The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 21, 2003


Savoyard Light Opera Company presents Gilbert & Sullivan's Iolanthe

In the most simplistic terms, Gilbert & Sullivan's Iolanthe is a romance. Boy (Strephon, an Arcadian shepherd) meets Girl (Phyllis, a winsome young maiden), and they fall in love. But it wouldn't be Gilbert & Sullivan without a few complicated, hilarious and delightfully improbable plot turns.

This weekend, the Savoyard Light Opera Company in Carlisle will wrap up their two-weekend run of Iolanthe at Corey Auditorium, executed with the group's characteristic polish and enthusiasm.

Cast members of Iolanthe, many of them professionally trained in vocal music, lead the audience on a merry romp in which Phyllis (played by the pretty, well-cast Diana Doyle) catches her beloved, Strephon (portrayed by the talented Brad Kenney) in the act of embracing a beautiful young woman and calls off the engagement. Somehow, Phyllis doesn't buy it when Strephon insists that the woman is in fact his mother, Iolanthe (Stephanie Mann), an honest-to-goodness fairy, who will always look like she's seventeen. Things get even more complicated when we discover that Phyllis is the ward of The Lord Chancellor (Barry Hilton), and that he along with every other member of the House of Lords is also madly in love with Phyllis. Enter the fairies, who fall in love with the Lords and long to marry them, which is of course, (in typical G & S fashion), punishable by death due to strict rules against mortal-fairy fraternization in fairy law. At the risk of giving away the ending, I will mention that somehow they work out their differences and everyone ends up happily ever after. (Were you expecting anything less?)

The Savoyard Light Opera Company has delighted audiences for years with its imaginative costumes and breathtaking sets, and this year is no exception. Particularly notable are the flower which slowly opens to reveal the fairy Iolanthe, and the huge clock face with London's nighttime skyline in the background.

Performances of Iolanthe will be at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Corey Auditorium at the Carlisle School. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, and $12 for children under 12. For tickets, call 1-978-371-SLOC or visit

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito