It’s not hard to guess where Zoe Yalouris got her love of the stage from.
Yalouris and her mother, Megan Chalmers, will share the stage as part of the Rockdale Opera Company’s production of the Gilbert and Sullivan classic The Gondoliers from June 24 to July 2.
Often called the champagne of Gilbert and Sullivan, The Gondoliers is considered a masterpiece in the world of light opera. Set in Venice and the fictitious kingdom of Barataria in the middle of the 18th century, it boasts a bright and happy score and story packed with all the best Gilbertian ingredients.
Rockdale contralto Chalmers plays the haughty role of The Duchess of Plaza-Toro alongside Yalouris who plays the young contadine Vittoria.
“It’s so wonderful to be able to share my passion for performing with my beautiful daughter,” Chalmers said.
“We also have had something very special given to us for this production. The legendary singer Mary Blake performed in over 30 shows with Rockdale Opera between 1958 and 1984 including playing The Duchess in The Gondoliers four times.
“Her daughter still has the combs and mantilla that Mary wore in those productions and has kindly offered to let me wear them as part of my costume.”
Brighton-Le-Sands actor Michael Kallidis, along with Spencer Derby, plays the titular roles of Gondolieri Giuseppe and Marco.
“This has been so much fun and a really terrific sing,” Kallidis said.
Gilbert returns to his favourite topsy-turvy theme 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.
The Gondoliers premiered at the Savoy Theatre in London in December, 1889. It was the 12th of 14 collaborations between W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan and showcases them at the height of their talents.
It also possesses arguably the most sparkling and tuneful music of any composed by Sullivan.