Gilbert and Sullivan Archive



Stephen B. Sullivan: It is my extreme pleasure to be the archivist for Iolanthe. Iolanthe is far and away my favorite of the canon. (It was also the show with which I completed the canon as a performer.) I would make no claim that Iolanthe is the best of Gilbert & Sullivan's works, yet it is clearly my favorite.

As we construct these G&S archives, the we find ourselves asking the question "What is the purpose of these archives?" I say that the purpose is to produce an on line reference for use by performers and students of Gilbert & Sullivan. In my mind, the archive should consist of two major section: 1) Discussion (Should "Fold Your Flapping Wings" be performed.) and 2) Technical (Where to get orchestration for "Fold Your Flapping Wings.")

A reminder: If you want your comments to be in the OOTW archive, put OOTW in the subject line of your mail. If you don't want your comments in the OOTW archive, don't put OOTW in your subject line.

If you know of any particularly good Iolanthe postings that have been make in the past, please feel free to search the archive for them and repost them with OOTW in the subject line.

Iolanthe is really a fun operetta. I am very much looking forward to this discussion. And now for "One Latin word, one Greek remark, And one that's French."

Stephen B. Sullivan: As the Anarchist for the Iolanthe OOTW, I have noticed that there has been very little discussion of the women's roles. Would someone who has done some thinking about each of the women's roles in Iolanthe, please start a thread?

I have noticed that the way that some of the better threads get started is

  1. )someone makes an outrageous statement,
  2. ) someone takes them seriously and make a response,
  3. ) a good dialog follows.

So, maybe I could ask if someone would please make some outrageous statements about the women's roles in Iolanthe.

Stephen B. Sullivan: For an OOTW that got off to a slow start, Iolanthe has done really well. I now have 260 messages to sort through. The Mikado which had the second most number of messages had 205. Yet I am in no way satisfied that this conversation has run its course. There are three areas where I would like more discussion.

  1. ) Fold Your Flapping Wings. Should it be performed? Where can you get orchestration? I know this was beat to death recently but I would like to have it in the OOTW. If you don't want to post the same messages to SavoyNet then please send them to "".
  2. ) I really liked the time travel thread. What would it have been like to have been in the audience on opening night. What was new at the Savoy? What was going on in London and the world that gives context to Iolanthe? I know we have a group of world class experts on the SavoyNet. Lets hear from you. From thy dark exile thou art summoned!
  3. ) Women's roles. From what has been posted, I can't figure out why this operetta was named after a woman. Does Iolanthe have anything to do with the plot? ... Is it possible to play the role of Phyllis without making her come across as the town slut? ... How does the Queen of the Fairies stack up against Gilbert's other middle aged women? ...
Come on. The SavoyNet does not have a reputation for political correctness. Dive in.

Stephen B. Sullivan: Every journey has an end --
We are now coming to the end of the Iolanthe Opera Of The Week. Iolanthe has always been my favorite, but before now I have never been say why it is my favorite. I would like to thank all the contributors for pointing out all the things there are to like about Iolanthe.

When at the worst affairs will mend --
I would like to take this opportunity to apologize about what I said about Phyllis. It was a transparent attempt to get some conversation going. It would have been worth being flamed, if it had worked.

Dark the dawn when day is nigh --
Now I get to spend some all-nighters putting the OOTW archive together. (How is that for a transparent attempt to bend this mailing to fit Gilbert's words.)

Hustle your house and don't say die!
Better get your mailings in quickly if you want to be in the Iolanthe OOTW. Actually, I plan for the OOTW to be a living document. I reserve the right to add any good posting about Iolanthe as an addendum to the OOTW archive. If there are ever some good postings about the women's roles in Iolanthe, they will definitely be added.

Updated 28 November 1997