The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin

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The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin presented The Sorcerer as its summer 2015 grand production. Nine performances were presented at the Worley Barton Theater at Brentwood Christian School, June 18-28. This popular classic was W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan’s third comic opera of their fourteen. The plot is based on a Christmas story, An Elixir of Love, that Gilbert wrote for a magazine in 1876.

Artistic Director Ralph MacPhail, Jr., returned for his 15th summer with the Society, along with Jeffrey Jones-Ragona, enjoying his 19th season as Music Director. Bill Hatcher returned as Production Manager.

The Sorcerer opened in November of 1877 at the Opera Comique in London, where it ran for 178 performances. It was a success by the standards of that time and encouraged the collaborators to write their next opera, H.M.S. Pinafore. The Sorcerer was the first G&S opera to use all the major character types and typical range of songs that would appear in their later collaborations, such as comic duets, a patter song, and novel ensembles. The chorus is essential, taking part in the action and often acting as an important character in its own right.

The setting is a small rural village inhabited by gentry and country folk. A young man, Alexis, is obsessed with idea of love levelling all ranks and social distinctions. To promote his beliefs, he invites the proprietor of J.W. Wells & Co., Family Sorcerers, to brew a love potion. This causes everyone in the village to fall in love with the first person they see and results in the pairing of comically mismatched couples. In the end, Wells must sacrifice his life to break the spell. The satire in the opera is focused on old-fashioned conventions of aristocratic benevolence and grand opera. It’s a magical story, filled with topsy-turvy humor and beautiful music. The Sorcerer sets the stage for the wonderful collaborations that followed during the subsequent two decades of collaboration.
Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre
Dr. Daly
John Wellington Wells
Lady Sangazure
Mrs. Partlet
David Fontenot
Holton Johnson
Julius Young
Russell Gregory
Arthur DiBianca
Lisa Alexander
Alexandra Reilman
Janette Jones
Patricia Combs
Daniel Kregel
Female Villagers of Ploverleigh:
Leann Fryer, Rosa Harris, Susan Meitz, Abigail Stokely,  Jamieson Taylor, Maurine McLean, Natalya Shelburne, Sarah Steele, Brittany Trinité, Michelle Vanecek

Male Villagers of Ploverleigh:
Daniel Brookshire, Danny Castillo,  Andy Fleming, Glenn Russell, Ian Stillwell, Gary Preuss, David Treadwell, Patrick Wright, Jay Young, Evan Kelley
The Sorcerer cast and crew


Vocal Score

Playbill (PDF)

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Society President Libby Weed with highlights from opening weekend
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Artistic Director Ralph MacPhail, Jr. previews "The Sorcerer"
Watch TV Spot
Watch Video
See the television spot airing on Time Warner Cable News.
Media Materials
Press Art (jpg)
Press Photo (jpg)
Poster (pdf)
Press Release (pdf)
Recent Summer Productions
H.M.S. Pinafore - 2014
Princess Ida - 2013
- 2012
The Mikado - 2011
The Yeomen of the Guard - 2010
Iolanthe - 2009
The Pirates of Penzance - 2008
Ruddigore - 2007

The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin

PO Box 684542 / Austin, Texas / 78768-4542 / 512.472.4772 /
City of Austin - State of Texas This project is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at


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