The Pirates of Penzance 2022

July 23, 24, 2022

In 1995, Vern Sutton approached Jere Lanz, Conductor of the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra with the idea of presenting a concert version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, along with several other Twin Cities musical celebrities. They needed a chorus, however, to do so. Jere had attended the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company’s spring production of Ruddigore and felt that the company could provide a chorus, as well as fill the smaller soloist roles. The Company agreed to participate and performed in its first concert with the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra, at the Lake Harriet Bandshell.

Twenty-seven years and twenty-two concert presentations later, the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company performed for the last time under Jere’s baton, due to his retirement after the 2022 season.

On Saturday morning of the concert weekend, there was the threat of severe weather, but following an afternoon rain, the skies cleared and it was a lovely evening for the performance. The weather on Sunday was glorious and drew a crowd of over four thousand people.

While the cheers and standing ovations both concert presentations received were a tribute to the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company, the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra, the wonderful response was clearly in recognition of Jere Lanz who had brought these joyful concerts to the Lake Harriet Bandshell for almost three decades! Thank you, Jere! We’ll miss you and wish you all the best!

The cast for this concert production of The Pirates of Penzance included:

Major-General Stanley    Tom Berg
The Pirate King              Alessio Tranchell
Samuel                          Jeff Erickson
Frederic                        Michael Burton
Sergeant of Police          John Orbison

Mabel                            Jennifer LeDoux
Edith                             Kaitlin Klemencic
Kate                              Maggie Burr
Ruth                              Lara Trujillo

Women’s Chorus

Mary Mescher Benbenek, Maggie Benham, Anya Capistrant-Kinny, Inga Capistrant-Kinny, Cynthia Dickison, Jeanne Farrar, Annelise Garner, Mary Gregory, Shawn Holt, Blanka Kryszak, Kate Lamb, Erin Lorentz, Holly MacDonald, Jo Pasternack, Kathryn Petri, Samantha Raun, Deb Rich, Marinanne Sadée

Men’s Chorus

Waldyn Benbenek, Rylan Dean, L. Peter Erickson, Clyde Gerber, Alexander Gerchak, Jakob Gomez, Scott A. Gorman, Stephen Hage, Aaron Lapacz, Eric Pasternack, David Peichel, Stephen J. Rawlins, Wynton Rude, Jacob Wilde

Production Coordinator

Waldyn Benbenek

Associate Production Coordinator

Alexander Gerchak

Assistant Music Director and Rehearsal Accompanist

Jean Orbison Van Heel