Iolanthe tells the story of titular fairy who is banished from the fay for having fallen in love with a mortal man. Her son Strephon, half-fairy half-mortal, grows up and in turn falls in love with Phyllis, a shepherdess who is also a Ward in Chancery. Their love affair triggers a hilarious conflict between fairy folk and the peers of the realm who are all simultaneously vying for the attention of Phyllis.
Sullivan’s sublime score creates a beautiful backdrop this fanciful farce, whilst Gilbert not only targets the English gentry but conjures hilarious thinly veiled satires of Queen Victoria, John Brown (her personal servant and ‘close companion’), Lord Randolph Churchill (reformist Tory) and William Gladstone (Liberal PM of the day).
Director Cal McCrystal brings his characteristic irreverence and bold physical comedy to the boisterous piece. The cast is led by the inimitable young mezzo-soprano and ENO Harewood Artist Samantha Price, along with ENO favourites, including Andrew Shore as the Lord Chancellor.
The production offers a Gilbert & Sullivan classic, a hilarious and memorable collision of fantastical creatures and parliamentary foes. Don’t miss your chance to see this stunning satire.
Recommended forGilbert and Sullivan fans should not miss the opportunity to check out one of the pair’s most hysterical farces. Whilst those new to opera will adore this fantasy brimming full of whimsy, making it a fantastic introduction to the form.
Age Recommendations: No Children Under 5 years