Some of you might know that I’ve had a life-long interest in opera and classical music in general.  My adaptations of Gilbert and Sullivan have been performed in several places here in New England, and they are available for future productions, as well.  Just contact me.

Recently several videos from my collaboration with arranger John Dreslin on the first Gilbert and Sullivan opera, Thespis, have made it to Youtube.  You can find them here:

Thespis: “Climbing Over Rocky Mountain.”

Thespis: “Little Maid of Arcadee.”

Thespis: “You’re Diana, I’m Apollo.”

I’m hoping more from other productions will be forthcoming.


11 responses to “Operas

  1. bob cave

    dog better looking than author. hello to scott.

  2. I’m producing The Sorcerer for the MIT Gilbert and Sullivan Players this fall. We’re contemplating restoring Lady Sangazure’s ballad, and wondered whether your arrangement based on the lancers tune is available.

    • Dear Matthew,
      Sorry for delay in replying. I’m teaching summer school at Bread Loaf School of English in Vermont mountains and only just saw your note. I’d be delighted for you to use the Sangazure song I arranged from the lancers. It would need to be orchestrated, something beyond my capacity. The lancers took the tune from the accompaniment to Ring forth, ye bells, but at a slower tempo it works nicely. The late Ric Wilson and I investigated the sole surviving orchestra parts (I think it was violas) and found it wouldn’t fit, despite the lancers labeling the tune Lady Sangazure. I won’t have access to my piano/vocal score till I return to Rockport by Labor Day, but I’d love to send it to you then. You can leave a message for me here at *** if you like and I could call you back. I have no direct line and no cell service in mountains (and I’m slow to check the blog–I’m amazed you found me that way). Leave me your phone number. My home phone is *** and address is 7 Henderson Court, Rockport MA 01966. Mail gets forwarded up here. Thanks,

      Jonathan Strong

  3. Hi Jonathan—I’m hoping you are the Jonathan Strong who was a Fellow with me at Breadloaf, many many years ago? I do hope you’ll get in touch with me through my website: http://www.wendy-watson.com/ —p.s. I’m also an opera and classical music buff—am going to look at the Youtube videos of your adaptations now—

  4. Hello,
    I am with a group who occassionly do Gilbert and Sullivan. I would like to mount a production of Thespis sometime.There are several versions including the latest one by Baker/Henty. Yours looks interesting from the uTube clips.I would be curious about your choice of music.Do you have a recording. We have performed at Buxton International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in England 3 times and won the International Trophy each time.Thanks. Aidan Faughey ( Ireland )

  5. …from much, much later on to way, way back when.

  6. Richard Moore

    Dear Jonathan,

    I am a lecturer in English and American literature at Newcastle University, U.K.
    I have copies of a setting of Lady Sangazure’s Ballad by a British composer if anyone wishes for one. Sadly the composer died young but was of considerable talent.

    I myself have written various libretti based on Gilbert plays and short stories. One (“The Palace of Truth” – re-titled “The Tangled Web”) was set to music by a Cambridge music graduate, who went on to conduct in a German opera house and has had severStage”.. If you would like a copy, you are very welcome. I have also adapted many Dickens’ novels and 18th century farces as libretti – no composers so far for these.

    Best wishes,


    (Dr. Richard Moore)

    • scoot

      Dear Richard:,
      Thanks for writing. It seems we’re both dedicated to expanding the Gilbertian canon, a worthy enterprise, i think. The Palace of Truth has always been a favorite of mine, and I imagine it could be transformed into a fine comic opera. My own musical skills are limited to arranging Sullivan’s music to fit other Gilbert texts, and I think the three operas I found suitable fits for (Thespis, Happy Arcadia, The Gentleman in Black) proved themselves theatrically viable in their several productions here in New England. I gather someone has now reconstructed Lady Sangazure’s ballad from found band parts (noted in the Sullivan Society’s recent newsletter). I only wish that the originals of Sullivan’s Thespis and Clay’s Arcadia and Gentleman scores could be found. I’d gladly cede my versions to the real things, but failing that mine may serve.
      All the best,

  7. Richard Straw

    Hello, As someone very interested in the ‘lost’ works of Gilbert and Sullivan (Gilbert in particular), I’m rather keen on performing Happy Arcadia with my local G&S group (Tynemouth, in the UK). It’s a great show, and very interesting in its ‘prototypes’ for Iolanthe. I was therefore wondering about the avalibility of your score, and the rights issues. Thanks

  8. Jonathan Strong, I was surprised and pleased that you now have a website. Scott is a marvelous influence; we use his tissue here in CT and are pleased. 🙂 I knew I was aging (I think you know that Annlee Sortland, Leighton (Apollo) and Bill (Sparkeion) gave a surprise party for
    me on June 2 and filled our second largest restaurant in E. Haddam with
    106 people, including two nieces from Nebraska! I was also surprised to
    receive a check to go toward October’s Yeomen in today’s mail. Your generous Leo
    heart is appreciated as much as your genius! In friendship’s name, Bob
    ctgands.org (The Thespis excerpts are being reworked at the moment.
    Sorry I find three times as many samples from Valley Light Opera’s version on YouTube.) 😦

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