|Iolanthe > Reviews > First Night Review
From Aberdeen Weekly Journal (Aberdeen, Scotland), Monday, November 27, 1882; Issue 8670.
Fashionable and critical London assembled in the Savoy last night to assist at the production of the new comic opera "Iolanthe, or the Peer and the Peri," by Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan. Great expectation had been aroused by the preparation of this work, and it may be said at once that these expectations were not disappointed.
At a casual glance the playgoer might be inclined to associate the new piece with the political jeu d'esprit of a few years since, "The Happy Land," but there is no real assimilation beyond the fact that the inventors have chosen a Lord Chancellor to serve as the pivot of the action of their half-celestial half-sublunary story. It is not quite clear what Lord Selborne, the man who, the Spectator once declared, Would have been an archangel if he had not been an English lawyer, has done to deserve immortality at the hands of Gilbert and Sullivan.
The opera is realistic in treatment, since a series of views of Westminster Palace, of Palace Yard, and of the Clock Tower are incorporated in the scenery. The arch humour of Mr. Gilbert is happily illustrated by the characteristic melody of Mr. Sullivan, and the scenery, dresses and corps of pretty and shapely damsels form a delightful ensemble.
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