Overgate Hospice Choir: The Gondoliers
All Saints’ Church, Elland
It was tought to convey the sunny exuberance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s 1889 comic opera in a church with no sets, no costumes and no orchestra but the Overgate Hospice Choir, directed by Simon Lindley, did it.
Helped, of course, by the ludicrously improbable plotline of love, marriage and mistaken identity narrated with intelligence and wry humour by Elizabeth Horsey. Helped, too, by Gilbert’s wittily irreverent lyrics, characteristically poking fun at the monarchy, pretension and the stuffy British obsession with class, and Sullivan’s infectiously tuneful score – all credit to Alan Horsey for his indefatigable accompaniment on the piano.
Strong vocals were essential and we could hear all the words and enjoy the vivid characterisations of the main protagonists. Peter Condry and Chris Trenholme relished their comic opportunities as gondoliers Marco and Giuseppe and were well matched by Kristina James and Lucy Appleyard as Gianetta and Tessa.
Giselle Allen was disdainful and imperious as the Duchess while Philip Wilcox as the Duke sang with energy and feeling with Toby Ward well cast as his attendant Luiz.
Dick Pledge made for a suitably pompous Grand Inquisitor, with Sarah Kelly’s ringing soprano defining the character of Casilda.
A splendid way to celebrate 20 years of fund-raising for such a deserving local cause.