“Mighty maiden with a mission,
Paragon of common sense;
Running fount of erudition,
Miracle of eloquence!”

—The Women’s Chorus
Princess Ida
Princess Ida

Poster design by Tom McGregor and Mary Olson

“With joy abiding, together gliding,
Through life’s variety, in sweet society,
And thus enthroning the love I’m owning,
On this atoning, I will rely!”

—Princess Ida
Princess Ida

Princess Ida

March 2 through March 25, 2018

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company is pleased to announce that it will present Princess Ida, from March 2 through March 25, 2018.

This steampunk inspired production of Princess Ida will be directed by Joe Andrews, with Music Direction by Dr. Randal A. Buikema.

Princess Ida; or, Castle Adamant tells the story of Princess Ida and Prince Hilarion, who were married in infancy by their fathers, King Gama and King Hildebrand.  Ida, however, refuses to be bound by the decisions that others have made for her and has left her father’s court to establish a college for women from which all men are barred.  Hilarion and his friends infiltrate the castle, disguised as women, in Hilarion’s attempt to win Princess Ida’s love.  King Hildebrand, however, grows impatient and storms the castle.  Ida is abandoned by her women, who fear a military conflict, and is failed by her brothers who offer to fight for her, but lose.  Ultimately, as she has come to know Hilarion, realizes that she loves him and decides for herself that she will consent to their marriage.

In Princess Ida, Gilbert satirizes feminism, women’s education and Darwinian evolution, which were controversial topics in conservative Victorian England.  The operetta is based on a narrative poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, called The Princess, written in 1847.  Gilbert had written a farcical musical play, based on the poem, in 1870, and lifted much of the dialogue of Princess Ida directly from his 1870 farce.
Princess Ida is the only Gilbert and Sullivan opera
in three acts and the only one with dialogue in
blank verse.

Princess Ida was produced between Iolanthe and The Mikado, when Gilbert and Sullivan were at the height of their creative powers.  The score is Sullivan at his best, and some people consider that Gilbert’s libretto contains some of his funniest lines.

The cast for this production of Princess Ida includes:

Princess Ida: Sarah Wind Richens
Hilarion: Anthony Rohr
Lady Blanche: Deb Haas
King Hildebrand: Wally Benbenek
Lady Psyche: Sarah Mehle
King Gama: Scott Benson
Melissa: Kara Morgan
Cyril: Carl Rosamilia
Sacharissa: Kaitlin Klemencic
Florian: Ryan Johnson
Chloe: Emily Garst
Arac: Doug Freeman
Ada: Holly Windle
Guron: Joe Allen
Scynthius: Alessio Tranchell
Chorus of Courtiers, Soldiers, University Professors and Students  
James Brooks Axl Dahl
Jeff Erickson Claudia Finsaas
Alex Gerchak Taylor Ann Grand
Mary Gregory Paul Gutmann
Stephen Hage Shawn Holt
Jonah Heuer Brian Ingalsbe
Jerry Kurek Maddy La Roche
Dean Laurance Anna Maher
Wendy Matsutani Blanka Melbostad
Charlotte Morrison John Orbison
Richard Rames Bryan Reed
Nikolas William Simmons Evan Slack
Rhea Sullivan Cassie Utt

Princess Ida Cast Biographies

What is steampunk? The following two videos provide some insight …

PBS Arts Presents: Steampunk

Beyond the Gears: The Steampunk Movement


What is steampunk? Information is available at …


The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences: What is Steampunk?

The Daily Dot: What is Steampunk?

Steampunk MN


Two excellent internet resources for information about Princess Ida:

Wikipedia – Princess Ida

The Gilbert & Sullivan Archive – Princess Ida