Scottish Opera and D'Oyly Carte Opera's THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE Extends on UK Tour Following Glasgow Premiere, May 15

Scottish Opera and D'Oyly Carte Opera's THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE Extends on UK Tour Following Glasgow Premiere, May 15

Marking a triumphant return from a ten year absence, D'Oyly Carte Opera Company bursts back onto the stage with an historic collaboration with Scottish Opera; taking an all-singing, all-dancing, richly theatrical production of The Pirates of Penzance on an extended, major UK tour following its premiere at Theatre Royal Glasgow on the 15th May 2013.

Following Scottish Opera and D'Oyly Carte's presentation of The Pirates of Penzance in Scotland Genesius Theatrical Productions and Promenade Productions, recent co-producers of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific, join forces with Scottish Opera and D'Oyly Carte to present the show in five major theatres across England and Wales.

"We are delighted to be returning to performance with this collaboration with Scottish Opera. It is gratifying to be creating a new exciting production with Scotland's national opera company, and fans of Gilbert and Sullivan throughout the UK will be well looked after by this new creative partnership.". Ian Martin, General Manager D'Oyly Carte Opera Company

This production, combines D'Oyly Carte's century-long Gilbert and Sullivan relationship and Scottish Opera's world class reputation for high quality, touring opera. Add a cast and chorus of 39 and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera and the result is a vibrant, lavish, stylish and hilarious romp through one of the duo's finest scores. This is G&S as it was meant to be; and the production simply glories in the excesses of the music, the story telling, the wit and the characters, while bringing the humour bang up to date with a Python-esque twinkle.

"The Pirates of Penzance is a fantastic family show and we are excited to be sharing it with a wider audience. With super singing and dancing and, of course, G&S's trademark fun, it'll be a great night out." Alex Reedijk, General Director Scottish Opera

An exquisitely observed satire of Victorian morals and the English ruling classes, The Pirates of Penzance was Gilbert and Sullivan's second great hit, first performed on Broadway in 1879; and follows the joyfully hapless story of Frederic and his true love, Mabel, daughter of Major-General Stanley.

Having turned 21, Frederic should be contractually released from his apprenticeship to a band of pirates, but discovers his birthday is the 29th February – a leap year. Taking duty a little too literally, he deduces it will consequently take him another 63 years to turn 21! Only Mabel's promise to wait sustains him ….

The Pirates of Penzance features some of Gilbert's wittiest lyrics, not least the famous patter song "I am the very Model of a Modern Major-General." While Sullivan brilliantly mixes opera with his signature catchy melodies and some fine parodies of other composers, notably Verdi's Il Trovotore in "Come, friends, who plough the sea" and "You triumph now".

Tour dates are:
15/5/2013 Glasgow, Theatre Royal
23/5/2013 Aberdeen, His Majesty's Theatre
28/5/2013 Edinburgh, Festival Theatre
6/6/2013 Inverness, Eden Court
10/6/2013 Manchester, Opera House
17/6/2013 Bristol, Hippodrome
24/6/2013 Newcastle, Theatre Royal
1/7/2013 Oxford, New Theatre
15/7/2013 Cardiff, Millennium Centre


A company of well-loved G&S singers includes Richard Suart as Major-General Stanley, singing a role he has made his own, described by David Mellor in the Daily Mail as: "… the perfect purveyor of patter as the Major-General himself." Richard has been the principal comic baritone with D'Oyly Carte since 1988 and has performed all the major G&S 'patter roles,' for over a quarter of a century. Further career highlights include The Mikado (Ko-Ko) and Die Fledermaus (Frank), both for ENO, creating the role of Stan Stock in Benedict Mason's Playing Away for Welsh National Opera and The Yeoman of the Guard (Jack Point) at Covent Garden.

Sharing the role of Frederic are Samuel Furness, winner of the 2011 Blyth-Buesst Operatic Prize and Opera North regular Nicholas Sharratt, whose operatic highlights further include Furyanthe (Rudolph) for Glyndebourne and BBC Proms and Deborah Warner's Fidelio at Glyndebourne at the Theatre du Châtelet. They are joined by Rebecca Bottone, as Mabel, whose extensive international CV includes UK appearances in the ENO's The Gondoliers (Casilda) Scottish Opera's Hansel and Gretel and English Touring Opera's, Falstaff (Nanetta).

Scottish Opera favourite Graeme Broadbent sings the role of the Sergeant of Police, having previously appeared with the company in The Barber of Seville 2011 and The Rake's Progress 2012. He was also a member of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, where his many roles included La Boheme (Colline), Turandot (Timur) and Tristan and Isolde (King Marke).

Steven Page, who sings the role of the Pirate King, has appeared variously with ENO (including the title role of Don Giovanni, Paolo of Simone Boccanegra and Gregor Mittenhofer in Henze's Elegy for Young Lovers, directed by Fiona Shaw). His Scottish Opera roles include Marriage of Figaro (Count) and The Rake's Progress (Nick Shadow) and he sang the title role in a highly acclaimed production of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd for Opera North.

Director Martin Lloyd-Evans has directed over 40 productions in the UK and abroad for companies such as Opera Holland Park and Classical Opera Company; working on new and developed, core repertoire and lesser-known pieces. He is also resident producer at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Music Director and conductor is G&S aficionado, John Owen Edwards, who was Music Director at D'Oyly Carte Opera Company for 11 years. His extensive West End credits include Annie, Oklahoma, Chess, The Phantom of the Opera and the RSC's The Wizard of Oz, and opera includes Peace for Opera North, the British premiere of Street Scene at Watford Palace Theatre and The Marriage of Figaro in Barbados. The production is designed by Jamie Vartan, choreographed by Steve Elias, with lighting design by Colin Grenfell.

For more about the production, visit

Related Articles

UK Regional THEATER Stories | Shows

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...