By Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca
“Twenty lovesick maidens we….”
Let romantic melancholy descend, my friends…. Patience may be a virtue, but it’s also a rarely performed 1881 musical satire/ operetta by the redoubtable team of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. Their sixth collaboration takes the mickey out of the late 19th century “aesthetic movement” and its disciples, the Oscar Wilde crowd, William Morris and the rest.
Languid pre-Raphaelites, broody self-regarding poets, pseud-y preening rustics, all get theirs in the G&S operetta that opens the month-long Opera Nuova festival Friday night at the Capitol Theatre in Fort Edmonton Park. Maidens will succumb any day to the charms of a poseur poet over a macho dragoon. And Patience has two! Apparently, it was the first production in the world to be lit entirely by electric light, at the Savoy in London.
Rob Herriot, well known to Edmonton Opera audiences, directs the Opera Nuova production — their third year of G&S at the Fort — that runs through Sunday. It’s cast from among the 59 singers of Opera Nuova’s emerging artist program, now in its 19th season.
More about the festival — including Eugene Onegin, Cunning Little Vixen, and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel — coming next week. In the meantime, have Patience, ladies and gentlemen. Tickets: 780-487-4844, operanuova.ca.