Reading Operatic Society performed Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers at The Hexagon, Reading on 27 September-1 October 2005.
A cast of 50 included principals Helen Wigmore as Fiametta, Samantha Horsfield as Vittoria, Tanya Beaney as Giulia, Maggie Marsh as Gianetta, Lori Janke as Tessa, Philip Elliott as Francesco, Kevin Goodfellow as Antonio, Tony Slevin as Giorgio, Mike Hayhoe as Annibale, Jeff Trim as Marco Palmieri, Andrew Phillips as Giuseppe Palmieri, Iain Whittaker as The Duke of Plaza Toro, Tania Pratt as Casilda, Paul Evans as Luiz, Keith Lawrence as Don Alhambra del Bolero and Gloria Griffiths as Inez. The producer and choreographer was Jill Morgan and musical director John Lawes, alongside the Reading Operatic Society’s residential production team – David Parsonson production manager, Carol Hodgkinson stage manager and Geoff Bamford lighting designer.
“The Reading Operatic Society gave an outstanding production of this, one of Gilbert & Sullivan’s most tuneful comic operas, after a slightly uneasy start.
Produced and choreographed by Jill Morgan, and the orchestra conducted by John Lawes, the entire company excelled in the second act with quartets and quintets of tantalising singing, and praiseworthy duos, not forgetting well-balanced choruses.Particularly delightful was the singing of Jeff Trim (Marco), who sang melodiously and moved impressively, Maggie Marsh (Gianetta) and Lori Janke (Tessa) who delighted with their luscious tones, and Andrew Philips (Giuseppe), a fine baritone. Iain Whittaker (Duke of Plaza Toro) and Sam Murray (Duchess) formed a super partnership and presented the many patter songs with flair and aplomb while Tania Platt revealed a lovely soprano voice as Casilda, their daughter. As the Grand Inquisitor, Keith Lawrence gave an imperious, supercilious performance of a rich-toned baritone voice.
In one of their best productions recently, congratulations go to the entire company.”