Q&A with the Artistic Director of Iolanthe in Concert

Tarantara Productions returns with Iolanthe in Concert in the New Year. Ahead of their visit we spoke to Artistic Director William Relton about the operetta.

Gilbert And Sullivan.

Why did you choose to perform Iolanthe this year?

It’s still a very popular Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. The overture is one of the very best, and there are all sorts of other goodies and treats in it. As it is a very keen, sharp satire on politics, with all the bizarre things going on in the political world at the moment it seems to us to be more topical than ever.

How have you brought your own interpretation to this production?

At the moment we are still exploring semi-staging, so there are no sets for this production but the team will be beautifully costumed. The real advantage of semi-staging is that it gives the audience a chance to really concentrate on the words and music. We will be presenting Iolanthe in a simple but clear and effective staging which allows this great piece to speak directly to the audience.

What is it about Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas that still appeal to audiences after all these years?

Quality! Gorgeous music and wonderfully witty lyrics and dialogue. It’s as simple as that. They were the masters of their craft and have inspired so many other composers and librettists that came after them. They created a collection of excellent satires that are still potent after over a century and a quarter.

Why should people come and see this production?

Opportunities to see Gilbert and Sullivan performed at this high professional level are becoming rarer and rarer, sadly. Don’t miss this chance to experience Iolanthe with a professional orchestra and some of the best singers of this repertoire in the country.

You’re returning following your production of H.M.S Pinafore last year, what do you like about coming to Chichester?

The audiences in Chichester really know and love their G&S. Performing HMS Pinafore at CFT felt like we were home so we're very much looking forward to performing at the Theatre once again.

Iolanthe in Concert is performed on 21 January in the Festival Theatre. Find out more about the show.