Friday, March 25, 2011


OPENS TONIGHT –MARCH 25, 26, 7:30 pm –and Sunday at 2:30 PM

$8 for Adults; $6 for students and Senior Citizens

The director, Christine Rohrs, is well-pleased with her cast and says it is “hilarious” in its old-fashioned way. The English bobbies (police) are played by EHS grads of various ages and they are very funny.

Where is Elmwood? Allow an hour of driving time though it isn’t quite that far. It is SE of B. G. on the Jerry City Road.

Drive carefully south on 475 to State route 6 –Go left (east) on 6 a short distance, to Huffman Rd and turn right on Huffman –which is long and follows a Black Swamp drainage ditch and jogs a bit and has rare stop signs –so don’t go too fast! –and it dead-ends on Jerry City Road.

Then left on Jerry City Road –to the 2nd school building –

(the former school-bldg.- turned-community-center , where all the cars will probably be.)

Elmwood H.S. presents the Gilbert & Sullivan Operetta

The Pirates of Penzance

The Slave of Duty

Libretto (lyrics) by W.S. Gilbert and Music by Arthur Sullivan

The Pirates of Penzance was written in 1879 for the Fifth Avenue Theater in New York. Gilbert and Sullivan were in New York that year because their previous comic opera H.M.S. Pinafore had been performed there in various unauthorized versions. The only legal protection against this kind of musical piracy for the librettist (music writer) and the composer was to go to the States and present an "authentic production" of "Pinafore". While there, they composed "Pirates". (Was it just a coincidence that piracy was the subject of their new project?)

Sullivan conducted the premiere on December 31, 1879.

The story can be hard to follow if you don’t know it ahead of time –so here it is for those who want the most enjoyment from this silly, old-fashioned, but very entertaining and

wholesome forerunner to the Broadway musical comedy.

The lead vocals are demanding in range and the lyrics sometimes tongue-twisters.

Act One

The story begins on a rocky seashore where the pirates are celebrating young Frederic's coming of age. He has completed his apprenticeship and is now about to become a full-fledged member of the crew. Frederic however shocks the pirate king and his men by announcing that he is leaving their band.

We find out that Frederic was mistakenly indentured to become a pirate when he was a child. Although he never approved of the pirates' plundering profession, he stayed with them because he was bound by his sense of duty. This same sense of duty, he tells them, now compels him to forsake them.

Frederic is about to marry his elder nanny Ruth, who has constantly accompanied him since he joined the ship, but he wants her to remain with the pirates. He has not seen another woman since he was eight years old, and he wants to compare Ruth with other women. He comes upon a group of beautiful maidens, all of them daughters of Major-General Stanley, and falls in love with the youngest, Mabel.

The pirates try to abduct the Major-General's daughters and marry them. But the Major-General begs for their release, claiming that he is an orphan, and that he would be all alone without them. The pirates, who are all orphans themselves, are sympathetic to him, and they give up their plans for marriage.

Act Two

We find out that the Major-General lied to the pirates: He is not an orphan, and he now fears the consequences of his story. Frederic meanwhile has arranged for a Sergeant and his police force to help defeat his former buccaneering comrades.

Ruth and the Pirate King inform Frederic that through an unusual circumstance, he is still bound to remain a pirate. He reluctantly surrenders to his sense of duty and agrees to join them again. Mabel begs him to stay with her, but he sadly tells her that he cannot.

Meanwhile the pirates have planned their revenge on the Major-General and are now coming to rob his estate. The Sergeant and his police force await them. They meet. All is resolved after the ensuing battle.

(All the above info was "pirated" from various google sources.)

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

No comments: