Pity the plight of the incurable romantic. While it's only natural to make dashing proclamations of adoration when the passion is new, it takes far more effort to sustain those ideals in a long-term relationship. What's a romantic to do when a candlelit dinner for two gives way to microwaved leftovers for a family of five? Such is a question worth pondering when the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company present Patience, or Bunthorne's Bride. Debuted in 1881, the operetta satirized the then-reigning artistic inclination toward aesthetic rapture. Believing art should emphasize beauty above all else, aesthetic artists eschewed the banality of common reality. In the piece, Gilbert and Sullivan lampooned the virtues of aesthetic theory by pitting two swooning poets, both known for extolling the supernatural ecstasy of love, in competition for the humble heart of the village milkmaid. The ensuing courtships, however, are made absurdly complicated by quixotic rules preserving the no doubt impeccable perfection of rarefied love. Mixing a rousing score with a witty libretto, Patience is Gilbert and Sullivan achieving the signature fusion for which their collaborative partnership remains revered. As a first-rate opera company dedicated to the meticulous restoration of the duo's work, the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company should prove an ideal guide for a lighthearted reveal along the perplexing path of romance.
Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 p.m.; Sun., March 11, 1 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: March 9. Continues through April 1, 2012