G&S on Film, TV and Video

The history of the G&S operas on the visual media of film, TV and video, is far more varied than many people realize, but still much less interesting than their history on audio media. Before the 1960, the only significant examples of G&S on film or video were the famous 1939 technicolor film of The Mikado and the 1953 historical treatment of The Gilbert and Sullivan Story. There were also a number of early television productions, most of which do not survive.

Things have improved since 1960. Two of the original D'Oyly Carte productions survive on video, which is far less than we'd like, but better than nothing. All of the operas have now appeared on video in at least one production, but many are far from adequate. The 1980s, which were a bad decade for new audio recordings, were a very good decade for videos, but we still have a long way to go, and unfortunately the the pace of new productions has slowed considerably in the 1990s.

The complete list of all Gilbert and Sullivan videos can be found in the video index.

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