About Savoy

The McGill Savoy Society, a student group of the SSMU (Students’ Society of McGill University) is a non-profit, high-profile student theater group, supported by a large and active patron base, the SSMU, and its audience. We are the cast, creative team, production team, stage crew, and orchestra of the year’s productions, as well as an elected executive to provide direction and manage finances. Elections are held annually, and all positions are strictly volunteer.

We are a social group, and our friendships are formed through the activity of producing one or two high-profile spectacular shows per year. The main stage production is a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, held before the winter Reading Week. The sideshow is any of a variety of music-based shows; recitals, revues or even concert versions of musicals.

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About G&S and the history of the McGill Savoy Society

In the early 1870s, the theatre entrepreneur, Richard D’Oyly Carte, introduced a lazy social climber and a failed lawyer – Arthur Sullivan and William Gilbert – to each other. The wacky connection of these three men has had a great impact on Western theatre ever since.

In 1881, a decade after this first introduction, D’Oyle Carte built a magnificent theatre to house the pair’s sprightly musicals. By naming it after the nearby Savoy hotel, he unknowingly determined the names of many amateur and professional groups that continue to devote themselves to the production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s great works, known as the Savoy Operas. Many of these groups formed in the 1960s, as copyright laws freed the Savoy Operas from exorbitant royalties only in 1961, 50 years after Gilbert’s death. The McGill Savoy Society has become the oldest university-affiliated G&S troupe in Canada, founded 40 years ago, in 1964. And after almost four decades, we have no intention of letting up now!!

We are always seeking support. Please let us know if you are interested in finding out the benefits of being a McGill Savoy patron.

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