Join the English National Opera (ENO) on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 August 2023 for a unique guided walking tour of Victorian London, celebrating the operettas and history of the famous operatic duo, Gilbert & Sullivan. As a part of Westminster City Council’s Inside Out Festival, the ENO’s Gilbert & Sullivan Walking Tour is a free tour run by the ENO.

The ENO’s Gilbert & Sullivan Walking Tour has been curated for the ENO by leading Gilbert & Sullivan singer, actor and director, John Savournin. This walking tour will take audiences on a musical journey around Westminster starting from outside the Savoy Theatre, which was the 19th century home of Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic operas, and ending at the ENO’s home, the London Coliseum where many of Gilbert & Sullivan’s works are performed today. 

Listening through headsets provided on the tour, audiences will hear music performed by the world-class ENO Chorus and Orchestra, alongside live performances from Gilbert & Sullivan characters appearing before their very eyes at stops along the tour. Expect to encounter a local bobby, a wondering prisoner of the Tower, the First Lord of the Admiralty, and even fairies at famous London landmarks, and learn all about the operettas they came from as well as the writers who created them. 

Whether you are new to opera or a Gilbert & Sullivan fanatic, this tour offers a fun, immersive and unique way to experience the music. 

In addition to curating this tour, bass-baritone John Savournin will be guiding audiences and performing on the ENO’s Gilbert & Sullivan Walking Tour. Joining him along the journey will be tenor Ruairi Bowen, bass Trevor Eliot Bowes, soprano Zoe Drummond, soprano Harriet Eyley, bass-baritone Ossian Huskinson, mezzo-soprano Bethan Langford, and baritone Richard Suart, and actors Charlotte Gittins and Dom Hodson. 

Annilese Miskimmon, ENO’s Artistic Director, says: ‘The ENO is a major home of Gilbert & Sullivan works, so we are delighted to present the ENO’s Gilbert & Sullivan Walking Tour this August as a part of the Inside Out Festival. This is an exciting moment to bring together world-class performers and G&S specialists to take audiences on a walking tour to revel in the history and musical landscape of the iconic British operatic duo. The ENO is grateful to be receiving a Culture and Community Grant from Westminster City Council to share our passion for G&S with the community and offer completely free tickets for the walking tour.’ 

Cllr Jessica Toale, Deputy Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage and the Arts at Westminster City Council, says: ‘We’re delighted to welcome back the Inside Out Festival for 2023 and fund so many organisations to host events this year. It’s an opportunity for residents and visitors to enjoy the best of Westminster’s world-class cultural offering, for free, in the height of the summer. This year we hope to welcome even more visitors to the fantastic events on offer, including the ENO’s Gilbert & Sullivan Walking Tour.’

ENO’s Gilbert & Sullivan Walking Tour is on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 August 2023 at the following times: 10.00, 10.30, 12.00, 12.30, 14.30, 15.00, 16.30, 17.00.

To book a slot on the ENO’s Gilbert & Sullivan Walking Tour, go to: 

Duration: 75 minutes

Walking Distance: 2.25km

Meeting Point: D’Oyly Carte Monument, Victoria Embankment Gardens, London WC2R 0BP

End Point: London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4ES