T H E  G O N D O L I E R S 

 

I have great affection for Gilbert & Sullivan's The Gondoliers, but it is critical for the director to "trim the fat." There is, especially in Act 2, too much extraneous dialogue, and given the almost total lack of conflict in the show, the drama needs to move. 


Other than cutting dialogue, for my adaptation I have also taken pains to bulk up the parts of the secondary gondoliers and contadine, and make them part of a family of principals, rather than mere appendages. This was achieved by including them in certain ensembles where they are onstage but silent and modifying the recits and dialogue slightly.

Lastly, for Marco's Act 2 aria, "Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes", I kept the gondoliers onstage, and they hummed some measures in the orchestra as they plucked their mandolins. I also rewrote a great deal of the Act 2 "Small titles and Orders" and inserted some lyrics for Casilda, not to be outdone by her audacious parents. Otherwise she is tacet for three entire songs, and that, to me, is unacceptable.

Rising Early in the Morning

 

Small Titles and Orders