The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin
Princess Ida 2013

Princess IdaThe Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin proudly presented Princess Ida, or Castle Adamant as our Summer Grand Production of 2013. We performed this classic, which was Arthur Sullivan & W. S. Gilbert’s eighth comic opera out of fourteen, for the first time in our history. Nine performances were presented, June 13-23 at the Worley Barton Theater at Brentwood Christian School. See photos | Watch videos

Thank you to all the performers, crew, the Gillman Light Opera Orchestra, sponsors, volunteers, Society members, and record setting audiences for making this year's premiere of Princess Ida such a wonderful success.

Artistic Director Ralph MacPhail, Jr., Music Director Jeffrey Jones-Ragona, and Production Manager Bill Hatcher - along with a remarkable cast, orchestra and crew - created a show full of joy and delight.

Princess Ida cast & crew Click to see larger image

The two kingsThis melodic and hilarious comic opera features proto-feminist Princess Ida, the daughter of King Gama. The princess has founded a women's university from which all men are barred, and she and her faculty teach that women are superior to men and should rule in their stead. Romantic Prince Hilarion, to whom Ida had been engaged in infancy, sneaks into the university along with two friends with the aim of claiming Hilarion’s bride. They disguise themselves as women students but are soon discovered, their male invasion instigating a hilarious war between the sexes.

Princess Ida satirizes feminism, women’s education, masculine pugnacity and militarism, grand opera, and Darwinian evolution, some of which were controversial topics in conservative Victorian England. It is based on a narrative poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson called “The Princess” (1847); Gilbert had written a farcical musical play based on the poem in 1870. In 1884, he lifted much of the dialogue of Princess Ida directly from his 1870 farce.

This is the only three-act Gilbert & Sullivan opera. Princess Ida opened at the Savoy Theatre on January 5, 1884, for a run of 246 performances, and since that time it has never been out of the standard repertory of Gilbert & Sullivan (or Savoy) operas throughout the English-speaking world.

The 2012-2013 season B. Iden Payne Awards ceremony was held November 5, 2013 and our own Michelle Haché won the Outstanding Lead Actress in Musical Theater award for her role as Princess Ida. Jeffrey Jones-Ragona was nominated for Outstanding Music Direction for his wonderful work as musical director. Congratulations to Michelle and Jeffrey! Click here for a complete list of winners and nominees. Click here to see some photos from the ceremony. Click here to see our winners and nominees from previous years.
King Hildebrand (bass-baritone)
Hilarion, King Hildebrand's Son (lyric-tenor)
Cyril, Hilarion's Friend (tenor)
Florian, Hilarion's Friend (tenor)
King Gama (comic baritone)
Arac, King Gama's Son (bass)
Guron, King Gama's Son (bass-baritone)
Scynthius, King Gama's Son (bass-baritone)
Princess Ida, King Gama's Daughter (dramatic-soprano)
Lady Blanche, Professor of Abstract Science (contralto)
Lady Psyche, Professor of Humanities (soprano)
Melissa, Lady Blanche's Daughter (mezzo-soprano)
Sacharissa, Girl Graduate (soprano)
Chloe, Girl Graduate (speaking role/chorus)
Ada, Girl Graduate (speaking role/chorus)
Girl Graduates
Daughters of the Plough


REVIEWS by Jeff Davis

Watch Videos
Watch video clips from the DVD of Princess Ida.
Watch the Princess Ida preview with Ralph MacPhail, Jr.
Watch Video
Artistic Director Ralph MacPhail, Jr. previews Princess Ida.
Click to watch video preview of Princess Ida
Michelle Hache (Princess Ida) viideo interview
Watch Video
Michelle Haché (Princess Ida) ATXclassical interview.
If You Missed Opening Weekend Video
Watch Video
"If you missed the opening weekend of Princess Ida"
Princess Ida YNN Commercial
Watch Video
Time Warner Cable, YNN
30 Second TV Spot
Read the Austin Chronicle interview with Ralph MacPhail, Jr.
Read Article
Robert Faires of the Austin Chronicle interviews Ralph MacPhail, Jr.


Cast List & Crew

Princess Ida Playbill
Read Playbill
Recent Summer Productions
Patience - 2012
The Mikado - 2011
The Yeomen of the Guard - 2010
Iolanthe - 2009
The Pirates of Penzance - 2008
Ruddigore - 2007
Media Sponsors
Media Materials
Press Release (pdf)
Press Photo (jpg)
Press Art (jpg)
Poster (pdf)

The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin

PO Box 684542 / Austin, Texas / 78768-4542 / 512.472.4772 /

This project is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at



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