“Oh, better far to live and die,
Under the brave black flag I fly,
Than play a sanctimonious part,
With a pirate head and a pirate heart.”

—The Pirate King
The Pirates of Penzance
The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company’s Production of

The Pirates of Penzance, or the Slave of Duty

November 4 to 20, 2022

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company is pleased to announce that it will present The Pirates of Penzance, for three weekends, from November 4 to 20, 2022.

This production will be directed by Gary Briggle, with choregoraphy by Penelope Freeh and Music Direction by Dr. Randal Buikema.

This production will be dedicated to the memory of company founder, Stage Director, Music Director, Set Designer and leading man Dick Fishel.

The cast for this production of The Pirates of Penzance includes:

  Major-General Stanley:   Scott A Gorman
  Mabel:   Anna Maher
  The Pirate King:   Waldyn Benbenek
  Ruth:   Lara Trujillo
  Frederic:   Seth Tychon Steidl
  Edith:   Kaoru Shoji
  Samuel:   Alexander Gerchak
  Kate:   Kaitlin Klemencic
  The Sergeant of Police:   Paul L Nevin
  Isabel:   Mallory Rabehl


Chorus of Pirates, Policemen, Major-General Stanley’s Daughters and their Governesses

  Sam Babkin   Mary Mescher Benbenek
  Maggie Benham   Sarah Brickeen
  Justin Cervantes   Jeff Erickson
  Jakob Gomez   Mary Gregory
  Deb Haas   Stephen Hage
  Leah Holmes   Shawn Holt
  Michael Hull   Jacob Koshiol
  Nani Krueger   Kate Lamb
  Blanka Melbostad   Mikaela Moe
  John Orbison   Brandon Osero
  Samantha Raun   Lowell Rice
  Sam Vinittstky   Jacob Wilde
  Joshua Zapata-Palmer    

One of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular operettas,
The Pirates of Penzance tells the story of Frederic, who was apprenticed, as a child, to a band of tenderhearted, orphaned pirates by his nurse who, being hard of hearing, had mistaken her master’s instructions to apprentice the boy to a pilot.  Frederic, upon completing his 21st year, rejoices that he has fulfilled his indentures and is now free to return to respectable society.  It turns out, however, that he was born on February 29th in leap year, and he remains apprenticed to the pirates until his 21st birthday.  By the end of the opera, the pirates, a Major General who knows nothing of military strategy, his large family of beautiful, but unwed daughters, and the timid constabulary all contribute to a cacophony that can be silenced only by Queen Victoria’s name.

The Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty was Gilbert and Sullivan’s fifth collaboration, following their extraordinarily successful production of H.M.S. PinaforeThe Pirates of Penzance opened simultaneously in England and America.  The opera premiered on December 31, 1879 at the Fifth Avenue Theater in New York with Sullivan conducting, but a single performance had been given on the previous day at the Royal Bijou Theatre, Paignton, England, to secure the British copyright.  Finally, the opera opened on April 3, 1880, at the Opéra Comique in London, where it ran for 363 performances, having already been playing successfully for over three months in New York.

Two excellent internet resources for information about The Pirates of Penzance:

Wikipedia – The Pirates of Penzance

The Gilbert & Sullivan Archive – The Pirates of Penzance

All performances will be at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, at Plymouth Congregational Church, located at 1900 Nicollet Avenue South, in Minneapolis.  Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 7:30 pm.  The Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2:00 pm.

If you would like to be notified about when to order tickets, we invite you to add your name to our mailing list. This way, we will know how to contact you!  We never sell our mailing list to other parties.

“Poor wandering ones!
If such poor love as ours,
Can help you find,
True peace of mind,
Why, take it, it is yours!”

—The Full Company
The Pirates of Penzance