It is often said that Gilbert & Sullivan have no relevance in the modern world, I would tend to disagree!! The G&S Operas were satires on the Victorian way of life and the way that every new thing became the latest obsession, not unlike today! Patience is about two men being in love with the same woman! One has all the other young women in the village hanging on to his every word, even though what he says is nonsense (a certain politician springs to mind, there are no prizes for the correct answer!!), the other is an idealist who has only become a poet to win the girl! Patience, a simple milkmaid, has no interest in poetry or indeed the poets. Patience learns that to be truly in love it must be completely unselfish–it must wither and sting and burn! The military suitors who, before the arrival of the “Poets” had an understanding with the ladies of the village don’t see the point to aesthetics, but they decide to give poetry a try to win the women’s hearts. It is touch and go for a while, but everyone ends up with a suitable partner, even if it is only a tulip or lily!
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