Princess Ida (2019)

Summary

Princess Ida, or Castle Adamant, was produced at the Savoy Theatre on 5 January 1884, but for some reason it never attained the success of the other operas. Yet when it was revived at the Princes Theatre on 24 January 1922, after a lapse of thirty-eight years, it was received throughout with the thunderous applause it so richly deserves, for it is full of true Gilbertian humour, and contains also some of Sullivan’s most delightful music.

It is perhaps the least known of the operas now regularly performed, but not necessarily therefore the least interesting, and is the only one of the series written in three acts. (G&S Archive)

Princess Ida; or, Castle Adamant is a comic opera with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It was their eighth operatic collaboration of fourteen. Princess Ida opened at the Savoy Theatre on 5 January 1884, for a run of 246 performances. The piece concerns a princess who founds a women’s university and teaches that women are superior to men and should rule in their stead. The prince to whom she had been married in infancy sneaks into the university, together with two friends, with the aim of collecting his bride. They disguise themselves as women students, but are discovered, and all soon face a literal war between the sexes.

The opera satirizes feminism, women’s education and Darwinian evolution, which were controversial topics in conservative Victorian England. Princess Ida is based on a narrative poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson called The Princess (1847), and Gilbert had written a farcical musical play, based on the poem, in 1870. He lifted much of the dialogue of Princess Ida directly from his 1870 farce. It is the only Gilbert and Sullivan opera in three acts and the only one with dialogue in blank verse. (Wikipedia Princess Ida)

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Cast

King Hildebrand Laurence Cox
Hilarion (Hildebrand’s son) Aaron Lange
Cyril (Hilarion’s friend) Carl Dahlquist
Florian (Hilarion’s friend)David Ridley
King Gama (Ida’s father)Ken Malucelli
Arac (Gama’s son)James Montgomery
Guron (Gama’s son)Lincoln Thomas
Scynthius (Gama’s son)Marcos Galvez
Princess Ida (Gama’s daughter)Gabrielle Widman
Lady Blanche (Prof. of abstract science)Beatriz Abella
Lady Psyche (Prof. of humanities)Lindsey Lefler
Melissa (girl graduate) Mandee Light
Sacharissa (girl graduate) Becca Stuhlbarg
Chloe (girl graduate) Marianne Sadée
Ada (girl graduate)Bryna Montgomery
Queen, Hildebrand’s wifeBeth Kahlen

Chorus

Women of the ensemble

Anne Kolibaba Larkin
Beatriz Abella
Becca Stuhlbarg
Beth Kahlen
Bryna Montgomery
Cathrine Huard
Jan Rosenthal
Jaymie Sanfilippo-Sherrard
Lindsey Lefler
Mandee Light
Marianne Sadée

Men of the ensemble
Bill Wuertz
Carl Dahlquist
David Ridley
Dennis Kelly
Harold Williams
James Montgomery
Lincoln Thomas
Marcos Galvez
Michael McGee
Thomas McAulay

Crew

DirectorDennis Britten
Asst. DirectorBeth Kahlen and Laurence Cox
Musical DirectorDr. Linda Smith
ProducerDavid Smith
Production Technical DirectorDennis Freeze
Stage Manager/Prop MasterAmy Barnhart
Dance CaptainCathrine Huard
Lighting DesignDennis Britten
LightingNathaniel Fewer
House ManagerChuck Weed
AccompanistYvette Starkey
Costume DesignerLucy Tait
SetDennis Britten
PublicityLaurence Cox
OutreachGabrielle Widman
MembershipDr. Linda Smith
Program and Web SiteSheryl Wood
PostersDavid Smith
LogoTony Smith