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

—Marco and Giuseppe
The Gondoliers
The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company's Production of

The Gondoliers, or, The King of Barataria

March 10 to April 2, 2017

Photo Gallery


Gondoliers Program

The Gondoliers Cast

The Gondoliers was the winner of the 2017 BroadwayWorld Minneapolis Awards for Best Lighting Design!

Our production of The Gondoliers was dedicated to the memory of long-time company member, violinist Amy Tobin.


Stage Director: Lesley Hendrickson
Music Director: Dr. Randal A. Buikema

Director’s Notes

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.

Lesley Hendrickson

The Gondoliers

Ryan Johnson as Giuseppe Palmieri,
Maggie Burr as Tessa,
Blanka Melbostad as Gianetta and
Michael Burton as Marco Palmieri

The Gondoliers Reviews

Two excellent internet resources for information about The Gondoliers:

The Gondoliers 2017 Show Poster

Show Poster

Poster design by Tom McGregor and Mary Olson

The Gondoliers 2017 Company Photo

Company Photo

Photography by David Grupa Portrait

“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