Revolutionary Take on IOLANTHE: A Fusion of Gilbert & Sullivan, Beethoven, and Shakespeare!

by LukeAdmin

Fate v chance. Free spirits v concrete thinkers. Rainbows v Black & White. Nature v Nurture. Plus fairies and politicians. Of course!

Be prepared to be thrilled, surprised – and hugely entertained – when Australia’s premier performer of Gilbert & Sullivan comic operettas presents Iolanthe as you’ve never seen it! Interwoven with the power of Beethoven’s 5th and a sprinkle of Shakespeare’s magical Midsummer Night’s Dream…

IOLANTHE is Gilbert & Sullivan at their awesome, uproarious best and Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Sydney brings its sparkling, re-imagined production to Sydney, Wyong and Goulburn from 23 Sept.

Are love and equality a path to peace – or to the breakdown of law and order? Could they even lead to both? When the eternally young fairy, Iolanthe, falls in love with a mortal, not even her friend the Fairy Queen can prevent her banishment for breaking fairy law. Her secret, half-fairy son, Strephon, fights against identity, class, politics and the law itself to be with his love Phyllis – an effort made harder by her legal guardian and suitor, the Lord Chancellor, himself on a downhill spiral ever since his beloved Iolanthe disappeared. Against a backdrop of amorous Lords and flirty Fae, and with farcical Fate lurking around the corner, a fairytale for our times takes wing!

IOLANTHE – with just a touch of Beethoven and Shakespeare – is performed by a 30-strong cast – featuring top emerging young Australian talent plus a full orchestra. “Tantantara Zing BOOM!”

Directed & choreographed by exciting young talents Sarah Pearce with Zachary Aleksander, Musical Director Tim Doubinski and stunning new costume designs by Joshua Carter, this is a production not to be missed!

W.S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan’s IOLANTHE opened in 1882 to simultaneous Broadway and London West End audiences. Released with the strapline ‘an entirely original fairy opera’ or ‘fairy opera’ in 1885, the show could also be justly described as their ‘protest opera’ for its scathing satire of the legislature and ideologies that feed it. Written specifically to premiere at the Savoy Theatre, the world’s first fully electric public building, the show was ahead of its time in more than just its message. The original production featured battery powered lights for the fairy costumes, unheard of at the time – bringing us the modern term ‘fairy lights’.

Director Sarah Pearce says she has always been intrigued by the words of Private Willis’s song: that everyone is born either a little bit conservative or a little bit liberal. “We are so strong in our beliefs; but what if we were born into completely different circumstances? Would we think, act and believe the same things? Fate too always has a hand. And what of the age-old question of ‘nature or nurture’?”

Each character in Iolanthe charts their own journey and the struggle between doing their ‘duty’ and following their own impulses.” As to how it plays out, hilariously and surprisingly – audiences will have to come and see!

CAST: The Lord Chancellor – Oskar Loofs; Strephon – Tobias Page; Lord Tolloller – William Papantoniou; Lord Mountararat – Nathan Knight; Private Willis / Fate – Lesley Braithwaite / Belinda Delaney; Queen of The Fairies – Megan Chalmers; Phyllis – Mackenzie Lawrence; Iolanthe – Chloe Obreza; Celia – Suzanne Chin; Leila – Amelia Myers.   CREATIVE TEAM: Stage Director & Choreographer: Sarah Pearce; Musical Director: Tim Doubinski; Asst. Director: Zachary Aleksander; Costumier: Joshua Carter

Performance Dates & Times:
Sat 23 Sept 2pm Goulburn Performing Arts Centre (GPAC), 163 Auburn St, Goulburn

Sun 1 Oct 2pm – The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong

6-8 Oct – The Governors Centre, Sydney Boys High, 556 Cleveland St, Moore Park, Sydney
Fri 6 Oct 8pm, Sat 7 Oct 2pm, Sat 7 Oct 8pm, Sun 8 Oct 2pmBookings: www.thearthousewyong.com.au

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