Sunderland society brings Gilbert & Sullivan classic to life

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A Sunderland society will be bringing a Gilbert & Sullivan classic to life this week.

St Andrew’s Operatic Society is staging Princess Ida until Saturday at the Priestman Hall, Talbot Road, Roker.

A spokesman for the society said: “Princess Ida, or Castle Adamant, opened on January 5 1884, at the Savoy Theatre in London and ran for 246 performances.

“It is the only three-act Gilbert and Sullivan Opera and the only one with dialogue in blank verse.

“This is because Gilbert based his libretto on his earlier play The Princess which, in turn, he described as ‘a perversion’ of Tennyson’s poem of the same name.

“It was produced between Iolanthe and The Mikado when its creators were at the height of their powers. The score is Sullivan at his best, and some people consider that Gilbert’s libretto contains some of his funniest lines.

“Prince Hilarion had been married in babyhood to Princess Ida, daughter of King Gama. The Princess, however, has set up a college for women from which all men are barred.

“Hilarion and his friends infiltrate the castle and ultimately the men, led by Hilarion’s father, King Hildebrand, stage a full-scale invasion.”

The principal parts are played by: Andrew Cunningham, Steven Aitchison, Paul Blakey, Simon McLoughan, Keith Armitage, Richard Straw, Alan Cormack, Colin Irvine, Laura Crawley, Anna-Maria McCloskey, Bernadette Trotter, Jennifer Moss, Glynda Blackburn, Susan Antcliff and Kim Storey.

•The performances start at 7.15pm. Tickets are £10 and can be bought from Alan Spain on Tel. 548 4621.