The Gondoliers (or, The King of Barataria)
years ago when Casilda was a baby, she and the infant heir to the throne
of Barataria were married. Shortly thereafter, he disappeared, supposedly
abducted to Venice by the Grand Inquisitor Don Alhambra and there brought
up. At length, as the result of insurrection, the throne of Barataria
became vacant and Casilda's father, the somewhat faded Duke of Plaza-Toto,
wished to establish his daughter as Queen. He accordingly went to Venice,
accompanied by his wife, daughter and Luiz, his drummer, in search of
his daughter's missing husband.
As the curtain rises, Marco and Guiseppe have come to choose their brides,
Gianetta and Tessa. While the bridal couples go off to be married, the
Duke of Plaza-Toro and his entourage arrive. The Duke informs Casilda
of her childhood marriage, unwelcome news since she loves Luiz. Don Alhambra
appears and tells them that the Prince is either Guiseppe or Marco, he
is not sure which. He will send for the Prince's nurse and, when she arrives,
she will know which one it is. Meanwhile, Guiseppe and Marco must go to
Barataria and rule jointly, affording them the opportunity to test their
The second act opens in Barataria, where Guiseppe and Marco share the
throne. Everything seems to be going well, except that they miss their
wives. Tessa, Gianetta, and the other contadine, having grown anxious
to see the new monarchs, appear and join the court.
A slight cloud appears on the horizon when Don Alhambra enters and points
out the weaknesses of Guiseppe's and Marco's system of government. When
he learns that Tessa and Gianetta are there, he is disturbed, and tells
them of the Prince's infant marriage. This revelation is a heavy blow
to their hopes, for not only is neither of them to be Queen, but one of
them is not actually married.
Inez arrives to tell the court how she cleverly tricked the traitors
by substituting her own son. The rightful King of Barataria is revealed
to be Luiz. Thus Casilda is united with the man she loves, and Guiseppe
and Marco return to Venice, their wives and chosen calling.