McGill Savoy Society Presents Gilbert and Sullivan's RUDDIGORE

McGill Savoy Society Presents Gilbert and Sullivan's RUDDIGORE

Tickets are now on sale for the McGill Savoy Society's upcoming production of Gilbert and Sullivan's RUDDIGORE, or The Witch's Curse: An Entirely Original Supernatural Opera! Virtue clashes with villainy as the latest baronet of Ruddigore defies the ancestral curse binding him to commit daily crimes on pain of death. Bashful Robin Oakapple has hidden his true identity as the accursed Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd, but his terrible secret jeopardizes his courtship of the straitlaced Rose Maybud, who also captures the heart of Robin's foster- brother. Pastoral choruses, mock-Wagnerian orchestrations, and frenzied patter songs enhance Gilbert andSullivan's wry send-up of gothic melodrama, which first hit the London stage in 1887. RUDDIGORE will be presented from February 9-16, 2019 at Moyse Hall (McGill Arts Building), 853 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal, QC H3A 0G5

The McGill Savoy Society is Canada's oldest university-affiliated Gilbert and Sullivan troupe, which The Montreal Gazette's Pat Donnelly once called "a laboratory for an ongoing social experiment, a connecting pointbetween academia and the city at large, [and] a social club with a fun-filled annual project that showcases worthy,rising talent." As a club of the Students' Society of McGill University, Savoy is a non-profit theatre group run by an executive team of McGill students, with cast, creatives, and orchestra recruited from both the campus and the wider Montreal community. Registered with the Quebec Drama Federation for the first time since 2012, the company aims to reach its broadest audience yet with Ruddigore, the mainstage offering for its 55th season.

Producers Irina Ghitulescu and Marc Ducusin lead a creative team that boasts co-directors Coralie Heiler, who assistant-directed Savoy's previous operetta Iolanthe, and Stefania Bertrand, a graduate of Toronto's Randolph College for Performing Arts. Joining them are lighting designer Francis Lefort and set designer ZoeRoux, who was recently named 'Outstanding Emerging Artist in Production' at the 2018 Montreal English Theatre Awards. After costuming Iolanthe and The Pirates of Penzance, Nicole Heiler returns to outfitRuddigore's Regency-era bridesmaids and ghostly noblemen.

"RUDDIGORE is a dark horse in the Gilbert and Sullivan canon," says co-producer Ducusin, who first joined Savoy in the cast of its 2011 production of the operetta. "Following the tremendous success of The Mikado, it had lofty expectations to meet. But the libretto is one of their funniest, and the score has some truly thrilling moments." Embarking on the show was initially bittersweet, as preparations began shortly after the passing ofRoger Andrews, who directed Savoy's last two productions. Ruddigore is affectionately dedicated to his memory.

But the show is ultimately a lively affair, which cast-member Sara Wunsch thinks audiences will enjoyfor its "lighthearted and hilarious story of how hard it is to date in rural England when you're the destined heir to a witch's curse!" Despite the period setting, Wunsch says modern viewers can relate to the characters' dilemma of "following their moral compass or following their hearts." Theatregoers can read more about the production and purchase their tickets online at the Savoy Society's newly revamped website (mcgillsavoy.ca).

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