The Gondoliers: Gilbert and Sullivan's Operetta in Rockville
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The last date listed for The Gondoliers was Friday June 19, 2009 / 8:00pm.
Currently at F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre:
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A prince, a scheming uncle and a magician fuel the zany plot of John Philip Sousa's rarely performed comic opera The Charlatan, presented here in a semi-staged concert production with live orchestra by the Victorian Lyric Opera Company. Known for his famous marches, Sousa could also write marvelous waltzes and ballads and The Charlatan, with its pastoral setting in a small Russian village, is full of them. As the crafty magician Demidoff works to pair his own daughter with the dashing prince, a series of twists and turns unfolds along with plenty of witty banter, fabulously sung by the Victorian's talented vocalists. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Sean McArdle Pflueger
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The royal family was the stand out for this production. Gary Sullivan, Melissa Kornacki, and Sarah Kate Walston were the best actors and singers on stage. Their part flew by with beautiful singing and great comedic timing.
The set and costumes were excellently evocative of the scenes of this extremely silly plot. A very effective gondola appeared on stage, seeming to really float, beautiful columns, and a tongue and cheek rat statue made for a fully realized stage.
Also, two children appeared on stage for some totally unscripted and hilarious bits.
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"The Gondoliers" is the latest production of the Victorian Lyric Opera Company. Based in Rockville, the company draws performers and band musicians from both sides of the Potomac. The operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan was great fun: good sets,...continued
The Gondoliers, or, The King of Barataria, was the twelfth opera written together by Gilbert and Sullivan. Opening on December 7, 1889 at the Savoy Theatre, The Gondoliers ran for 554 performances, and was the last of the G&S operas that would achieve wide popularity. Its lilting score has, perhaps, the most sparkling and tuneful music of them all and calls, perhaps, for the most dancing.
Gilbert returns, in this opera, to satire of snobbery regarding class distinctions and begins his fascination, which will play an even larger part in the next opera, Utopia Limited, with the “stock company act” using the absurd convergence of natural persons and legal entities. Again setting his work comfortably far away from mother England, Gilbert is emboldened to level somewhat harsh criticism on the noble class, and the institution of the monarchy itself.
Two just-married Venetian gondoliers are informed by the Grand Inquisitor that one of them has just become the King of “Barataria”, but only their foster mother, presently at large, knows which one. As Barataria needs a king to put down unrest in the country, they travel there to reign jointly, leaving their wives behind in Venice until the old lady can be interviewed. It 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 all show up 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.