MARQUETTE – The aesthetic poetry movement was all the rage in Britain in the 1800s, but it will be the subject of a satirical opera at Northern Michigan University titled Patience: Or Bunthorne’s Bride. Performances of this Gilbert and Sullivan work will be held May 18-20 at Forest Roberts Theatre.
The opera portrays the story of Reginald Bunthorne, an aesthetic poet who is worshipped by all of the ladies in town. But Bunthorne is in love with Patience, a milkmaid. Archibald Grosvenor, another aesthetic poet, competes with Bunthorne for Patience’s devotion while a brigade of military officers become increasingly frustrated over losing the affections of the ladies to the poets.
Several NMU students and community members are included in the cast. Susan Boyle, a junior at Marquette Senior High School, will sing the role of Patience. Bunthorne will be played by NMU alumnus Rusty Bowers, and Grosvenor will be portrayed by Adam Blackmer-Joynt, an NMU freshman from Cadillac, Mich.
The ladies Angela, Saphir and Ella will be sung by Diane Elise Neighmond, junior Stacey Beary from LaFox, Ill., and sophomore Emily Strazzinski from Gwinn. Senior Ryan Werdon from Lake Odessa, Mich., will play Colonel Calverley, and junior Brandon Salo from Marquette will play Major Murgatroyd.
Andrew Rodgers, a senior from Olivet, Mich., will portray The Duke, and Julie Williams will play Lady Jane.
“There are a lot of common threads in character and plot that have been seen in past Gilbert and Sullivan productions here,” said Rob Engelhart, director and conductor. “But ‘Patience’ stands out because of its satirical theme. We’ve changed a few lines to make them more modern and funny, and I’m anticipating a positive audience response.”
‘Patience’ will be performed at 7:30 p.m. May 18-20. There will also be a 1 p.m. matinee on Saturday, May 20. Tickets are $13 for adults and $8 for senior citizens and children under 13. A group ticket price of $4 is available for senior citizen groups of 15 or more and for groups of 15 or more children under 13 who are accompanied by adults.
Tickets may be purchased at any EZ ticket outlet or by contacting 227-1032. Purchases may also be done online at http://www.nmu.edu/tickets/special.html. For more information, contact Engelhart at 227-1038.