Greet the two kings, who, because of mistaken identity, have acquired three would-be queens! The sparkling, emerald Adriatic Sea... the sun-dappled, lazy waters of the Grand Canal... singing Gondoliers and Contadine... and the "Cachucha" danced at the Royal Court at Barataria make The Gondoliers a heart-warming Venetian valentine, wrapped in Sullivan's most beautiful music and tied with one of Gilbert's most fanciful libretti.
While most Gilbert & Sullivan operettas are strictly set within the confines of the composer's home country of England, The Gondoliers score was widely influenced by a visit Sullivan made to Italy in 1888. Italian folk dances such as the tarantella and saltarello jostle with other vivacious national dances such as the cachucha (a fast gypsy dance from Spain) and operatic influences including Bellini, Bizet, Handel and Mozart. The entire score is sung in English.