Take off your amour and slip into something a little less comfortable, as we’re off to Castle Adamant in search of the fair Princess Ida! When Ida was just a ‘twelve month old’ infant, her father, King Gama, betrothed her to the son of King Hildebrand, Hilarion, in the name of bringing peace to both Kingdoms. However as Ida grew up she broke her betrothal and, with the help of Lady Psyche and Lady Blanche, set up an all girls school to teach their young students the superiority of women over men. Displeased with Ida’s actions, Hildebrand takes her brothers hostage and sends Hilarion, Florian and Cyril to Castle Adamant, where the trio infiltrate the school and don the girls uniforms in an attempt to disguise themselves. They are soon discovered by Florian’s sister, Lady Psyche, and Lady Blanche’s daughter, Melissa, who falls in love with Florian. Lady Blanche also becomes aware of the trio’s presence and devises a plan to bring down Princess Ida so that she can become the headmistress! In a drunken blunder, Cyril reveals their identities to Princess Ida who becomes enraged at the sight of men in her school, beginning a battle of the sexes! After being saved from death by Hilarion, Princess Ida starts to think differently but can she truly accept her fate to marry him? What of King Hildebrand’s threats to her family and school? And will the inevitable rise of Lady Blanche come to pass?
The only Gilbert and Sullivan opera to have three acts, this 1884 comedic work was written after ‘Iolanthe’ and preceded ‘The Mikado’. ‘Princess Ida’ was not as successful in comparison to other G&S operas but still enjoyed a revival in the 1920’s and is now performed by both professionals and amateurs to this day.
Our society has performed ‘Princess Ida’ four times since 1980. To see the full page for the year you’re interested in, click on the relevant image below. To view the image galleries, head over to our Main Show page.
Click on an image and then click again on the caption to be taken to the page for that production.