Opera Scotland

Gondoliers 1890Mr D'Oyly Carte's American Opera Company

Read more about the opera Gondoliers

This was, it seems, at least in June, no ordinary tour of The Gondoliers, but 'Mr D'Oyly Carte's American Opera Company' with, we are assured, a 'Company direct from Palmer's Theatre, New York'. In the veteran Richard Temple, playing Giuseppe Palmieri, Scottish theatres saw, for only the second time (after Alice Barnett in Iolanthe) a virtuoso performer who had been a long-term member of the London company. Ironically, he created roles in every Gilbert and Sullivan piece from The Sorcerer to The Yeomen of the Guard, but only sang Giuseppe in The Gondoliers at its New York premiere.

Fred Billington was now a fixture in the comic bass roles, and Henry Lytton was also achieving recognition, while still in his early twenties. Lenore Snyder had achieved some personal success in the New York production, and was rewarded with a trip to work with the British cast on home territory. She joined the London production of The Gondoliers and stayed on to create the title role of Hollee Beebee in Solomon's The Nautch Girl, that followed it at the Savoy.

The four-week Scottish tour was unusually short, with only single-week stays.  It opened at Glasgow Royalty on 26 May, before going to Edinburgh Lyceum on 2 June,  Dundee (Her Majesty's) on 9 June and finally Aberdeen (also Her Majesty's at this stage) on 16 June.  The company then decamped to Manchester Theatre Royal.  On the Sunday between Edinburgh and Dundee they were the first theatrical company to cross the shiny new Forth Bridge.

At this stage the company toured with hampers full of costumes and props provided by the London management.  However, as had been the habit before the development of the railways, each theatre was still expected to supply appropriate sets.  Clearly standards varied according to the quality of the workshops and designers at each location.  Likewise, most of the musicians were the regular local pit band.  The touring company would bring leading band members, but standards would again vary.

When the production returned in September, the acknowledged stars had moved on to London, but the opera was still seen as one of the most successful from the G & S stable (even if the Glasgow Herald was notable for its disagreement).


A thumbs-down in Glasgow?

Glasgow Herald: Tuesday, 27 May 1890 p8

The Theatres - Royalty - The Gondoliers

'The Gilbert-Sullivan collaboration has, perhaps, lasted long enough.  The marvel is, indeed, that it has, for so long a period produced so much that is original, beautiful, and worthy to live in the memory and on the stage.  But true it is that, judged by its latest product, which was put on the Royalty stage last evening, the process of grafting Sullivanic music on Gilbertian feeling has lost its pristine potency;  to vary the image, the fount has been tapped too often - ''the sacred drops run off, and vanish out of hand.''  Of course this has been said before, and The Yeomen of the Guard came after Ruddigore.  Still we stick to our text,  with all the greater fidelity that the divisive courses of composer and librettist will obviate its possible falsification.

'The Gondoliers is not brilliant.  The defect lies not so much in a plethora of reminiscences of former operas - the discovery of these is cheap criticism - the opera lacks distinction, originality of theme - above all, interest.  Truth to tell, it is for the most part desperately dull.  and only good acting and singing, and elaborate staging and dressing, can carry it off and put life in it.

'The story should be so familiar to most of our readers that a brief précis of it will suffice here.  a certain Duke of Barataria, in Spain,  turning Wesleyan Methodist, the Grand Inquisitor, to save the kingdom from heresy, ''thoughtfully abstracted'' his infant son, carried him to Venice and entrusted him to the care of a respectable gondolier, who brought up the Royal infant with his own son to his own trade.  But having a ''terrible taste for tippling,'' the respectable gondolier could

'Never declare with a mind sincere,

Which of the two was his offspring dear,

'And which was the Royal stripling.

'And in this prescience he died.  Here now begins the action of the play. The old King of Barataria dies,  and search is made for the heir.  The situation is complicated by the fact that the infant royalty, at the age of six months, and before his abduction, was married to the daughter of the Duke of Plaza-Toro, a Spanish grandee, and the Duke, his Duchess, and interesting daughter, become the chief agents in the hunt after the ''royal stripling''.. At the opening of the play, the two young gondoliers, oblivious of the fact that t'other or which is already a king, marry two humble maidens of Venice, and the hope which springs in the breast of both brides when the great secret is revealed, gives birth, if to nothing else, to the best concerted piece in the opera, a quartette:-

''Then one of us will be a Queen,

  And sit on a golden throne

''With a rollicking chorus which runs:

''Oh! 'Tis a glorious thing I ween

''To be a regular Royal Queen.

''No half and half affair, I mean

''But a right-down regular Royal Queen.''

'It is arranged as a compromise that, until the mystery is cleared up, both gondoliers shall reign in Barataria, and the second act - the worst of the two - tells of the antics they play with their republican-Venetian ideas and natural gaucherie in their exalted position, till the arrival of the inevitable nurse - a second edition of the bumboat woman in Pinafore - who reveals that she made an unheard of mess of the ''mixing of the babies up,'' and that the real King of Barataria is not either of the ''Gondoliers,'' but a hitherto obscure individual who has been playing ''Private Drum'' to the Duke of Plaza-Toro, and has luckily enough taken advantage of his position to win the heart of the Duke's daughter - his true and legal wife, as it turns out.

'There is a comedy in the story, and although we have complained that the relation of it is not particularly lively, there is a good deal of wit in the dialogue, and more in the patter songs, of which there is more than a fair proportion in the work.  The entrée of the Duke of Plaza-Toro, with his wife, daughter, and private drum is irresistibly comic, and the song of the Grand Inquisitor - ''I stole the Prince, and I brought him here,''  with the clinching refrain that:

''Of that there is no manner of doubt -

''No probable possible shadow of doubt -

''No possible doubt whatever,''

Is as mirth-provoking a jingle of rhyme and sing-song as Gilbert and Sullivan ever created.  Then there are the ''Regular Royal Queen'' quartette, another solo of the Inquisitor's - ''There lived a king,'' and a peculiar catch, ''In a contemplative fashion,'' sung by the two Gondoliers and their wives - all exceedingly funny and tuneful.  The music as a whole - if not strikingly original or exalted, is exceedingly graceful.  The overture is a charming piece of work, rather more serious in form than the introductions  Sir Arthur has occasionally given us in his operas, and the orchestration throughout is pretty, full of unexpected turns, with opportune use of reeds where a comic suggestion is needed - in one word it is Sullivanic.  Of the solos it is possible to select only a couple as transcending mediocrity - ''When a merry maiden marries,'' sung by the principal contralto,  Miss Mary Duggan,  and ''Take a pair of sparkling eyes,'' by the tenor, Mr Richard Clarke.  Quaint, catching, concerted music one looks for in vain.

'The staging of the opera was admirable.  Special scenery had been painted for Messrs Howard and Wyndham, and the first of the two scenes - the Piazetta at Venice - was most picturesque, especially when the foreground was filled up by the gaily and richly dressed chorus.  The chorus was exceptionally excellent, and the cast of principals was fairly strong.  Our old friend, Mr Fred Billington, made a most grave, yet facetious Inquisitor, and Mr Richard Temple, as Giuseppe, one of the Gondoliers, worked hard and ably to keep up the fun, and sang well also.  The tenor Gondolier, Marco, was impersonated by Mr Richard Clarke, who has a robust voice of good quality.

'The ladies were all of more than average excellence.  Miss Mary Duggan and Miss Leonora Snyder representing the two wives Tessa and Gianetta;  Miss Kate Talby, a good contralto, the Duchess;  and Miss Norah Phyllis, Casilda, her daughter.  Luiz, the ''private drum,'' was played by Mr H Le Maistre, a youthful baritone of promise.  The band of the Royalty is augmented for this opera, which will last all the week.'


Critical Opinion in Edinburgh

Scotsman:  Tuesday, 3 June 1890  (p4)

Amusements - The Gondoliers at the Lyceum Theatre

'The Gondoliers, the latest, and if rumour be true the last, of the Gilbert-Sullivan comic operas, was produced for the first time in Edinburgh at the Lyceum Theatre last night.  It was received by a house crowded from floor to ceiling, and the constant rounds of applause and frequent demands for repetitions left no doubt that the popular success of the new opera is assured.

'The company, though not vocally a strong one, was clearly encourged by the welcome it received to put forth its utmost efforts;  and if the frequent irregularities of the orchestra be overlooked, the performance may be pronounced a worthy one.

'To say that the libretto is neat, chaste, and often witty, that the music is sparkling, melodious, and graceful, is to say that the work is by Gilbert and Sullivan.  For these are the qualities which from the first have distinguished their joint productions, and which have been the secret of their immense popularity.  On the other hand, it cannot be said that either composer or librettist reveals any capacity to improve upon, or even to equal, the highest level of their best previous collaborations.  Leaving the plot altogether out of account as a confessedly weak side of Mr Gilbert's art - and on this occasion it turns upon the old story of a nurse who ''mixed the babies up'' - it cannot be said that his prose dialogue is quite so fresh and witty as it generally is, though his verses still contain a good deal of the point and cynical worldly humour which mark him out among his fellow dramatists.

'In the music, again, we are constantly being reminded of phrases and rhythms and cadences that have already done excellent service under Sir Arthur's treatment.  In one or two instances, notoriously in the gavotte in the second act (''I am a courtier''), and also in the quintett in the first (Try we life-long'), he falls down to a very ordinary level indeed, and fails to maintain that superiority of tone and finish which has always placed his compositions above the rank and file of modern comic opera.  Still, withal, there is much of his dainty and refined writing in the opera, and several of the humorous and patter songs are worthy of his best efforts in this direction.

'The fresh and bright scenery, the prettily robed chorus, and the general movement and liveliness of the stage groups were all contributory to a very enjoyable performance.  The company is a moderately capable one.  Miss Mary Duggan, as Tessa, acted very prettily, and her singing was uniformly good.  Miss Norah Phyllis had a somewhat stiff and ''impossible'' part as Casilda, but she made the best of it.  Her voice is of good range and strength, but somewhat unsympathetic in tone.  The same fault was notable in the singing of Miss Leonora Snyder, who otherwise did fair justice to the role of Gianetta.  Miss Kate Talby sang excellently as the Duchess, the elderly dame who reappears time after time in Gilbert's operas as Buttercup, Lady Jane, Ruth, and the ''daughter-in-law-elect'' of the Mikado.

'Of the male characters, Mr Richard Temple, as Giuseppe, the gondolier, was perhaps both in singing and in acting the most successful.  His voice and method are excellent, and his general bearing and action are full of ease and frankness.  A clever character-study was that of Don Alhambra, the Grand Inquisitor - a part that was quietly and effectively played by Mr Fred Billington, whose songs were sung with enjoyable emphasis and good tone.  The merit of distinction also attached to Mr Henry A Lytton's presentation of the Duke of Plaza-Toro, which was full of good points.

'Mr Richard Clarke and Mr Le Maistre, who filled the parts of Marco, the other gondolier, and of Luiz, the drummer lad who turns out to be the King of Barataria, proved themselves to be singers of moderate art and fair vocal capacity.

'The orchestra, as has been already hinted,  was imperfectly acquainted with its share of the work - a common occurrence on first nights.'


As Advertised in Dundee

Engagement of

Mr D’Oyly Carte’s American Opera Company

In Gilbert and Sullivan’s

Latest and Most Successful Comic Opera


Company direct from Palmer’s Theatre, New York.

Augmented Orchestra, Powerful Chorus.

Magnificent Costumes and Effects.

New Scenery, Specially Painted by Mr F R Chapman.


Private Boxes, £1 11s 6d and £1 1s; Single Seats, 5s;

Dress Circle, 4s; Stalls, 3s; Upper Circle, 2s 6d;

Pit and Amphitheatre, 1s; Gallery, 6d.


Doors open at 7; Commence at 7.30; Saturday Half an Hour Earlier.

No Half-Price during this Engagement.  Box Office Open Daily from 10 to 4 o’clock.


Visitors to The Gondoliers on Friday, 13th June, can avail themselves of a

Late Train to St Andrew’s, Cupar, Perth, and Intermediate Stations at 10.30.


Dundee Critical Opinion - Three Daily Views

Dundee Advertiser:  Tuesday, 10 June  1890  (p5)

Her Majesty's Theatre - The Gondoliers

'The enthusiastic reception given to The Gondoliers last night reminded one of the younger days of The Mikado.  There was a large audience which evidently came to be pleased and went away delighted.  That the opera is thorough;y Gilbertian in words and Sullivanic in melody, there can, to use the words of Don Alhambra del Bolero, be ''no manner of doubt, no probable, possible shadow of doubt, no possible doubt whatever''; but it is by no means  so full of reminiscence, either in the ideas dramatic or the musical settings, as some critics have asserted.  Librettists and composers have their own manner, of course, and it is asking too much to expect them to change it with every fresh work.  With the exception of the very slight resemblance between the Nurse in Pinafore and the Nurse who substitutes her child for the Prince of Barataria, there is no similitude between The Gondoliers and any of the long list of pleasant tales with which the authors have for years been delighting their countrymen.

'The Gondoliers is really a charming light comedy, adorned with as sweet music as Sir Arthur has ever penned.  It is riant and gay from the pretty flower-chorus with which it opens to the feet-inspiring cachucha that brings down the curtain.  Refined fun is the essence of the story, and there is rich humour in the dialogue, real wit in the patter songs, and a dash of pretty sentiment here and there, as in the song ''When a merry maiden marries'' and the tenor's solo ''Take a pair of sparkling eyes.''  The lively revel which ensues when the heroes come to choose their wives prepares the audience for the gaiety that marks every incident.  It is life in that sea-born city, ''where the carnival was most facetious in the days of yore'' that we see in the first act - a life of dance and song and comical romance - and all the merry maidens and gallants gay who show it to us are as joyous in their task as they make the spectators.

'The choristers are all remarkably good-looking, are splendidly dressed, and are gay with a gaiety that ''on restless tiptoe hovers'' and ever and anon breaks forth in mirthful songs, which they troll with fresh, rich, and well-trained voices.  The business allotted to the chorus has been well conceived, and adds much to the attractions of the opera.  It is so well carried through, too, that it gives piquancy and point to the roles of the principal actors.  These are all masters and mistresses of their art.  The gondolier brothers are made very frank sunny natured fellows by Messrs Richard Clarke and Richard Temple, and their wives are delightfully personated by Miss Leonora Snyder and Miss Mary Duggan.  The music this quartette have to sing is always flowing and graceful, and sometimes, as in the ''Regular royal Queen'' and the catch ''In a contemplative fashion,'' it is brimful of fun and quaint humour.

'The most unctuously comic ditties are given to the Grand Inquisitor, who finds a slyly, cleverly grave interpreter in Mr Fred Billington.  His make-up is irresistibly droll.  Whether he sings in slow time or patters his lines his every syllable comes roundly and clearly to the ear.  Mr Henry Lytton's Duke of Plaza-Toro is another capital performance, and a special word of praise must be given to the stately humour with which Miss Kate Talby invests the role of the Duchess.  This lady has an admirable style of using her fine contralto voice.  The daughter of this couple is prettily acted, and her music sweetly sung; and Mr H Le Maistre, a baritone with a future, makes a good deal of the minor role of the ''private drum.''

'Prettier scenery than that Mr Chapman has painted will not be found anywhere else by the Gondoliers on their tour.  It was loudly applauded, and reflects the highest credit on the taste of the artist and the enterprise of the lessee.  As the house is sure to be crowded each night of the week, those who may already be disappointed of seats should secure them for the matinee performance of Saturday.'


Dundee Courier:  Tuesday, 10 June 1890  (p2)

The Gondoliers in Dundee

''The latest Gilbert and Sullivan Opera was last night welcomed to Dundee by the largest audience which ever assembled in the Dundee Theatre on a Monday night, and the enthusiasm with which the work was received makes it a matter of doubt if there will be a single vacant seat throughout the week.  Every part of the house was well filled, the more popular seats being crammed, and the whole audience followed the opera with the utmost delight and approbation both of Gilbert's sparkling humour and Sullivan's lively music.  From beginning to end there is not a dull moment in the opera, and in the hands of so strong a company as that which appears here this week - and is the most powerful that Mr Carte has sent here where every point tells.

'The overture is by no means as important as some of the other Gilbert-Sullivan operas, but it is melodious and tuneful, and of course exquisitely orchestrated.  The opening chorus, for ladies' voices, is, after a short solo for Fiametta, one of the contadine, followed by a capital bass song, in barcarolle time, , with a rollicking chorus.  On the entry of the two gondoliers, around whom is spun the mystery of the plot, both the words and the musical setting become most characteristically Italian.  Gianetta's first song introduces an effective variation from the normal rules of musical composition, for there a melody in two four time is accompanied in three four time with a most quaint and pretty result.

'The entrée of his Grace of Plaza-Toro, the Duchess, their daughter and ''suite'' is musically very comical, and so is the Duke's first song.  The two duets for Casilda and Luiz, which follow,, are amongst the prettiest numbers in the opera, and the second was especially met last night with a somewhat disappointing reception.  A capital song for the Grand Inquisitor is followed by a prettily harmonised quintette.  A short, but effective bridal chorus introduces Tessa's song ''Whe a merry maiden marries,'' a charming ballad with a rhythm most suggestive of one of Molloy's well-known ditties.

'The finale of the first act is throughout of the most attractive character, opening with an exquisite solo for Gianetta, which was sung most charmingly by Miss Lenore Snyder, who in the course of it sang D in alt, most brilliantly including the popular number, here as elsewhere, ''The one of us will be a Queen.''  This sparkling bit of mirth was so magnificently sung last night that it fairly brought down the house, and Mr Arnold, the conductor, following the example set by Sir Arthur Sullivan at the Savoy first night, repeated ''all of it,'' but even with this the audience were not satisfied, and demanded it again.   A rattling duet for the gondoliers, pretty soli for their wives, and a magnificent chorus bring the act to an end.

'In the second act the musical gems are Marco's dainty song ''Take a pair of sparkling eyes,'' the ''Cachucha'' chorus and dance, Don Alhambra's capital song ''There lived a King,'' with its humorously descriptive accompaniment, the brilliantly clever quartette ''In a contemplative fashion,''  and the ''Gavotte'' quintette.  Throughout the music is of the lightest and brightest order, always lively and tuneful,  and often most ear-haunting.

'It is not possible adequately to notice all the perfromers in one notice.  There are really nine principal parts,  and each one is adequately filled.  Perhaps the most perfect was Mr Billington's representation of Don Alhambra, which was an artistic piece of acting, full of the most unctuous humour, and rounded off by the ripest of experience.  Vocally Mr Billington is always excellent, his fine voice and admirable articulation telling with splendid effect.  Mr Richard Temple's delightfully soft baritone was a treat to listen to, and his acting, too, was most enjoyable.  Mr Richard Clarke, the new tenor, worked hard, and gave an admirably artistic rendering of his fine song in the second act.

'Miss Lenore Snyder has an unusually fine voice, of which she makes capital use.  Her upper register is remarkably pure and true, and her phrasing was particularly pretty.  Miss Mary Duggan, as Tessa, struggled bravely with a bad throat,  and acted with delicious gaiety.  Miss Norah Phyllis looked charming as Casilda, and sang most sweetly.  The rest of the caste we must leave to our second notice.

'The chorus, which is the best and strongest we have had in Dundee, sang throughout with that precision and care which we expect from such clever choristers.

The two sets were very pretty and reflected much credit on Mr Chapman, and the band played wonderfully for a firt night.   Altogether the entertainment is a magnificent one, and will fill the theatre even in the long nights of June.  It is perhaps of interest to note that the Gondoliers were, on Sunday, the first theatrical company to cross the Forth Bridge.'  


Dundee Evening Telegraph: Tuesday, 10 June 1890  (p2)

The Gondoliers at Her Majesty's Theatre

'It is a pleasing duty to be able to state that The Gondoliers, performed for the first time in Dundee at Her Majesty's Theatre last night, met with a reception of the most enthusiastic description.There was no doubting the genuine pleasure it afforded, from the uprising of the curtain on the beautiful scene, the Piazzetta, Venice, with its sweetly melodious chorus of contadine, ''List and learn, ye dainty roses,'' on to the final ''Cachucha gandango'' in the fairy-like hall of the Palace of Barataria.  The Gondoliers is a comic opera that worthily sustains the high reputation of its authors; and, judging from a first impression, it is not a whit behind the Mikado, which has been generally regarded as the high water-mark of Messrs Gilbert and Sullivan.  It is stamped throughout with the striking individuality of their two minds  No one could mistake its authorship.

'But if it shows them at their best, it also indicates clearly that even the prolific genius of its creators has well-defined limits beyond which they may not go.  It is undoubtedly to our thinking strongly reminiscent of previous operas of the same authors.  And this not only in its music, but also in its characters and its situations.  We cannot see what good it does to deny this, or what harm to admit it.  Certainly we did not enjoy the performance the less from its frequent reminders of past delights, but felt almost grateful for having them recalled in such a pleasing manner.

'There is little use of giving the plot of the opera, for the clear, distinct articulation of every member of the company who has either speaking or singing to do renders all clear and simple, and makes a book of words almost a superfluity.  This is an excellent feature of all D'Oyly Carte companies who visit Dundee, and if Messrs Gilbert and Sullivan insist on this as a sine qua non, as they do on the actors adhering to their lines, it is an insistence that all who witness the opera must be grateful for.  It is a great element this towards the perfect enjoyment of an opera, yet how often is it utterly ignored.

'But the company sing as well as they speak.  As one fine example of this the song of the Grand Inquisitor (Mr Fred Billington), ''I stole the Prince,'' may be taken, where every word fell upon the ear clear and sharp, making each point tell with splendid effect.  We take this as a model of how such songs should be sung.  It well deserved the encore it received.  Mr Billington has in addition to a rich baritone voice a just and true appreciation of humour, and in the grave, solemn Inquisitor he found a character he could embellish with bright flashes of droll, quiet humour.

'The Duke of Plaza-Toro is ably personated by Mr Henry A Lytton.  He has some of the best serio-comic singing in the work, both solo and concerted, and he sings it all well.  For his singing ''In enterprise of martial kind'' he was deservedly encored.  Mr H Le Maistre, as Luiz the drummer, has little to do, but in that little he displays a baritone voice of such quality as to make one wish to hear more of him.  The two gondoliers - Giuseppe and Marco - are personated by Mr Richard Temple and Richard clarke respectively with great success.  As baritone and tenor they are both possessed of good voices, and in the concerted work, which falls largely to their care, they sing with excellent effect.

'Their sweethearts and wives - Gianetta and Tessa - are represented by Miss Lenore Snyder, of New York, and Miss Mary Duggan respectively.  Miss Snyder has a pure, clear soprano voice of great compass.  In the delightful song, ''Kind sir, you cannot have the heart'' (for the singing of which she was encored), she displayed its range by striking D in the last flourish to the encore verse.  Miss duggan received a warm reception for her song, ''When a merry maiden marries.''  Miss Norah Phyllis as Casilda was a capital personation.  In the duets with Luiz, as well  as in the quintettes and quartettes in which she took part, her fine soprano voice was heard to great advantage.  Miss Kate Talby as the Duchess has a part in which she shine.  Gifted with a rich contralto voice, and with a grand stage presence, she made a most favourable impression on her audience.

'The chorus, which is large, has an excellent quality of tone.  It is finely balanced, and their training enables them to sing with a steadiness most satisfactory to the ear.  Take the company as a whole, a more satisfactory one we have never heard in comic opera.  There is not one inefficient member in it.  The grouping and the ''business'' have been studied until perfection in grace and movement has almost been reached.  By diligent attention to even petty details, the opera has been made to work with a smoothness and lightness and brightness that leave nothing to be desired.

'The scenery is really delightful, and the dresses are harmoniously brilliant and varied.  We can heartily commend a visit to Her Majesty's as a treat of no ordinary kind.  A matinee performance is to be given on Saturday at 2.30, and no doubt this will be required to satisfy the demand for sitting accommodation.'


Dundee Critical Opinion - a Weekly Magazine

The Piper o’ Dundee: Wednesday, 11 June 1890   (p378)

The Gondoliers at Her Majesty’s Theatre

                        ”Of this there can be no probable possible shadow of doubt,

                                    No possible doubt whatever,”

that The Gondoliers is the best Gilbert and Sullivan production which Dundee has yet had the pleasure of seeing and listening to.  From the opening chorus to the denouement the opera is of the brightest and most sparkling description.  The music is delightfully tuneful, and if there are occasional reminiscences of the music of former Gilbert and Sullivan operas it is perhaps all the more pleasurable.  The story, if light, is skilfully arranged, and is characterized by the humorous intricacies of Gilbertian story.  The solos, duets, and concerted pieces are gems in their fashion, and would attract audiences without the charm of opera setting.

'The company is worthy the opera, every individual member suiting their parts as if to the manner born.  Mr Richard Clarke and Mr Richard Temple, the Gondoliers, played with a delightful verve - looking as if born beneath the sunny skies of Italy, and fairly revelled in their singing.  Mr Fred Billington is The Grand Inquisitor.  His style suits the part to perfection, and he sings with an unction which is highly artistic.  Mr H A Lytton, as The Duke, is full of stately frivolity, and, like his colleagues, seems to enjoy his clever vocalization.  Mr H Le Maistre, who has deservedly come to the front, created quite a sensation by his splendid rendering of Luiz. 

'The ladies vie with each other in carrying off the honours, and each deserves special mention.  Miss Lenore Snyder is a cantatrice and actress who will yet take London by storm.  Miss Mary Duggan plays Tessa with delightful artistic archness, and sings with bird-like clearness.  Miss Kate Talby, as the Duchess, sings and acts with stately grace, and Miss Norah Phyllis was a charming and tuneful Casilda.  The chorus is exceptionally good, and keeps up the reputation of the Savoy for beauty.  The setting is beautiful, and the dresses magnificent.  The Gondoliers will attract packed houses every night this week, and the matinee on Saturday ought to be one of the most successful we have ever had in Dundee.'


Casts for both visits from programmes in the Lamb Collection, Dundee City Library.

Performance Cast

Marco Palmieri a Venetian Gondolier

Richard Clarke

Giuseppe Palmieri a Venetian Gondolier

Richard Temple (Jun)

Duncan Fleet (Sep)

Tessa a Contadina

Mary Duggan

Gianetta a Contadina

Lenore Snyder (Jun)

Josephine Findlay (Sep)

Duke of Plaza-Toro a Grandee of Spain

Henry Lytton

Duchess of Plaza-Toro

Kate Talby

Casilda daughter of the Duke and Duchess

Norah Phyllis (Jun)

Nannie Harding (Sep)

Luiz the Duke's Attendant

Mr H Le Maistre

Don Alhambra del Bolero the Grand Inquisitor

Fred Billington (Jun)

Thomas Redmond (Sep)

Production Cast


Mr P W Halton (Sep)

Designer - Sets

Mr F R Chapman (Dundee)

Performance DatesGondoliers 1890

Map List

Royalty, Glasgow | Glasgow

26 May, 19.30 27 May, 19.30 28 May, 19.30 29 May, 19.30 30 May, 19.30 31 May, 14.30 31 May, 19.30

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

2 Jun, 19.30 3 Jun, 19.30 4 Jun, 19.30 5 Jun, 19.30 6 Jun, 19.30 7 Jun, 14.30 7 Jun, 19.30

Her Majesty's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

9 Jun, 19.30 10 Jun, 19.30 11 Jun, 19.30 12 Jun, 19.30 13 Jun, 19.30 14 Jun, 14.30 14 Jun, 19.00 22 Sep, 19.30 23 Sep, 19.30 24 Sep, 19.30 25 Sep, 19.30 26 Sep, 19.30 27 Sep, 14.30 27 Sep, 19.00

Her Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

16 Jun, 19.30 17 Jun, 19.30 18 Jun, 19.30 19 Jun, 19.30 20 Jun, 19.30 21 Jun, 14.30 21 Jun, 19.30

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