Saturday, August 24, 2019

The Yeomen of the Guard

Conductor:  Anne-Marie Endres
Director:  Debbie Baad
Our Cast
Sir Richard Cholmondely (Lieutenant of the Tower): Timothy Power
Colonel Fairfax (under sentence of death): Anthony Tavianini
Sergeant Meryll (of the Yeomen of the Guard): Mike Baad
Leonard Meryll (his Son): Samuel Palmer
Phoebe Meryll (his daughter): Paige Kelly
Jack Point (a Strolling Jester): Charlie Baad
Elsie Maynard (a Strolling Singer): Jadi Galloway
Wilfred Shadbolt (Head Jailer and Assistant Tormenter): Eric Piotrowski
Dame Carruthers (Housekeeper to the Tower): Lenore Sebastian
Kate (her Niece): Rebecca Cox

Gilbert and Sullivan's The Yeomen of the Guard played last night by the Sacramento Light Opera Theater.   If I stay in Sacramentlo long enough, Perhaps I will see them all.  This work is alternately called The Merryman and His Maid, which refers to the two strolling players. The action takes place inside the Tower of London during the reign of Henry VIII.  The yeomen guard the tower, as they do today.  They managed some excellent uniforms for them.

There is much to be explained here.  Some questions:
  • Why is Colonel Fairfax under sentence of death?  Wikipedia says sorcery.
  • What are Strolling players doing inside the Tower (not tourist attraction then)?
  • Why does Colonel Fairfax want to get married before he dies?  Wikipedia says doesn't like heir.
  • etc.

Plot:  Wilfred loves Phoebe, Phoebe loves Colonel Fairfax who is scheduled to die the next day.  Leonard wants Fairfax released because he saved his life in battle.  Leonard, his father and his sister hatch a plot where Leonard will hide and Fairfax will pretend to be him.  Phoebe steals the key from Wilfred and off we go.

Side story:  Fairfax wants to die married so his evil relation will not inherit his estate and offers a bribe to any woman who will marry him.  Elsie marries Fairfax in secret, Leonard hides and Fairfax appears in disguise as Leonard.

We end up with three happy couples and one very sad Jack Point.

The diction could have been better.  The songs were titled but the dialog was not.  I should have returned to the old days and read the plot before.  The music was excellent and well done.  My favorite singers were Anthony Tavianini and Jadi Galloway, the main couple.

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