Gilbert & Sullivan Austin


A melodic little gem of wit, cleverness, and charm

Trial By Jury

Saturday, March 3 at 7:30pm & Sunday, March 4 at 3pm

Worley Barton Theater at Brentwood Christian School
11908 N. Lamar | Map

Click here to watch video | Click here to see photos | Click here to listen to KUTX interview
Gilbert & Sullivan Austin presented as its 2018 Mid-Season Production "Trial by Jury," with sparkling music by Arthur Sullivan and hilarious libretto by W. S. Gilbert. Two performances were presented at the Worley Barton Theater at Brentwood Christian School, March 3 at 7:30pm & March 4 at 3pm.

"Trial by Jury" is the only Gilbert and Sullivan opera written in one act and is their only opera that contains no spoken dialogue. It is considered by some to be the most perfectly constructed of the G&S operas, and is a little gem of wit, cleverness, and charm. It was first produced in 1875 at London's Royalty Theatre, where it was a runaway hit with audiences.

"Trial by Jury" was a fully-staged chamber production of the entire opera, with a full cast and chorus of outstanding performers, elegant costumes, and magnificent grand-piano accompaniment.

Artistic Director Ralph MacPhail, Jr. and Music Director Jeffrey Jones-Ragona led the production of this melodic and comedic delight. Bill Hatcher was Production Manager.

The story takes place in a courtroom where a breach of promise of marriage case is being tried, with the judge and legal system the objects of lighthearted satire. Can you imagine a more delightfully propitious setting for a lighthearted satire of the British legal system (and of gentlemen who behave like cads)? One wonders how Gilbert’s own short experience as a barrister provided fodder for this little treasure!

The defendant argues that damages should be slight, since "he is such a very bad lot," while the plaintiff argues that she loves the defendant fervently and seeks "substantial damages." After much argument, the judge makes a surprising, unorthodox, and thoroughly satisfactory resolution to the case. The judge's song, "When I, good friends, was called to the Bar," is the prototype for a string of similar introductory patter songs that epitomize the Gilbert and Sullivan collaboration.

The score contains two parodies or pastiches of other composers: "All hail, great Judge" is an elaborate parody of Handel's fugues, and "A nice dilemma" parodies "dilemma" ensembles of Italian opera in the bel canto era, in particular "D'un pensiero" from Act I of Bellini's La sonnambula. "A nice dilemma" uses the dominant rhythm and key of "D'un pensiero" and divides up some of the choral lines between the basses and higher voices to create an oom-pa-pa effect common in Italian opera choruses.
The Learned Judge
The Plaintiff
The Defendant
Counsel for the Plaintiff
Foreman of the Jury
Jury Member
Jury Member
Jury Member

Arthur DiBianca
Angela Irving
Andy Fleming
Janette Jones
Robert L. Schneider
Robert LeBas
Leann Fryer
Sarah Manna
Eleanor Mellen
Sarah Steele
Jake Jacobsen
Jay Young
Scott Poppaw
Jennifer Garza
Rosa Mondragon Harris
Anthony Fuller
Garrett Cordes

Karl Logue





Watch Video
Sunday performance

Gilbert & Sullivan Austin

PO Box 684542 / Austin, Texas / 78768-4542 / 512.472.4772 /

This project is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at



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