Singular or plural following a list
Would I use is or are in the following sentence?
The Pohutakawa Coast, Hauraki Gulf, and Waiheke Island is/are the backdrop for our day.
If I rewrote it so the subject (backdrop) starts the sentence, then it seems to me that as it is singular, the verb should be the singular is. But as it is written above, are seems less clumsy.