Scottish Opera tours G&S Gondoliers

Published: 5 September 2021
Reporter: Vera Liber

Mark Nathan and William Morgan, The Gondoliers, Scottish Opera 2021

A new Scottish Opera production of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Gondoliers opens at Theatre Royal Glasgow on Saturday 16 October before touring to Edinburgh, Inverness and London's Hackney Empire.

This co-production with D'Oyly Carte Opera and State Opera South Australia includes the Scottish Opera première of the rarely seen Utopia, Limited. Three semi-staged concert performances of G&S’s penultimate opera take place in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London. The Gondoliers is also being filmed, and there will be an audio recording of Utopia, Limited both for future release.

Directed by Stuart Maunder, Artistic Director at State Opera South Australia, The Gondoliers satirises the ruling classes and their position within society, with the tale of two happy-go-lucky gondoliers who discover that one of them is the heir to the throne of a distant kingdom.

Derek Clark, Head of Music at Scottish Opera, conducts an ensemble cast which includes ENO Harewood Artist William Morgan (The Magic Flute, 2019), former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Mark Nathan (Opera Highlights, 2019), Ellie Laugharne (The Elixir of Love, 2016), Ben McAteer (The Mikado, 2016), Sioned Gwen Davies (Falstaff, 2021) and G&S favourites Yvonne Howard and Richard Suart (The Mikado, 2016). Also in the cast is former Emerging Artist Arthur Bruce (L’elisir d’amore, 2021) along with 2021–22 Emerging Artist Catriona Hewitson (L’elisir d’amore, 2021). Scottish Opera’s 2021/22 Emerging artists Glen Cunningham and Lea Shaw will also perform in the Access Gondoliers performances.

Maunder said, "The Gondoliers is a brilliant romp, with glorious music, a sumptuous design and a cast to die for. The G&S phenomenon has been part of the basic language of performing in the English speaking world for more than 150 years. So, this is the perfect chance for a whole new audience to experience one of the greatest pieces of music theatre and to revive a great tradition for a whole new generation."

Clark added, "The Gondoliers is like a breath of Italian summer air. Gilbert’s witty book and lyrics show him at the top of his game and Sullivan, inspired by the Venetian setting, produced his sunniest score, with one lilting melody after another—all guaranteed to make you leave the theatre with a smile on your face. It’s pure joy from start to finish, exactly what is needed after a difficult year."