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Texas Tech School of Music to Present 'Iolanthe'

The comic opera by Gibert & Sullivan will open March 22.

Written by John Davis

Catherine Swindle

Catherine Swindle

Texas Tech University’s School of Music will present Gilbert & Sullivan’s classic comic opera “Iolanthe.”

The show opens at 7 p.m. March 22 and 23 in the Allen Theatre on the Texas Tech Campus. The show will travel to perform April 6 at the Wagner-Noël Center for the Arts in Midland.

“ ‘Iolanthe’ is an amusing tale of royalty, politics and fairies, showing librettist Gilbert’s satiric humor and Sullivan’s music in entertaining style,” said Gerald Dolter, stage director and chairman of the vocal division. “The show was first produced in 1882 at the Savoy Theatre in London. The unfolding story offers hilarity and the opportunity for W. S. Gilbert to poke fun at the British government, law and the establishment. It is the seventh of 14 collaborations between Gilbert and Sullivan, whose comic operas have enjoyed international success and continue to be popular to this day.”

The story begins with Iolanthe, a fairy, committing the capital offense of marrying a mortal and being banished from Fairyland for life. She also gave birth to the mortal’s son, Strephon, who, as a result, is half mortal, half fairy. After the Queen of the Fairies, who was fond of Iolanthe, agrees to pardon her, Iolanthe announces that her son Strephon will soon be married to Phyllis, an Arcadian shepherdess.

Steve Sims

Steve Sims

Problems arise when it turns out that every member of the House of Lords is also in love with Phyllis. The lords and Phyllis happen upon a meeting between Strephon and his mother (who still looks 17) and the lords convince Phyllis that Strephon is being unfaithful. Spells, magic and confusion reign until reason and desire ensure a happy ending.

This production sports a large cast of undergraduate and graduate students. Most roles are double cast. John Hollins conducts the orchestra in the pit; Marta Harrison serves as chorus master; Sharon Holton designs costumes; Timothy Walsh designs the set; Nathan Rhoden serves as stage manager and Candice Aipperspach is assistant director.

Tickets are available through Select-A-Seat and are priced at $15 for the public, seniors -$13, students and members of OLLI - $10, and groups of 10 or more – $12. These prices do not reflect the Select-A-Seat service charge.

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College of Visual & Performing Arts

The College of Visual & Performing Arts at Texas Tech offers a diverse array of programs and courses in art, music, theatre and dance.

The college seeks to prepare students who will be leaders in the profession by employing the highest standards in performance, teaching, research, and artistic and creative vision.

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