What is Savoynet ?
Savoynet is a internet mailing list of several hundred people all over the world who discuss facts, trivia, performing details, collectible materials and scholarly concerns about Gilbert and Sullivan. To subscribe you send a plain text E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with nothing in the subject line and "SUBSCRIBE SAVOYNET Your name" in the body of the note. Thereafter you will be bombarded with 40 (or more!) E-mail messages a day from all over the world about G&S.
You can learn more about how to send and receive messages and general list etiquette on the web site. To send (post) messages to the Savoynet list, E-mail them to email@example.com.
What is the digest version?
To control this deluge, many people ask for
the digest version, by sending another note to the
same address with the body of the
mail containing "
SET SAVOYNET MAIL DIGEST"
Digests come about once a day and have the advantage of not
cluttering your mailbox, and the disadvantage that you are a nearly a day behind
in some of the discussions if you want to jump in with a reply.
How do I unsubscribe from Savoynet?
To unsubscribe, simply send a message with nothing in the subject line and
in the body of the message. Send the message to firstname.lastname@example.org, AND NOT to the Savoynet list itself.
Can I send attachments to Savoynet?
A Sing-in or sing-out or QWERT(Y) is an open meeting lasting for an afternoon to a long weekend where people get together to sing some or all of the G&S operas (without the dialog). Usually, the main roles are cast in advance by request of those planning to come and it is great chance to try a role you've never done or one you might not get cast for. They are almost always announced months in advance on Savoynet. The name QWERTY comes from the 2nd row of the keyboard, and was adopted for an early sing-in after the participants couldn't agree on a suitable acronym. It is reliably rumoured that real QWERTYs have a picture of D'Oyly Carte tenor Phillip Potter on the piano.
There have been QWERTYs in New York, Connecticut, Philadelphia, Torquay, England, Maine, Rockville, MD and Orlando, FL. One is planned for Nantucket in 2005. Watch Savoynet for the next one.
Generally sing-ins or QWERTYs are more informal affairs in people's homes, while sing-outs are larger affairs, often in public halls.
The Buxton International G&S festival is held in Buxton, England every August, and provides 3 full weeks of G&S performances by amateur and professional groups. Since 1997, Savoynet members have cast and performed a show at Buxton each year. Some of these shows have won quite a number of awards. See more about Buxton, below.
There are about 700 members of Savoynet. To get a list of those who have not
asked to be kept private, send an email to
email@example.com with the
message body "
The G&S archive is an incredibly complete set of information on, and links to all things about the G&S operas. Not only does it include the librettos of all 14 shows (Thespis has almost no surviving music), it includes complete scores of Utopia, Ltd and The Sorcerer as well as complete music for several cut or lost additional songs in several opera. It includes score sources, reviews, clip art and historical notes. It also contains many of Sullivan's solo works and many of Gilbert's works as well.
One calendar (mostly UK) can be found at http://www.savoyopera.co.uk/. There is a start at another (mostly US) one at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SavoyNot/cal. (You have to join Yahoo groups to access this). If you would like to design an automated site to handle this, post your proposal to Savoynet. The best approach is to read the Savoynet messages at least weekly.
The vagaries of copyright law in specific cases and in different countries is too complex for a simple answer. There are a number of attorneys on Savoynet who will give you their "various opinions" on this if you post a specific query.
A few piano reductions such as Sullivan's The Zoo are still in copyright. You can legally produce your own edition of any other score using music software, using published scores and other references as a guide, as long as the piano reduction is out of copyright. This has been done for Utopia and The Sorcerer.
What is the origin of the use of the "@" sign for Savoynetters?
This recollection is from Peter Zavon. For the record, I am guilty of bringing the "@" symbol to Savoynet. It was shamelessly cribbed from the Science Fiction community. (I have no way of knowing whether or not this sort of use was invented by the SFpeople.) During the first few years of the G&S Festival I was reading a list called Science Fiction Digest which was, as I recall, a selected compilation of messages that had been posted to a rather large and active Science Fiction discussion list. In the early 1990's (and before) many participants in this list would gather during the World Science Fiction Convention at a party known as the "@-Party" I never attended but I thought the use of the "@" symbol as an identifier of participants in an internet discussion was a very sensible "secret sign." During the first G&S Festival a small (miniscule) number of then current Savoynetters ran into each other. In the run-up to the Second festival a desire for a more certain way of meeting other Savoynetters was expressed. Two methods were suggested. One was the meeting at the now removed park bench near the front of the Opera House. That continued for several years but phased out as the Savoynet contingent became too large to gather around a single bench, and because the bench was removed in a renovation of the front plaza. The second means of identification, which I suggested, was the "@" symbol, to be worn as a button or nametag. As I recall, I brought to the second Festival (or perhaps the third) a number of business card-sized pieces of paper and we pinned them to our shirts with safety pins. Later, other Savoynetters deployed the symbol on jewelry, shirts and in other ways.
More about Buxton and the International G&S Festival
The International G&S Festival is held in Buxton, England in August each year, and it is the ultimate treat for the Gilbert & Sullivan fan. The Festival includes over three weeks of nightly G&S operas and daytime fringe activities. Buxton is located about an hour Southeast of Manchester, England.
At the core of the Festival is a competition of amateur G&S performing societies that travel to Buxton from all over the world to compete. All of these performances are given in the Buxton Opera House, a charming 900 seat house with excellent acoustics. Tickets for the amateur productions are about $20 each.
In addition to the dozen or more amateur productions that are presented and judged in the competition at the Festival, there are weekend professional performances. There are also numerous daytime "fringe" activities, performances, master classes and lectures by members of the original D'Oyly Carte Opera Company and other professionals, and a late night Festival Club, where one can relax and enjoy two different cabaret performances each evening after the opera. There is also a G&S memorabilia fair, providing a chance for G&S enthusiasts to buy and sell books, scores, figurines and other collectors' items.
"SavoyNet" has presented a new production every year in Buxton since 1997. We audition the show in advance by videotape and the cast is decided in the spring. Then we meet in Buxton a week before the show to rehearse.
Around the exhausting, concentrated rehearsal schedule and performances, SavoyNetters at the Festival relax by watching our competitors' productions at the Opera House and by touring the lovely Peak District around Buxton, where Peak-Haunting Peveril's ruin of a castle is, along with many other spectacular castles, abbeys and caverns.
View the Festival website at: http://www.gs-festival.co.uk.