North Central College’s Summer Light Opera presents the comic opera “The Gondoliers,” an entertaining story with some of the most musically sophisticated and beautiful scores written by Gilbert and Sullivan.
Four performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. July 28, 29, 30 and at 2 p.m. July 31 in North Central’s Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St., Naperville. Tickets are $12/adults and $10/students and senior citizens; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit northcentralcollege.edu/showtix. This production is recommended for audiences ages 17 and up.
The show features actors from the community and is directed by Matt Boresi, North Central alumnus and lecturer of theatre, with musical direction by Jeordano “Pete” Martinez, professor of music at the College.
A comically complicated story, “The Gondoliers” concerns a pair of simple Venetian gondoliers who, through an extremely operatic baby switch, learn they are the kings of the fictional country of Barataria. Well, one of them is, and no one is sure which of the two. The gondolier who is the King has been betrothed to the daughter of a pompous Duke and Duchess, but both gondoliers have recently married (making one of them an “unintentional bigamist”), and the Duke’s daughter is in a forbidden love affair with a drummer, of all people. Of course, it is up to a scheming Spanish inquisitor to sort the whole thing out.
“It’s been said that following a tense conversation with a fussy diva,” Boresi says, “Gilbert wanted to write a show with more of an ensemble feel to ensure that no one star could claim precedence over the rest of the cast. This production has that ensemble feel. A warm, supportive and very talented community has grown up around the show and features music faculty from various institutions, singers from the Naperville Chorus and other choruses, and students from North Central and other schools. Pete and I have such a marvelous time working with this diverse group of performers and this operetta showcases even more of the talent that has come to us.”
“The Gondoliers” made its debut at the Savoy Theatre in London in 1889 and was a longtime hit. It’s the 12th opera written together by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, one of the most prolific duos of their time in musical theatre. Gilbert had long been interested in theatre, but it wasn’t until after he tried other careers that he took to writing plays as a profession. Sullivan was a classically trained musician and responsible for composing their collaborative works.
Boresi is the program director for musical theater at the Music Institute of Chicago, a faculty member teaching musical theatre and opera at North Central College and Carthage College, and the librettist behind a number of operas and choral works performed across the country. He is a 1997 graduate of North Central College.
The cast for “The Gondoliers” includes (part: name, hometown):
Additional actors comprise citizens of the towns, gondoliers, heralds and pages
The Duke of Plaza-Toro: Mike Mitchell of Aurora
The Duchess of Plaza-Toro: Jane Warfel of Naperville
Casilda: Rebecca Gettelman of Warrenville
Luiz: Adam Westell of Naperville
Don Alhambra del Bolero: Dave McGranahan of Barrington
Marco Palmieri: Nicolae Ziebell of Wheaton
Guiseppe Palmieri: Dan Elg of Wheaton
Gianetta: Amanda DiGrandakis of Naperville
Tessa: Ali Kordelewski of Plainfield
Antonio: John Ranos of Woodridge
Francesco: Nick Loos of Naperville
Giorgio: Jon Warfel of Naperville
Fiametta: Julie Jarosz of Norridge
Vittoria: Jessica Coffey of Plainfield
Inez: Jean Austin of Wheaton
Giulia: Jenny Reusz of Downers Grove
The North Central College Summer Music Theatre shows have long been a chance for families to perform together. This summer’s light opera continues that tradition and is one of many ongoing programs hosted at North Central College to enrich and broaden the academic and cultural outlook for the College and community. For a comprehensive schedule of North Central’s new 2011-2012 fine and performing arts season, art exhibits, lectures and other musical and theatrical productions, visit northcentralcollege.edu/show or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).