Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Houston presents Ruddigore at Cullen Performance Hall at the University of Houston the last two weekends of July

Tickets now on sale for Saturday, July 20 and 27 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 21 and 28 at 2:30 p.m.

WHAT:                Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Houston presents Ruddigore (or The Witch’s Curse) at Cullen Performance Hall at the University of Houston the last two weekends of July. Two performances are set for Saturday evenings (July 20 and July 27 at 7 pm), while two are Sunday matinees (July 21 and July 28 at 2:30 pm). Ruddigore’s last run with G&S Houston was in 2007.

Ruddigore is characterized as “Jane Austen meets Young Frankenstein.” The gothic elements, infused with a sense of humor, will bring a level of madness in the best possible way. The costumes are Regency era, the score is engaging and for the first time the company will experiment with digital scenery. Audiences of all ages should be enamored of this fun and spooky period piece.

The operetta is an ensemble tour de force with fun characters and a score featuring several showstoppers. The stage at historic Cullen Performance Hall will come alive with a plethora of large personalities, singing, dancing and acting in this send-up of Victorian melodrama.

The spooky music of the ancestors, especially the aria ‘When the night wind howls,’ is powerful, and of course, G&S is known and loved for rapid-fire patter songs, which Ruddigore features in a patter trio ‘My eyes are fully open.’ Projected surtitles will ensure that the audience easily follows the fast pace of the operetta.

A satirical take on the Victorian melodrama genre, Ruddigore’s zany plot has it all – ghosts, witches, curses, disguises, and reluctantly wicked villains who try to make off with the fair maiden. All of the Baronets of Ruddigore are under a curse enacted by a witch long ago–each of the successive Baronets must commit some kind of a crime every single day, or else they will die in agony.

Come to see Ruddigore to find out who lives and dies, who gets the girl and how the ghosts figure in.

WHO:                  Serving as stage director for Ruddigore is opera veteran Buck Ross, who is Professor Emeritus and founder and former director of the Moores Opera Center at the University of Houston. Noted conductor Eiki Isomura, who leads Houston’s Opera in the Heights, takes the reins for the second year as music director. Joseph Rawley once again returns as artistic director/chorus master. Ross and Isomura are certain to bring a unique take on the operetta, which is not as well-known as many of the other Gilbert & Sullivan productions (The Pirates of PenzanceThe Mikado), but has much to offer to the eyes and ears of audience members. Once again, noted set designer Jodi Bobrovsky will display her creativity as audiences get to see stunning digital scenery, evoking ghosts and a Halloween mood.

The Cast:           Cast members include Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd – Wes Landry; Richard Dauntless – Thomas O’Neill; Sir Despard Murgatroyd – Dennis Arrowsmith; Old Adam Goodheart – Johnny Salvesen; Rose Maybud – Lisa Borik Vickers; Mad Margaret – Meaghan Heath; Dame Hannah – Jana Ellsworth;  Zorah – Riley Vagis; Ruth – Chloe Owens; and Sir Roderic Murgatroyd – Richard Paul Fink.

The Women’s Chorus members are Justine Ash, Tarryn Ballard, Giselle Bautista, Tiffany Dawkins, Melisa Gultan, Emma Hayden, Lena Lowe, Samantha Taylor and Whitney Wells.

The Men’s Chorus includes Jadon Campos, Zaccai Campos, Gage Campos, Geoff Copper, Trey Fitzgerald, Zachary Frank, Joe Key, Mike McCarver, Benjamin Rorabaugh, Joe White and Martin Wolff.

WHEN:                Saturday, July 20 and Saturday, July 27 at 7 p.m.

Sunday, July 21 and Sunday, July 28 at 2:30 p.m.

WHERE:              Cullen Performance Hall, University of Houston, 4300 University Dr., Houston, 77004

Garage parking available

TICKETS:            Tickets for Ruddigore are now on sale and range from $49 to $84, plus handling fees. The website is Be sure and purchase early for the best seats. The show is suitable for children.

MORE:                Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Houston, the city’s longest-running opera company, has presented several Gilbert and Sullivan works over the years, including HMS PinaforePrincess IdaThe MikadoThe Yeomen of the Guard, and The Pirates of Penzance.

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Link to photos here

Link to cast headshots here

Photo credit: Pin Lim

About Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Houston

Founded in 1952, the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Houston is a non-profit theater company dedicated to preserving and sharing the delightful legacy of Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic operas. The primary and constant goal of the Society is to provide affordable, high quality live-theater productions, in the spirit of family entertainment.

The Society has long been widely recognized as a first-class theater company performing shows of the highest artistic caliber, receiving an Emmy-nomination for its 1974 PBS televised production of Princess Ida and six “Best of Festival” awards, including International Champions at the 2004 International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in Buxton, England. The nominations and awards received by the Society over its three successful trips to the Festival in Buxton make it the most honored American Society ever to attend the event. It showcases talent ranging in age from 18 to 71.

The Society caters to youth in the industry and has awarded over 100 scholarships to vocal performance and theater tech students and often provides a bank of tickets to children in the Houston area. The Society participated in the inaugural seasons of both Jones Hall for the Performing Arts in 1966 and Wortham Theater Center in 1987 and has established itself as the oldest continuously operating opera company in Houston.