Pirates Logo
by W.S. Gilbert & Sir Arthur Sullivan

Saturday 13, Sunday 14 (Matinée) & Tuesday 16

October 2018

Pirates of Penzance Main 860

7:30pm & 3:00pm (Sunday Only)

The National Concert Hall, Dublin
Box Office: +353 (0) 1 417 000 or www.nch.ie

Pre-Performance Talk:

One hour before the main performance by the Artistic Director. Duration 25 mins – in the Carolan Suite at the NCH. Admission is FREE.

Performance Ends 9:45pm & 5:15pm
In Association with
                  

PREMIÉRE:

The Fifth Avenue Theatre, New York, 31 December 1879

LOCATION:

Act 1: A Rocky Seashore on the Coast of Cornwall
Act 2 : A Ruined Churchyard by Moonlight.

THE STORY IN BRIEF:

Let’s get this straight. The pirates, who take pity on orphans, are really peers of the realm. The 21-year-old Frederic, who has sworn to put them behind bars, is really only five but in love with Mabel – the Major General’s daughter. And the policemen, whose lot is not a happy one, are really, really hopeless at foiling felons… but in the end, they all live happily every after.

 
 

Cast:

Major General Stanley
The Pirate King
Frederic
Samuel
Sergeant of Police
Mabel
Ruth
Edith
 
 
Tony Finnegan (Ire)
John Owen Miley-Read (Aus)
Brian Gilligan (Ire)
Matthew Mannion (USA)
Derek Ryan (Ire)
Rachel Croash (Ire)
Imelda Drumm (Ire)
Annaliesa Evans (Ire)
 
 

Cast:

Major General Stanley
Tony Finnegan (Ire)
The Pirate King
John Owen Miley-Read (Aus)
Frederic
Brian Gilligan (Ire)
Samuel
Matthew Mannion (USA)
Sergeant of Police
Derek Ryan (Ire)
Mabel
Rachel Croash (Ire)
Ruth
Imelda Drumm (Ire)
Edith
Annaliesa Evans (Ire)
 
 

With the

Lyric Opera Chorus & The Lyric Opera Orchestra

 

Creative Team:

Conductor
Director/Designer
Choreographer
Lighting Designer
Wilson Shields
Vivian J. Coates
Mary MacDonagh
Alastair Kerr
 
 

Creative Team:

Conductor
Wilson Shields
Director/Designer
Vivian J. Coates
Choreographer
Mary MacDonagh
Lighting Designer
Alistair Kerr
 
 
The Major General

Tony Finnegan

The Major General
Ruth

Imelda Drumm

Ruth
Frederic

Brian Gilligan

Frederic
Mabel

Rachel Croash

Mabel
The Pirate King

John Owen Miley Read

The Pirate King
Samuel

Matthew Mannion

Samuel
Edith

Annaliesa Evans

Edith
Conductor

Winston Shields

Conductor
Director/Designer

Vivian J. Coates

Director/Designer
Choreographer

Mary MacDonagh

Choreographer

Main Opera Characters:

The Major General
The Pirate King
Frederic (the Apprentice Pirate)
Samuel (the Pirate King’s Lieutenant)
Sergeant of Police
 
 
 
 
Buffo Baritone
Bass Bartione
Tenor
Bass
Baritone
 
 
Major General Stanley’s Daughters:
Mabel (in Love with Frederic)
      Edith
      Kate
      Isabel
Ruth (a Piratical Maid of All Work)
Soprano
Mezzo Soprano
Soprano
Speaking Role
Mezzo Soprano
 
 
 
 

Main Opera Characters:

The Major General
Buffo Baritone
The Pirate King
Bass Baritone
Frederic (the Apprentice Pirate)
Tenor
Samuel (the Pirate King’s Lieutenant)
Bass
Sergeant of  Police
Baritone
 
 
Major General Stanley’s Daughters:
Mabel (in Love with Frederic)
Soprano
Edith
Mezzo Soprano
Kate
Soprano
Isabel
Speaking Role
Ruth (a Piratical Maid of All Work)
Mezzo Soprano

Full Synopsis of the Opera

The Pirates of Penzance

by Sir W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan

ACT I – A Rocky Seashore on the Coast of Cornwall

On the coast of Cornwall, a gang of pirates play and party as Frederic (a pirate apprentice) reminds the pirate king that his obligation to the gang is soon over. He was apprenticed to the pirates only until his twenty-first birthday, which is that day, and he is leaving them. Ruth (Frederic’s nursery maid when he was younger) explains that Frederic should never have been a pirate except for her mistake: She was told to apprentice Frederic to a pilot, but she misunderstood and placed him with a pirate instead.

Frederic tells the pirates that, after he leaves the gang, he intends to destroy them, not because he doesn’t love them, but because he loathes what they do. He is a slave of duty and, when no longer a pirate, it will be his duty to destroy them. The pirates understand, and also complain that they cannot seem to make money. Because Frederic is a slave-of-duty to the pirates until noon, he tells them why: Because they are all orphans, the pirates will not rob another orphan; and since all their potential victims are aware of this, they all claim to be orphans!

Because Frederic has spent his entire life with the pirates, he has never seen another woman; thus he thinks he may want to take Ruth with him as his wife. He asks Ruth if she is beautiful, and she responds that she is. Frederic, a very trusting young man, says that he believes Ruth and he will not let her age come between them.

At this point, however, Frederic hears a chorus of girls in the vicinity. He sees a group of beautiful young women, realizes he was betrayed by Ruth, and rejects her. Frederic informs the girls that he is a pirate, but not for long. He asks if any of the girls will marry him, and the youngest, Mabel, agrees.

The pirates enter the scene, and each grabs a girl. Major-General Stanley enters and identifies himself as the girls’ father, demanding to know what is taking place. When the pirates tell Major-General Stanley that they intend to marry his daughters, he objects, saying he has an aversion to having pirates for sons-in-law; the pirates respond that they are opposed to having major-generals as fathers-in-law, but that they will put aside the objection.

Knowing about the pirates’ weakness, Major-General Stanley tells them he is an orphan and, thus, disarms the pirates and takes his daughters, along with Frederic, away to his family chapel and estate.

ACT II – The Ruined Chapel

The major-general, who actually is not an orphan, soon feels guilty about the lie he told the pirates. Frederic, however, has a plan to lead a squad of zany policemen against the his old gang.

Before he can act, however, the pirate king and Ruth arrive to tell him that he is still obligated to the pirates. Because Frederic was born on February 29 — a leap year, he has served only five birthdays, not the twenty-one required by his contract. A strong sense of duty forces Frederic to relent, and, because he is a member of the pirate band again, to reveal the truth that Major-General Stanley is not an orphan. The pirate king vows that he will have revenge on the major-general.

Mabel enters and begs Frederic not to go back to the pirates, but bound by duty, he leaves. The police ready their attack on the pirates, while the pirates creep in to take revenge on the major-general.

The pirates defeat the police. However, when Ruth divulges that the pirates are really noblemen and they swear their allegiance to the queen, the tables are turned–and the police take the pirates prisoner.

However, because the pirates have never really hurt anyone, they are soon forgiven. The ex-pirates win the girls, Frederic wins Mabel, and everyone lives happily ever after.

Musical Numbers in The Pirates of Penzance

ACT I

1. “Pour, oh pour, the pirate sherry” (Samuel and Chorus of Pirates)
2. “When Fred’ric was a little lad” (Ruth)
3. “Oh, better far to live and die” (Pirate King and Chorus of Pirates)
4. “Oh! false one, you have deceiv’d me” (Frederic and Ruth)
5. “Climbing over rocky mountain” (Chorus of Girls)
6. “Stop, ladies, pray” (Edith, Kate, Frederic, and Chorus of Girls)
7. “Oh, is there not one maiden breast?” (Frederic and Chorus of Girls)
8. “Poor wand’ring one” (Mabel and Chorus of Girls)
9. “What ought we to do?” (Edith, Kate, and Chorus of Girls)
10. “How beautifully blue the sky” (Mabel, Frederic, and Chorus of Girls)
11. “Stay, we must not lose our senses” … “Here’s a first-rate opportunity to get married with impunity” (Frederic and Chorus of Girls and Pirates)
12. “Hold, monsters” (Mabel, Major-General, Samuel, and Chorus)
13. “I am the very model of a modern Major-General” (Major-General and Chorus)
14. Finale Act I (Mabel, Kate, Edith, Ruth, Frederic, Samuel, King, Major-General, and Chorus)
    “Oh, men of dark and dismal fate”
    “I’m telling a terrible story”
    “Hail, Poetry”
    “Oh, happy day, with joyous glee”
    “Pray observe the magnanimity” (reprise of “Here’s a first-rate opportunity”)

ACT II

15. “Oh, dry the glist’ning tear” (Mabel and Chorus of Girls)
16. “Then, Frederic, let your escort lion-hearted” (Frederic and Major-General)
17. “When the foeman bares his steel” (Mabel, Edith, Sergeant, and Chorus of Policemen and Girls)
18. “Now for the pirates’ lair!” (Frederic, Ruth, and King)
19. “When you had left our pirate fold” [The “paradox” trio] (Ruth, Frederic, and King)
20. “Away, away! My heart’s on fire!” (Ruth, Frederic, and King)
21. “All is prepar’d; your gallant crew await you” (Mabel and Frederic)
22. “Stay, Fred’ric, stay” … “Ah, leave me not to pine” … “Oh, here is love, and here is truth” (Mabel and Frederic)
23. “No, I’ll be brave” … “Though in body and in mind” (Reprise of “When the foeman bares his steel”) (Mabel, Sergeant, and Chorus of Police)
23a. “Sergeant, approach!” (Mabel, Sergeant of Police, and Chorus of Police)
24. “When a felon’s not engaged in his employment” (Sergeant and Chorus of Police)
25. “A rollicking band of pirates we” (Sergeant and Chorus of Pirates and Police)
26. “With cat-like tread, upon our prey we steal” (Samuel and Chorus of Pirates and Police)
27. “Hush, hush, not a word!” (Frederic, King, Major-General, and Chorus of Police and Pirates)
28. Finale, Act II (Ensemble)
    “Now what is this, and what is that?”
    “You/We triumph now”
    “Away with them, and place them at the bar!”
    “Poor wandering ones!”