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

Saturday 13th October 2018


Performance Ends 9:45pm

Sunday 14th October 2018

3:00pm Matinée

Performance Ends 5:15pm

Tuesday 16th October 2018


Performance Ends 9:45pm

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.

The National Concert Hall, Dublin
Box Office: +353 (0) 1 417 0000 or www.nch.ie

  • 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.

  • The Pirates of Penzance

    by Sir W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan


    The Fifth Avenue Theatre, New York, 31 December 1879

    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 by Moonlight

    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.

  • Major General Stanley
    Tony Finnegan (Ire)
    The Pirate King
    John Owen Miley-Read (Aus)
    Brian Gilligan (Ire)
    Matthew Mannion (USA)
    Sergeant of Police
    Derek Ryan (Ire)
    Rachel Croash (Ire)
    Imelda Drumm (Ire)
    Annaliesa Evans (Ire)
    With the  
    Lyric Opera Chorus & Lyric Opera Orchestra
  • Conductor
    Wilson Shields
    Vivian J. Coates
    Mary MacDonagh
    Lighting Designer
    Alastair Kerr
  • The Major General
    Buffo Baritone
    The Pirate King
    Bass Baritone
    Frederic (the Apprentice Pirate)
    Samuel (the Pirate King’s Lieutenant)
    Sergeant of Police
    Major General Stanley’s Daughters  
    Mabel (in Love with Frederic)
    Mezzo Soprano
    Speaking Role
    Ruth (a Piratical Maid of All Work)
    Mezzo Soprano
  • 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!”

Tony Finnegan
Imelda Drumm
Brian Gilligan
Rachel Croash
John Owen Miley Read
Matthew Mannion
Annaliesa Evans
Winston Shields
Vivian J. Coates
Mary MacDonagh
In Association with