Logo Welcome to Savoynet, an unmoderated electronic mailing list dedicated to discussion of W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, the operas they wrote, British culture and musical theater of their time, and related matters.

Savoynet was founded by Bill Venman, who was surfing the information highway one day in 1992 and found practically nothing relating to the greatest librettist/composer team in the history of the lyric theater. After several months at the University of Massachusetts, Savoynet transferred to Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Virginia, where it resided until 2015, before moving to its current home at Google Groups.

There is also a Savoynet group on Facebook. It operates independently of the listserv, but in much the same spirit. Many people belong happily to both, while others have a distinct preference for one forum or the other. The instructions below are for the listserv. To participate on Facebook, create a Facebook account (if you don't already have one), visit the Savoynet Facebook page, and click the "Join" button.

There is also a Savoynet Performing Group, which since 1998 has given a performance very year at the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival. The performing group's membership came from the listserv originally, but it is now a separate entity. Most members of the performing group happen to be members of either the listserv, the Facebook group, or both, but this is not required.

The listowner of Savoynet is Marc Shepherd. Marc took over the job in late 1998, after Ralph MacPhail, Jr., put in several years of yeoman service. Send Marc an email if you have any questions about Savoynet.

How to Join:
There are three ways to subscribe to Savoynet.

  1. Visit, and search for Savoynet.
  2. Visit!forum/savoynet/join.
  3. Send a blank email to

After subscribing, by default you will receive every posting to Savoynet as a separate email message. Should you find the volume of emails overwhelming (most people don't), there is a "Settings" menu near the upper right-hand corner of the group home page. From there, you can alter your settings — for instance, to receive a "digest" of 25 posts at a time, instead of individual emails. The listowner can help you with those functions, if you get stuck, but it is far better to learn to perform them yourself.

The volume of Savoynet postings is generally low (an average of a few per day), but it can vary widely, for instance if there is a particularly controversial topic under discussion; or at times of peak interest, such as during the annual Gilbert & Sullivan Festival.

Posts to Savoynet should be emailed to Note that Savoynet accepts messages from current subscribers only, and you must send your postings from the same email address that you subscribed from.

Should you wish to unsubscribe, there are also multiple ways to do that:

  1. Reply to a Savoynet email with REMOVE ME as the subject of your message.
  2. Send a blank email to
  3. Send a blank email with the subject "Unsubscribe" to
  4. Visit the group home page In the upper-right corner, click on "My Settings→Leave this group".

Savoynet is unmoderated: no authority figure decides in advance which posts the rest of the membership will see. The listowner reserves the right to admonish misbehaving list members, but this has seldom been necessary. In the early days of the web, new members often had to be schooled in the unique ways of "Internet Etiquette," or "netiquette". This is rarely required anymore, but we have preserved some of the more useful ancient advice, which can be found here.

Savoynet Performing Group:
Since 1997, the Savoynet Performing Group has produced a show at the annual Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in Buxton or Harrogate, England, including:

All of these productions were planned and cast over the Internet, with the participants gathering to rehearse at the Festival venue itself, about a week before the show.

Although the Performing Group is separate from the discussion list, a subscription to the list is one way to be sure that you will hear about the next production when it is announced. Alternatively feel free to like the Savoynet Performing Group on Facebook.

Where Else To Go:
In addition to Savoynet itself, G&S-related web sites (not an exhaustive list) include:

Last Modified: 7-Aug-16
This page maintained by Marc Shepherd