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LogoUtopia Limited

or The Flowers of Progress

Words by W.S. Gilbert : Music by Sir Arthur Sullivan

First produced Savoy Theatre - October 7, 1893 (245 perfs)


Utopia is a paradise island where lazy, languor describes the pace of life. However, this particular Eden had not one, but three, serpents - Scaphio and Phantis, the wily and malevolent Wise Men who control all King Paramount's actions; and Tarara, the Public Exploder, ever ready to "blow up" the King in order to ascend the throne himself.

The King's admiration of all things English has led him to introduce Lady Sophy, "a grave and good and gracious English lady" as governess to his younger daughters, Nekaya and Kalba. His deep regard for this lady is not returned as her susceptibilities are offended by the scurrilous tales regarding the King's behaviour which appear in The Palace Peeper - ironically, written by the King himself at the instigation of Scaphio and Phantis.

Princess Zara, the King's eldest daughter, has been educated at Cambridge and during Act I returns home, bringing with her Captain Fitzbattleaxe, with whom she is in love, and five other--Flowers of Progress - who epitomise all the qualities which have helped to make England a powerful, happy and blameless country! The Princess becomes the admired source of conflict between Scaphio and Phantis. When she learns of their control over her father, she recommends that he allow the Flowers of Progress to take over the running of the island, and, under the guidance of Mr. Goldbury, the King declares the island a "Company Limited".

Act II and the King presides over a most unusual Cabinet Council and later over a formal Drawing Room. Scaphio and Phantis are by now full of chagrin and rage for their influence and profit has totally dissolved, and after unsuccessfully threatening the King, they plot with Tarara how to redress the situation. Mr. Goldbury and Lord Dramaleigh turn their attentions to dispersing the excessive modesty so far displayed by the younger Princesses, to the great delight of the girls. Meanwhile the King is now able to reveal to Lady Sophy the truth about the articles in the Palace Peeper - and they are rapturously united.

Just as all seems happiest, the three conspiritors return with a rebellious crowd, tired of the perfection brought about by the Flowers of Progress. The ugly moment is quickly dispelled as Zara recalls the "most essential element" of England's greatness, so far not introduced.

What it is is left for you to discover.

Musical Numbers

  1. Opening Chorus - "In lazy langour - motionless"
  2. Solo: Phylla with Chorus - "The song of birds in ivied towers"
  3. Chorus: - "O make way for the Wise Men"
  4. Duet: Scaphio and Phantis - "In every mental lore"
  5. Duet: Scaphio and Pantis - "Let all your doubts take wing"
  6. Chorus: - "Quaff the nectar - cull the roses"
  7. Song and Recit: King and Chorus - "A King of autocratic power we"
  8. Chorus: - "How fair! How modest! How discreet!"
  9. Duet: Nekaya and Lalyba - "Although of native maids the cream"
  10. Recit and Song: Lady Sophy with Chorus - "This morning we propose to illustrate"
  11. Song: King - "First you're born - and I'll be bound you …"
  12. Duet: King and Lady Sophy - "Subjected to your heavenly gaze"
  13. Chorus 0f Girls: "O maiden rich"
  14. Solo: Princess Zara and Chorus - "Five years have flown since I took wing"
  15. Duet: Zara and Fitzbattleaxe - "Ah! Gallant soldier brave and true"
  16. Quartet: Fitzbattleaxe, Zara, Scaphio and Phantis - "It's understood, I think, all round"
  17. Duet: Zara and Fitzbattleaxe - "Oh admirable art!"
  18. Song: Zara "Youth is a boon avowed"
  19. Finale Act I - "Although your royal summons to appear"
  20. Recit and Song: Fitzbattleaxe - "A tenor all singers above"
  21. Duet: Zara and Fitzbattleaxe - "Words of love too loudly spoken"
  22. Chorus: "When the fire-flies dance in the dark"
  23. Song: King with chorus - "Society has quite forsaken all her wicked courses"
  24. Recit: King - "This ceremonial wish displays"
  25. Chorus: "Eagle high in cloudland soaring"
  26. Duet: Scaphio and Phantis - "With fury deep we burn"
  27. Trio: Scaphio, Phantis and King - "If you think when banded in unity"
  28. Trio: Scaphio, Phantis and Tarara - "With wily brain upon the spot"
  29. Song: Mr Goldbury - "A wonderful joy our eyes to bless"
  30. Quartet: Nekaya, Kalyba, Lord Dramaleigh, Mr Goldbury - "Then I may sing and play?"
  31. Recit and Song: Lady Sophy - "When but a maid of fifteen years"
  32. Duet: King and Lady Sophy - "Oh, the rapture unrestrained"
  33. Chorus: "Upon our sea-girt land"
  34. Finale Act II - "There's a little group of isles beyond the wave"


(in order of appearance)
Phylla - Utopian Maiden
Calynx - Utopian Vice- Chamberlain
Salata - Utopian Maiden
Melene - Utopian Maiden
Tarara - Public Exploder
Scaphio - Judge of the Utopian Supreme Court
Phantis - the same
King Paramount of Utopia
Nekaya - Younger sister to Princess Zara
Kalbya - Youngest sister to Princess Zara
Lady Sophy - their English Governess
Princess Zara - Eldest of King Paramount's daughters
Captain Fitzbattleaxe - First Life Guards
Sir Bailey Barre QC, MP - British Lord Chamberlain
Mr Blushington - of the County Council
Mr Goldbury - Company promoter
Capt. Sir Edward Corcoran KCB - of the Royal Navy

The Flowers of Progress and members of the chorus.

Act 1

A Utopian Palm Grove

Act II

Throne Room in King Paramount's Palace