Arthur Sullivan

Operetta in two acts
Composer: Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900)
Libretto: W.S. Gil
1st performance: London 7th December 1889
set and costume design
: Fer Smidt ( i.c.w. Judith van den Berg)
direction: Marc Smit
company: Nieuw Leven
premiere: Stompetoren 1992



Stage model act 2

The eleventh of the major Gilbert and Sullivan collaborations, written against background of artistic disagreement, but one of their most sparkling scores. The gondoliers is notable for skillfully handled long introductions and finales without spoken dialogue.


costume designs

Having to work in an extremely small theatre we decided to design the hall as well as the stage. Our first inspiration was the Venetian painter Giambattista Tiepolo. The whole concept was based on his etchings and drawings, which we changed to a burlesque collage. The set showed blue painted skies with small drawings of Venetian houses at the bottom (1st act), and the same Tiepolo-like blue skies with this enormous throne, etching-like as the only set-piece. During the performance several props came along, as the story revealed, but all in a witty way.

Video still from act 2