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The Gondoliers


Sat 22 Aug 2015, 2:00pm–4:30pm
Sat 22 Aug 2015, 7:30pm–10:00pm

Where: Little Theatre, 2 Queens Dr, Lower Hutt, Wellington Region

Restrictions: All Ages

Listed by: MarjorieMckee

The Gondoliers is a joyful farce in Comic Opera playing havoc with social and aristocratic conventions and is a late work from the brilliant collaborations of Sir William Gilbert with Sir Arthur Sullivan. Of all their 14 operettas it contains the most appealing and memorable of Sullivan’s music, ranging from the tender to the exuberant. The music includes a variety of dance forms including the gloriously foot-tapping castanet rhythms of the Cachucha.

This touring production by WGSLO yet again brings you the full impact of the music through a cast of over 30 singers accompanied by 26 piece orchestra to Sullivan’s full orchestration. This ensemble, including 11 string players, performs under the baton of seasoned Music Director Hugh McMillan. The production is directed by Wayne Morris, who returns to New Zealand after more than two decades of professional directing and operatic roles in England, continental Europe and on international tours, most recently with Diva Opera of London. Wardrobe, stage scenery and properties are presented in full without concessions to touring convenience. This continues the emphasis on authentic presentation in the best D’Oyly Carte Savoy Opera tradition as brought to you through recent WGSLO touring productions including Pirates of Penzance , the double bill HMS Pinafore and Trial by Jury and in 2014 The Mikado.

The opera opens in a sunny canal-side setting where we meet the Palmieri brothers, excellent gondoliers and eligible bachelors whom the local contadine fuss over and contrive to marry. An aristocratic party arrives from Spain, led by the pompous but impoverished Duke of Plaza-Toro. He proposes to make good by being corporatised and by the arranged marriage of his daughter to the heir to the wealthy throne of Barataria. There is confusion over the identity of the heir, revealed to be one or other of our two gallant gondolieri. They both take interim reign in Barataria leaving their new wives behind. Democrats and socialists at heart, their principles make a comic shambles of the Royal Court. All marriage bonds and protocols are restored when the true heir is otherwise revealed, with celebration concluding in a jubilant dance reprise.