Happy Arcadia (1872)

Libretto by W. S. Gilbert

Music arranged by Jonathan Strong
from Sullivan's non-Gilbertian operas
Strephon, a happy Arcadian,
     betrothed to Chloe
Chad Smith
Colin, a virtuous old peasant
     peasant, father of Chloe
David Magill
Chloe, a happy Arcadian,
     betrothed to Strephon
Diane diStasio
     married to Colin
Lydia Magill
     a blighted bogy
Charles Baad
Lycidas, the handsomest
     man in the world
Charles Baad

The Royal Victorian Opera Company
Elaine Smith, music director and pianist

Rutland Barrington in 'Happy Arcadia' (1895)
Rutland Barrington as Strephon in Happy Arcadia, in an unsuccessful 1895 revival
Reviewed by J. Donald Smith

Needless-to-say, the title is an oxymoron, as the inhabitants of Arcadia are anything but happy. It is a typical Gilbert topsy-turvy plot in which magic items grant wishes and each of the characters becomes someone else. The German Reed music is long lost, and Jonathan Strong's adaptation of Sullivan's music well serves the lyrics. (I cannot place the original Sullivan sources.) This is an amusing and well crafted performance.

Issue History
1994[none]VHS-NTSC[no number]