Princess Ida was first performed at the Savoy Theatre January 5, 1884. The following discussion is a compilation of thoughts and opinions from the SavoyNet MailList.
Bruce Walton: Princess Ida seems to me to be the "odd one out" of the Savoy canon in many ways. There are many curiosities which make Ida unique, some of which I list in the following paragraphs as a stimulus for discussion.
Princess Ida is alone in being based on a work by someone other than G&S (most of the libretto is lifted from Gilbert's play The Princess, which was a dramatisation of Tennyson's epic poem of the same name).
The libretto is written in blank verse, which causes many people to regard it as unsuccessful and/or inaccessible.
Ida is set in no particular time or place, arguably to a greater extent than any other Savoy opera. This gives the director a great deal of freedom in how to approach it, and renders it definitely not "director-proof".
Updated 10 June 1998