By Gilbert & Sullivan
THE MISSION THEATRE, Corn Street, Bath
Thurs 13 – Sat 15 November 7.30 pm
Matinee Sat 15 at 2.30 pm
Iolanthe, or The Peer and the Peri, opened at the Savoy Theatre on November 25, 1882, three nights after the final performance of Patience at the same theatre, and ran for 398 performances. The aristocracy had been the target of Gilbert’s satire before but, in this “fairy opera”, he takes an even bolder swipe at the House of Lords and Britain’s party political system.
Both Gilbert and Sullivan were at the height of their creative powers in 1882 and many people feel that Iolanthe, their seventh work together, is the most perfect of their collaborations. It certainly contains some of their greatest hits including the famous ‘Nightmare Song’, the waltzing ‘If you go in’ trio, the patriotic ‘When Britain Really Ruled the Waves and the brilliant ‘Peers Chorus’.
Strephon, an Arcadian shepherd, wants to marry Phyllis, a Ward of Chancery. Phyllis does not know that Strephon is half fairy (his legs are mortal!) and when she sees him kissing a seemingly young woman, she assumes the worst. But her “rival” turns out to be none other than Strephon’s mother, Iolanthe, a fairy — fairies never grow old. But Phyllis’ guardian, the Lord Chancellor, and half the peers in the House of Lords are pursuing her. Soon the peers and the fairies are virtually at war and long friendships are nearly torn asunder. But all is happily sorted out, thanks to the “subtleties of the legal mind”.
Bath G&S are delighted to be presenting four concert performances of this classic operetta.
Tickets: £10 & £8 (Concessions) available from Bath G&S Ticket Secretary on 01225 400295 or Bath Box Office on 01225 463362. www.bathgands.co.uk