Next Show 2015

We’ve been working to redevelop our website, so some things have moved, but you’ll find the invitations that used to appear at the bottom of this page have been relocated to the What’s on page.

Our February 2015 production is The Gondoliers, now playing at Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline for its usual Wednesday to Saturday run with a Saturday matinée, so it’s this week, folks. The last night is Saturday, February 14th, an ideal Valentine’s Day evening entertainment, with its theme of young love triumphant!

peter_macfarlaneeddie_maclennanProduction is in the hands of our well-established team of Peter Macfarlane (Director – left) and Eddie MacLennan (Musical Director – right). As with last year’s Pirates, it’s Peter’s second production of the opera, so you can expect a totally fresh approach to the challenge as well as a lot of movement.

There will also be a different look. Regular members of our audience will know that the Society normally sets its productions in the original style. This year we depart from Victorian fashion, bringing the show forward 50 years with costumes of the Edwardian period, and we hope you like the change.

Booking has now transferred to the Theatre Box Office (01383 602302), but you can still get a good choice of tickets for most performances.  Details of seat prices on the flier at this link: there are excellent deals for families.  If you want to select a seat, there’s a plan of the theatre at this link.

What it’s about

In the words of Sam Silvers:

The Gondoliers  or The King of Barataria  was the twelfth opera written together by Gilbert and Sullivan. Opening on 7 December 1889 at the Savoy Theatre, The Gondoliers  ran for 554 performances, and was the last of the G&S operas that would achieve wide popularity. Its lilting score has, perhaps, the most sparkling and tuneful music of them all and calls, perhaps, for the most dancing.

Gilbert returns, in this opera, to satire of snobbery regarding class distinctions and begins his fascination, which will play an even larger part in the next opera, Utopia Limited , with the “stock company act” using the absurd convergence of natural persons and legal entities. Again setting his work comfortably far away from mother England, Gilbert is emboldened to level somewhat harsh criticism on the noble class, and the institution of the monarchy itself.

Two just-married Venetian gondoliers are informed by the Grand Inquisitor that one of them has just become the King of “Barataria”, but only their foster mother, presently at large, knows which one. As Barataria needs a king to put down unrest in the country, they travel there to reign jointly, leaving their wives behind in Venice until the old lady can be interviewed. It turns out that the king was wed in infancy to the beautiful daughter of the Spanish Duke of Plaza-Toro, and so it seems he is an unintentional bigamist. Of course, the beautiful daughter is in love with a common servant! When the young Spaniard and the two Venetian wives all show up wanting to know which of them is queen, complications arise. No worries: The true identity of the king is revealed, and all is combed out spectacularly well by the end.

You’ll find a fuller version of the story at the Synopsis link.

Next appearance

Your next chance to see the Society on stage at Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline will be on 13–15 February 2025 for the première run of The Jury’s Out.

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