Venue: Main House
Date: Wed 07 Nov - Sat 10 Nov
Time: 7.30pm (2.30pm Sat matinee)
Produced by: York Opera
Written by: Gilbert and Sullivan
In 1977 the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company celebrated the Queen’s Silver Jubilee with a special production of Iolanthe. York Opera has chosen to follow suit for its Diamond Jubilee Year production. With a second act set in the heart of the British establishment - the Palace of Westminster - and featuring a men’s chorus of Peers of the Realm, the object of Gilbert’s satire in 1882 is very clear and still very topical today. Since the then Head of State, Queen Victoria, was the only female in the hierarchy of the time, it is fitting that we see their idiosyncrasies through the eyes of the ladies’ chorus of Fairies and of their Queen.
Running alongside the political storyline is that of the ‘Arcadian Shepherdess’ and Ward of Court, Phyllis, and her ‘Arcadian Shepherd’, Strephon, who is half a fairy…!
Iolanthe contains some of Sullivan’s most lovely music and some of the cleverest comic verse in the English language in the ‘Nightmare’ Song. Elsewhere Gilbert also manages, in the course of two stanzas, to come up with 10 rhymes for the word ‘Fairy’ – and still make sense!