Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience at EOH this weekend

EARLVILLE – The Earlville Opera House welcomes Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Patience” for an EOH Benefit on Friday or Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and for a Sunday matinee at 3 p.m. “Patience” is musical by Gilbert & Sullivan that revolves around a merry story of romantic topsy-turvydom.

One doesn’t really need to know anything about these plays to enjoy them but it is fun to consider what was happening at the time of their origin. “Patience” was wildly popular in 1881 and inspired a cover of Punch with its release. The musical was a satire on the “aesthetic movement” in England. According to Wiki: “This artistic movement was so popular, and also so easy to ridicule as a meaningless fad, that it made Patience a big hit.”

“Gilbert & Sullivan … took aim at artistic snobbery in Patience, the story of a pretentious poet who dazzles every woman in an English town except the simple dairy maid he most desires. The comedy centered on the ‘aesthetes,’ a group of colorful writers and artists obsessed with beauty. To make sure Americans would understand this essentially British phenomenon, D’Oyly Carte sent famous aesthete Oscar Wilde on a lecture tour of the U.S., keeping him one city ahead of the Patience tour. The resulting public reaction helped to make Patience a hit in the States.” (Musicals

John O’Connor wrote in a review of a more recent production “Today, wearing its historical significance gracefully, ‘Patience’ remains one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s more amusing romps … Arthur Sullivan wrote some of his most lilting music for ‘Patience.’ The patter songs are especially delicious … [it] sounds just fine as it considers such eternally troubling questions as, ‘Do you know what it is to seek oceans and find puddles?’ Even those who find much of Gilbert and Sullivan resistible are likely to be charmed into an occasional smile.”

Rob Kolb directs the production. He is a Professor of Music at Hamilton College and has been a member of the faculty since 1981. Kolb is director of choral activities at Hamilton and is conductor of the Hamilton College and Community Masterworks Chorale. He directed “The Sorcerer” in 2010, “Pirates of Penzance” in 2008, “H.M.S. Pinafore” in 2006, and “Iolanthe” at the EOH in 2003.

Sets and lighting are by Bill Burd. Heather Bagnall will be designing costumes. Rosemary Jaytanie will accompany on piano. The players are from our own talented central NY community.

Evening performances on Friday and Saturday are at 8 and Sunday’s matinee is at 3. Tickets are $15 for the general public; $13 for EOH members, and $10 for students. Premium charges for the first four rows apply. Choose your seats and buy tickets online at or for more information: call 315-691-3550.

EOH events are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and through the generosity of EOH members.

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