Gilbert and Sullivan Archive

PRINCESS IDA

or
Castle Adamant

A DISCUSSION

Compiled by

Sarah Mankowski

Princess Ida with students

 

Contents

Part 1 - The Plot
  1.1 - General Comments
1.2 - Tennyson's Princess
1.3 -Tactical Error?
1.4 - Act Division
    1.4.1 - Vocal Scores
  1.5 - The First "College" Musical
1.6 - The Fight
     
Part 2 - Characters
  2.1 - Ida
2.2 - Hilarion
2.3 - Cyril
2.4 - . . . Nitwits On Steroids
2.5 - Hildebrand
    2.5.1 - Hildebrand's Court
  2.6 - Gama
    2.6.1 - Gama and Blanche
     
Part 3 - Costumes
  3.1 - The Rescue
3.2 - Bearing Gama's Arms
3.3 -Their Aid I Thus Disclaim
    3.3.1 - A Word About Battle Armour
     
Part 4 - Setting
     
Part 5 - Music and Songs
 
5.1 - General Comments
5.2 - Favourites
5.3 - The World Is But A Broken Toy
5.4 - Come, Mighty Must!
    5.4.1 - In Defense of Come, Mighty Must
  5.5 - Merrily Rings the Luncheon Bell
5.6 - Please You, Do Not Hurt Us!
5.7 - Sullivan's String Of Pearls
5.8 - Act III
    5.8.1 - The Finale
     
Part 6 - Productions and Recordings
  6.1 - Teenagers and Princess Ida
6.2 - The 3P Project
    6.2.1 - Audience Reaction
  6.3 - . . .The Infamous. . .
6.4 - The Elusive Ida
6.5 - Princess Ida Video
     
Part 7 - Gender Bashing
     
Part 8 - Darwinian (Wo)man
     
Part 9 - Princess Ida Anagrams
     
Part 10 - Also Occurred In 1884
     
Appendix I - Web Sites
Appendix II - Anagram Solutions
Appendix III - List Of Contributors

INTRODUCTION

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".

 

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Updated 10 June 1998