Mercer Opera Makes Music with Gilbert and Sullivan Satire ‘Iolanthe’


MACON – Mercer University Opera, a program of Townsend School of Music, presents the Gilbert and Sullivan satire “Iolanthe” Jan. 17-20 in Neva Langley Fickling Hall in the McCorkle Music Building. Dr. Martha Malone, professor of music and chair of the vocal department at Townsend, directs the production with Dr. Richard Kosowski, assistant professor of music, as conductor. Performances run Jan. 17-19 at 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 20 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door for adults and free with Mercer I.D. or any student I.D. from school or university. For more information call (478) 301-5751 or visit

“'Iolanthe' is a comedy, but it includes some profoundly beautiful music along with the catchy tunes you expect from Gilbert and Sullivan,” Dr. Malone said. “Classical music fans will enjoy discovering the witty musical references to Wagner, Mendelssohn and Bach in the score.”

The title character, Iolanthe, is a fairy, who married a lord, and the story's hero is her son, who is a fairy from the waist up, but whose legs are mortal. The story pits the Queen of the Fairies against the Lord Chancellor. The fairies battle the peers for control of the House of Parliament in England with hilarious results.

“We have updated some of the political references to reflect America's current political landscape so it has an added layer of humor,” Dr. Malone said.

About Townsend School of Music
Mercer University's Townsend School of Music, the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Studies offer undergraduate and graduate professional music studies in a comprehensive university environment. Townsend is nationally recognized for its outstanding faculty, award-winning students, performance ensembles and state-of-the-art facilities. The McDuffie Center, a special institute within Townsend School of Music, is a highly selective program that prepares string students for success in the real world. Students study with some of America's most renowned string musicians, receiving music instruction of conservatory quality, while earning an academically well-rounded education from a comprehensive, nationally recognized university. For more information and a complete listing of this season's concerts please visit or call (478) 301-5751.