Austin Gilbert & Sullivan devotees were entranced by the Summer 2009 Grand Production of Iolanthe; or, the Peer and the Peri - with nine performances by a sparkling cast and orchestra, June 11-21. This fanciful comedy, considered by many to combine Sullivan's finest opera compositions with another of Gilbert's comic plots and his witty and waggish dialogue, delighted patrons of all ages.
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Iolanthe ("eye-oh-LAN-thee") presented a topsy-turvy love story involving fairies and members of the House of Lords - a political fairy tale that only Gilbert & Sullivan could conceive.
Artistic Director Ralph MacPhail, Jr. and Musical Director Jeffrey Jones-Ragona once again presented an unforgettable Gilbert & Sullivan classic musical comedy, with one of Sir Arthur Sullivan's most beautiful scores along with rousing choruses.
Beautiful costuming and set design transported audiences to a colorful fairyland - where British noblemen encountered lovelorn fairies from a golden glen - followed by these immortal beings invading the Houses of Parliament in London - with Big Ben chiming in the havoc. Tantantara! Tzing, boom!
Performances were held at the Travis High School Performing Arts Center. The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin thanks all the performers, the Gillman Light Opera Orchestra, sponsors, volunteers, and Society members for making this year's show a treasure to behold.
First performed in 1882, Iolanthe is one of Gilbert & Sullivan’s fourteen musicals, and is universally regarded as one of Sir Arthur Sullivan’s most beautiful scores - a high water mark in terms of music, wit, cleverness, and color.