The Gondoliers (BBC)

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Arts Documentary with no narration published by BBC in 2022 - English language

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One of the finest of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operas in a sumptuous production by Scottish Opera. Sunny, funny and with more 'tra-la-las' per square inch than any other opera in the canon, The Gondoliers is a joy from start to finish. This witty satire is jam-packed with unforgettable star roles, musical highlights and dancing, including numbers such as Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes, Regular Royal Queen and the Cachucha.

The Gondoliers is a charming poke at the appeals and pitfalls of rulership, privilege and cronyism. Two happy-go-lucky Venetian gondoliers, Marco and Giuseppe, discover that one of them is, in fact, heir to the throne of a distant kingdom. True to their (adopted) republican roots, they set off together to rule in idealistic if somewhat chaotic style.

Marco and Giuseppe have just chosen their brides, Gianetta and Tessa, when their lives are thrown into turmoil by the arrival of the grand inquisitor, Don Alhambra, who informs them that one of them has acquired the throne of the distant Kingdom of Barataria. The Duke of Plaza-Toro brings his daughter to meet Don Alhambra because she has been betrothed to the new monarch - whichever he is. No-one can identify which of the gondoliers is to be the king, so they both agree to go and rule jointly and according to their strict republican instincts. It’s a fine but exhausting ideal, as they find that ‘equality’ means they end up doing all the work themselves. The Duke of Plaza-Toro, bringing his daughter, arrives in the chaotic kingdom, and after vain attempts to teach the monarchs decorum and judgement, the confusion and incompetence is resolved, and the rightful monarch is in place.

In a co-production by D’Oyly Carte Opera and State Opera South Australia, Stuart Maunder directs the production with fun, verve and taste, with Scottish Opera’s music director, Derek Clark, conducting one of Arthur Sullivan’s most attractive and affecting scores. The designs are by Dick Bird, drawing on views of Venice by Canaletto and creating colourful costumes full of style and wit. Isabel Baquero has devised an energetic and boisterous choreography that matches the joy of the production.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x265 CABAC Main@L4
  • Video Bitrate: CRF 23 (~2258Kbps)
  • Video Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Frame Rate: 25 FPS
  • Audio Codec: HE-AAC
  • Audio Bitrate: 160Kbps CVBR 48KHz (178Kbps average/216Kbps peak)
  • Audio Channels: 6
  • Run-Time: 2h 17m
  • Number Of Parts: 1
  • Part Size: 2.33 GB
  • Source: HDTV (1080i/h264 4830Kbps VBR 5.50GB)
  • Encoded by: JungleBoy

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