Located Inside:

Antoinette Hatfield Hall

Brunish Theatre


Light Opera of Portland, the metro area’s only dedicated Gilbert & Sullivan opera company, are bringing their next production to downtown Portland for the first time this summer! A new staging of Iolanthe will be opening at the Brunish Theatre in June.

Iolanthe, originally performed in 1882, tells the story of Strephon and Phyllis, two young shepherds engaged to be married. There are only two small problems; Phyllis is a Ward of Chancery, and cannot marry without the Lord Chancellor’s permission, while Strephon is secretly half a fairy (his legs are mortal)! Strephon’s fairy mother, Iolanthe, was banished for the crime of marrying a mortal, but is pardoned by the Fairy Queen and reunites with her sisters, and her son. The Lord Chancellor and the entire House of Lords (who are all in love with Phyllis themselves) arrive, but Phyllis rejects their offers of wealth and privilege for a life of simple honesty with the poor shepherd she loves.

Unfortunately, Phyllis and the Peers encounter Strephon and Iolanthe, who being a fairy looks like a young maiden, and the Peers convince Phyllis that Strephon is unfaithful. Strephon calls on the fairies for help, and the Fairy Queen threatens revenge on the Peers by sending Strephon into Parliament with magical powers to pass any bill he wishes, including forcing the Peers to actually do their work instead of indulging in their usual lives of pleasure, and making it possible for common people to become nobles by passing a competitive examination! With the social order now turned on its head, the Fairies and Peers must try to overcome their differences, while Strephon and Phyllis attempt to navigate their own stormy relationships.

Iolanthe features beautiful music by Sullivan as he references Wagner, Mendelssohn, and Handel, and Gilbert’s topsy-turvy satire takes aim at the pompous yet ineffectual political classes. Written at the height of their collaboration, it is widely considered to be one of their greatest comic operas.

Iolanthe is directed by Light Opera of Portland’s Artistic Director Laurence Cox, Music Director Reece Sauve, and Producer Sara Rivara.


Brunish Theatre : Upcoming Events

Photo of woman on stage holding microphone up to a robot's face

Portland'5 presents Singu-Hilarity: A STEM Vaudeville Comedy Show at the Brunish Theatre Friday, July 26,...

Showing: 07/26