Words by W.S. Gilbert
Music by Sir Arthur Sullivan
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 conspirators 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.
Music includes:In Lazy Languor Motionless