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The Gondoliers (1990)

TV Movie  -  Comedy | Music
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After gondoliers, Marco and Giuseppe, marry their sweethearts Gianetta and Tessa, they are informed that one of them is really the King of Barataria. However, there is a problem - nobody ... See full summary »



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Title: The Gondoliers (TV Movie 1990)

The Gondoliers (TV Movie 1990) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Gard ...
Graeme Ewer ...
The Duchess of Plaza Toro
David Hobson ...
Marco Palmieri
Roger Lemke ...
Giuseppe Palmieri
Christine Douglas ...
Suzanne Johnston ...
Dennis Olsen ...
Don Alhambra del Bolero
Fiona Maconaghie ...
Martin Croft ...
Neil Kirkby ...
Elizabeth Ellis ...
Prudence Dunstone ...
David Hibbard ...
David Collins-White ...
Jennifer Bermingham ...


After gondoliers, Marco and Giuseppe, marry their sweethearts Gianetta and Tessa, they are informed that one of them is really the King of Barataria. However, there is a problem - nobody knows which is the King and which is the gondolier. Gianetta and Tessa are delighted with the idea of one of them being Queen, but later discover, to their horror, that the King was married, in babyhood, to somebody else - and that neither of them will be a queen. Written by David McAnally <>

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Comedy | Music





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Opera Australia: The Gondoliers  »

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Version of The Gondoliers (1972) See more »

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When a merry maiden marries
11 November 2010 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

This is a delightful production of The Gondoliers. British companies can be a bit self-conscious about performing Gilbert and Sullivan operas but Opera Australia manage to sing this piece without irony and without camping it up.

I have never seen this opera before but I know much of the music as my music teacher at school used to make us sing it. I was surprised by how consistently good the music is, not just the well-known tunes but other pieces, such as a wonderful Rossinian quintet. Dancing too is an important feature of this production, the highlight being a stageful of whirling, dancing dolls.

Gilbert's libretto is an amusing commentary on the relative merits of monarchy and republicanism. The two brothers ruling jointly and harmoniously have been used recently as a metaphor for the UK coalition. The brothers believe in absolute equality, and, as Gilbert explains, end up in a situation where everyone is somebody and no-one's anybody.

The libretto has been considerably updated. References to political corruption in Queensland seem as anachronistic now as Gilbert's original libretto must have been but the plot is not hard to follow as political corruption seems to be pretty much the same the world over.

The updated lyrics are rather more prescient on the subject of royalty. Our two heroines sing of a "Regular, royal queen…with a figure like Fergie's and a brain like Di's". The expected result that: "The Princess of Wales careers of the rails and ends up with Mick Jagger" is a surprisingly accurate prediction given that it was made in 1990.

I shall not mention all the soloists. They are all of a high standard. I suppose, if I have a particular favourite it is Mezzo Suzanne Johnston's Tessa. I liked her rendition of "When a merry maiden marries", but perhaps it was because I used to sing it myself before my voice broke.

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