“We’re called gondolieri, but that’s a vagary,
It’s quite honorary, the trade that we ply.”

—Marco and Giuseppe
The Gondoliers
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?”

—Marco, Giuseppe, Cassida, Gianetta and Tessa
The Gondoliers

The Gondoliers

March 10 to April 2, 2017

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company is pleased to announce that it will present The Gondoliers, from March 10th through April 2nd of 2017.

The performances will be at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, at Plymouth Congregational Church, located at 1900 Nicollet Avenue South, in Minneapolis.

This production of The Gondoliers will be directed by Lesley Hendrickson, with Music Direction by Dr. Randal A. Buikema.

The Gondoliers Cast

The cast for this production of The Gondoliers includes:

The Duke of Plaza-Toro Jim Ahrens
Don Alhambra Del Bolero   Waldyn Benbenek
Marco Palmieri Michael Burton
Giuseppe Palmieri Ryan Johnson
Luiz Philip Eschweiler
Francesco Steven Halloin
Antonio Eric Sorum
Giorgio Doug Freeman
Annibale  Jacob Wellington
Duchess of Plaza-Toro   Katerina Middeldorp
Casilda Cassie Utt
Gianetta Blanka Melbostad
Tessa Maggie Burr
Fiametta Krin McMillan
Giulia Brooke Wahlstrom
Vittoria Lydia Wildes
Inez Deb Haas
Chorus of Gondoliers and Citizens of Venice
Joe Allen Luke McKenty
James Brooks John Orbison
Stephen Hage Eric Pasternack
Andrew “AJ” Herman Richard Rames
Dean Laurance  
Chorus of Contadine and Citizens of Venice
Mary Gregory Anna Maher
Shawn Holt Charlotte Morrison
Kaitlin Klemencic Sarah Shervey
Maddy La Roche Rhea Sullivan
Holly MacDonald  
The Children
Mary Bair Liam Hage

The Gondoliers, or, The King of Barataria, tells the story of two just-married Venetian gondoliers who are informed by the Grand Inquisitor that one of them is actually the King of Barataria, hidden in Venice since infancy. Only their foster mother, presently at large, can identify the king. As Barataria needs its king to put down unrest in the country, they must travel there to reign jointly, leaving their newly-wedded wives behind in Venice. It also turns out that the king was wed in infancy to the beautiful daughter of the Spanish Duke of Plaza Toro, and so it seems he is an unintentional bigamist. Of course, the beautiful daughter is in love with a common servant! When the young Spaniard and the two Venetian wives arrive in Barataria, wanting to know which of them is queen, complications arise. No worries … the true identity of the king is revealed, and all is combed out spectacularly well by the end!

The Gondoliers was Gilbert and Sullivan’s twelfth opera and their last great success. In this opera, Gilbert returns to the satire of class distinctions figuring in many of his earlier librettos. The libretto also reflects Gilbert’s fascination with the “Stock Company Act,” highlighting the absurd convergence of natural persons and legal entities, which plays an even larger role in the next opera, Utopia Limited. As in several of their earlier operas, by setting the work comfortably far away from England, Gilbert was emboldened to direct sharper criticism at the nobility and the institution of the monarchy itself.

The wide popularity of The Gondoliers is attributable to its setting, its delightfully humorous characters, its lilting score, with its sparkling and tuneful music, and to its being the operetta that calls for the most dancing.

The performances will be at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, at Plymouth Congregational Church, located at 1900 Nicollet Avenue South, in Minneapolis.

Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 7:30 p.m.  The Saturday (March 25) and all Sunday matinees are at 2:00.  For a more detailed performance calendar, visit our Tickets page.

If you would like to be notified about when to order tickets, we invite you to add your name to our mailing list. This way we will know how to contact you! We never sell our mailing list to other parties.

Two excellent internet resources for information about The Gondoliers:

Wikipedia – The Gondoliers

The Gilbert & Sullivan Archive – The Gondoliers