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June 27, 1997

Trial By Jury

Trial by Jury is a comic opera in one act, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It was first produced on 25 March 1875, at London's Royalty Theatre, where it initially ran for 131 performances and was considered a hit, receiving critical praise and outrunning its popular companion piece, Jacques Offenbach's La Périchole. The story concerns a "breach of promise of marriage" lawsuit in which the judge and legal system are the objects of lighthearted satire. Gilbert based the libretto of Trial by Jury on an operetta parody that he had written in 1868.

The opera premiered more than three years after Gilbert and Sullivan's only previous collaboration, Thespis, an 1871–72 Christmas season entertainment. In the intervening years, both the author and composer were busy with separate projects. Beginning in 1873, Gilbert tried several times to get the opera produced before the impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte suggested that he collaborate on it with Sullivan. Sullivan was pleased with the piece and promptly wrote the music.

As with most Gilbert and Sullivan operas, the plot of Trial by Jury is ludicrous, but the characters behave as if the events were perfectly reasonable.

Musical Director  -  Margaret Johnson

Chorus  -  Dick Woodward
Chorus  -  Geoff Welch
Chorus  -  Stephen Thorpe
Chorus  -  Roger Southam
Chorus  -  Richard Sexton
Chorus  -  Andrew Sexton
Chorus  -  Paul Ribbans
Chorus  -  Leonard Gibbons
Chorus  -  Rodney Hampson
Chorus  -  Graham Gibbs
Chorus  -  Roger Blackburn
Chorus  -  Susie Welch
Chorus  -  Helen Walker
Chorus  -  Victoria Tackley
Chorus  -  Maxine Shearer
Chorus  -  Lorna Sexton
Chorus  -  Lou Robinson
Chorus  -  Sue Kennedy
Chorus  -  Helen Hofton
Chorus  -  Fizz Gibbs
Chorus  -  Valmai Guess
Chorus  -  Ann Fausset
Chorus  -  Juliet Alexander
Counsel for the Plaintiff  -  Keiron Jones
Foreman of the Jury  -  Peter Johnson
The Defendant  -  Michael Tackley
The Learned Judge  -  Paul Kerswill
The Plaintiff  -  Kathryn Wallace
Usher  -  Ron Hart

Musical Director  -  Margaret Johnson
Producer  -  Paul Kerswill

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