The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin

The Gondoliers
The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin presented as its summer 2016 grand production The Gondoliers; or, The King of Barataria. Nine performances were presented at the Worley Barton Theater at Brentwood Christian School, June 16-26, 2016.
See photo gallery | Watch videos

As GSSA artistic director Ralph MacPhail, Jr. took a well-deserved sabbatical summer, Michelle Haché was the stage director. Jeffrey Jones-Ragona returned for his 19th season as Music Director. Bill Hatcher returned as Production Manager.

The Gondoliers premiered at the Savoy Theatre in December of 1889. The twelfth of the fourteen collaborations by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, it showcases them at the height of their talents. The opera is a feast for the eyes, the ears, and the heart!

Set in Venice, The Gondoliers possesses perhaps the most sparkling and tuneful music of any composed by Sullivan, and indeed provides the most dancing. Of all the G&S operas, The Gondoliers features the greatest range of choreography. Sullivan borrowed from France the stately gavotte, from Spain the cachucha, from Italy the saltarello and the tarantella, and from Venice the barcarolle.

Gilbert returns to his favorite theme of topsy-turvydom, and satirizes snobbery regarding class distinctions in society. By setting the work comfortably far away from England, Gilbert was emboldened to direct sharper criticism at the nobility and the institution of the monarchy itself.

As the opera begins, the audience is treated to the longest choral opening of any of the Savoy operas, with Venetian gondoliers and maidens setting the scene and playfully inviting us into their colorful world. Shortly, the young bride of the heir to the throne of the kingdom of Barataria arrives in Venice to join her husband. But he cannot be identified, since he was entrusted to the care of a drunken gondolier who mixed up the prince with his own son. As the King of Barataria has just been killed, these two young gondoliers must now jointly rule the kingdom until the nurse of the prince can be brought in to determine which of them is the rightful king. And that is only the beginning of the delightful complexity of the plot.

The Duke of Plaza-Toro
Don Alhambra del Bolero
Marco Palmieri
Giuseppe Palmieri
The Duchess of Plaza-Toro
Bob Beare
Jerry Cordova
Arthur DiBianca
Holton Johnson
Derek Smootz
Jake Jacobsen
Danny Castillo
Jay Young
Clint Cox
Patricia Combs
Corinna Browning
Priscilla Salisbury
Angela Irving
Jennifer Garza
Diana Rodriguez
Sarah Manna
Janette Jones
Women's Chorus of Contadine:
Jayda Maret, Rosa Harris, Jamieson Taylor, Elizabeth Etter, Sarah Steele

Men's Chorus of Gondoliers:
Andy Fleming, Paul Halstead, Ezra Hankin, Bruno Barbosa, Tristan Tierney

Cast and Crew
Complete photo gallery | Cast & Crew photo
B Iden Payne Awards
Congratulations to the cast & crew of our June 2016 production of "The Gondoliers" for winning the B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Production in Musical Theatre - and to Michelle Haché for winning for Outstanding Direction in Musical Theatre. In addition congratulations for their nominations to Jeffrey Jones-Ragona for Outstanding Music Direction, Arthur DiBianca (Don Alhambra del Bolero) for Outstanding Featured Actor in Musical Theatre, and Corinna Browning (Casilda) for Outstanding Featured Actress in Musical Theatre.

For over 40 years, the B. Iden Payne Awards committee has recognized outstanding theatrical performance, production and design in Austin. The winners were announced at the B. Iden Payne Awards ceremony on October 24th at the Rollins Studio Theatre.

Awards Ceremony Performance"From the Sunny Spanish Shore" from "The Gondoliers" was performed during the ceremony by Corinna Browning, Jerry Cordova, Patricia Combs and Robert Beare. Watch Video

Click here here for more information. Click here to see photos.


"The entire production is a faithful reproduction in the grand style of Gilbert and Sullivan, not a single flaw could be seen."
Read the Broadway World review

"This production by the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin is superb and recommended enthusiastically to all audiences."
Read the CTX Live Theatre review

"As the audience headed home, hearts were light and smiles were omnipresent."
Read the Austin Metblogs review

YouTube Videos
Watch Videos
Watch video clips from the DVD of "The Gondoliers"
Final Weekend - Watch Video
Watch Video
Video highlights of "The Gondoliers" & details about the closing weekend.
Flash Mob video
Watch Video
Flash Mob performance of
"Dance a Cachucha"
at Central Market on June 4th
Michelle Hache video
Watch Video
Stage Director Michelle Haché previews "The Gondoliers"
Read Playbill


Vocal Score

Media Materials
Press Photo (jpg)
Poster (pdf)
Press Release (pdf)
Recent Summer Productions
The Sorcerer - 2015
H.M.S. Pinafore
- 2014
Princess Ida
- 2013
- 2012
The Mikado - 2011
The Yeomen of the Guard - 2010
Iolanthe - 2009
The Pirates of Penzance - 2008
Ruddigore - 2007

The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin

PO Box 684542 / Austin, Texas / 78768-4542 / 512.472.4772 /

This project is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at