Based on Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta, The Gondoliers, Pacific Opera’s presentation this weekend of The Gondoliers Dream Getaway at Riverside Theatres, Parramatta, is just that…a dream getaway!
Librettist and composer George Palmer, along with director Nick Cannon, transform a contemporary workplace into a romantic fantasy in Venice.
Two gondolier brothers, Marco and Giuseppe, have been living in Italy for 20 years on temporary visas so they must marry quickly or be deported. Plenty of laughter and intrigue accompany their resulting adventures, including their unwitting association with the Kingdom of Barataria and with the KGB!
Personal highlights of the performance included the acting of the farcical Duke (Blake Parham), the singing of the gondolieri Marco (Rocco Speranza) and Giuseppe (Nikolas Roglich), including a rendition of O sole mio from the former, and the diction of The Consul-General (Sepehr Irandoost).
Interestingly, members of the audience were chosen to be part of the performance on a couple of occasions. What I call really engaging the audience!
Sullivan’s score was re-orchestrated to suit the intimate venue and a small cast of sixteen (eight couples). Music director Adrian Bendt conducted an ‘orchestra’ comprising of 12 musicians (5 strings, 4 woodwind and 3 brass) seated on one side of the stage. As a bonus, one of the tenors played a piano accordion at one point, thus helping to immerse the audience in the world of a lovely foreign land.