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Pittsburgh Savoyards return with 'Grand Duke' at music hall in Carnegie

| Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, 12:27 p.m.

The Pittsburgh Savoyards theater troupe returns to the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in Carnegie for its 80th season with a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta “The Grand Duke,” March 2-11.

The troupe is Pittsburgh's oldest theater organization and has been dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the comic operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan since 1938.

The productions exclusively feature local talent, whether onstage, backstage or in the orchestra.

The upcoming production will feature Guy Russo as music director and Robert Hockenberry as stage director.

The group's 80th season began in October with its production of “H.M.S. Pinafore.” It is considered a semi-professional community-based nonprofit theater company funded mostly by ticket sales with additional revenue coming from donations, grants, concessions and fundraisers.

The name Savoyards comes from the Savoy Theatre in London, where many of the operas premiered and were performed for many years.

The title is used by groups throughout the world.

For many years, the Pittsburgh company did not have a permanent home. For most of its history, stage sets were stored in temporary locations, being moved whenever affordable space became available. In 1993 the company secured space in the Music Hall.

The company is governed by a volunteer board of trustees. Each performance is accompanied by a live orchestra of semi-professional and professional musicians who donate their time to the show.

Membership is open to all people who wish to learn, perform or support Gilbert and Sullivan performances, whether on the stage, in the orchestra or behind the scenes. It has no full-time paid staff.

“The Grand Duke” has not been performed in the Pittsburgh area since 1977.

For tickets and performance times, call 412-734-8476 or visit

Charlotte Smith is a Tribune-Review contributing writer. Reach her at 724-693-9441 or

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