German and Hood’s – Merrie England
March 15, 16, and 17 on the University of Chicago campus
The last great Savoy operetta, Merrie England tells the mostly fictional story of the court of Queen Elizabeth I, who discovers through the machinations of the Machiavellian Earl of Essex that the object of her affections, Sir Walter Raleigh, is engaged in a secret affair with one of her handmaidens, Bessie Throckmorton. Featuring a rich, indulgent score from the appointed successor to Arthur Sullivan, Edward German, this production of Merrie England is a unique chance to introduce modern audiences to a rarely performed gem of the British light opera canon.
The approach of our 60th year has given us an opportunity to reflect on how vibrant, joyful and full of life our productions of the traditional Savoy operas are now, nearly 150 years after Gilbert and Sullivan began their historic collaboration. These two visionaries revolutionized an art form, and our Company has been honored to champion their enduring legacy. With that legacy in mind, we are thrilled to announce that this year we will expand the traditional canon to present German and Hood’s Merrie England as our 2019 spring production!
A classic of British musical theater, German & Hood’s Merrie England unfolds to the backdrop of an idyllic, romanticized Tudor period… that is quickly unraveled by scurrilous love, jealous rivalries, harebrained murder plots, and witchcraft, of course. The heart of Queen Elizabeth I belongs to the frustratingly charming Sir Walter Raleigh—who, unbeknownst to his Queen, loves another: the Lady-in-Waiting, Bessie Throckmorton! When a love letter intended for Bessie falls into the hands of the rather unfortunate Jill-All-Alone, the horrid truth unravels, no thanks to the machinations of the Earl of Essex, and the Queen’s wrath swiftly follows. The only force standing between these unfortunate fellows and certain doom? An ill-conceived murder plot brewing in the court and, just maybe, the merry monarch’s gracious mercy.
Spurring over five hundred amateur productions during Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation year (1953), Sir Edward German’s Merrie England was the first new project launched at the Savoy Theatre after the death of Arthur Sullivan. Featuring masterful wordplay and a lively score in the style made famous by its predecessors, German’s patriotic operetta is a raucously fun tribute to the pioneers of English comic opera.
Tickets are on sale now!
Prices: $60 patron (includes a tax-deductible donation), $25 general, $5 students, $15 groups of 10+
Online at tickets.uchicago.edu
By calling 773.702.ARTS (2787)
In-person at the UChicago Arts Box Office located at the south entrance of the Logan Center (915 E. 60th Street) and can be accessed by a circular drive on S. Drexel Avenue between 60th and 61st Street.
Box Office hours:
Tuesday – Saturday, 12 pm – 6 pm
Closed Sundays and Mondays