Iolanthe or the Peer and the Peri

By William Schwenk Gilbert (libretto), music by Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan

Directed by Michael Goldberg

This delightful whimsy pits stuffy, blue-blooded members of the House of Lords against a group of fairies led by a formidable (and surprising) Fairy Queen. With a hero who is half-fairy and half-mortal, a Lord Chancellor who positively trips over his own legal arguments, and a wickedly timely political context, the dialogue and the plot simply sparkle with wit.

Iolanthe is the first true Savoy opera, opening Richard D'Oyly Carte's new Savoy Theatre in November 1882. Written in a time of growing sentiment for parliamentary reform, Gilbert's depiction of the clash of fantastical fairy world with the real world of peerage is rife with political commentary and contemporary allusion. Queen Victoria reportedly disliked the show, and one can assume that this was not only caused by the opera's fierce political satire but that the figure of Fairy Queen struck dangerously close to being a parody of the ruling monarch.

Performers include Bill Lutes, Martha Fischer and Terry Kiss Frank.

Produced by Madison Savoyards, Ltd. at U.W. Wisconsin Union Theater, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon Street,Madison

Performances: July 20-29, 2001

Performance Times: July 20 7 pm
July 21 7 pm
July 28 7 pm
July 29 4 pm

Ticket Prices: $25 Adults, $23 Seniors, $15 Students, $10 Children (under 13)

Call 608-262-2201 for reservations or more information.

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