BBC Four to  Broadcast Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers  This Easter Sunday 

BBC Four to  Broadcast Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers  This Easter Sunday

This Easter Sunday 17th April sees the new Scottish Opera production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, that satirises the ruling classes 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,  is scheduled to be broadcast on BBC Four at 8pm.

The film, directed by Jonathan Haswell, was made at a performance at Festival Theatre Edinburgh on October 28th, during the show’s Scottish tour last year. After the broadcast, those in the UK will be able to watch the film, packed with favourites including the ‘A Regular Royal Queen’ quartet, ‘Take a pair of sparkling eyes’ and ‘Dance a Cachucha,’ on BBC iPlayer for five years. This broadcast is part of the BBC’s Sunday Night Performance strand that will showcase some of the best of the UK’s dance, theatre, music and spoken word in specially made films for television every week of the year.

This co-production with D’Oyly Carte Opera and State Opera South Australia is directed by Stuart Maunder, Artistic Director at State Opera South Australia. G&S aficionado Derek Clark, Head of Music at Scottish Opera, conducts an ensemble cast that includes ENO Harewood Artist William Morgan, former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Mark Nathan, Ellie Laugharne, Ben McAteer, Sioned Gwen Davies, Arthur Bruce and G&S favourites Yvonne Howard and Richard Suart. Also in the cast is 2021/22 Emerging Artist Catriona Hewitson.

Director Stuart Maunder said, “The Gondoliers is an undoubted masterpiece of the baker’s dozen that are The Savoy Operas. It’s a brilliant romp, with glorious music, a sumptuous design and a cast to die for. It’s madcap, gossamer thin and with real heart and the perfect chance for a whole new audience to experience one of the greatest pieces of music theatre in the English language. The Gondoliers’ fusion of infectious melody, topsy-turvy wit and heartfelt sentiment is a combination that never ages – indeed, perhaps it’s something we need now more than ever.

“Directing this glorious piece, with this stellar cast and creative team has been, for me, the best way to beat those Covid blues. The first time back in a theatre, the first time many had been onstage for the best part of two years made for a joyous celebration from day one of rehearsal. That joy, delight and play is captured beautifully in this performance. So proud.”

All productions are created and performed in line with Scottish Government guidelines. The Company’s Opera on Screen productions are available to watch at: www.scottishopera.org.uk/what-s-on/opera-on-screen/.

Irene Brown

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