Opera della Luna mounts Lionel Monckton and Howard Talbot's The Arcadians
Now here’s a way to solve our present ills: A world where no one tells lies, where money is unknown, and employment is unnecessary. What if champions of this way of life arrived in London to convert the inhabitants? What could possibly go wrong?
The Edwardians knew a thing or two about the battle between cynicism and simplicity. And Monckton and Talbot knew how to create a success. The stirring overture, operatic finales and wonderfully tuneful score made The Arcadians an instant hit and its tale of innocent ambassadors from a forgotten pastoral paradise sent to improve wicked London struck a chord in a society whose carefree hours were numbered. First performed in London in 1909 it is generally acknowledged to be the finest of Edwardian musical comedies, both reflecting the work of Gilbert and Sullivan and foreshadowing some of the great operettas and musicals of the twentieth century. it was immensely successful both in London and on Broadway and toured the English provinces for ten years.
The Arcadians was popular with amateur theatre groups throughout the 20th century and Opera della Luna are presenting the first professional performance for decades. A semi-staged concert performance, it will have revised dialogue by Jeff Clarke, and new orchestration by David Russell Hulme.
The Opera della Luna production of Lionel Monckton and Howard Talbot’s The Arcadians can be seen at London's Wilton’s Music Hall on August 1.