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  • «The Pirates of Penzance» photo: Tristram Kenton

    «The Pirates of Penzance»
  • «The Pirates of Penzance» photo: Tristram Kenton

    «The Pirates of Penzance»
  • «The Pirates of Penzance» photo: Tristram Kenton

    «The Pirates of Penzance»
  • Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg photo: Johann Sebastian Haenel

    Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg

«The Pirates of Penzance»

24.10.2015 20:00,

Théâtre de Caen

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Timothy Henty direction

Adrian Powter Major-General Stanley
Joshua Bloom Richard, the Pirate King
Robert Murray Frederic, the Pirate Apprentice
Mark Richardson Sergeant of Police
Claudia Boyle Mabel, General Stanley's daughter
Rebecca de Pont Davies Ruth, a Piratical Maid of all work

Mike Leigh mise en scène
Alison Chitty scénographie, costumes
Paul Pyant lumières
Francesca Jaynes chorégraphie

Opernchor des Saarländischen Staatstheaters Saarbrücken
Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg

Arthur Sullivan: The Pirates of Penzance. Comic opera in two acts

Gilbert and Sullivan’s dazzling comic opera The Pirates of Penzance comes to Caën in a highly anticipated new collaboration of this much-loved production. First created by the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York in 1879, this timeless piece never grows old, especially in the hands of acclaimed Director Mike Leigh.

Filled with brilliant humour and sharp wit, and featuring a sparkling score of memorable melodies and catchy tunes, this production of The Pirates of Penzance will not fail to delight those who have seen this opera before. In turn, this two act production offers a fabulous introduction for newcomers to opera, regardless of whether young, or simply young-at-heart. With sentimental pirates, blundering policemen, absurd adventures and improbable paradoxes, there is nothing not to love in this story of the hapless Frederic who, on his 21st birthday, is released from his apprenticeship to a band of tender-hearted pirates. Having spent his life among pirates, Frederic has no knowledge of women and initially thinks to take his old nursemaid, the elderly Ruth, as his wife, once she has assured him she is beautiful of course. However, when he meets Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley, the two fall instantly in love. Frederic discovers that having been born on 29 February, technically, he only has a birthday each leap year. His apprenticeship indentures state therefore he must serve for another 63 years. Bound by his own sense of duty, Fredericʼs only solace is that Mabel agrees to wait for him faithfully.

Directed by award-winning British director and filmmaker Leigh and with stylish set design and costumes from Alison Chitty, this vibrant new production is conducted by the brilliant Timothy Henty. Still in his early thirties, Henty has made a name for himself with the boundless enthusiasm that he brings to his arrangements. The superb cast includes Joshua Bloom as Richard, the Pirate King, Adrian Powter as the very model of a Major-General, Mark Richardson as the affectionate parody of the British policeman, Claudia Boyle as the affable Mabel, Robert Murray as the innocent pirate apprentice Frederic, and Rebecca de Pont Davies as Ruth, the older maid who has designs on him.

«Mike Leigh once berated directors for failing to understand Gilbert and Sullivan, resulting in ‹boring, bland, sentimental, self-conscious, often gratuitously camp productions, which entirely miss their point›. But now the film director will get his chance to show them how it is done with the English National Opera […] announcing that Leigh will make his debut […] next year, directing The Pirates of Penzance.» (The Guardian)

«What is the secret of these masterpieces, so apparently lightweight but supremely durable? What is the magic element that makes them more than a cleverly brewed Victorian recipe of smart quips, cartoon characters and catchy tunes? One factor is the uniquely brilliant marriage of text to music and vice versa, which makes Gilbert and Sullivan absolutely equal partners in their collaboration. […] How many other opera librettists invariably get billed alongside composers? None.» (The Telegraph)

Coproduction English National Opera, Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg

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