Opera Comique was formed in Portsmouth as a charitable trust and has raised many thousands of pounds for numerous local and national causes since it was formed in 1976. Opera Comique’s personnel are all experienced Gilbert and Sullivan enthusiasts drawn from a wide area of the South of England and perform together each year.
Opera Comique has given concerts in the Portsmouth Guildhall and also in many venues in Hampshire, Sussex and Dorset including Portchester and Southsea Castles and in the Guildhall, London and at Basing House. HMS Pinafore and the Pirates of Penzance have been performed on board HMS Victory, HMS Warrior 1860 and TS Foudroyant. Overseas tours have taken Opera Comique to Duisburg in Germany, Rauma in Finland, New England USA [including Mystic Seaport, Portsmouth and Sudbury] and Venice – where the Gondoliers has been performed.
Opera Comique has on three occasions arranged events to sing through all the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas in a day, involving many different societies coming to perform an operetta. Sullivan’s rarely performed grand opera Ivanhoe has also been performed as a concert version.
The Trustees of Opera Comique are Kevin Sivyer (Director), David Francis, Laurie Kent and Nigel Smith. Ken Hick is the Honorary President.