The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Sussex

The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Sussex

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On Sunday 4th December 2016

in the Birch Hotel, Haywards Heath.


The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Sussex
Presented a concert version of


A concert version of Patience


starring members and friends of the Society


In this concert version the audience had to imagine the ladies in their aesthetic draperies, also the musical instruments on which they are playing. Similarly to imagine the chorus of Dragoon Guards in their scarlet uniforms and plumed helmets, and the long hair and velvet costumes of the two poets.

The Reverend Ian Bradley says

There is more direct contemporary satire in Patience than in any other Savoy Opera. Its target was the aesthetic movement, which flourished in Britain between 1870 and the mid-1880s and introduced the new religion of beauty as a reaction against the ugliness of the Victorian age. However, the aesthetic movement was more affected than most and lent itself naturally to ridicule and satire.

In 1878 London had its first sight of the figure who was to personify more than anyone else the excesses of aestheticism. Oscar Wilde arrived from Oxford clutching his sacred lily, enthusing about blue and white china and the paintings of the Pre-Raphaelites and describing Henry Irving's legs as "distinctly precious."

Patience originally ran for 578 performances, one of the longest first runs of all the Savoy operas. It has not been quite so popular with modern audiences.

It is, perhaps, something of an acquired taste. Dame Bridget D'Oyly Carte had commented that it never went down very well in Sunderland or Blackpool, although it was always popular in Oxford.

Oscar Wilde also found fame because of the success of Patience. Shortly after the opera had opened in the United States, he was sent across the Atlantic by D'Oyly Carte on a lecture tour, to be, in the words of Max Beerbohm, 'a sandwich board for Patience.' Wilde was carefully scheduled to appear in each city just as the opera was about to open there. In Omaha, the local paper reported, 'He wore the suit of black velvet with knee breeches which has been his usual dress in this country. His hair fell about his shoulders in heavy masses, his dreamy, poetic face grew animated, and his large dark eyes lighted up as he entered upon his subject.' A most intense young man, indeed. The Midwesterners must have wondered just who was imitating whom, between the fleshly poet Bunthorne and the fleshly poet Wilde.


The cast:-

Colonel Calverley                        Richard Nixon

Major Murgatroyd                James Olsworth-Peter

Lieut. the Duke of Dunstable          Chris Whitehead

Reginald bunthorne (a fleshIy Poet)   Bill Colbourne

Archibald Grosvenor (an Idyllic Poet)  Laurence Leng

The Lady Angela                         Sally Walker

The Lady Saphir                         Barbara Sayers

The Lady Ella                            Sally Walker

The Lady Jane                           Sylvia Nixon

Patience (a Dairy Maid)                 Susan Fleet

Narrator Barbara Sayers

The cast will double as the Chorus, augmented by:-

Sally Buxton, Jane Leng, Elke Whitehead, John Merrett and Ian Sayers.

Piano accompaniment by Christine Colbourne


Further information on this operetta can be found at these links:-

http://www.gilbertandsullivanarchive.org/patience/html/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patience_(opera)



1210- 002/3   The Cast

1210- 004

Christine Colbourne,
                          Silvia Nixon

 

1210- 005

Bill Colbourne,
                          Silvia Nixon

 

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