Scottish Opera Sails Into Town on Pirates Adventure

29 Apr 2013 in Aberdeen City & Shire, Highland, Music

Scottish Opera sees out its 50th anniversary season in swashbuckling style with its first ever production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic classic The Pirates of Penzance.

This vibrant, fun-filled opera for all the family sails into Glasgow’s Theatre Royal on 15 May, and will visit Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Inverness, Manchester, Bristol, Newcastle, Oxford and Cardiff.

Having turned 21, Frederic should be contractually released from his apprenticeship to a band of pirates, but discovers his birthday is the 29th of February, a leap year. Taking his duty a little too literally, he decides it will be another 63 years before he’s really 21, and only Mabel’s promise to wait sustains him…

A cleverly observed satire of Victorian morals and the ruling classes, this production brings the humour bang up to date with Python-esque twinkle. The Pirates of Penzance features some of Gilbert and Sullivan’s wittiest lyrics and best-known tunes, including the beloved and frequently parodied ‘I am the very model of a Modern Major General’ – seen in TV shows from The Muppets to Scrubs to Saturday Night Live.

Scottish Opera General Director Alex Reedijk said: ‘This is a stylish production with plenty of fun for all the family. With all the top notch singing, dancing and of course laughs, the show ends Scottish Opera’s hugely successful 50th anniversary season on a high.’

The Pirates of Penzance is a co-production with D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, which was founded by Gilbert and Sullivan’s producer Richard D’Oyly Carte and has been performing their operas for over 130 years. It ceased production in 2003, with this co-production of The Pirates of Penzance marking its return to the stage.

The top quality ensemble cast includes G&S stars Richard Suart as Major-General Stanley and Steven Page (Nick Shadow, The Rake’s Progress, 2012) as The Pirate King. Sharing the role of young lovers Frederic and Mabel are Samuel Furness and Nicholas Sharratt (Orpheus, Orpheus in the Underworld, 2011), Ellie Laugharne, Stephanie Corley and Rebecca Bottone.

Rosie Aldridge (Opera Highlights, 2012) is Frederic’s nanny Ruth, with Scottish Opera favourite Graeme Broadbent as Sergeant of Police. The Orchestra of Scottish Opera will accompany the 39 strong cast and chorus.

Audiences in Scotland will get the chance to enjoy A Little Bit of The Pirates of Penzance. This bite-sized performance condenses the fun-filled classic into 20 minutes using a singer, story teller, two musicians and a set of colourful illustrations. It’s an ideal opportunity for anyone new to opera to try a taster of the show completely for free. The show will be popping up at a variety of iconic and surprising venues right through May in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh.

Audiences in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Inverness will also get the chance to experience The Pirates of Penzance Unwrapped. The free hour-long taster offers the chance to find out more about what it takes to stage a production and includes musical highlights from singers and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, an introduction to the principal characters, plot and key scenes in the opera and the chance to learn more about lighting, direction and some the theatrical secrets behind the production.

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

Thu 23 May 7.30pm

Fri 24 May 7.30pm

Sat 25 May 2.30pm*+ & 7.30pm

Pirates Unwrapped Wed 22 May 6pm

Eden Court, Inverness

Thu 6 Jun 7.15pm

Fri 7 Jun 7.15pm

Sat 8 Jun 2.15pm*+ & 7.15pm

Pirates Unwrapped Wed 5 Jun 6pm

Source: Scottish Opera