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The Pirates of Penzance


27th October - 1st November 2008

Director: Nicholas Clough

Musical Director: Susannah Edom

The Pirates of Penzance; or, The Slave of Duty is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. Its official premiere was at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York City on 31 December 1879, where it was well received by both audiences and critics. Its London debut was on 3 April 1880, at the Opera Comique, where it ran for 363 performances.

The story concerns Frederic, who, having completed his 21st year, is released from his apprenticeship to a band of tender-hearted pirates. He meets the daughters of Major-General Stanley, including Mabel, and the two young people fall instantly in love. Frederic soon learns, however, that he was born on the 29th of February, and so, technically, he has a birthday only once each leap year. His indenture specifies that he remain apprenticed to the pirates until his "twenty-first birthday", meaning that he must serve for another 63 years. Bound by his own sense of duty, Frederic's only solace is that Mabel agrees to wait for him faithfully.
 

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Click image above to view the programme

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