Fetch a boater and slap on some suntan lotion! The next stop is Venice where we join two handsome brothers, Marco and Giuseppe Palmieri, choosing their brides from endless swarm of eager women. These two gondoliers along with ladies they chose, Tessa and Gianetta, have a double wedding and all is well with the happy newlyweds. Elsewhere, the Duke and Duchess of Plaza Toro have arrived from Spain with their beautiful daughter Casilda and drummer, Luiz, to meet with the the Grand Inquisitor of Spain. It is here that they reveal to Casilda that she was married to the Prince of Barataria when they were infants and that when the King of Barartaria became a Wesleyan Methodist and was killed in an insurrection, the baby bridegroom was stolen by the Inquisition. She was technically now the Queen and it was time to meet her husband! When the Grand Inquisitor arrives, he explains that the boy was raised secretly by a Gondolier, Baptisto Plamieri, who had a son the same age as the Prince, however Baptisto was a drunk who eventually forgot which of the boys was his son and which was the Prince. Marco and Giuseppe are told that they need to go to Barataria and rule as one until the Prince’s former nurse arrives to distinguish the two apart. Meanwhile, Casilda and Luiz are in love and lament over the fact that she is already married and that they cannot be together. The Palmieri brothers are forced to part with their wives and only told three months later when Tessa and Gianetta have travelled to Barataria that whoever is the true King is already married to Casilda! What will the former nurse reveal to them when she arrives? Will the three couples be able to have their happy endings?
Considered to be the last of the most successful G&S operas, this 1889 work came after ‘The Yeomen of the Guard’, was followed by ‘Utopia, Limited’ and was the twelfth collaboration between Gilbert and Sullivan. ‘The Gondoliers’ featured the usual satirical libretto and issues of social classes that was a common in Gilbert’s work, and enjoyed relative success.
Our society has performed ‘The Gondoliers’ five times since 1977. To see the full page for the year you’re interested in, click on the relevant image below. To view the image galleries, head over to our Main Show page.
Click on an image and then click again on the caption to be taken to the page for that production.