“The Gondoliers”: A comedic romp

UM Opera Theatre, UM Symphony Orchestra, and Missoula Community Theatre collaborate

On Stage

“The Gondoliers,” a delightful musical romp, is the result of a bi-annual creative collaboration between the University of Montana Opera Theatre, UM Symphony Orchestra, and Missoula Community Theatre. Whether romance or comedy is what you are craving this February, you can satisfy both yearnings Valentine’s Day weekend with the pure silliness of Gilbert and Sullivan!

“The Gondoliers,” the last great success of the writing team of Gilbert and Sullivan, will be presented at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts Feb. 12-14. The duo is known for their satirical wit – especially regarding class distinctions – and that signature humor is key to this whimsical story. Two young Gondoliers have been raised as brothers. Right after they marry their respective sweethearts, they learn that the ruler of the mystical kingdom of Barataria has been killed, and one of the Gondoliers is actually the long lost heir of this deceased king. But which one? Only an old nursemaid knows. The search for her commences while the brothers hurry to Barataria to reign jointly. Romantic complications, silliness, and glorious music ensue as Gilbert and Sullivan “disentangle every knot.”

Director and UM Music Professor Anne Basinski is excited to bring this “comic gem” to the stage and delighted with the talent of the cast. “They bring wonderful energy and humor, and beautiful voices to boot!”

The cast includes some familiar faces for Missoula audiences, such as Roxann Jackson (“Duchess”) and Royce McIntosh (“Giuseppe”), last seen as “Mrs. Lovett” and “Judge Turpin,” respectively, in Missoula Community Theatre’s production of “Sweeney Todd.” And following her recent success as “Maria” in MCT’s The Sound of Music, Taylor Caprara will be playing the role of “Casilda.”

Basinski notes that the community-driven effort of this production adds to its luminescence. “The UM Opera Theatre and UM Symphony Orchestra relish the chance to collaborate with our friends at MCT – our prize-winning shows are the result,” she says, alluding to the National Opera Association first place honors bestowed upon the 2014 collaboration of “The Legend of Orpheus” and the 2006 production of “The Marriage of Figaro.”

But above all, Basinski feels that this “high energy, charming show will absolutely make your Valentine’s Day weekend brighter – particularly if you are a fan of silly British humor.”

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available at www.MCTinc.org, by calling 406-728-7529 or at MCT’s Box Office.