The Early Years (1906 - 1940)

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

1939

A joint production with The Ottawa Little Theatre


Producer (Director): Mark Brooks

Musical Director: H. Bramwell Bailey

Dance Director: Dimples O’Neill

The Gondoliers

1938

Casilda, a young bride and heir to the throne of Barataria, arrives in Venice with her father, the Duke of Plaza-Toro, to join her husband, to whom she was betrothed as an infant in an arranged marriage. But there is a problem: as an infant he was entrusted to a drunken gondolier who confused him with his own son.  Which one of the two young gondoliers is the husband and heir to the throne? As the King has just been killed, both must rule jointly for the time being until Inez, the prince’s former nurse, can be summoned to see which is the rightful king. To complicate the situation, both the gondoliers, Marco and Guiseppe, are married to local girls FIametta and Tessa. And Casilba has fallen in love with her attendant, Luiz. Inez eventually reveals that Luiz was spirited away as an infant and is actually the real king. The gondoliers are happy to step down as co-rulers; Casilba and Luiz are now ready to marry and assume the throne.


Musical Director: H. Bramwell Bailey

Producer (Director): H.G. Richardson

Dance Arranger: Gwendolyn Osborne

Glee Club concert

1937 - 1938

The Pirates of Penzance

1936 - 1937

Cornwall, England c 1870

When Frederic was a boy, his nurse Ruth was told to apprentice him to a pilot. Instead she apprenticed him to a pirate. Realizing her mistake, she also joined the pirates as a "piratical maid-of-all-work". Although Frederic loathed piracy, he dutifully served; and, as the curtain rises, his indentures are up and he is preparing to leave the pirate band and devote himself to their extermination.

He urges the pirates to join in embracing a more lawful calling, but they refuse. Ruth, however, wishes to become his wife. Having seen but few women he does not know whether she is really as pretty as she says she is; but he finally consents to take her.

Just then, the daughters and wards of Major-General Stanley happen upon the scene. Frederic sees their beauty—and Ruth's plainness—and renounces Ruth. Mabel takes a particular interest in Frederic, and he in her. The other girls are seized by the pirates and threatened with immediate marriage. When the Major-General arrives, he dissuades the pirates by telling them that he is an orphan — knowing that they don’t capture orphans.

Meanwhile the Pirate King and Ruth have discovered that Frederic’s indentures were to run until his twenty-first birthday, and—as he was born on February 29—he has so far had only five birthdays. Obeying the dictates of his strong sense of duty, Frederic immediately rejoins the pirates and tells them that Major-General Stanley is not an orphan so the pirates seize the Major-General.

But the police come to the rescue and charge the pirates to yield, "in Queen Victoria’s name". This they do. Ruth explains that the pirates are really all "noblemen who have gone wrong", and they are pardoned by the Major-General and allowed to marry his daughters and wards.


Musical Director: H. Bramwell Bailey

Producer (Director): Leslie Chance

H.M.S. Pinafore

1935 - 1936

The play takes place in Portsmouth aboard Her Majesty’s Ship the H.M.S. Pinafore. Josephine, the daughter of Captain Corcoran, has fallen in love with a lower-class sailor, Ralph Rackstraw, but her father intends for her to marry Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of Admiralty. Little Buttercup, a dockside vendor, comes aboard and has knowledge of dark secrets. When Ralph hears Sir Joseph’s thoughts about equality he hopes to elope with Josephine but she feels that she must honour the arrangement with Sir Joseph.  Before Ralph can commit suicide Josephine declares her love for him and they plan to elope that night. Dick Deadeye, one of Ralph’s shipmates, disapproves of their plan but the rest of the sailors are joyous.


Captain Corcoran confides to Little Buttercup that his world is falling apart and that he has affection for her, but cannot proceed because of their different social classes. Sir Joseph, promoting his upcoming nuptials, tells Josephine that love is the great equalizer. She interprets this to mean that she can continue to love Ralph. Dick Deadeye reveals the couple’s plan to elope. When Sir Joseph hears the Captain swear as the young couple try to leave the ship he confines him to his cabin. Ralph reveals his love for Josephine but Sir Joseph orders him to be taken to the brig in chains. Now Buttercup reveals her long-held secret: long ago she had mixed up two babies, one high-born and the other low. The high-born one was Ralph and the Captain was the low-born one. This means that Ralph should be Captain of the ship and the Captain should have Ralph’s position. They are each given a switch of uniform.  Ralph becomes Captain, entitling him to marry Josephine now that he is of the same social class. Corcoran can marry Little Buttercup, as they are also now the same class. So much for equality!  Sir Joseph decides to marry his cousin Hebe and all sing joyfully in celebration of the weddings to come.


Musical Director: Bramwell Bailey

Producer (Director): Leslie Chance

Dance Arranger : Gwendolyn Osborne

The Ginger Bread Man

1934 - 1935

The Spring Maid

1933 - 1934

The Chocolate Soldier

1932 - 1933

The scene of the opera is laid near the Dragoman Pass, Bulgaria, 1885.  Servia and Bulgaria are at war.  The family of Col. Popoff, of the Bulgarian Army consisting of the daughter Nadina, Aurelia, the mother, and Mascha, Aurelia's cousin, are ensconced in their home, fearful of the approaching engagement between the conflicting armies.  Nadina, a romantic maiden, is in love with Alexius, a young Bulgarian who has become a hero amongst his countrymen for his brilliant Cavalry charge against the Servians.  This young officer is idealized by Nadina, and she is filled with complete admiration for this conquests.


Lieut. Bumerli, a young Swiss officer, attached to the commissary department of the Servian forces, is attacked by the patrol, whom he eludes by climbing into Nadina's boudoir.  His suave manners, compelling arguments and quick wit under difficulties force Nadina to conceal him, against her will, and he is saved by the three women who greatly admire his youthful mien and carriage.  Later Bumerli, who has engaged in this flirtation with Nadina to save his life, falls in love with her and she, almost against her will, yields her affections to the business-like, scientific Swiss soldier, who shows the half-savage Bulgarians what training and education accomplish against their bombast and mock heroics.


The sentiment of The Chocolate Soldier is evoked by the love affairs of Bumerli and Nadina, Massha and Alexius. The comedy is furnished by the episode of Col. Popoff's house coat which is loaned to Bumerli in order to make his escape, its return, and the fact that the photographs of the three women are hidden in the pockets.

Princess Bonnie

1931 - 1932

The Rose of Tokyo

1930 - 1931

The Geisha

1929 - 1930

Stationed in the Orient, far from his financee Molly, Reggie Fairfax, RN, finds himself lonely for feminine company. He begins to spend much of his free time at the Tea House of Ten Thousand Joys which is run by Chinaman Wun-Hi. There he meets the lovely geisah O Mimosa San with whom he builds a friendship. The relationship does not go unnoticed by the Lady Constance Wynne who contacts Molly, telling her she had better come to the Orient as quickly as possible. The local overlord Marquis Imari, who also fancies Momosa, orders the teahouse be closed and that the girls be sold off.


In an attempt to attract her husband while dressed as a geisha, Molly gets caught in the auction where Lady Constance successfully outbids Imari for Momosa before she notices that the Marquis now has his eye on Molly. With the help of Mimosa and the British entourage, Molly is rescued and the French interpreter Juliette ends up being married to the Marquis in her place. (Resource: Ganzl, Kurt, Musicals, Carlton Books Limited, 1995.)

Choral Recitals and Concerts

1928 - 1929

The Prince of Pilsen

1927 - 1928

Mistaken identity is the theme. Hans Wagner, a widowed brewer from Cincinnati, travels with his daughter Nellie to Nice, where his son Tom serves in the American Navy. On arrival, Hans is mistaken for Carl Otto, the Prince of Pilsen. When the true prince arrives from Heidelberg with a group of beer-drinking friends he decides to pretend to be a commoner and pursue Nellie. Tom falls in love with Edith, a young lady from Vassar, while Hans falls for Mrs. Crocker, a wealthy New York widow. Sir Arthur St. John Wilberforce is interested in marrying into Mrs. Crocker’s fortune so is jealous when she shows more interest in Hans. Hans is mistakenly found in possession of some secret documents but all is well once Carl Otto reveals that he is the true Prince of Pilsen. For the Orpheus production some Canadian references were added. Edith studies at McGill rather than Vassar, while Tom sails on the HMS Ottawa.


Musical Director: James A. Smith

Producer (Director): Fred L.C. Pereira

Dance Arranger: Alice Hébert

Merrie England

1926 - 1927

Sir Walter Raleigh loves Bessie Throckmorton, Elizabeth's lady-in-waiting.  He sends her a love letter, but Bessie loses it.  The lost letter is found by Jill-all-alone, a forest dweller, whose constant companion is a black cat.  Living in the forest with a black cat necessarily points to Jill as a witch. She ventures to the castle to restore the letter to its owner, but runs afoul of the worthy citizens of Windsor intent on their May Day revels. What could be better than a witch hunt?  When she is being hunted and harried, the Royal Forester, Long Tom, comes to her aid and is supported by the Earl of Essex, to whom Jill hands Bessie's letter.  Essex, thinking that Raleigh is his rival for royal favour, accepts the letter as his opportunity to arouse Eliizabeth's jealousy and he hands the letter to the Queen.  Elizabeth mistakens the letter as an avowal of Ralph's love for her but Raleigh is not the man to allow the Queen to be under a misapprehension and explains that the letter belongs to Bessie Throckmorton.  The Queen is furious and orders Raleigh to be banished, Bessie imprisoned, and Jill, who mocked the Queen's distress, to be burnt as a witch.


In the opening of the second act, Jill is seen to escape and to rescue Bessie from the Castle by a secret passage; they hide in Herne the Hunter's oak in the forest.  Essex now determines to make amends for the harm he has done Raleigh and is assisted in his plans by Walter Wilkins.  Essex plans to work on the Queen's superstitious fears and to stage an appearance of Herne the Hunter during a masque presented by Walter Wilkins.  According to tradition, the ghostly huntsman only appears in the forest when the monarch contemplates a crime.  The Queen is terrified at the apparition and pardons the lovers and Jill-all-alone. The populace are delighted and the joyful strains of Robin Hood's Wedding brings the story to a "happy ever after" conclusion.

The Mountebanks

1925 - 1926

The Yeomen of the Guard

1924 - 1925

The curtain opens on Tower Green, where Phoebe, daughter of Sergeant Meryll of the Tower Yeomen, is at her spinning wheel. Colonel Fairfax, a brave soldier and student of alchemy, is in the Tower charged with sorcery and is condemned to be beheaded. Phoebe has fallen in love with him, although they have never spoken, and wants her brother Leonard and her father to bring about his freedom. Head jailor Wilfrid Shadbolt is jealous of Phoebe’s interest in the Colonel. The Meryll family successfully devise a plan of escape for Fairfax, who asks for a bride to be found before his execution. Elsie Maynard, a strolling player, is to be the bride. Jack Point, a jester, loves Elsie but consents to the marriage, tempted by a dowry and the knowledge that she can leave as soon as the wedding is over, an hour before Fairfax’s execution.  Elsie is blindfolded and taken to Fairfax’s cell to be married. Soon after, Fairfax escapes and is disguised as a Yeoman of the Guard, pretending to be Leonard Meryll. When the escape is discovered, Shadbolt is briefly arrested. Jack Point is frantic that the escapee is now betrothed to Elsie, while Elsie faints in the arms of the disguised Fairfax.


Two days later, Fairfax is still free. Jack Point bribes Shadbolt to say that he shot Fairfax so that Elsie will think her husband is dead. Fairfax, still in disguise as Leonard, learns that pretty Elsie is his bride and makes love to her. They hear a shot. Shadbolt and Jack Point say that Fairfax is dead. Jack tries to get Elsie back, but she accepts Fairfax, very much alive, whom she thinks is Leonard.  Phoebe sees this and upsets Shadbolt by saying that the man she loves is to marry Elsie.  Shadbolt then realizes that the supposed Leonard is not Phoebe’s brother. When he threatens to expose her deception, she promises to marry him to protect Fairfax. Elsie soon learns that her husband Fairfax is alive and pardoned; she is in distress until Fairfax discloses his identity. Jack Point’s heart is broken. He falls at Elsie’s feet as the curtain descends.


Stage Director (Producer): F.L.C. Pereira, Mr.

Musical Director: James A. Smith, Mr. 

Dance Arranger: Phyllis Pereira, Miss

The Rebel Maid

1923 - 1924

Lord Milverton welcomes his nephew, Sir Stephen Crespigny, to his mansion in Devonshire.  Sir Stephen has been appointed by King James II to suppress the Anti-Stuart Plot. Beautiful young Lady Mary Trefusus, a guest at this loyalist gathering, is one of the secret leaders of the anti-loyalist plot. Her code name is “Snow Bunting”. Sir Stephen seeks the hand of Lady Mary but his uncle prefers that she marry his only son, Derek Lanscombe, who has been abroad for three years, which arouses Sir Stephen’s suspicions. And yes – Derek is the commander of the rebel cutter “Curlew”. He arrives with an entourage of relatives who create many humorous incidents. Behind the scenes, he is arranging for the arrival of William, Prince of Orange. Snow Bunting is to light a green lantern from the Jolly Fishers Inn near Torbay if it is safe for William to land.  Sir Stephen intercepts a letter and plans to reveal Derek as a traitor. In the meantime, Derek is falling in love with Snow Bunting, in spite of some misunderstandings.


Act Two takes place at the Jolly Fishers Inn on the Thursday in the autumn of 1688 before William landed at Torbay. Lady Mary pretends to fall from her horse so that she can get to the second-storey room from where she will light the lamp. She signals red at 10:00 pm as the loyalists are at the inn and it is not safe to land. Derek is lured into a trap laid for him, but later, with help from the fishermen,  escapes through a secret passage. Sir Stephen discovers Lady Mary’s secret and threatens to execute her  for treason unless she marries him.


Act Three begins the next morning on the village green. Sir Stephen works with Captain Percy to apprehend his hated rival, Derek. Derek arrives ahead of Prince William’s forces and thinks he can safely enter the inn, as Captain Percy has left. Just as he is about to be executed, Captain Percy returns with the news that Prince William is about to arrive. The Stuart loyalists surrender and Derek claims the hand of the Rebel Maid.


Musical Director: James A. Smith

Dramatic Director/Producer: F.L.C. Pereira

Dance Arranger: Miss Phyllis Pereira

A Princess of Kensington

1922 - 1923

Kenna, a lady of fairy origin who gave her name to Kensington Gardens, gave also her heart to a mortal , Prince Albion. Mountain spirit Azuriel has been desperately jealous ever since. Shakespeare’s sprite, Puck, intervenes to mischievously prolong the lovers’ quarrel, teaching Kenna a spell to awaken Albion after a ten-century sleep. To keep Azuriel happy, Puck decides to put in place a fictitious Albion who will marry a mortal maid.


William Jelf, a young sailor from HMS Albion, is selected to take the prince’s place and is brought to Kensington Gardens. His cap, of course, bears the name “Albion”. Two young lovers, Lt. Brook Green and Joy Jellicoe, also wander in the gardens. Puck assumes the appearance of Joy’s father, Sir James Jellicoe, and encourages the sailor, William Jelf, impersonating the prince, to make love to Joy, although he is (unwillingly) supposed to marry Nell Reddish, the niece of Mr. Reddish, an innkeeper. At the end, after much mayhem,  Nell marries Jelf’s Uncle Ben, Azuriel thinks that Albion is really dead and peace is restored to Fairyland. William Jelf goes back to sea, a happy bachelor.


For the Orpheus production the Butterfly Dance, performed by Miss Phyllis Pereira, was specially arranged for her by her teacher, M. Veronine Vestoff, of the Vestoff-Serova Russian School of Dancing, New York.


Stage Direction: Mr. F.L.C. Pereira

Musical Director: Mr. James A. Smith

Dances arranged by Miss Phyllis Pereira

Tom Jones

1921 - 1922

Tom Jones is a lively young foundling who has been brought up by Squire Allworthy. He is much loved by everyone, unlike Allworthy’s nephew, Blifil, an unlikeable character who is jealous of Tom. Tom stays with Squire Western while recovering from an accident while saving the life of the Squire’s daughter, Sophia. Tom falls desperately in love with Sophia, but the Squire has arranged for her to marry Blifil. Tom is cast off when it is discovered that he and Sophia are in love.


Act 2 opens at an inn in Upton, near London. Tom has rescued Lady Bellaston, a kinswoman of the Westerns, from the hands of some highwaymen and brings her to the inn. When Lady Bellaston makes advances, he refuses, wishing to remain faithful to Sophia. Sophia runs away with her maid, Honour, in an attempt to find Tom. She plans to seek refuge with her cousin, Lady Bellaston, but hears that Tom is at the inn and goes there. Squire Western follows on her trail, but he also ends up staying at the inn because of an attack of gout. All these people are in the hostel unknown to each other. Things get tangled up worse when the apothecary Benjamin Partridge shows up. He knows secrets about the mystery of Tom’s birth. After some drinking, Tom makes advances to whom he thinks is Lady Bellaston, but it is actually Sophia in disguise. Sophia leaves the inn, heart-broken. Tom chases after her in Lady Bellaston’s coach, accompanied by Partridge.


Some weeks later a fête is in progress at the Ranelagh Gardens in London. The guests dance and chat as they wait for the arrival of Sophia Western. Tom has been unable to see her as he has been denied admission to Lady Bellaston’s house. Partridge reveals to Allworthy that Tom is actually his real nephew and the older brother of Blifil. Tom is now in favour. Squire Western consents to the marriage of Tom and Sophia. Everything ends happily.


Musical Director: James A. Smith

Stage Director: F.L.C. Pereira

Dances: Phyllis  Pereira, Miss

Merrie England

1920 - 1921

Sir Walter Raleigh loves Bessie Throckmorton, Elizabeth's lady-in-waiting.  He sends her a love letter, but Bessie loses it.  The lost letter is found by Jill-all-alone, a forest dweller, whose constant companion is a black cat.  Living in the forest with a black cat necessarily points to Jill as a witch. She ventures to the castle to restore the letter to its owner, but runs afoul of the worthy citizens of Windsor intent on their May Day revels. What could be better than a witch hunt?  When she is being hunted and harried, the Royal Forester, Long Tom, comes to her aid and is supported by the Earl of Essex, to whom Jill hands Bessie's letter.  Essex, thinking that Raleigh is his rival for royal favour, accepts the letter as his opportunity to arouse Eliizabeth's jealousy and he hands the letter to the Queen.  Elizabeth mistakens the letter as an avowal of Ralph's love for her but Raleigh is not the man to allow the Queen to be under a misapprehension and explains that the letter belongs to Bessie Throckmorton.  The Queen is furious and orders Raleigh to be banished, Bessie imprisoned, and Jill, who mocked the Queen's distress, to be burnt as a witch.


In the opening of the second act, Jill is seen to escape and to rescue Bessie from the Castle by a secret passage; they hide in Herne the Hunter's oak in the forest.  Essex now determines to make amends for the harm he has done Raleigh and is assisted in his plans by Walter Wilkins.  Essex plans to work on the Queen's superstitious fears and to stage an appearance of Herne the Hunter during a masque presented by Walter Wilkins.  According to tradition, the ghostly huntsman only appears in the forest when the monarch contemplates a crime.  The Queen is terrified at the apparition and pardons the lovers and Jill-all-alone. The populace are delighted and the joyful strains of Robin Hood's Wedding brings the story to a "happy ever after" conclusion.

The Gondoliers

1919 - 1920

Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers; or The King of Barataria, played the Savoy Theatre in London from 1889-1891.


Casilda, a young bride and heir to the throne of Barataria, arrives in Venice with her father, the Duke of Plaza-Toro, to join her husband, to whom she was betrothed as an infant in an arranged marriage. But there is a problem: as an infant he was entrusted to a drunken gondolier who confused him with his own son.  Which one of the two young gondoliers is the husband and heir to the throne? As the King has just been killed, both must rule jointly for the time being until Inez, the prince’s former nurse, can be summoned to see which is the rightful king. To complicate the situation, both the gondoliers, Marco and Guiseppe, are married to local girls FIametta and Tessa. And Casilba has fallen in love with her attendant, Luiz. Inez eventually reveals that Luiz was spirited away as an infant and is actually the real king. The gondoliers are happy to step down as co-rulers; Casilba and Luiz are now ready to marry and assume the throne.


Musical Director – James A. Smith

Stage Director – F.L.C. Pereira

The Yeomen of the Guard

1918 - 1919

The curtain opens on Tower Green, where Phoebe, daughter of Sergeant Meryll of the Tower Yeomen, is at her spinning wheel. Colonel Fairfax, a brave soldier and student of alchemy, is in the Tower charged with sorcery and is condemned to be beheaded. Phoebe has fallen in love with him, although they have never spoken, and wants her brother Leonard and her father to bring about his freedom. Head jailor Wilfrid Shadbolt is jealous of Phoebe’s interest in the Colonel. The Meryll family successfully devise a plan of escape for Fairfax, who asks for a bride to be found before his execution. Elsie Maynard, a strolling player, is to be the bride. Jack Point, a jester, loves Elsie but consents to the marriage, tempted by a dowry and the knowledge that she can leave as soon as the wedding is over, an hour before Fairfax’s execution.  Elsie is blindfolded and taken to Fairfax’s cell to be married. Soon after, Fairfax escapes and is disguised as a Yeoman of the Guard, pretending to be Leonard Meryll. When the escape is discovered, Shadbolt is briefly arrested. Jack Point is frantic that the escapee is now betrothed to Elsie, while Elsie faints in the arms of the disguised Fairfax.


Two days later, Fairfax is still free. Jack Point bribes Shadbolt to say that he shot Fairfax so that Elsie will think her husband is dead. Fairfax, still in disguise as Leonard, learns that pretty Elsie is his bride and makes love to her. They hear a shot. Shadbolt and Jack Point say that Fairfax is dead. Jack tries to get Elsie back, but she accepts Fairfax, very much alive, whom she thinks is Leonard.  Phoebe sees this and upsets Shadbolt by saying that the man she loves is to marry Elsie.  Shadbolt then realizes that the supposed Leonard is not Phoebe’s brother. When he threatens to expose her deception, she promises to marry him to protect Fairfax. Elsie soon learns that her husband Fairfax is alive and pardoned; she is in distress until Fairfax discloses his identity. Jack Point’s heart is broken. He falls at Elsie’s feet as the curtain descends.

Iolanthe

1917 - 1918

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.

Glee Club Recitals and Concerts

1906 - 1916

© 2019, Orpheus Musical Theatre Society 

A not-for-profit registered charity
No. 11907 0415 RR0001

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