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Opening November 25, 1882, Iolanthe was the first Gilbert and Sullivan opera to premiere at the new Savoy Theatre (simultaneously with its premiere in New York), then a high-tech marvel as the first theater in the world with all-electric lighting. The plot satirizes British government and law with a confrontation between Parliament and fairies, and the new technology was used to light up fairy wands and headdresses. Sullivan himself, rather than an assistant as usual, wrote the brilliant overture.

-David Fick