The Gondoliers – The SA Light Opera Society

The Gondoliers – The SA Light Opera Society

This operetta is one of the last that Gilbert and Sullivan penned. It is set in Venice around 1750 then onto Spain. The plot is well known, but put briefly, the journey from Venice to Spain includes many twists and turns that modern playwrights could learn from. It includes a stolen child, arranged marriage, selected marriages, upper crust and working classes and other scenarios.

The indefatigable Director Pam Tucker has put together a stellar cast which includes herself as part of the chorus. She has also allowed some local and up to date utterances into the script such as Port Power, Collingwood, the jab and social media all to the amusement of the appreciative audience.

The Gondoliers and their wives , Anthony Little as Marco, Tom Fraser as Guiseppe, Katrin Treloar as Gianetta and Maria Davis as Tessa worked together beautifully and the mix of Tenor, Baritone and Soprano is memorable.

The Duke of Plaza Toro played by Noel Carthew came to life partly with his singing but more so with his animated actions particularly in the scene with his wife The Duchess of Plaza Toro played by Christine Southby and the intercourse and reactions between them. The daughter Casilda played by Dione Baker was a standout with her magnificent voice. Her performance as the betrothed to become Queen was complimented by Luiz played by Benjamin Fleming the secret lover who was not unmasked until the final scene.

There were many other good performances including Bronwyn Calvett who played two roles, Victoria and Inez the King’s foster Mother. It was not possible to pick a weak link in the cast as all performed and sang as would be expected in a SALOS production. The opening number which include the principals and a full chorus set the scene and the standard for all that was to follow.

The Musical Director Kate White conducted a capable seven-piece orchestra which included the Repetiteur Sue Penhale on the Piano.

The choreography by Heather Scott and Pam Tucker was kept to a standard that all the cast could carry out effectively.

The minimal sets left no doubt as to where the action was taking place and allowed plenty of space for the large cast to perform.

The lighting was perfect for this venue and was a tribute not only to the designer but all the backstage personnel that ensured continuity of the play.

The costume designs by Cyndy Tretise were true to the era and were a standout which contributed greatly to the overall effect.

It was a pleasure to be able to hear and understand every word that was spoken or sung. This was a contrast to some productions where voice modulation can be a problem. I thoroughly enjoyed this performance and can highly recommend it to all theatregoers.

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