Media Release: Scottish Opera sails into town on pirates adventure

Pirates of Penzance

SCOTTISH Opera sees out its 50th anniversary season in swashbuckling style with its first ever production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic classic, The Pirates of Penzance.

This vibrant, fun-filled opera for all the family sails into Glasgow’s Theatre Royal on 15 May, and will visit Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Inverness, Manchester, Bristol, Newcastle, Oxford and Cardiff.

Having turned 21, Frederic should be contractually released from his apprenticeship to a band of pirates, but discovers his birthday is the 29th of February, a leap year.

Taking his duty a little too literally, he decides it will be another 63 years before he’s really 21, and only Mabel’s promise to wait sustains him…

A cleverly-observed satire of Victorian morals and the ruling classes, this production brings the humour bang up to date with Python-esque twinkle. The Pirates of Penzance features some of Gilbert and Sullivan’s wittiest lyrics and best-known tunes, including the beloved and frequently=parodied, ‘I am the very model of a Modern Major General’ – seen in TV shows from The Muppets to Scrubs to Saturday Night Live.

Scottish Opera general director, Alex Reedijk, said: ‘This is a stylish production with plenty of fun for all the family.

“With all the top-notch singing, dancing and of course laughs, the show ends Scottish Opera’s hugely successful 50th anniversary season on a high.”

The Pirates of Penzance is a co-production with D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, which was founded by Gilbert and Sullivan’s producer, Richard D’Oyly Carte and has been performing their operas for over 130 years.

It ceased production in 2003, with this co-production of The Pirates of Penzance marking its return to the stage.

The top quality ensemble cast includes G&S stars Richard Suart as Major-General Stanley and Steven Page (Nick Shadow, The Rake’s Progress, 2012) as The Pirate King.

Sharing the role of young lovers Frederic and Mabel are Samuel Furness and Nicholas Sharratt (Orpheus, Orpheus in the Underworld, 2011), Ellie Laugharne, Stephanie Corley and Rebecca Bottone.

Rosie Aldridge (Opera Highlights, 2012) is Frederic’s nanny Ruth, with Scottish Opera favourite, Graeme Broadbent, as Sergeant of Police.

The Orchestra of Scottish Opera will accompany the 39-strong cast and chorus.

Audiences in Scotland will get the chance to enjoy A Little Bit of The Pirates of Penzance.

This bite-sized performance condenses the fun-filled classic into 20 minutes using a singer, story teller, two musicians and a set of colourful illustrations.

It’s an ideal opportunity for anyone new to opera to try a taster of the show completely for free. The show will be popping up at a variety of iconic and surprising venues right through May in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh.

Audiences in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Inverness will also get the chance to experience The Pirates of Penzance Unwrapped.

The free hour-long taster offers the chance to find out more about what it takes to stage a production and includes musical highlights from singers and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, an introduction to the principal characters, plot and key scenes in the opera and the chance to learn more about lighting, direction and some the theatrical secrets behind the production.


Cast                                                                 Creative Team

Mabel               Stephanie Corley           Director                        Martin Lloyd-Evans

Ellie Laugharne             Conductors                   John Owen Edwards

Derek Clark

Rebecca Bottone (from 11th June)           Designer                      Jamie Vartan

Lighting Designer          Colin Grenfell

Choreographer              Steve Elias

Frederic                        Nicholas Sharratt

Samuel Furness

Ruth                             Rosie Aldridge

Sergeant of Police        Graeme Broadbent

The Pirate King              Steven Page

Major-General Stanley    Richard Suart

Edith                            Katie Grosset≠

Kate                             Sioned Gwen Davis

Samuel                         Andrew McTaggart≠

Isabel                           Catrine Kirkman

≠ Scottish Opera Emerging Artist 2012/13.

Performance Dates

Theatre Royal Glasgow

Wed 15 May 7.15pm

Thu 16 May 7.15pm

Fri 17 May 7.15pm

Sat 18 May 2.15pm*+ & 7.15pm

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

Thu 23 May 7.30pm

Fri 24 May 7.30pm

Sat 25 May 2.30pm*+ and 7.30pm

Pirates Unwrapped Wed 22 May 6pm

Festival Theatre Edinburgh

Tue 28 May 7.15pm

Thu 30 May 7.15pm

Fri 31 May 7.15pm

Sat 1 June 2.15pm*+ and 7.15pm

Pirates Unwrapped Wed 29 May 6pm

Eden Court, Inverness

Thu 6 Jun 7.15pm

Fri 7 Jun 7.15pm

Sat 8 Jun 2.15pm*+ and 7.15pm

Pirates Unwrapped Wed 5 Jun 6pm

Opera House, Manchester

Tue 11 Jun 7.30pm

Wed 12 Jun 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Thu 13 Jun 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Fri 14 Jun 7.30pm

Sat 15 Jun 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Hippodrome, Bristol

Tue 18 Jun 7.30pm,

Wed 19 Jun 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Thu 20 Jun 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Fri 21 Jun 7.30pm

Sat 22 Jun 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Theatre Royal, Newcastle upon Tyne

Tue 25 Jun 7.30pm

Wed 26 Jun 2.00pm and 7.30pm

Thu 27 Jun 2.00pm and 7.30pm

Fri 28 Jun 7.30pm

Sat 29 Jun 2.30pm and 7.30pm

New Theatre, Oxford

Tue 2 Jul 7.30pm

Wed 3 Jul 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Thu 4 Jul 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Fri 5 Jul 7.30pm

Sat 6 Jul 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Tue 16 Jul 7.30pm

Wed 17 Jul 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Thu 18 Jul 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Fri 19 Jul 7.30pm

Sat 20 Jul 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Running time 2 hrs 10 mins approximately

* Pre-show talk

+ Audio-described performance/Touch Tour

Notes to Editors

1 – Scottish Opera is recognised as the largest performing arts organisation in Scotland and is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary season. The company is committed to bringing the widest possible range of opera, performed to the highest possible standards, to the maximum audience throughout Scotland and the UK, and each year performs in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness as well as touring to theatres, community centres and village halls across Scotland.

2 – D’Oyly Carte Opera Company was founded by Gilbert and Sullivan’s producer Richard D’Oyly Carte in 1878 and has been performing their operas for 130 years. It ceased producing work in 2003, this is their first co-production since then.

3 – Producers of the recent Lincoln Centre production of South Pacific which opened at the Barbican in summer 2011 before a major national tour, Genesius Theatrical Productions and Promenade Productions bring their producing expertise to co-produce The Pirates of Penzance in the English/Welsh part of the tour. Nicholas Newton (Promenade) and Ed Crozier (Genesius) are established theatrical producers and have been producing in the West End and on tour for nearly twenty years.

4 – You can find further tour information at

For additional press details please contact:

For Scottish Opera and D’Oyly Carte:

Kenny Young, Press Manager, 0141 242 0511,

Emma York, Press Officer, 0141 242 0552,

For Genesius Theatrical Productions & Promenade Productions:

Arthur Leone PR, 020 7836 766-

Anna Arthur on

Andrew Greer on

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Contact: Emma York
Phone: 0141 242 0552