George Morfitt

George Morfitt

Society to bring ‘magnificent sound’ to Mary Winspear Centre

Gilbert and Sullivan Society prepare to present HMS Pinafore in Sidney

A swell of sound will bring HMS Pinafore to the Mary Winspear Centre as the Gilbert and Sullivan Society follows its recent trend of bringing big music followed by a full production.

The society will pair with the Civic Orchestra of Victoria to perform a concert version of HMS Pinafore helmed by George Corwin.

“When we do a show on the stage we have an orchestra of about 13 because you can’t get any more in than that,”  said Adrian Sly, artistic co-ordinator for the Gilbert and Sullivan Society. Usually, musicians play multiple instruments in the stage presentation and the job gets done nicely, but a full orchestra creates “magnificent sound.”

HMS Pinafore, subtitled The Lass that Loved a Sailor, tells the tale of the captain’s beautiful daughter who is betrothed to Sir Joseph Porter but is in love with the lowly sailor Ralph Rackstraw. This tortured love story is soon turned around in Gilbert and Sullivan tradition and ends in mistaken identities, silly plot twists and hearty fun.

The massive orchestra will soundtrack an augmented choir, up to 50 voices from the normal 30,

“They’re making magnificent sound, make the hair go up on your arms,” Sly said. “It’ll be a super afternoon of music. You never get the chance to hear Gilbert and Sullivan, or any stage production done with that magificent sound.”

Last year the orchestra and society paired up for the full bodied concert of the Mikado.

“Since then we’ve staged the costumed Mikado and we’re going to do the same with this,” Sly said.

When they did the Mikado concert people said “I’d really like to see it now, a full production,” Sly explained. Both the concert and stage versions sold out, and they hope the combination will work again for HMS Pinafore.

Performances are March 24 and 25 at 2 p.m. at the Mary Winspear Centre. Get tickets online at

March 31 and April 1 the show moves to Oak Bay High.

Email ed@gilbertandsullivan for group rates. Tickets are $27 and $25 available at various retail outlets in Greater Victoria. Visit for a full list.

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