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The Gondoliers: In Pictures

We’re heading to the canals of Venice this summer with our production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic opera The Gondoliers.

In this production, presented by our David Seligman Opera School, Gilbert and Sullivan feature in the opera as authors, exploring the idea that Gilbert was at his best when working with Sullivan and vice versa.

So Gilbert and Sullivan have become the interchangeable brothers and heirs to the throne of Barataria, Giuseppe and Marco.

“This is a great opera!” says director Polly Graham.

“As soon as you ditch the stultifying Savoy Opera conventions and traditions around the way G&S has, for a long time, been performed, the text and the music come alive.”

“Our production begins in the world of Victorian theatre with beautiful traditional costumes and an epic set designed by Harry Pizzey,” explains Polly,

“but as the story gets more outlandish, we take on other Victorian influences, like Lewis Carroll, Oscar Wilde – looking at its relationship with nonsense poetry and the roots of the Theatre of the Absurd.”

One of the challenges of presenting this opera is that when it was written one of the aims was to give audiences a ‘pleasant evening’ at the opera.

An evening out where there were no problems, or dramas to resolve, giving the audience no sense of jeopardy, which is essential to engaging emotions.

This production has taken that challenge head on, and added plenty of drama for the audience to look forward to!

Photos: Kirsten McTernan

Director: Polly Graham

Conductor: Alice Farnham

Set & Costume Designer: Harry Pizzey

Lighting Designer: Evie Oliver

Movement Director: Rosalind Haf Brooks

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