Friday, September 23, 2011

Gilbert and Sullivan Girls

It's 11 o'clock on a Thursday morning. From a nearby park drifts the strains of opera music and laughter. Is it the residents of the local loony bin? No, it's just us spending a refreshing morning at the park.

We're perched on the see-saw, bouncing gently as we fumble our way through our favourite Gilbert and Sullivan pieces.

"I'm called Little Buttercup," we sing gaily, before suddenly switching to, "For I am a pirate king!"This is hardly the music you would expect a normal seven year old to be singing. But then, most seven year olds haven't been introduced to the delights of Gilbert and Sullivan's comical operettas.

From men disguised as women in a lady's academy, to pirates, to ancient Japan, their operas seem to cover everything under the sun. The music is catchy, and the words amusing. We love to sit down of a night to watch a production.

"What shall we watch? Princess Ida?"

"I want to watch The Mikado."

"How about The Pirates of Penzance?"

Eventually we decide on a movie and settle down to watch it, humming the music, and laughing at familiar jokes.

We love these operas so much that we even borrowed a book of their music from the library. Even Charlotte the shy singer can be persuaded to take on one of the male parts. The little girls revel in the songs of their favourite characters, while I glory in the showy soprano parts.

We're Gilbert and Sullivan girls, and proud to be so. Our song matter, our conversations, the movies on our shelves all proclaim this fact. And we'll be Gilbert and Sullivan girls for a long time more.

Have you seen any of Gilbert and Sullivan's amazing operas? Do you like to sing random songs from your favourite musicals?


  1. I'm a Gilbert & Sullivan person myself. Though we are not as fully loaded with G&S materials as you are. I totally agree. My favorite is Pirates of Penzance. I've only ever memorized the 'Modern Major-General's song, though. (singing) 'I am the very model of a modern major-general' speaking: Now that I've introduced myself, I'd like some idea of what is going on.' :Dx10000

  2. I LOVE GILBERT AND SULLIVAN!!! I've only seen Pirates of Penzance and the Mikado, but they are loved very dearly and sometimes when we are doing dishes my brother, sister and I will sing them together, or I am by myself and I sing all the parts to the best of my ability.
    The parts/songs I love to sing are Mabel's - those are just fun, Poor wandering one, Pirate King, A Paradox, With Catlike Tread, and so many others I can't remember them all.
    My voice happens to do very well for Katisha (she and I both being mezzo Soprano's) So though I don't care for her character I do have fun with her songs, and Tit willow and Three Little Maids From School are we.

    Yes, Gilbert and Sullivan are the best!

    Thank you for sharing!


  3. JT, I love the Major General's song. It is one of my favourite songs. We recently bought a box set of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, so we're discovering some we've never heard of before.

    Which operettas have you seen?

  4. Jessica, when Charlotte and I sing, she always takes the lowest parts. Sometimes we sing as the Mikado and KAtisha, and it's quite a challenge for me to get down to some of the notes. My comfortable range is well up the other end of the scale I'm afraid!

    Most of the songs you mentioned are my favourites too. I like to try and fumble my way through the accompaniment while we're singing, which often provides interesting results!

  5. We've seen, to my memory, only The Mikado and Pirates of Penzance. Sad, isn't it? :D (btw, check out my top 25 list of books. I turned it into a tag, haha)

  6. I envy you JT, you have so many Gibert and Sullivan's left to watch. I hope you get a chance to watch some of the other soon. They're well worth it.

    I'll get onto the tag as soon as possible. Now it's holidays I should have time to work out a list. Thanks for tagging me.