Show Photographs

34th Festival Season - 2012


or The Flowers of Progress
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Libretto by William Gilbert

ACT I: Utopia, a South Pacific Island, is ruled by King Paramount the First, whose decisions are made for him by Scaphio and Phantis, two Supreme Court judges who hold the threat of explosion by the Public Exploder Tarara over Paramount if he does not do their bidding. But the King has fallen in love with the British way of doing things. He has hired an English governess, Lady Sophy, for two of his daughters and has sent the eldest, Zara, to Girton College at Oxford. Zara brings six "Flowers of Progress" with her on her return from England; they begin to remodel Utopia upon "the English Scheme." Along with increasing the army, purifying the court, modernizing the navy, introducing lying into the law, and improving the drainage system, they propose to turn the country into a limited liability company, or corporation. This will allow Utopia to declare a small initial capital, run up masses of bills, and then "wind up" (go out of business) and start a new company in the best English manner. King Paramount is willing to try the scheme, even though it sounds less than honest, because it is English. All except the usurped Phantis and Scaphio sing the praises of the Joint Stock Company Act of 1862, which made such chicanery possible.
ACT II: Captain Fitzbattleaxe, beloved of Princess Zara, laments that being in love has affected his voice. After demonstrating his point, he turns his attention to the sensational new South Pacific Drawing Room. Scaphio and Phantis are outraged by the incorporation of Utopia; English reform has so perfected the State that everyone is out of work. They cannot blow up the King because he is now a corporation rather than an individual, but they do manage a revolution: the Utopians demand immediate extradition of the Flowers of Progress. A happy ending is achieved by introducing Government by Party and turning the Monarchy Ltd. into a Limited Monarchy. All advances are wiped out, everyone returns to work, and the rabble-rousers Scaphio, Phantis, and Tarara are arrested. The opera ends with a patriotic song - suitably ironic in tone - in praise of Great Britain's sublimity.

Production Team
DirectorNicholas Wuehrmann
ConductorJ. Lynn Thompson
ChoreographyCarol Hageman
Costume DesignAmber Marisa Cook
Scenic DesignJessica Moretti
Lighting DesignMichael Banks
King Paramount the First, King of UtopiaTed Christopher
Scaphio, Judge of the Utopian Supreme CourtChristopher Cobbett
Phantis, Judge of the Utopian Supreme CourtBrad Baron
Tarara, the Public ExploderJacob Allen
Calynx, the Utopian Vice-ChamberlainMark Snyder
Imported Flowers of Progress
Lord Dramaleigh, a British Lord ChamberlainNathan Brian
Captain Fitzbattleaxe, First Life GuardsAndrew Maughan
Captain Sir Edward Corcoran, K.C.B., of the Royal NavyGeoffrey Kannenberg
Mr. Goldbury, a Company Promoter, afterwards Comptroller of the Utopian HouseholdBoyd Mackus
Sir Bailey Barre, Q.C., M.P.Stephen Faulk
Mr. Blushington, of the County CouncilNathan Owen
The Princess Zara, Eldest Daughter of King ParamountAmy Maples
The Princess Nekaya, younger sister of ZaraAshley Close
The Princess Kalyba, younger sister of ZaraRuby White
The Lady Sophy, their English GovernessSandra Ross
Salata, Utopian MaidenEmily Neill
Melene, Utopian MaidenOlivia Maughan
Phylla, Utopian MaidenMary Griffith
Ensemble: Luke Bahr, Justin Berkowitz, Ezra Bershatsky, Sarah Best, Nathan Brian, Stephen Faulk, Adam Fieldson, Mary Griffith, Kristina Hanford, Matthew Hill, Alexandra Jaeb, Geoffrey Kannenberg, Olivia Maughan, Caroline Miller, Zackery Morris, Emily Neill, Suzanne Oberdorfer, Nathan Owen, Allison Schumaker, Jarrett Smith, Tara Sperry