Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin proudly presented Patience; or, Bunthorne's Bride as our 2012 Grand Production. Nine performances, June 7-17, entertained enthusiastic audiences in the new Brentwood Christian School Performing Arts Center.
Thanks to all the performers, crew, the Gillman Light Opera Orchestra, sponsors, volunteers, Society members, and terrific audiences for making this year's show such a wonderfully funny and entertaining production.
Patience is the sixth operatic collaboration of fourteen by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. It was first performed in London in 1881, and was an immediate hit with audiences. Our last performance of this wonderful classic was in 1999.
Patience, a hilarious and touching comic opera, satirizes the "aesthetic craze" of the 1870's and '80s, when the output of poets, composers, painters and designers of all kinds was indeed prolific but whose followers and admirers, some argued, were empty and self-indulgent.
Patience has some of Gilbert’s finest comedy and Sullivan’s most captivating tunes, adding up to a masterwork fully equal to their very best. It has wit, charm, poetry . . . and a delightfully complicated love triangle.
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On September 24th the B. Iden Payne Awards Council announced that our 2012 Grand Summer Production of Patience has received 3 nominations in the Musical Theatre category; Outstanding Production, Arthur DiBianca for Outstanding Lead Actor, and Janette Jones for Outstanding Featured Actress. Congratulations to Janette and Arthur as well as the entire cast, crew, and orchestra for this tremendous honor and recognition.
Click here for the winners announced at the 38th Annual B. Iden Payne Awards, held October 29th at the new Topfer Theatre at Zach.
REGINALD BUNTHORNE (A Fleshly Poet)
ARCHIBALD GROSVENOR (An Idyllic Poet)
PATIENCE (A Dairy Maid)
Officers of Dragoon Guards
LIEUT. THE DUKE OF DUNSTABLE
THE LADY ANGELA
THE LADY SAPHIR
THE LADY ELLA
THE LADY JANE
CHORUS of RAPTUROUS MAIDENS
OF DRAGOON GUARDS
The opening scene is set near "Castle Bunthorne," where twenty love-sick maidens reflect on the mysteries and hopelessness of their love for Bunthorne, an aesthetic poet. He loves Patience, they declare, and to them he remains indifferent.
Patience, a simple dairy-maid, has never loved anyone except an aunt, and learns from one of the maidens that true love must be "utterly nselfish." Enter a dozen officers of Dragoon Guards, whose colonel introduces himself and his men with a rollicking, boastful song. The Dragoons had been much beloved by the twenty maidens, but now they are accorded a different welcome. Bunthorne has "idealized them" and "their eyes are opened." When alone, Bunthorne admits being "an aesthetic sham" who only feigns aestheticism to gain admiration.
Patience remembers a boy who was her childhood friend, and when Archibald Grosvenor appears she discovers it is he. They love each other, but Patience, in the belief that true love is "utterly unselfish," thinks she cannot marry one so perfect.
Bunthorne, returning, has decided, since Patience does not love him, to put himself up to be raffled for, and just as the lot is to be drawn, Patience in her "utter unselfishness" says that she will marry him because "she detests him so."
The disappointed maidens then return to the Dragoons, but when they see Archibald Grosvenor, immediately transfer their affections to him because "he is aesthetic!" As the act ends, Bunthorne is jealous, and the Dragoons are disgusted.
The second act is set in a glade near Castle Bunthorne. The middle-aged Jane bewails her lot: she is growing older staunchly loving Bunthorne, and she sings of the ravages time is wreaking on her physical beauty.
Grosvenor is now adored by all the maidens. He is annoyed by their attentions for they have followed him about for days. He pleads for "the usual half holiday on Saturday." Patience, meanwhile, muses upon love. Bunthorne, deserted and consumed by jealousy, has still one faithful admirer - the portly Lady Jane, whose charms decrease as her size increases. She implores him not to wait too long, but Bunthorne is determined to beat Grosvenor on his own ground.
At last the rival poets meet. Bunthorne threatens to "curse" Archibald unless he consents to cut his hair and become quite commonplace. Grosvenor outwardly appalled, but secretly relieved, consents to become an "every day young man".
Now that Bunthorne is happy, Patience, in her "utter unselfishness," breaks her engagement. Upon Archibald Grosvenor's return, in a tweed suit and bowler hat, she realizes that since he is now a commonplace young man, she can marry him.
Bunthorne finds that the twenty love-sick maidens have returned to their soldier-lovers. He decides to console himself with the middle-aged Lady Jane. But the Duke of Dunstable announces that to balance out one of life's inequities, he will marry and honor a plain woman, and chooses Lady Jane, so Bunthorne is left without a bride.
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