“We are dainty
ever singing, ever dancing;
we indulge in our vagaries
in a fashion most entrancing.”
Iolanthe or The Peer and the Peri
March 12 to April 4, 2004
|Stage Director:||Lesley Hendrickson|
|Music Director:||James Straka|
|Artistic Director:||Wendy Evans|
Iolanthe is not one of the best known of the Savoy operas, but is generally acknowledged as the favorite of Gilbert & Sullivan aficionados, and rightly so. It boasts one of Sullivan‘s most lushly tuneful scores, a compelling plot, delightful characters, and spot-on pacing that makes it a director‘s joy. Chorus singers give an especially strong vote to Iolanthe in gratitude for rewarding roles as the fairies and peers, who serve as protagonists in their own right.
Iolanthe is a particularly rich example of Gilbert‘s famed ― topsy-turvydom of misalliances and contradictions. Fairies trip the halls of Westminster while Peers in full regalia hike the countryside. Titled lords vie to marry a shepherdess while the Fairy Queen swoons for a grenadier guard. As legislators, the peers are proud to do ― nothing in particular (and do it very well!), while the ― dainty little fairies are keen for Parliamentary reform. Strephon, ― a fairy to the waist, but whose legs are mortal, is a mass of political and amatory complications. The Lord Chancellor may ― embody the law but admits his susceptibility to ― pretty young wards in Chancery and later reveals an even more deeply romantic side. Passions are quickly ignited, but can be just as quickly diverted. Lovers thwarted are reunited, and seemingly irreconcilable differences vanish with a pencil stroke — and, of course, a wave of the Fairy Queen‘s magic wand.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak proclaimed March 12, 2004, Opening Night for the company’s 2004 production of Iolanthe to be Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company Day in Minneapolis.
GSVLOC Day Proclamation
Two excellent internet resources for information about Iolanthe: