Venue Details

33 events
1 review
2 stars
Stopping by The Flying Falafel before and eating in the plaza at The Jewish Contemporary Museum across from the theater makes a nice evening. The falafel and guys there are an event in themselves.
star this tip starred
4 events
2 reviews
0 stars
Take BART to either Powell or Montgomery and walk a block and a half, through Yerba Buena Gardens, to the performing arts center
star this tip starred
View All 470 Tips
More Information


While Gilbert & Sullivan set the majority of their operettas in their home country of England, Arthur Sullivan visited Venice in 1888 and the trip clearly influenced the sunny music that he composed for The Gondoliers. Italian folk dances such as the tarantella and saltarello jostle with other vivacious national dances such as the cachucha (a fast gypsy dance from Spain) and operatic influences including Bellini, Bizet, Handel and Mozart. The whole opera glitters with the heady exuberance of Sullivan kicking up his musical heels. After a command performance in 1891, Queen Victoria noted in her diary that The Gondoliers was “simply charming.”

The plot line is a familiar one, involving a mix up of identities at birth. Along the way to resolving the confusion, Gilbert skewers issues of social equality and the class system with his usual brilliant wit. When The Gondoliers premiered in London in 1889, it was given the highest critical acclaim from the local media, including one reviewer who wrote, plainly, “It is not opera or play. It is simply entertainment – the most exquisite entertainment we have ever seen.”

About the Ticket Supplier: Lamplighters Music Theatre

Lamplighters Music Theatre is one of the oldest continuously performing theatres in the Bay Area, and the only year-round musical theatre company in San Francisco. Since the company’s founding in 1952, they have produced the entire Gilbert and Sullivan canon as well as other light opera and musical theatre classics.