Respectable gondoliers

By calling Richie Goulding and his brother "Highly respectable gondoliers," Simon Dedalus implies that they are beneath his social class. The phrase comes from a song in Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera The Gondoliers; or, The King of Barataria, which was first performed in 1889 at the Savoy Theatre in London. Since the opera satirizes class distinctions, Simon's allusion would seem to backfire on him.

JH 2015

Rutland Barrington and Courtice Pounds as Marco and Giuseppe Palmieri, in the original D'Oyly Carte production company. Source: Wikipedia.

John Rath singing Don Alhambra's "I stole the prince," the aria that tells of the "highly respectable gondolier," in a performance by the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, date unknown. Source: YouTube.

Act 1 of The Gondoliers, performed by the Pro Arte Orchestra and Glyndebourne Festival Chorus, conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent in 1957. Source: YouTube.