The Connecticut Gilbert and Sullivan Society performs the comic operettas of the British musical theater duo for the entertainment of audiences drawn from the local community and for comedy lovers from across the state. CG&SS is dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of the rich heritage of satire and melody that emerged from the unique partnership of William Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan (between 1870 and 1900). The art form they created together, which was nurtured by impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte at The Savoy Theatre, established the underpinnings which sustain the modern-day musical. Performances are in the fall, and done with professional orchestra, professional-caliber singers, costumes, and sets in the state-of-the-art theater at Middletown High School.
The Connecticut Gilbert and Sullivan Society was organized in 1980 with the encouragement of then-Gov. Ella Grasso, a noted admirer of the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. Since then, the group has produced a Savoy opera every year. During its first decade, there were occasions when another venue was used but normally, and every year since 1990, all performances have been in Middletown. The organization offers an outlet for creativity as people help with productions on stage, behind stage, or as a sponsoring member of the audience. It adds to the quality of life in the Middletown area through performing arts, provides for study and performances of these 14 masterpieces with professional guidance; enriches the historical offerings to area audiences; encourages and supports area youth by including students from Middletown schools. We also have sponsored many benefit performances consisting of excerpts from G&S and occasionally other creators at a variety of venues in the area, along with Sullivan’s cantata “The Golden Legend” with organ and percussion, and a concert of Sullivan songs. In 1989, the CG&SS produced a version of the "lost" opera 'Thespis', from the performing libretto of Jonathan Strong, using original music by our music director, Dr. John Dreslin, and original staging by our Artistic Director, Robert Cumming.