Pirates of Penzance!

We're gearing up and getting ready to get started on our spring semester show- The Pirates of Penzance! Even though this show was written over 130 years ago, it was brand new to most of our ABLE crew. But any story with a band of pirates, romance, sneaky trickery, and lots of laughs is sure to be a hit with our ensemble! 

Pirates of Penzance is a comic opera written by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan that was a smash hit when it opened- it was the Hamilton of the 1880's! Sullivan even wrote to his mother that he knew the show would stay very popular over time. He wasn't wrong- Pirates is one of Gilbert & Sullivan's most popular operas, and we're so excited to share it with you this spring!

If you're like us and brand new to Pirates, check out this brief synopsis so you can follow our adventures next semester as we tackle this famous opera!


Mistakenly apprenticed to a pirate at the age of eight, the handsome Frederic is now 21 and, although he's quite fond of the group of fun-loving pirates, he leaves them to β€œlead a blameless life henceforth,” dedicating himself instead to destroying the pirates.

Shortly after leaving them, he meets a group of beautiful maidens and their father, the eccentric Major-General and Frederic falls for one of the daughters, Mabel. Their gang escapes a run-in with the tender-hearted pirates after the Major-General lies about being an orphan.

Just as Frederic is ready to lead a band of policemen to take out the Pirate King and his men, the Pirate King arrives to tell him that he has not actually fulfilled his obligation to the pirates. It turns out that Frederic was born on February 29th of a leap year, so he has served only five birthdays, not the 21 required by his contract!

Mabel 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 for his lie.

In the end, the pirates defeat the police. And when it is discovered that the pirates are really noblemen and aren't really the ruthless pirates they seem, the Major-General is happy to marry his daughters to the ex-pirates after all. Frederic wins Mabel, and everyone lives happily ever after!

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