The Rose of Persia, 2014

The Savoy Opera Chorale of the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of WA presents and welcomes you to…

The Rose of Persia


GILBERT & SULLIVAN HALL, corner Lemana Road and Ravenswood Court, Nollamara

Gilbert & Sullivan Society members $10
Friends and visitors $15

The Savoy Opera Chorale presents this work fully staged, costumed and set.  It is an abridged production with dialogue kept to a bare minimum and some cast members will have their scores. This will not detract, however, from Sullivan’s fine music and Basil Hood’s interesting libretto.

The setting is the exotic “middle East” as it was pictured to Victorian audiences.  Tales of the Arabian Nights and the legend of Scheherazade set the action against a harem of scheming wives, their corrupt though philanthropic husband (Hassan) who gets high on “bhang” (cannabis) and imagines he is the Sultan (a delusion perpetuated by the Sultan himself), a corrupt priest who hopes to profit from Hassan’s will, the Sultan and his Sultana (who is, in fact “The Rose”) and a strolling storyteller (who finishes up with his lady-love). Believe it or not they all live happily ever after!  Actually the finale is not unlike that of The Mikado!

This rarely performed work was Sullivan’s last completed operetta (1899). The score is arguably among Sullivan’s finest and librettist Basil Hood has masterfully captured all the wit and mayhem in true Gilbertian style.  The Rose of Persiapremiered at the Savoy Theatre London on 29 November 1899 and ran for 211 performances before heading to the US then back for an extended tour through Europe.  This is a first for Perth and a wonderful opportunity to see this rarely-performed opera.