Welcome to our 10th Anniversary Season!
Buy tickets for The Yeomen of the Guard at DISCOUNT by clicking HERE.
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WOULD YOU LIKE TO JOIN US?
We are a non-profit community theater group, and so welcome all members of the community to audition for roles in our shows, and to volunteer backstage in building sets and costumes, and managing publicity and administrative duties for our club. You will find us a friendly and supportive group of music and theater enthusiasts!
If you are interested in helping with off-stage duties, please email Producer Bill Buckman at email@example.com or call 215-262-5550.
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For this year's Tenth Anniversary production we'd like to enhance your enjoyment and understanding of 'The Yeoman of the Guard' with interesting details about its soaring music, colorful characters and dramatic story, all of which have delighted audiences since the opera's debut in 1888. If you would like to see our emails just click HERE to add your name to our email list, and receive fun historical and musical info that will make seeing Yeomen even more enjoyable.
In our previous post (you can find that HERE) we explained that the Yeoman guard the Tower of London; and in this opera they guard one particular prisoner, Colonel Fairfax. Gilbert and Sullivan are known for giving clever and expressive names to their characters, and the Colonel's name is uncannily similar to 'Fair Face' - an appropriate description of the young and handsome leading man of the show. His backstory will help you understand how he comes into this dire predicament as a prisoner condemned to death:
Fairfax was unjustly accused of sorcery by an evil relative and is imprisoned. Fairfax has a good friend in Sergeant Merrrill, of the Yeomen Guard, and his daughter Phoebe, who both wish him freed. They concoct a plan to spring Fairfax from his cell and ask Phoebe's brother Leonard, who has just arrived from an army campaign, to allow Fairfax to pose as him to avoid detection. Leonard agrees to do it. When the Yeomen march Fairfax out for his execution, he sees Phoebe weeping and comfortingly sings to her -
Is life a boon?
If so, it must befall
That Death, whene'er he call,
Must call too soon.
Though fourscore years he give,
Yet one would pray to live
What kind of plaint have I,
Who perish in July?
I might have had to die,
Perchance, in June!
A second complication in Fairfax's plight is his bachelorhood. Fairfax knows that if he is still unmarried when executed, his wealth will be inherited by his evil cousin, the same person who enabled his unjust imprisonment. Fairfax hatches a plot to quickly marry a maiden, virtually any maiden, to prevent the cousin from inheriting his fortune. Sergeant Merrill finds an unlikely young woman to fulfill this task - Elsie Maynard, a strolling singer who is betrothed but not yet married to Jack Point, a jester and her partner.
We'll tell more of Elsie's story in our next post.
Our 10th Anniversary Season will be dedicated to the memory of our friend, Vice-President and fellow Savoyard, Robert West.
Performances of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas by other excellent local theater groups can be found by clicking on our MORE G&S page, on the menu at the top of this page!