Set in The Piazetta, Venice, “The Gondoliers” opens with the chorus of Contadine awaiting Marco and Giuseppe Palmieri, their favourite gondoliers, to come and choose brides.
Enter the chorus of gondoliers, led by Antonio; they are selflessly content tp wait for the remaining girls. Marco and Giuseppe enter and they and the girls greet each other. They announce their intention of choosing two brides, but tactfully ask to be blindfolded so that fate can decide their choice. After a game of blind man’s buff, in which there is a certain amount of cheating, Marco catches Gianetta and Giuseppe catches Tessa.
The Duke and Duchess of Plaza-Toro, with their daughter, Casilda, and their attendant, Luiz, arrive. The Duke and Duchess tell Casilda that she was married, as a baby, to the infant future King of Barataria, who was abducted soon afterwards and brought to Venice. He has now unknowingly succeeded to the throne.
Immediately the Duke and Duchess have departed, Luiz and Casilda rush into each other’s arms and she tells him of her newly discovered marital status. The Grand Inquisitor of Spain arrives with the news that the new ruler of Barataria is here in Venice, living as a common gondolier with his supposed brother.
At their departure, the chorus enter, singing the joys of the newly celebrated double marriage. Don Alhambra overhears that Marco and Guiseppe are married and also that they are republicans. He explains that one of them is a king, but suggests royalty is incompatible with their republican ideals. In Gilbert’s world, however, ideals can quickly change with altered circumstances, so the gondoliers decide to sail immediately to claim their kingdom jointly and “abolish taxes and make everything cheap, except gondolas”. Don Alhambra forbids the girls to accompany them until the identity of the king is discovered. The gondoliers depart by boat leaving the contadine.
Act II sees Marco and Giuseppe ensconced, regally attired, in Barataria, busily cleaning the royal regalia and surrounded by their court of gondoliers who are amusing themselves without any social distinctions. On cue, Tessa and Gianetta run in, with the contadine. They are enthusiastically welcomed and are celebrating with a dance when they are interrupted by Don Alhambra, horrified at the brazen lack of social distinctions. He reveals that one of the two gondoliers is married to Casilda much to the horror of Tessa and Gianetta.
Finally all is resolved by Inez, the infant prince’s nurse who reveals the truth in true Gilbert and Sullivan style.
|Production Team||Director||Bob Brewster|
|Musical Director||John Browning|
|Production Co-ordinator||Arthur Mead|
|Stage Manager||Neil Weatharill|
|Design Team||Wardrobe Mistress||Brenda Orford|
|Scenic Design||Ian Ferguson|
|Lighting Design||Peter Hart|
|Don Alhambra||Jack Baker|
|Team||Chorus Mistress||Moira Robinson|
|Scenic Construction||Tom Hand|
|Scenic Artist||Ian Ferguson|
|Orchestra Convenor||Margaret Baillie|
|Rehearsal Pianist||Nylma Carruthers|
|Front of House||Rod Birch|
|Ticket Secretaries||Doris Baker|
|Publicity and Promotions||Peter Hart|
|Scenery Painting||Bill Hartley|
|Orchestra||1st Violin||Mustapha Abed|
|2nd Violin||Doris Boyce|
|Pianist||Dorothy De La Rue|
|Venue||Karingal High School|