May 21, 2014
The Savoyaires proudly celebrated a half century of annual productions with a gala program on Saturday, May 10, with a special event at First Congregational Church House in Evanston. A highlight of the event was the presentation of awards to four longtime company stalwarts—Gloria Boyell, Jo Ann Minds, John Shea, and Dave Stockwell. Boyell, who accompanied the entire program, has served as the Savoyaires’ rehearsal pianist since 1979. Minds and Shea, who performed a scene from The Mikado, each played leading roles in more than 20 productions—Minds from 1966 to 2010 and Shea from 1973 to 2005. Stockwell, a cast member of the company’s 1965 The Gondoliers and many productions thereafter, performed a lyric recitation and received the Savoyaires Half-Century Award.
(left to right, Jo Ann Minds, John Shea, and Gloria Boyell)
program included performances of one number from each of the 14
G&S operettas, sung by performers from across the company's
five-decade history, with members of the audience joining to
sing the chorus parts. The soloists included included
93-year-old Eugene Propp as well as Kara Chandler, Amy Conn,
David Craven, Kingsley Day, Lane Halverson, Margaret Jarvis,
Kristin Lutzeier, Wendy Wells Mineau, Henry Michael Odum, Rachel
Rubinstein, Noel Taylor, Jennifer Thompson, and Peter Voigt.
Nearly 200 past show participants, donors, and audience members
attended the program and reception.
March 25, 2014
We are pleased to announce performance dates and the production team for our historic 50th production, in which we will present the final collaboration of Gilbert & Sullivan: The Grand Duke. Performances will take place on Friday, October 10 & 17, Saturday, October 11 & 18, and Sunday, October 12 & 19. Returning to stage direct his first show with us since 2007 will be Terry McCabe, who also directed our historic 40th production of Thespis. Music director Timothy Semanik and producer Laima Day will return to complete our "dream team" that will make this production truly unforgettable. Don't miss this rare opportunity to see The Grand Duke in a fully staged performance!
November 13, 2013
Our 2013 production of The Mikado has finished its run of six performances and was a roaring success! Packed houses enjoyed this G&S masterpiece performed by a strong cast and brilliantly staged by Elizabeth Margolius, with Sullivan's glorious music rendered with great skill by our orchestra under the direction of Timothy Semanik. Producer Laima Day and the rest of her team can be proud of this beautiful production, which sent audiences home with smiles on their faces and tunes in their hearts.
August 18, 2013
Casting is complete and rehearsals have begun for our 2013 production of The Mikado. Tickets will go on sale from our online system beginning on August 31.
April 10, 2013
Auditions have been scheduled for our 2013 production of The Mikado. They will take place on Friday, June 7, Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9. For more information, visit our Auditions page, where you can learn all of the necessary details and schedule your audition with our online scheduler.
March 3, 2013
We have now
set the performance dates for our 2013 production at Chute
Auditorium, Gilbert & Sullivan's most popular work, The
Pending final approval by the school district, they are Friday,
October 11 and 18, at 7:30pm; Saturday, October 12 and 19, at
7:30pm; and Sunday, October 13 and 20, at 3pm. Auditions have
not yet been scheduled but will probably take place in June.
We're thrilled to announce that our production team for 2013
will include stage director Elizabeth
Margolius, along with returning music director Timothy
Semanik and our perennial producer Laima Day. Follow the link to
Elizabeth's website to see why we are excited about her debut
with us as stage director for The Mikado.
October 15, 2012
Our 2012 production of Patience has closed after presenting audiences with six opportunities to see this not-so-frequently performed gem of a comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan. One patron, a devoted fan of this work, actually attended all of the performances!
May 2, 2012
Auditions have been scheduled for our 2012 production of Patience. They will take place on Saturday, June 2, and Sunday, June 3. For more information, visit our Auditions page, where you can learn all of the necessary details and schedule your audition with our online scheduler.
March 10, 2012
We have now finalized the performance dates for our 2012 production at Chute Auditorium, Gilbert & Sullivan's brilliant satire on fads and folly, Patience. They are Friday, October 5 and 12, at 7:30pm; Saturday, October 6 and 13, at 7:30pm; and Sunday, October 7 and 14, at 3pm. Auditions have not yet been scheduled but will probably take place in June. We're thrilled to announce that our production team from last year's critically acclaimed triple bill is returning, including stage director A.J. Wester, music director Timothy Semanik, and producer Laima Day.
October 15, 2011
Our dynamic triple bill of Gilbert's Eyes and No Eyes, Sullivan's The Zoo, and Gilbert & Sullivan's Trial by Jury has closed, but it was acclaimed in three reviews and presented local audiences with a unique opportunity to experience these rarely-performed gems.
April 26, 2011
Auditions have been scheduled for our 2011 production. They will take place on Friday, June 10, Sunday, June 12, and Monday June 13. For more information, visit our Auditions page, where you can learn all of the necessary details and schedule your audition with our online scheduler.
March 16, 2011
Performance dates have been confirmed for our 2011 production at Chute Auditorium, an exciting triple bill of Sullivan's The Zoo, Gilbert's Eyes and No Eyes, and Gilbert & Sullivan's Trial by Jury. They are Friday, September 30 and October 14, at 7:30pm; Saturday, October 1 and 15, at 7:30pm; and Sunday, October 2 and 16, at 3pm. Auditions have not yet been scheduled but will probably take place in June. We're excited to have Tim Semanik back as music director for his fourth consecutive year, and thrilled to welcome A.J. Wester as our new stage director. Ms. Wester has recently directed several productions with Florida's St. Petersburg Opera, as well as having served as Stage Director/Vocal Coach for Chicago Opera Theater’s Chicago Opera Theater for Teens and Stage Director of the Summer Musical Theater Workshop with Light Opera Works for four seasons. And we are delighted as always to welcome back producer Laima Day for her eighth consecutive production!
October 21, 2010
Our production of The Gondoliers has closed, but it was acclaimed in an online review by the Pioneer Press and played to wildly enthusiastic audiences, many of whom declared it was the best show they had ever seen from the Savoyaires. Kudos to stage director Jim Scheider, music director Tim Semanik, choreographer Amy Uhl, and an outstanding cast, crew, and orchestra for making this brilliantly witty show come to life.
May 12, 2010
We are now accepting appointments for auditions for The Gondoliers. See our Auditions page for complete information. We're excited to have Tim Semanik back as music director for his third consecutive year, and to welcome Jim Schneider (Jeff-nominated director of Jeff-winning productions of Noel Coward and Oscar Wilde at Circle Theatre, where he's currently directing The Philadelphia Story) as stage director, and Amy Uhl of the Columbia College Chicago faculty (she's currently choreographing Oh Boy! at City Lit Theatre) as choreographer.
May 2, 2010
Performance dates for our 2010 production of The Gondoliers at Chute Auditorium have been confirmed. They are Friday, October 8 and 15, at 7:30pm; Saturday, October 9 and 16, at 7:30pm; and Sunday, October 10 and 17, at 3pm. Auditions will take place on Sunday, June 13, Thursday, June 17, and Friday, June 18, with callbacks on Thursday, June 24. We are not yet scheduling appointments for auditions but expect to begin doing so later this month; we'll post contact information for scheduling auditions on our Auditions page as soon as it is available.
January 23, 2010
Well, once again our long-awaited production of Trial by Jury has been postponed. Because of a potential scheduling conflict with our compatriots of the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company in Hyde Park, we have rescheduled TBJ for 2011 and will be performing Utopia Limited's immediate predecessor, The Gondoliers, in October of this year. We'll have more details about this new production later this spring, including performance and audition dates. We're excited to have on board a new stage director, Jim Schneider, who will be joining producer Laima Day and music director Tim Semanik for what is sure to be a sparkling production of one of Gilbert and Sullivan's finest operettas.
Meanwhile, the DVD of Utopia Limited is nearly ready for manufacturing. We'll send an email to everyone who expressed an interest in this DVD as soon as we have them in hand, and a DVD release party is also in the works. We're still sorting through hundreds of great photos taken by Richard Adams during one of the dress rehearsals and we hope to post the best of them in our gallery soon.
November 15, 2009
Our long overdue second production of Utopia Limited drew enthusiastic audiences to see this rarely-performed member of the G&S canon with its timely theme of capitalism-run-amok. Filled with Sir Arthur's fine music and a deliciously witty Gilbert script, this unjustly neglected gem deserves to be performed more often.
June 15, 2009
The previously announced schedule for auditions for Utopia Limited has been revised; they will now take place on Thursday, July 23, Sunday, July 26, and Monday, July 27, at the First Congregational Church in Evanston. For details, visit our Auditions page.
May 29, 2009
The schedule for auditions for Utopia Limited has been posted. For details, visit our Auditions page.
April 8, 2009
We have established the performance dates for our next production, of Gilbert and Sullivan's Utopia Limited: October 9-11 and 16-18 at Chute Middle School Auditorium in Evanston. Audition dates will be determined next month, so check back around May 20 for that information.
January 11, 2009
Stop the presses! Due to unexpected complications in arranging for the production of our companion piece to Trial by Jury, our Board of Directors has decided to postpone TBJ for now. Instead, we will present the even-longer-neglected, next-to-the last collaboration of Gilbert and Sullivan, Utopia Limited. This will be the first Savoyaires production of Utopia since 1976, and the first Chicago-area production since 1993. And we are thrilled to announce that our fantastic principal production staff members are returning: Laima Day as producer, Tom Rusnak as stage director, and Tim Semanik as music director. We'll finalize the concert and audition dates later this year, so stay tuned...
October 23, 2008
Our production of The Pirates of Penzance was an unqualified success! Reflecting the enthusiastic and insightful guidance of our stage director and music director, this show must rank as one of our most thoroughly enjoyable productions in recent memory--for audiences, and for cast, crew, and orchestra alike. We now return the web site to its quiescent mode as we look forward to next year's production of Trial by Jury, which will be performed in a double bill with a surprise curtain raiser. Want to know more? Revisit this page in 2009 to find out the identity of our companion piece to Trial by Jury!
May 21, 2008
We are pleased to announce the lead members of our production staff for The Pirates of Penzance. Tom Rusnak, who directed the 2002 Illinois Theatre Association’s all-state production of The Pirates of Penzance, will serve as stage director, and Tim Semanik, who conducted the 2006 Light Opera Works production of The Mikado, will serve as musical director. Laima Day returns as producer for her fifth consecutive show with the Savoyaires!
The schedule for auditions has been finalized; they will take place on Saturday, August 2, and Sunday, August 3, at the First Congregational Church in Evanston. For details, visit our Auditions page.
April 4, 2008
The performance dates for The Pirates of Penzance have been selected and posted on our home page: October 10-12 and 17-21. We are still in the process of lining up our artistic staff for this production, and we will post this information, along with audition dates, as soon as it is available.
January 11, 2008
After two weekends of successful performances of Princess Ida in October, we have made a long overdue update to the website that includes photos from the 2005, 2006, and 2007 productions. We are also pleased to announce that the Savoyaires will stage a perennial favorite, The Pirates of Penzance, as our 2008 production. The details of performance dates and artistic staff will be announced later this year, and will be posted to this page as soon as they are finalized.
May 31, 2007
We are thrilled to announce the lead members of our production staff for Princess Ida. Terry McCabe, two-time Jeff Winner and current artistic director for City Lit Theater (as well as director for our 2004 production of Thespis), will serve as stage director, and Harold Bauer, current director of opera for North Park University and music director laureate of the New Philharmonic and DuPage Opera, will serve as musical director. Laima Day returns as producer for her fourth consecutive show with the Savoyaires.
The schedule for auditions has been finalized; they will take place on Sunday, July 15, and Tuesday, July 17, at the First Congregational Church in Evanston. For details, visit our Auditions page. Also, performance dates for Princess Ida have been finalized; see our Tickets page for details.
February 11, 2007
Now available: DVDs of our three most recent productions (Iolanthe, The Sorcerer, and Thespis)! Click here to download an order form that you can print, fill out, and mail to us...
November 25, 2006
Please note that our email address has changed. For general information about the company, send email to email@example.com. If you have specific comments about the website, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 29, 2006
After a marvelously successful production of Iolanthe, the Board of Directors has selected for our 2007 production its immediate successor in the G&S canon, the delightful and inexplicably neglected Princess Ida! We will present this production next fall; look for further details of the performances in the coming year.
May 23, 2006
The schedule for auditions has been finalized; they will take place on Sunday, July 16, and Wednesday, July 18, at the First Congregational Church in Evanston. For details, visit our Auditions page.
April 13, 2006
Fantastic news: Martha Adrienne, who so brilliantly directed Yeomen of the Guard in 2002 and H.M.S. Pinafore in 2003, has agreed to be stage director for Iolanthe! We look forward to another marvelous production under the insightful direction of one of our favorite members of the Chicago theatrical scene.
March 23, 2006
Performance dates for Iolanthe have been finalized; see our Tickets page for details. Sadly, last year's stage director Katrina Brunner has decided to move back to the Madison area and will be unable to return as stage director this year. The Board of Directors is working to select a replacement, and we hope to be able to post that information soon...
December 20, 2005
The Board of Directors has selected the Iolanthe as our next production, considered by many G&S aficionados to be one of G&S's finest works. Look for more details after the first of the year.
October 25, 2005
Once again, we managed to surprise our audiences with a thoroughly enjoyable production of a little-known G&S work, The Sorcerer. Katrina Brunner's debut as director was a brilliant success, with many loyal audience members remarking that they had never seen a more energetic and visually magnificent production from the Savoyaires in all of their years of coming to our shows. For excerpts from a review of the production, click here.
May 25, 2005
The Board of Directors would like to congratulate last year's stage director Terry McCabe, who has been named Artistic Director of City Lit Theater Company. Regretfully, this makes it impossible for him to return as stage director for The Sorcerer in 2005, but we are pleased to announce that Katrina Brunner, who received a Jeff Citation for her work in Company at Porchlight Theater, has agreed to direct this fall's production!
The schedule for auditions has been finalized; they will take place on Sunday, July 17, and Monday, July 18, at the First Congregational Church in Evanston. For details, visit our Auditions page.
December 15, 2004
The Board of Directors has decided to produce Gilbert & Sullivan's The Sorcerer in 2005, and we are immensely pleased that music director Dan Robinson and stage director Terry McCabe have agreed to return for next year's production! Look for more information about this show soon.
October 25, 2004
Our historic 2004 production of Thespis was a spectacular success, with the best cast and chorus it has been our pleasure to work with to date. Kingsley Day's score was universally loved by both cast and audience. For a review of the production, click here. Cast, orchestra, and music director Dan Robinson came together one last time on October 18 to record the musical numbers from the show. The resulting CD will be available some time after the first of the year for purchase by patrons and prospective producers of the show... If you would like to pre-order your own copy of the CD, click here to download an order form that you can print, fill out, and mail to us.
April 24, 2004
Audition and performance dates for Thespis have been set! We look forward to an exciting and historic 40th annual production at Chute Middle School in October.
December 14, 2003
Our web site has been rejuvenated a bit in celebration of our upcoming 40th annual production. For the occasion, the Board of Directors has decided to present a very special program of Thespis, the first Gilbert and Sullivan collaboration, with additional music composed by the Savoy-aires' own Kingsley Day. Performance dates have not been finalized yet but will probably take place in October, 2004. Once again, Martha Adrienne and Daniel Robinson will return as Stage Director and Music Director.
For the fascinating story behind this production of Thespis (a show which is rarely performed because most of Sullivan's original music for it has been lost), click here.
October 30, 2003
Our 2003 production of H.M.S. Pinafore has completed its run after seven glorious performances to large and enthusiastic audiences. Many of our longtime patrons told us that this was the most enjoyable production of Pinafore they had ever seen, and that the Savoy-aires just keep getting better and better! For a review of the show, click here.
August 28, 2003
Rehearsals have begun for H.M.S. Pinafore! Please note that our email address has changed to email@example.com.
May 30, 2003
Audition and performance dates for H.M.S. Pinafore have been finalized! We look forward to another excellent production and series of performances at Chute Middle School in October.
April 12, 2003
The Board of Directors has selected H.M.S. Pinafore as our 2003 production, to be performed in October. Martha Adrienne and Daniel Robinson will return as Stage Director and Music Director.
October 29, 2002
Our 2002 production of The Yeomen of the Guard has completed its run! Stay tuned for details of our 2003 production... Click here for our archived excerpts from these reviews of our 2002 production (used with permission).
May 9, 2002
At long last, our new website is on the air! Please let us know what you think by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Helpful criticism and suggestions for improvement are always welcome.
The Savoy-aires gratefully acknowledge Jonathan Han and his colleagues for their work in developing this website.