Opera Scotland

Gondoliers 2021Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Gondoliers

Scottish Opera's Second Gondoliers Staging

For many decades after its first performance in 1889, The Gondoliers, though one of the last works of the Gilbert and Sullivan partnership, remained among the most highly regarded and popular. In recent decades, since the cessation of the D'Oyly Carte tours, performances have become much less frequent. This does seem strange, as musically it is one of the most bubbly and effervescent of their works. It was the first operetta to be mounted by Scottish Opera, back in 1968, even before the company tackled The Merry Widow or Die Fledermaus.

This staging was originally planned for the 2019/20 season, but was postponed because of the covid-19 pandemic.  The director is Stuart Maunder, director of the co-producing State Opera of South Australia. Maunder has directed several G&S works over the years, always achieving lively and successful results. Scottish Opera's Head of Music, Derek Clark, also has wide experience with this repertoire. The cast is led by the leading comic performer Richard Suart, as the Duke, Ben McAteer as the Grand Inquisitor. They both took leading roles in the last of Scottish Opera's G&S stagings, The Mikado in 2016.

The provisional cast shown is as announced for the initial run.  The only change is the arrival of Yvonne Howard as the Duchess.  She also sings Lady Sophy in Utopia.  Recent experience in G & S includes Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance at Opera Holland Park in 2021. 

Performances at the Hackney Empire in London, originally scheduled for May 2020, will now be given two years later.


The effects of Coronavirus

It was sadly inecessary that the extended run of performances of this new staging would fall a victim to the burgeoning threat of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic that swept the world during the first quarter of the year, continuing to the year-end.

It was made clear on Monday, 16 March, 2020 that all meeting places of any significance - pubs, restaurants, concert halls, theatres and opera houses - would be closed for a significant duration. Not only was the new staging of  A Midsummer Night's Dream cancelled, but also the subsequent productions of The Gondoliers and Utopia Limited. The concert performances of Cavalleria rusticana and Zingari also bit the dust.  It is hoped that they will all be revived when the theatres reopen, with luck sooner rather than later.  The two Gilbert and Sullivan works are the first to be confirmed.

Twenty-two performances were originally scheduled for:

May 14, 15, 16, 17 (m), 22, 23 (Theatre Royal Glasgow at 14:30 & 19:15); May 28, 29 & 30 (His Majesty's Aberdeen at 19:15); June 3, 4, 5, 6 (Eden Court Inverness at 19:15); June 10, 11, 13 (m & e) (Festival Theatre Edinburgh 14:30 & 19:15); July 15, 16 (m & e), 18 (m & e) (Hackney Empire London 14: 30 & 19:30).

The preliminary advertising for the Perth Festival had also announced one performance, probably on May 26, but the entire 2020 Festival was cancelled.

Like Scottish Opera's previous G & S productions of The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado, this is a co-production with D'Oyly Carte. Previously this led to a substantial number of additional performances programmed for venues down south.  These are still to be confirmed.

Performance Cast

Antonio a gondolier

Arthur Bruce

Vittoria a contadina

Heather Ireson

Marco Palmieri a Venetian Gondolier

William Morgan

Giuseppe Palmieri a Venetian Gondolier

Mark Nathan

Tessa a Contadina

Sioned Gwen Davies

Gianetta a Contadina

Ellie Laugharne

Duke of Plaza-Toro a Grandee of Spain

Richard Suart

Duchess of Plaza-Toro

Yvonne Howard

Casilda daughter of the Duke and Duchess

Catriona Hewitson

Don Alhambra del Bolero the Grand Inquisitor

Ben McAteer

Performance DatesGondoliers 2021

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

16 Oct, 19.15 21 Oct, 19.15 23 Oct, 19.15

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Festival Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

28 Oct, 19.15 29 Oct, 19.15 30 Oct, 19.15 31 Oct, 19.15 4 Nov, 19.15 6 Nov, 19.15

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Eden Court Theatre | Inverness

10 Nov, 19.15 11 Nov, 19.15 13 Nov, 19.15

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