In October Scottish Opera will stage a new production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers in Edinburgh. This co-production with D’Oyly Carte Opera and State Opera South Australia will also include a premiere of Utopia, Limited in November, a production which is rarely seen.

There will be filming of The Gondoliers for future release.

These productions were timetabled for May 2020 and so mark the return of Scottish Opera to the theatre.

The Gondoliers and Utopia, Limited are supported by Scottish Opera’s ‘Play a Supporting Role’ Appeal and the recordings are supported by Garfield Weston Foundation (Weston Culture Fund).

Tickets for The Gondoliers and Utopia, Limited go on sale Wednesday 1 September 2021. For more information visit

Director Stuart Maunder of State Opera South Australis said: “The Gondoliers is a brilliant romp, with glorious music, a sumptuous design and a cast to die for. The G&S phenomenon has been part of the basic language of performing in the English speaking world for more than 150 years. So, this is the perfect chance for a whole new audience to experience one of the greatest pieces of music theatre and to revive a great tradition for a whole new generation. The Gondoliers’ fusion of infectious melody, topsy-turvy wit and heartfelt sentiment is a combination that never ages – indeed, perhaps it’s something we need now more than ever. Opera relies on bringing people together in one place, at one time, to have a shared experience of the great works. Well, we’re back, ready, willing and champing at the bit to deliver this great piece.”

Conductor and Scottish Opera’s Head of Music, Derek Clark, said: “The Gondoliers is like a breath of Italian summer air. Gilbert’s witty book and lyrics show him at the top of his game and Sullivan, inspired by the Venetian setting, produced his sunniest score, with one lilting melody after another – all guaranteed to make you leave the theatre with a smile on your face. It’s pure joy from start to finish, exactly what is needed after a difficult year.”

Directed by Stuart Maunder The Gondoliers satirises the ruling classes and their position within society, with the tale of two happy-go-lucky gondoliers who discover that one of them is the heir to the throne of a distant kingdom. In a show packed full of fun, the gondoliers set off to rule with an idealistic – if somewhat chaotic – plan. Set and Costume Designer Dick Bird embraces the absurdity of Gilbert’s libretto by bringing the story to life with fabulously inventive props –  which are never quite what they seem – and exquisitely detailed costumes to transport audiences to Venice’s Grand Canal.

G&S aficionado, Derek Clark, Head of Music at Scottish Opera, conducts The Gondoliers, which is packed with favourites including the ‘A Regular Royal Queen’ quartet, ‘Take a pair of sparkling eyes’ and ‘Dance a Cachucha’. The ensemble cast includes ENO Harewood Artist William Morgan (The Magic Flute 2019), former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Mark Nathan(Opera Highlights, 2019), Ellie Laugharne (The Elixir of Love 2016), Ben McAteer (The Mikado 2016), Sioned Gwen Davies (Falstaff 2021), and G&S favourites Yvonne Howard and Richard Suart (The Mikado 2016).

Also in the cast is former Emerging Artist Arthur Bruce (L’elisir d’amore 2021) along with 2021/22 Emerging Artist Catriona Hewitson (L’elisir d’amore 2021). Scottish Opera’s 2021/22 Emerging artists Glen Cunningham and Lea Shaw will also perform in the Access Gondoliers performances.

Access Opera tickets

For the first time, Scottish Opera is offering Access Opera performances in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness. These carefully curated, shortened versions of the opera are introduced by a narrator and feature cast and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera. Building on the Company’s ground-breaking dementia friendly opera performances, the shows are open to all and are suitable for anyone who might enjoy the flexibility and freedom to relax and move about as required. Tickets to these performances are free for school groups.


The Gondoliers

Thursday 28 October, 7.15pm, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Friday 29 October, 7.15pm, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Saturday 30 October, 7.15pm, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Sunday 31 October, 2.30pm, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Wednesday 3 November, 3pm, Access Gondoliers, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Thursday 4 November, 7.15pm, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Saturday 6 November, 2.30pm and 7.15pm, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Utopia Limited

Friday 5 November, 7.15pm, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh