To Home Page of Echoworld Communications
To Home Page of Echo Germanica
March 2011 - Nr. 3

Toronto, ON…The Toronto Operetta Theatre’s 26th Season comes to a close with four performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE or ‘The Slave of Duty’, under the honorary patronage of Jonathan Dart, Consul General of Great Britain. The performances are at the St. Lawrence Centre’s Jane Mallett Theatre on April 27, 29, 30 and May 1 (mat) 2011. Robert Cooper leads a stellar cast, chorus and orchestra with stage direction by TOT General Director, Guillermo Silva-Marin.

THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE premiered in New York City at the Fifth Avenue Theater in 1879. Both Gilbert and Sullivan were eager to capitalize on the amazing success of PINAFORE a year earlier and lavished their creative gifts on this work to an extraordinary degree. Sullivan deftly honoured the music of Verdi and Schubert, while at the same time gently poked fun at ‘grand opera’ tradition. Sullivan lost not a moment in hoisting high the British dedication to ‘duty above all’ and allows all sorts of disasters to befall the hero Frederic, the heroine Mabel, Major General Stanley, and the duty-bound minions of the law. Gilbert takes customary potshots at the aristocracy, politics and the military, introducing a sheltered male into the company of ladies where the mere sight of an uncovered ankle makes him break out into a sweat.

An unanswered question surrounding PIRATES OF PENZANCE is how the rousing choral number “Come friends, who plough the sea” morphed into the American standard “Hail, hail, the gang’s all here”.

“Gilbert and Sullivan’s world of music and text needs singer/actors of extraordinary talent and I’m pleased we’ve been able to assemble a cast with a talent for both” said Silva-Marin. Headlining the cast is Jean Stilwell as the ‘piratical maid of all work’ Ruth. One of Canada’s most renowned mezzo-sopranos, she was hailed in TOT’s CANDIDE and can be heard daily on Classical 96.3 FM’s G’Day, GTA. David Ludwig will be Major General Stanley, the ‘orphan boy’ who must care for a host of daughters as a single father. The ingénue couple will be the rising young Canadian stars Jessica Cheung as Mabel and Ryan Harper as Frederic, the duteous slave of the title. Rounding out the cast are Christopher Wilson as the ingenious but orphaned Pirate King, Daniel Nicks as his comrade in crime Samuel and Jeffrey Saunders as the Sergeant whose lot on the police force ‘is not an ‘appy one’.

All performances are at the St. Lawrence Centre’s splendidly refurbished Jane Mallett Theatre, which is wheelchair accessible and close to public parking and transit. For tickets and information call the Box Office at 416-366-7723 or 1-800-708-6754 or online at Group rates for 20 or more.

The Toronto Operetta Theatre brings you theatre, arts, entertainment, theatre plays, performing arts, opera, operetta.

To the top of the page