RT @BACTouring: Introducing the 2017/2018 #Ottawa season. https://t.co/LwzDdsPrFP Get your subsc...


  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Youtube




A Comic Opera by GILBERT and SULLIVAN

, First produced at the Savoy Theatre, November 25, 1882

Plot Synopsis

ACT I - An Arcadian Landscape

Iolanthe, a fairy, has been banished by the Queen of Fairies because she has married a mortal, but at the intercession of her sister fairies, the Queen is persuaded to recall her. It appears that she had a son, Strephon, a "Shepherd of Arcadee", now about twenty-five years old, who is engaged to Phyllis, a Ward in Chancery. But the Lord Chancellor has other views about the disposition of his ward, and confesses to the other Peers that he is himself in love with Phyllis. The latter is summoned and confesses that she is in love with the "Shepherd of Arcadee", and Strephon, having been refused permission by the Lord Chancellor to marry his sweetheart, takes his sad case to his mother. In the interview, Iolanthe vaguely hints that there is a misty connection between her son and the Lord Chancellor. As Iolanthe and her son talk together, Lord Tolloller and Lord Mountararat, rivals for Phyllis' hand, appear with Phyllis between them. She listens in jealous dismay to the conversation between her lover and his fairymother, who appears to be about seventeen. In despair, she says that she will marry either of the two lords, Mountararat or Tolloller, leaving to them the decision as to which is shall be. There follows a chorus of the Peers who scoff at Strephon's absurd story that he, a man of twenty-five, has a mother who is only seventeen; but the Queen, furious at the Peers' incredulity, announces to them her fairyhood, and declares that Strephon shall avenge the insult to herself and to her subjects by going into Parliament.

ACT II - Palace Yard, Westminster

The second act opens with Private Willis on sentry duty before Westminster Hall. The fairies enter singing.

The Lord Chancellor meanwhile has allowed his legal mind to persuade his conscience that he himself may propose to one of his own wards; but at this point, Iolanthe makes an appeal on behalf of her son, reveals herself as the former wife of the Lord Chancellor, and Strephon is found to be his son. The complications arising out of this announcement are speedily and happily resolved by the legal dexterity of the Lord Chancellor.


Cast of Characters

The Lord Chancellor


Earl of Mountararat


Earl Tolloller


Private Willis (of the Grenadier Guards)


Strephon (an Arcadian Shepherd)


Queen of the Fairies


Iolanthe (a Fairy, Strephon's Mother)


Celia, Leila, Fleta (Fairies)


Phyllis (an Arcadian Shepherdess and Ward in Chancery)


Songs from the Show - Act One

Tripping Hither, Tripping Thither

Celia and Leila

Iolanthe, From Thy Dark Exile

Queen, Iolanthe, Celia, Leila, and Fairies

Good Morrow, Good Mother

Strephon and Chorus of Fairies

Fare Thee Well, Attractive Stranger

Queen and Chorus of Fairies

Good Morrow, Good Lover

Phyllis and Strephon

None Shall Part Us

Phyllis and Strephon

Loudly Let the Trumpets Bray

Tenors and Basses

The Law is the True Embodiment

Lord Chancellor, and Chorus of Peers

My Well-loved Lord

Phyllis, Lord Tolloller and Lord Mountararat

Nay, Tempt Me Not


Spurn Not the Nobly Born

Lord Tolloller

My Lords, It May Not Be

Phyllis, Lord Tolloller, Lord Mountararat, Strephon, Lord Chancellor and Chorus of Peers

When I Went to the Bar

Lord Chancellor

FINALE, ACT I: When Darkly Looms the Day?


Songs from the Show - Act Two

When All Night Long a Chap Remains


Strephon's a Member of Parliament

Chorus of Fairies and Peers

When Britain Really Ruled the Waves

Lord Mountararat and Chorus

In Vain to Us You Plead

Leila, Celia with Chorus of Fairies, Lord Mountararat and Lord Tolloller

Oh, Foolish Fay

Queen with Chorus of Fairies

Tho P'raps I May Incur Your Blame

Phyllis, Lord Tolloller, Lord Mountararat and Sentry

Love, Unrequited, Robs Me of My Rest

Lord Chancellor

He Who Shies at Such a Prize

Lord Tolloller, Lord Mountararat, and Lord Chancellor

If We're Weak Enought to Tarry

Phyllis and Strephon

My Lord, a Suppliant at Your Feet


It May Not Be

Iolanthe, Queen, Lord Chancellor and Fairies

FINALE: Soon as We May, Off and Away



1949-1950 Production

Presented 1949 at the Ottawa Technical High School, Ottawa, Ontario


Production Team


Joseph E. Webb

Musical Director

H. Bramwell Bailey

Scenery designed by

Verne Ridgeway


Winifred Canty

Costumes by Malabar, Toronto



Fleta (Fairy)

Marilyn Moor

Leila (Fairy)

Mary Allen

Celia (Fairy)

Jean Tickner

Queen of the Fairies

Ruth Noesser

Iolanthe (a Fairy, Strephon's Mother)

Moya Meade

Strephon (an Arcadian Shepherd)

William M. McDowall

Phyllis (an Arcadian Shepherdess and Ward in Chancery)

Eileen Mahoney

Lord Chancellor

John H. Fish

Earl Tolloller

William R.M. Dunning

Lord Mountararat

Reg W. Harvey

Private Willis (of the Grenadier Guards)

Norman Payne


Marguerite Allen, Agnes Bourassa, Margaret Coldwell, Marion Deavy, Rita de Raspe, Theresa Doyle, Audrey Gignac, Peggie Highley, Kathryn Kay, Mildred Ker, Bernice McFadyen, Jean Mercer, Dorothy Moore, Doris Myles, Edna Peters, Ruth Piers, Brenda Plet, Joan Rainboth, Margaret Rowles, Ruby Rutkowsky, Aileen Ryan, Juliette Sabourin, Grace Schultz, Jean Trepanier


George Cooney, George Dupuis, Grant Glennie, Alan Holmes, Ted Hothersall, Earl Larocque, Jim Mackersie, Emile Motard, Howard Pammett, Joe Pelisek, Arthur Pownall, Vernon Pownall, Ken Ristow, Herb Sills, Dermot Sladen, William Wright


Links to Related Sites


Gilbert and Sullivan Festivals Gilbert & Sullivan Webring