The Gondoliers

The Plot

Act 1

All the girls in Venice are besotted by Marco and Giuseppe Palmieri, two of the gondoliers, and reject all other offers of love until the brothers are no longer available. Marco and Giuseppe announce that they will pick their brides through a game of blind-man's-buff, and after some crafty play catch Gianetta and Tessa - just the girls they wanted! Amid general rejoicing the couples go off to get married.

The impoverished Duke and Duchess of Plaza-Toro, with their daughter Casilda and their 'suite', Luiz, now arrive in Venice, having made the journey from Spain to seek the husband whom Casilda married in infancy, the son of the King of Barataria. The child was taken from the court by Don Alhambra del Bolero, the Grand Inquisitor of Spain, and brought up as a gondolier, ignorant of his true identity. Now it is time for him to ascend the throne with Casilda at his side. The difficulty is that he is known to be either Marco or Giuseppe, but no one knows which, except the woman who nursed the young Prince, who just happens to be Luiz' mother. The news that Casilda is married sends her and Luiz into despair, for they are secretly in love, but they have to conceal their anguish, and Luiz is despatched to fetch his mother to Barataria.

Don Alhambra reveals to the newly married Marco and Giuseppe that one of them is a King, and that they are both to be taken to Barataria immediately. Though they are both Republicans, they manage to overcome their political scruples and promise to give their friends places at court. After a fond farewell to the girls - for Don Alhambra craftily tells them that ladies are not allowed in court - the men sail off to Barataria.

Act 2

In Act II we see that the gondoliers have quickly set up a relaxed 'Republican Monarchy' where the only pleasure missing is the company of their wives. This is soon remedied by the arrival of all the contadine, but the situation soon gets complicated when Don Alhambra reveals to Marco and Giuseppe that one of them is a bigamist, having been married to Casilda as a baby. This throws everyone into a state of anxiety, except for the Duke and Duchess, who have found a range of money-making methods. Finally Tessa and Gianetta encounter Casilda. Only the arrival of Inez, the former nurse can throw light on the problem and reveal to all the rightful King of Barataria - will it be Marco or Giuseppe?

The Cast

Solo Parts Description 1995 2006
Giuseppe Geoff AllanNeil Edwards
Francesco Keith GearyMatthew Baker
Antonio Tony White
Giorgio Mark HancoxNick Presdee
The Duchess of Plaza-Toro Scilla CopperSarah Bignall
The Duke of Plaza-Toro Chris BailwardChris Bailward
Luiz Simon WillsLloyd Davies
Don Alhambra Del Bolero David MacTierAndrew Armstrong
Marco Andrew ArmstrongJames Craw
Casilda Janet AllanLucy D'Cruz
Gianetta Myfanwy BremberPhilly Fraser
Tessa Linda MumfordAllison Edwards
Fiametta Sheila WillsSarah Fraser
Vittoria Susan WalesCharlotte Allan
Vittoria 2 Ruth Shipley
Giulia Candice MarcusEllie John
Flower Seller Diane Coe
Inez Naomi ThorpScilla Copper
Priest Anthony Holbrook


Photos 1995

Opera Photo Opera Photo

Photos 2006

Opera Photo Opera Photo Opera Photo Opera Photo Opera Photo Opera Photo Opera Photo Opera Photo Opera Photo

Rehearsals 2006

Opera Photo Opera Photo Opera Photo Opera Photo Opera Photo Opera Photo Opera Photo

The Music

Gondoliers MIDI files and Gondoliers NWC files