Reviewed by Lesley Reed

August 2014

The Gondoliers is one of the most loved of Gilbert and Sullivan’s works and the South Australian Light Opera Society does a competent job of it, with several notable performances.

Essentially, the story revolves around confusion about who, out of two gondoliers, is a prince and therefore not only heir to the Baratarian crown but also potentially betrothed to Casilda, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Plaza Toro.

Damon Hill is hilariously funny as the Duke of Plaza Toro. Megan Donald steals the show, though, with her fine interpretation of Tessa. Donald’s training is evident in her confident stage presence, energy and control. 

Brett Green and particularly Graham Loveday do well as the two gondoliers, Marco and Giuseppe. Susan Brooke-Smith sings beautifully as Gianetta and is a natural actor. As Casilda, Katrin Treloar is a fine singer but her speaking voice is pitched too high at times. Anthony Little is endearing as Luiz and Christine Southby is suitably imperious as the Duchess. David Roberts is somewhat stiff and perhaps struggling for lines as Don Alhambra Del Bolero.

On a simple but effective set, chorus members work enthusiastically under the direction of SALOS stalwart, Pam Tucker, although acting capacity varies. The musicians, including Sue Penhale, provide strong accompaniment under the direction of Helen Loveday. The three young dancers also show fine talent.

Judging by the reaction of its loyal opening night audience, SALOS has an enjoyable show on its hands with The Gondoliers. 

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