March 17–19 and 24–26, 2005
Will Rice College Commons

Presented by the Rice Light Opera Society and Will Rice College
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A literary or a military man?

All the young ladies have fallen madly in love with a flamboyant poet named Bunthorne. He basks in their adoration, but the one girl he wants to attract, a modest milkmaid named Patience, will have nothing to do with him. What will Bunthorne do when a rival poet arrives and steals not just the attentions of the besotted maidens, but also Patience's heart? And how will the maidens' former suitors, the staid Dragoon Guards, respond to the new craze for poetic and romantic love?

About the opera

Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience premiered in 1881 at London's Opera Comique before moving to the new Savoy Theatre. The operetta satirizes the period's "aesthetic" movement and its key figures, such as painter James Whistler and writer Oscar Wilde. This sixth collaboration of Gilbert and Sullivan was immensely popular, and ran for 578 performances.

Gilbert and Sullivan

W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan wrote 14 operas together between 1871 and 1896, most of which were produced by the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. Gilbert, the duo's librettist, was an accomplished satirist, and was known for a series of cartoons and sketches known as the Bab Ballads. Sullivan, the composer, was often called the "English Mendelssohn," but his genius was most evident in the lighter comic songs he wrote with Gilbert. Sullivan's solo works include the opera Ivanhoe and the hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers." Gilbert and Sullivan's operas were wildly popular in their time and are still performed regularly today.