Fairies to Cast a Spell in Iolanthe at Marylhurst University

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Gilbert & Sullivan's musical masterpiece Iolanthe directed by Alistair Donkin June 6 & 7, 2015

The Marylhurst University Department of Music will present Iolanthe ("eye-oh-lan-thee"), a comic opera in which fairies descend on the House of Lords in Victorian England, on June 6 and 7, 2015.

The Marylhurst production will be directed by Alistair Donkin, an award-winning director of Gilbert & Sullivan productions and former member of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, the original theatrical company that staged Gilbert & Sullivan operas dating back to the 1870s.

Iolanthe is widely considered Sullivan's finest musical score of all the Savoy Operas. In the lyrics, Gilbert delivers timeless social satire, poking fun at the less-than-effective British government.

Iolanthe, a comic opera by Gilbert & Sullivan

Saturday, June 6, at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 7, at 4:00 p.m.

St. Anne's Chapel
Marylhurst University campus
17600 Pacific Highway, Marylhurst OR

$20 general admission; $10 students & seniors


Topsy Turvy may be the title of Mike Leigh's film of the partnership of Gilbert & Sullivan, but it could equally apply to Alistair Donkin's career. Having practiced as a solicitor, specializing in child care cases, for Shropshire County Council, and dabbled in local politics, being at one time Mayor of Market Drayton, he made a complete career change to pursue his love of the theatre, joining the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in 1979.

As a performer, he has appeared with the London Savoyards and the Magic of Gilbert & Sullivan. He has sung with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, the BBC Concert Orchestra (broadcast on BBC Radio 2) and the English Philharmonic Orchestra, appearing at all the major concert venues, including the Barbican Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and the new Birmingham Symphony Hall.

As a director, he works throughout the United Kingdom for National Operatic and Dramatic Association-affiliated Societies, specializing in the presentation of the Savoy Operas. Since 1994, Alistair has directed the Gilbert & Sullivan workshop at the NODA South West Regional Conference in Exmouth.

His directing skills have earned him three trophies for Best Director at the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in Buxton and his production of The Mikado for the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Houston earned them the title of International Champions; the NODA South West Regional Award of Excellence for both The Gondoliers with Penzance Amateur Operatic Society and Iolanthe with Taunton Amateur Operatic Society.

Since 1994, Alistair has been heavily involved with the International Festival of Gilbert & Sullivan, both in this country and the USA. He directed the professional production of Iolanthe as well as appearing in productions of HMS Pinafore, Trial By Jury and The Sorcerer. He regularly directs the Festival production each year – a show staged in six days with a cast of enthusiastic amateurs.

Marylhurst University, a private liberal arts university 10 miles south of Portland, Ore., on Highway 43, is regionally accredited and nationally recognized for innovation and academic excellence in serving adult learners. Founded in 1893, Oregon's oldest Catholic university serves more than 1,200 multigenerational students of all faiths and backgrounds. Marylhurst offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degrees and professional certificate programs on campus and online, all of which integrate the liberal arts with professional studies and prepare graduates to be ethical leaders who think critically and creatively.

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