1981 – The Gondoliers

The Gondoliers

by W.S.Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.

Monday, 2nd to Saturday, 7th November, 1981
South Side Hall, North Worcestershire College, Bromsgrove.

Cast And Credits

  • Stage Director: Keith Williams
  • Musical Director: Janet Bubb
  • Marco Palmieri: Tim Kingscote Davies
  • Guiseppe Palmieri: Martin Rutter
  • Gianetta: Pat Laboda
  • Tessa: Ruth Henley
  • The Duke of Plaza-Toro: George Brooks
  • The Duchess of Plaza-Toro: Sheila Skinner
  • Casilda: Joyce Cochrane
  • Luiz: Hugh Johnson
  • Don Alhambra Del Bolero: Jim Brook
  • Inez: Alyson Williams
  • Antonio: David J. Bubb
  • Francesco: David Pavely
  • Annibale: Ray Letts
  • Fiametta: Joanne Ludlow
  • Vittoria: Anne Brooks
  • Giulia: Suzanne Letts


The two Gondoliers, Marco and Guiseppe, who are much admired by all the Venetian flower-girls, choose as their brides Gianetta and Tessa. No sooner is the marriage ceremony completed than the Don Alhambra arrives to inform Marco and Guiseppe that one of them is no gondolier but the son of the late King of Barataria and the next in succession to the throne. There are two important circumstances one of which the Don tells the Gondoliers but the second he keeps to himself. First he tells them that although one is now the King, the Don cannot tell which it is. The former nurse who had the keeping of the infant prince has been sent for to make the identification but until this takes place both are to reign jointly. The second aspect that the Don does not tell the King, whichever one it is, is that he was married in babyhood to a Spanish Lady – Casilda – the only daughter of the Duke of Plaza – Toro.

The Don persuades the gondoliers that lades are at present ‘not admitted’ into Barataria and the first act closes with the gondoliers and their friends departing for Barataria.

In the meantime, the Duke has arrived in Venice in a very impoverished state with his Duchess, his daughter and one attendant, Luiz. Luiz is very much in love with Casilda but his suit is rejected when Casilda learns of her true identity – the Queen of Barataria.

Three months later, we find the Gondoliers has remodelled the Court of Barataria on Republican lines and all are now of equal rank. Court life palls and the Gondoliers long for the company of their wives. The reunion part is broken up by the Don who is not all all in agreement with the changes made to court.

Then comes the Duke, Duchess and Casilda for the coronation ceremony and the Don is compelled to the consternation of the Gondoliers, to admit that the King ‘whichever you are’ is already married.

The climax to the opera is reached when the nurse Inez arrives to make the identification of the real King.

Song List


Act 1:

  • List and Learn, Ye Dainty Roses (Contadine, Gondoliers, Antonio, Marco & Giuseppe)
  • From the Sunny Spanish Shore (Duke, Duchess, Casilda & Luiz)
  • In Enterprise of Martial Kind (Duke & Chorus)
  • O Rapture (Casilda & Luiz)
  • There Was a Time (Casilda & Luiz)
  • I Stole the Prince (Don Alhambra, Duke, Duchess, Casilda & Luiz)
  • But, Bless my Heart (Casilda & Don Alhambra)
  • Try We Long Life (Duke, Duchess, Casilda, Luiz & Grand Inquisitor)
  • Bridegroom and Bride (Chorus)
  • When a Merry Maiden Marries (Tessa & Chorus)
  • Kind Sir, You Cannot Have the Heart (Gianetta)
  • Then One of Us Will Be Queen (Marco, Giuseppe, Gianetta & Tessa)

Act 2:

  • Of Happiness The Very Pith (Marco, Giuseppe & Chorus)
  • Rising Early in the Morning (Giuseppe & Chorus)
  • Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes (Marco)
  • Here We Are at the Risk of our Lives (Fiametta, Vittoria, Gianetta & Chorus)
  • Dance a Cachucha (Chorus)
  • There Lived a King (Don Alhambra, Marco & Giuseppe)
  • In a Contemplative Fashion (Marco, Giuseppe, Gianetta & Tessa)
  • With Ducal Pomp (Duke, Duchess & Chorus)
  • On Day When When I Was Wedded (Duchess)
  • To Help Happy Commoners (Duke)
  • I am a Courtier (Duke, Duchess, Marco & Giuseppe)
  • Here is a Case Unprecedented (Marco, Giuseppe, Casilda, Tessa & Company)