For its 70th season Bath G&S Society presents The Gondoliers or The King of Barataria, one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular comic operas. The opera featured during the society’s 1944-5 season and has been performed by the group on five previous occasions. The fully-staged production will run from 27th – 30th May at the Wroughton Theatre, King Edward’s School.
The Gondoliers Venetian setting is one of the most colourful of any of the operas, and the score contains a string of delightful melodies including several dance numbers, most notably the toe-tapping ‘Cachucha’. The opera also features one the most famous romantic tenor arias ‘Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes’. After the serious themes of Yeomen of the Guard, Gilbert returns to his topsy-turvy best with a plot that includes baby swapping, mistaken identities and concealed relationships. Full of wit and charm, his satirical targets are egalitarianism, republicanism and the institutions of monarchy.
The Gondoliers was the twelfth opera in the series, and 125 years ago it was well into its opening run at the Savoy Theatre. The first performance took place on December 7, 1889 – 553 more performances followed and it was the last of the G&S operas that would achieve wide popularity.
The opera follows the tale of Marco and Giuseppe Palmieri, two newly married, gondolier brothers who discover that one of them, though it is unknown which, is the heir to the throne of the far away kingdom of Barataria. The brothers’ new brides are excited over the possibility of being Queen until they discover that the King was married to someone else.
The production will showcase the talents of over 40 singers and musicians who will present 4 fully-staged performances at The Wroughton Theatre, King Edward’ School from 27th to 30th May. Wednesday to Friday performances will start at 7.30 pm, the Saturday performance at 2.30 pm (no evening performance).
The principal line-up is as follows: Duke of Plaza Toro (John Ditcham), Duchess of Plaza Toro (Audrey Hutchison), Casilda (Francesca Costigan), Luiz (Dave Key-Pugh), Don Alhambra (Nick Lee), Marco (Philip Styles), Giuseppe (Matt Dauncey), Gianetta (Penny Withers), Tessa (Sarah Nash), Fiametta (Becky Marks), Vittoria (Anita Butera), Giulia (Esther Lamin), Antonio (Steve Donovan), Francesco (Jonny Scaramanga), Giorgio (Paul Dyson), Inez (Barbara Goldsack).
Viv Jackson, returns to direct her fourth production for the society and musical direction will be in the capable hands once again of Kerry Bishop. Delia Lee choreographs.
For tickets contact the Society on 01225 400295 or Bath Box Office on 01225 463362. Further details also available on the Society’s website: www.bathgands.co.uk .