Original production directed and staged by Moss Hart
Based on The Once and Future King by T.H. White
The performance is approximately 2 hours, 50 minutes, including one intermission.
Pacific Opera Victoria and the Victoria Symphony present a great classic musical, Lerner and Loewe's Camelot.
Here is the magical tale of the court of King Arthur and the forbidden love of Sir Lancelot and Queen Guenevere, with a score that brims with both comedy ("I Wonder What the King is Doing Tonight"; "The Simple Joys of Maidenhood") and romance ("If Ever I Would Leave You"; "I Loved You Once in Silence").
With the Victoria Symphony and the Pacific Opera Chorus
Scenic elements courtesy The Opera Shop
Read an interview with Conductor Giuseppe Pietraroia as he explains to Keagan Hawthorne of NEXUS Newspaper why Camelot is still so popular and so relevant.
Music has always been a great healer ... something that we can come back to. There were a lot of great works that were written and inspired by tragic events, because it becomes a great consolation. One of the reasons for Camelot's enduring popularity is its ability to present the good alongside the bad, a fusion very true to life. And it leaves us on an upbeat note.
Times Colonist Preview: Michael D. Reid discusses the semi-staged concert production of Camelot.
With its lush, magnificently melodic score, it's no wonder Camelot reigned as one of Broadway's most ambitious and popular shows ... The sense of passion, pageantry and betrayal so integral to this theatrical colossus will remain intact ... with both cast and orchestra, conducted by Giuseppe Pietraroia, on stage.
The people of Camelot gather to greet Guenevere, their king's new bride. Meanwhile, Arthur, the prospective bridegroom, hides nervously in a tree, waiting for a glimpse of this woman he has never met. His tutor, Merlyn, tells him to go to the castle and behave like a proper king. But Arthur stays hidden, wondering what his subjects think of him and admitting he is terrified of getting married.
Guenevere appears, complaining that she's losing out on all the ordinary, bloodthirsty joys of maidenhood – she wants knights to fight and kill for her. When Arthur falls out of his tree, she is first frightened and then insulted that he doesn't plan to take advantage of her. Guenevere begins to realize this stranger is rather nice and suggests they run away together. As Arthur rhapsodizes about the wonders of Camelot, his servants arrive, and Guenevere clues in that her new friend is the King. The couple go happily off, with Arthur determined to be the wisest, most heroic king ever.
Five years later, Arthur establishes a new order of shining knights who are devoted not to war, but to chivalry, good deeds, and snuffing out evil. Knights from far and wide come to Camelot to join the Order of the Round Table. One of them, Lancelot du Lac, arrives from France. He has never lost a battle and never been in love; he's pure and powerful and full of himself. Everyone but Arthur is put off by the newcomer's pretentious attitude. Guenevere incites three knights, Dinadan, Sagramore, and Lionel, to challenge Lancelot to a joust. But Lancelot defeats them handily, finally running Sir Lionel through with his spear. Lionel miraculously recovers when Lancelot prays over him. Soon Arthur cannot help noticing that Guenevere and Lancelot have fallen in love with one another.
Years pass. Although there are rumours about Guenevere and Lancelot, Arthur says nothing, and the two continue to silently love one another. Arthur's illegitimate son, Mordred, arrives in Camelot and schemes to destroy the Round Table. One day as Arthur is hunting with King Pellinore, Mordred appears and challenges Arthur to prove that Lancelot and Guenevere will remain virtuous if he's not around. Arthur sends word to the castle that he will be away for the whole night.
Lancelot visits Guenevere's bedchamber, where the couple are interrupted by Mordred and a group of knights. Although Lancelot escapes, Guenevere is tried for treason and sentenced to be burned at the stake. Arthur is torn between upholding the law and saving the woman he loves, but Lancelot arrives with an army in time to rescue the queen. However, many knights are killed, and Arthur realizes his dream of peace is broken: his knights want revenge, and he must go to war against Lancelot.
Before the battle, Arthur meets Lancelot and Guenevere and forgives them both. Guenevere leaves for a convent while Lancelot returns to his troops. Arthur comes across a young boy who has been inspired by stories of the knights and their ideals of chivalry. Arthur knights him and tells him to return to England to keep alive the story of Camelot.