Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

The Atlanta Opera to Present THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE


The Pirates of Penzance is a rollicking adventure featuring a band of pirates with a soft spot for orphans who set out to court the daughters of Major General Stanley.  

The Atlanta Opera to Present THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE

A colorful production of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance sails into The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre this January as The Atlanta Opera returns to the mainstage, featuring Atlanta favorite tenor Santiago Ballerini as Frederick and Curt Olds as Major General Stanley.

Created and directed by Seán Curran and performed under the baton of Francesco Milioto, The Pirates of Penzance is a rollicking adventure featuring a band of pirates with a soft spot for orphans who set out to court the daughters of Major General Stanley.

"Pirates of Penzance is just plain fun," Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. General and Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun. "The story is amusing, the music is hummable and the singers we have brought to this production will bring smiles to everyone in the theater."

The Atlanta Opera presents The Pirates of Penzance on Jan. 22, 25, 28 and 30 at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased at or by calling 404-881-8885. The opera will be performed in English with English supertitles. All individual tickets to the 2021-2022 Atlanta Opera season are on sale now.

Health and safety remain a priority for The Atlanta Opera. To limit the spread of Covid at this production, The Atlanta Opera has a number of protocols in place, including a requirement that all audience members wear masks throughout the performance and proof of negative test or vaccination. In the coming weeks, the opera will consult with their Health & Safety Taskforce in order to update these policies.

Ballerini, an alumnus of the Atlanta Opera Studio program and one of the most recognized tenors in the Bel Canto repertoire, will sing the role of the Frederic, the pirate apprentice, in his return to The Atlanta Opera stage. Ballerini has previously starred in Atlanta productions of Daughter of the Regiment (2018) and La Cenorentola (2019).

Hailed by Opera News as "a wonderful singing actor", baritone Olds returns to Atlanta to sing Major General Stanley in this production. The versatile Olds has built his career singing roles in both opera and musicals, known not only for his work in Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado, but also Broadway's Riverdance, Cats and the current international tour of The Phantom of the Opera.

Craig Irvin will sing the Pirate King. Widely recognized for his portrayal of Lt. Horstmayer in Kevin Puts' Silent Night, which he has sung across the country including in Atlanta, Irvin is equally at home in dramatic and comic roles, performing with Opera Company of Philadelphia, Minnesota Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Sarasota Opera, Utah Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera.

British/American soprano Susanne Burgess will sing the role of Frederic's patient sweetheart Mabel. Susanne spent the 2020-21 season with The Atlanta Opera, performing the role of Lucy Brown in The Threepenny Opera and remains with the company in 2021-22 as a The Atlanta Opera Studio artist in residence.

With a career that takes her throughout the U.S. and Europe mezzo-soprano Katharine Goeldner will sing the role of Ruth, the nursemaid. Recent performances include her Minnesota Orchestra debut as Herodias in Richard Strauss' Salome, Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with Orchestra Iowa, Dalila in Samson et Dalila at Virginia Opera and Amneris in Aida at Utah Opera.

Curran, a sought-after choreographer and director for opera and theatre, his work has appeared on stages across the country, including the Metropolitan Opera, Broadway and Shakespeare in the Park as well as the San Francisco Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and others. The company he founded, Seán Curran Company, tours internationally under Curran's leadership.

Following his turn at the podium for The Atlanta Opera's Big Tent production of Threepenny Opera, Milioto returns to lead this production. A rising star in the younger generation of conductors, he is forging a unique career as a versatile interpreter of both the operatic and orchestral repertoire. He currently serves as Music Director of OPERA San Antonio and Artistic Advisor to the Florentine Opera in Milwaukee.

The production will be filmed by Felipe Barral and will be released on The Atlanta Opera's Spotlight Media streaming platform later in 2022.

Photo credit: Jeff Roffman

Related Articles View More Opera Stories

Buy at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

More Hot Stories For You