Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance Comes to Poway Center for the Performing Arts
Poway Center for the Performing Arts Foundation presents Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance on Saturday, March 30 at 8pm. Making its first appearance at Poway Center for the Performing Arts, the nationally renowned Gilbert and Sullivan touring repertory company Opera A La Carte is known for the authentic style of its productions as well as the high caliber of its artists.
A rollicking band of pirates, a bevy of giggling maidens and their “very model of a modern Major-General” father along with a dashing pirate apprentice, a fading nursemaid and a bunch of blundering policemen are the key ingredients for the charmingly ridiculous plot of The Pirates of Penzance.
Heading the cast is Opera A La Carte’s company director Richard Sheldon as the Major-General. Labeled a fine practitioner of “Gilbertian patter and Sullivanian lyricism,” Martin Bernheimer of the Los Angeles Times stated “He has long been a Major-General of supreme, crusty authority. He has long been superior, in fact, to any Major-General who trod the D’Oyly Carte boards after the departure of Martyn Green.”
Michael Gallup appears as the Pirate King. A versatile singing actor, he has appeared with a number of opera companies throughout the U.S. including San Diego Opera, Los Angeles Opera and Opera Pacific.
Baritone Benito Galindo will perform the role of Samuel, the Pirate King’s Lieutenant. He recently Galindo will also be seen on the stages of the Long Beach Opera and Opera San Luis Obispo.
Tenor Craig Gilmore appears as the pirate apprentice Frederic. Not only is American Conservatory Theatre and Manhattan School of Music trained Gilmore one of the country’s leading interpreters of Gilbert and Sullivan, he also has had a career in television and film and starred in Greg Arakki’s critically acclaimed iconic indie film The Living End.
Ruth, Frederic’s former nursemaid, is played by mezzo soprano Adelaide Sinclair. Ms. Sinclair has appeared with the New York City Opera, the Metropolitan Opera and Santa Fe Opera and has also been a soloist with L.A. Philharmonic among other orchestras across the U.S.
The cast is rounded out by Opera A La Carte veterans– soprano Carol Winston singing the role of the General’s daughter Mabel, Diane Sawyers as Isabel, Jennifer Haren as Kate, Ann Noriel as Edith and Marc Goldstein as the Sergeant of Police who reminds us that “a policeman’s lot is not a happy one.”
The Pirates of Penzance official premiere was in New York City in December 1879, where the show was well received by both audiences and critics and made its London debut in April, 1880, at the Opera Comique, where it ran for a very successful 363 performances, having already been playing successfully for over three months in New York. In the early 1980s, the Joseph Papp production of Pirates made its way to Broadway, London and Australia and in 1983 a film version starring the Broadway cast with Kevin Kline and Linda Ronstadt reprising their Broadway roles made the way for the Disney franchises.
About Opera A La Carte
Opera A La Carte, founded in 1970 by noted British Gilbert and Sullivan specialist Richard Sheldon, started out as a small concert ensemble, giving its first performance in March of that year at the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts. The company soon opened at a small dinner theatre in Santa Monica. Thereafter, the ensemble expanded its activities into schools and colleges with specially designed educational programs for all levels — still a prominent company feature. With several productions now in the repertoire as well as a wide variety of concert programs, the company is especially known for its authentic style. Critical acclaim for Opera A La Carte’s productions has been unanimous, one hailing it as “a particularly fine production” and another as “a top- notch production in every aspect imaginable.” The Los Angeles Times called it “bright and fresh” with “a youthful company that treated ‘Pirates’ as newly minted.”