YAOS Past Productions > 1903 > Iolanthe

Yeovil Operatic Society



or 'The Peer and the Peri'

By Gilbert & Sullivan

The Assembly Rooms, Yeovil

December 1903

Iolanthe (or 'The Peer and the Peri') is a comic opera with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It is one of the Savoy operas and the seventh of fourteen operatic collaborations by Gilbert and Sullivan. Iolanthe opened in November 1882 at the Savoy Theatre in London and ran for 398 performances. It was the first work to premiere at the Savoy and was also the first new theatre production in the world to be illuminated entirely with electric lights. The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company toured the opera nearly continuously in repertory from 1891 until 1982.
Principals in the first YAOS production of 'Iolanthe' in 1903.

Principals in the first YAOS production of 'Iolanthe' (1903)
F C Hook, H Arnold, Miss Stile, Miss Harvey, Miss Siddons, A B Lyle, W Raynes,
W W Legg (reclining)

Iolanthe is a fairy, who was banished from Fairyland because she married a mortal, which is forbidden by fairy law. Her son, Strephon, who is half fairy and half mortal, has fallen in love with Phyllis, a Ward of Chancery. All the members of the House of Peers would like to marry Phyllis as well. When Phyllis sees Strephon hugging a young woman, not knowing that it is actually his mother (immortal fairies all appear young), she assumes the worst and refuses to accept Strephon's explanation. Chaos ensues.

The Assembly Rooms at the Constitutional Club in Princes Street, Yeovil (c1900)
The Assembly Rooms, Princes Street, Yeovil

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