Director Donald Maxwell, experience the “essential guide to all things Gilbert & Sullivan”

  • Take in a range of professional productions, including HMS Pinafore and Iolanthe, as well as a rare opportunity to see Utopia Limited

  • Enjoy a variety of talks and lectures, including a guest talk with Gilbert & Sullivan expert Ian Bradley, all set in the picturesque spa town of Harrogate

“Donald Maxwell is an exceptional leader. We enjoyed his entertaining lectures, his knowledge and musical anecdotes”

“Donald Maxwell was friendly, informative and highly entertaining"

“I must admit now that I am unable to think of an imperfection let alone a fault with the whole experience”

ACE customers on previous International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival tours

Gilbert and Sullivan represent quintessential Victorian England. The brilliant, witty lyrics of W S Gilbert dazzle alongside the attractive melodies of Arthur Sullivan. In 2022, the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival will present another exciting and memorable programme of operas.


We look forward to a selection of productions performed by the professional National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company. Perennial favourite The Pirates of Penzance will be staged, alongside the Savoy opera Iolanthe. Touring theatre-troupe Opera Della Luna, described by critic Richard Bratby as “a little miracle… [with] a near-supernatural ability to get inside the head (and heart) of 19th-century comic opera” will bring us a performance of HMS Pinafore. We also look forward to a performance of Patience, a satire on the Aesthetic Movement of the 1870s and 1880s, featuring Charles Court Opera, a group who have been praised as “superb” by the Evening Standard and “wickedly funny” by The Guardian.


Charles Court Opera will also present a “murderous musical mystery tour” in the form of Express G&S, a brand new and exciting spoof bursting with references to Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas. Taking a whistle-stop tour from Penzance to the Tower of London, and Venice to Fairyland, it includes favourite songs from The Mikado and The Sorcerer amongst others.


Our 2022 tour will also include a rare chance to enjoy Utopia Limited, brought to us by the National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company. The penultimate collaboration by Gilbert and Sullivan, it is less frequently performed than the pair’s other operas, and was praised by Bernard Shaw, who in 1893 stated, “I enjoyed the score of Utopia more than that of any of the previous Savoy operas”. Prior to taking our seats, we will enjoy a dedicated lecture from Tour Director Donald Maxwell introducing this hidden gem of Gilbert and Sullivan’s repertoire.


The performances will take place in the Grade II listed surroundings of the Edwardian Royal Hall in Harrogate. Lectures and a Festival Masterclass given by our Tour Director, and an opportunity to meet one of the festival’s Trustees, will complement the musical programme.


We are also delighted to feature a guest talk with academic, writer and Gilbert & Sullivan expert Ian Bradley. Formerly Professor of Cultural and Spiritual History at the University of St Andrews, Ian has performed regularly with the University of St Andrews Gilbert and Sullivan Society, of which he is honorary life president, and frequently writes, broadcasts and lectures on the subject.


We will stay throughout at the four-star White Hart Hotel, centrally located in Harrogate, a short walk from the Royal Hall.


Tour Director Donald Maxwell is an operatic baritone, director and lecturer. Donald has been involved with the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival for many years. He performs with opera companies worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he featured in La Bohème in 2018.

Tour Code
Places are limited.
Please contact the office
for more details.

Included: Accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, performances as described, breakfast, dinner with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.

Not Included: Travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £260.

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