Opera Comique is working with the Mary Rose Museum to put on a performance of HMS Pinafore this June. Formed in Portsmouth (where both Gilbert and Sullivan visited at various points during the composition) as a charitable trust a, they have performed to both national and international audiences since forming in 1976. Their personnel are all experienced Gilbert and Sullivan enthusiasts drawn from a wide area of the South of England and perform together several times each year.

 

HMS Pinafore enjoyed the longest first run of all the Gilbert and Sullivan operas. There were 700 performances from when it was first produced in 1878 – at the original Opera Comique!

 

The story takes place aboard the ship HMS Pinafore. The captain’s daughter, Josephine, is in love with a lower-class sailor, Ralph Rackstraw, although her father intends her to marry Sir Joseph Porter, the First Lord of the Admiralty. She abides by her father’s wishes at first, but Sir Joseph’s advocacy of the equality of humankind encourages Ralph and Josephine to overturn conventional social order. They declare their love for each other and eventually plan to elope. The captain discovers this plan, but, as in many of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, a surprise disclosure changes things dramatically near the end of the story…

 

This performance takes place at the Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth on Saturday, 13th June. Doors open at 6:30pm, performance to begin at 7pm. Doors close 10pm.