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The Jay Newman Lectures
The G&S Society holds an annual lecture in honor of Jay Newman, a lifelong devotee of the works of Gilbert & Sullivan and longtime Society member. The lecture series is funded by a generous gift made by Newman upon his death in 2007.
A Brooklyn native, Jay Newman was a notable philosopher who served as a professor at the University of Guelph; he was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1995. Learn more about Newman in the Wikipedia entry about him.
2021: Marc Shepherd on The Variorum Gilbert & Sullivan
June 5, 2021:
Gilbert & Sullivan Society Vice President and former Peeper editor Marc Shepherd discussed The Variorum Gilbert & Sullivan, which documents the evolution of the G&S libretti from pre-production drafts and the early productions, through the later amendments and editions. Marc discussed how the Variorum sheds light on the operas' creation, revisions and reception, and how it can be used by performing groups today
2019: Dr. J Donald Smith on "Mrs. Ronalds: Myth and Reality"
June 15, 2019:
For more than 20 years Mrs. Mary Frances "Fanny" Ronalds was the companion/confidant/muse/lover/partner of Sir Arthur Sullivan. Many of the published details about her are simply wrong. She was a singer who was compared to the reigning sopranos of the day; a composer of popular songs; a patron who supported aspiring musicians; a prodigious fund-raiser for charity; and part of the highest societies of New York, Paris and London. The talk presented a more complete picture of this fascinating woman.
2018: "Uncle Arthur: The California Connection"
May 6, 2018: W. Scott Hayes, the great grand-nephew of Sir Arthur Sullivan, spoke about Sullivan's visit to his family in California in 1885 after "The Mikado" came to America. After Sullivan's brother Fred died, Fred's widow moved to America with six of their children, but she died soon afterwards. Sullivan encouraged and supported the family for the rest of his life and in his Will.
2017: Melodramatic Histrionics in the Savoy Operas,
June 16, 2017: Professor Carolyn Williams of Rutgers University, author of the wonderful book Gilbert and Sullivan: Gender, Genre, Parody, gave the 2017 Jay Newman Memorial Lecture.
Professor Williams tackled Gilbert's parody and use of Victorian Melodrama, including jolly jack tars, mad women, villains, mystic ladies, swashbucklers, vengeance, patter and sudden mood changes:
*How Ralph Rackstraw developed an energetic fist!
Musical examples were performed by Andrea Stryker-Rodda, Richard Holmes, Julie May, Sarah Moulton Faux, Hannah Spierman, David Bell and Samuel Silvers.
2015: "Gilbert's Dialogue Revisited"
November 4, 2015: Roberta Morrell, who performed with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in the last ten years of its original incarnation and is now a well-known stage director and coach, spoke about "Gilbert's Dialogue Revisited." She demonstrated for us how she directs G&S performers to get the most out of the material, coaching volunteers in scenes from THE SORCERER, H.M.S. PINAFORE, and PRINCESS IDA. Roberta insists that the Savoy operas can continue to delight audiences young and old for decades, or even centuries, to come. Roberta's book about life in the D'Oyly Carte, D'OYLY CARTE: THE INSIDE STORY, was released by Troubador Publishing in 2016.
2014: The Fourth Jay Newman Memorial Lecture
May 28, 2014: Geoffrey Shovelton was last principal tenor of the original D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. He was also our honorary president for several decades and contributed delightful illustrations to The Palace Peeper during that time. He spoke about his recollections of performing with the D'Oyly Carte and his favorite roles.
2013: The Third Jay Newman Memorial Lecture
May 8, 2013: Our Two Ians sailed to New York with several other G&S devotees on the maiden voyage of the Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship and were delighted to share part of their short stay here with us in an evening of information, music and merriment.
2012: The Second Jay Newman Memorial Lecture
February 25, 2012: World-renowned G&S performer Simon Butteriss is a specialist in comic baritone roles with New D'Oyly Carte, Opera della Luna, and Carl Rosa Opera Company. A performer and director, he frequently performs at the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival. Butteriss also has an active career as an author and film performer. He shared his insights about the Gilbert & Sullivan patter roles.
2010: "Gilbert & Sullivan: Shining into a New Century with Reflected Light"
May 7, 2010: Ralph MacPhail was the inaugural speaker in our Jay Newman Memorial Lecture on Gilbert & Sullivan. Professor Emeritus of Theatre at Bridgewater College of Virginia, Ralph is a longtime Society member. He spoke about "Gilbert & Sullivan: Shining into a New Century with Reflected Light"; the title is inspired by a letter of appreciation written by Gilbert to Sullivan in 1889, and refers to to the timeless appeal of the G&S operas and the reasons for their continuing popularity in the 21st Century.