“We’re called gondolieri, but that’s a vagary,
It’s quite honorary, the trade that we ply.”
The Gondoliers, or, The King of Barataria
March 10 to April 2, 2017
|Stage Director:||Lesley Hendrickson|
|Music Director:||Dr. Randal A. Buikema|
The Gondoliers, first performed in 1889, is probably the most joyous of the G&S operettas. The story starts in Venice on the morning of a double wedding of Marco and Giuseppe Palmieri, brother gondolieri. To be scrupulously impartial (well, maybe), they are about to select their wives though a game of blindman’s bluff. No sooner are the lucky and agreeable girls swept off to be married when they receive the startling news that one of the couples is about to become the new king and queen of Barataria. Of course, there are complications (it’s only Act I!) and soon the lovers are parted. In Act II, the revelation of an unexpected prior claim on one of the bridegrooms throws everyone into confusion and despair until the deus ex machina appears with an unexpected – and perfect – resolution. So, pretty much par for the course as operetta goes.
In 1891, The Gondoliers was honored as the very first theatrical performance requested by Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle after the death of her beloved Prince Albert, nine years earlier. It is said that the cheerful quartet about the potential joys of being “a right-down regular royal queen” became a special favorite. Clearly, the queen was amused. We hope you will be, too.
Ryan Johnson as Giuseppe Palmieri,
Two excellent internet resources for information about The Gondoliers:
Poster design by Tom McGregor and Mary Olson
“O moralists all, how can you call
Marriage a state of unitee,
When excellent husbands are bisected,
And wives divisible into three?
O moralists all, how can you call
Marriage a state of union true?
When half of myself has married one-third of ye or you?”