February 20, 21, 22, 2003 on the Main Stage, Confederation Centre in Charlottetown
February 28 and March 1, 2003 at the Jubilee Theatre (Harbourfront) in Summerside
Written by: W.S. Gilbert (lyrics) and Arthur Sullivan (music)
Director: Terry Pratt
Music Director: Carl Mathis
Stage Manager: Wallena Higgins
Choreographer: Julia Sauvé
The show had a cast and chorus of 40 persons, plus a pit orchestra of 20.
It was the fifth Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera mounted by ACT — one of the most popular in the string of G&S hits which have been performed all over the world for more than a century. Typically there is a ridiculously funny plot, involving a mix-up of infants, spouses paired-up by a game of blind-man’s bluff, a pair of could-be kings with the potential of three queens, a topsy-turvy Mediterranean court where the royals serve the servants, an impoverished duke who incorporates himself and markets his social position for lucrative profit, a Grand Inquisitor who stole the Prince and delights in a little bit of gentle torture, a nursemaid-turned brigand who springs the surprise ending about who is really king. Worked into this staging was the fun of spoofing Canadian and Island politics.
The plot aside, the music is glorious: comic ditties, haunting love ballads, soaring choruses. The production also featured two exotic sets — the canals and bridges of Venice, and the lavish court of the island kingdom of Barataria … two remarkable sailing vessels gliding across the stage … a riot of bright colour in the costumes of gondoliers, peasant maidens and Spanish aristocrats … and four fantastic dance numbers.
The show involved — cast, orchestra, crew and production — a total of 91 people!