The ladies of the Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society are in the process of turning themselves into pre-Raphaelite beauties for the forthcoming production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s ‘Patience’ at Haddo House Hall on April 12th, 13th .and 14th.
The costumes, made by a team led by Heather Munroe, are diaphanous garments in jewel colours and will be adorned with peacock feathers, silks and beads. Their hair will be curled into ringlets, all in an attempt to recreate the look of the aesthetic movement of the 1880s, most famously illustrated in the paintings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
The aesthetes believed that art did not have any practical purpose; it needed only be beautiful. They developed a cult of beauty, which they considered the basic factor of art – life should copy art, they asserted, not the other way around. Oscar Wilde was the most prominent of the poets of the movement.
Gilbert and Sullivan were writing operettas at this time and obviously found the movement a little ridiculous, with their poetic outpourings and dramatic posturings, and wrote ‘Patience’ as a hilarious satire on them. It was the partnership’s first big success, with delightful tunes and catchy duets and ensemble numbers. Although aestheticism is now long gone, the jokes are not lost on us these days; laughing at the pretentious is an enduring sport!
Alice Dennis, who is conducting the show which boasts a professional orchestra said; ‘Everyone is having a real laugh rehearsing this show. We have some very strong actors, including our over dramatic ladies who swoon over every line uttered by the two poets, Bunthorne and Grosvenor, even when their poetry is less than inspiring! Its possibly the funniest of all the G & S operettas. The set and costumes are looking beautiful, its a show not to miss!’
‘Patience’ can be seen at Haddo House Hall on April 12th, 13th and 14th at 7,30pm. Tickets are £18, £15 (concs) and £9 (for primary aged children) and discounts are available for block bookings on application.
‘Friends of HHCOS’ can take up the offer of a reserved comfortable armchair – application forms for ‘Friends’ are found on the Society’s website.
Tickets are on sale now online at www.hhcos.org.uk/boxoffice and on 01651 851111