The ArtsZipper Blog

Opera Theatre Saint Louis' "Pirates" Sure to Delight and Dazzle Audiences

A pirate ship appearing onstage in three pieces pushed and pulled about by bumbling, well-meaning pirates immediately gives the audience insight into the merry & playful world of Gilbert & Sullivan. The colors are bold and geometric like a children's book and pop making the small but suitable stage come alive.

Pirates of Penzance is one of the most beloved operettas by famous Victorian duo, librettist William Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan. First premiered in New York on New Year's Eve in 1879, the piece is a more whimsical work of standard repertoire, and OTSL does not fail in delivering its fun, satirical, and yet sophisticated qualities to audiences this season.

The fantastical tale revolves around young Frederic, who has just completed 21 years of dutiful service to a Pirate King and his not-so-intimidating cohorts. At his release from servitude, Frederic feels love's keen sting only to have it ripped from his hands by pirate contractual fine print. After a battle between yellow-bellied Bobbies and the pirate band, Frederic's future father-in-law is saved, and a happy ever after ending is guaranteed for all.

With a fabulously talented cast, Pirates makes the frivolity of patter-sing and puns appear easy and free when in reality it holds all the difficulties of Bel Canto style opera. Regardless of the difficulty of this performance, it is a production for the whole family to enjoy. Visually stimulating and equally as well choreographed as sung, this is truly a sheer delight of a show, especially if you wish to expose some young-ins to the world of opera for the first time.

Not a single dull moment arises throughout the story as Gilbert explores wit and humor in a way audiences have come to understand as uniquely his. A personal favorite piece to look for in addition to the audience favorite, "I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General," might be "Hail Poetry," a truly show-stopping number that removes the patrons from the superficiality of the rest of the operetta for a brief moment and praises the wonder of words. Last, but not certainly least, the orchestra's fine musicianship will astound, as always. Highly recommended, Pirates of Penzance does not disappoint.

For Tickets Click Here

Location: Loretto-Hilton Center in the Virginia Jackson Browning Theatre

130 Edgar Road (at Big Bend Boulevard) on the campus of Webster University

Production Dates: 8pm May 25, 29, & 31

8pm June 6, 12, 14, & 29

7pm June 9

1pm June 22 & 26

Upcoming OTSL Productions:

Commissioned work, Terence Blanchard & Michael Cristofer's Champion

Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci & Puccini's Il Tabarro

Bedrich Smetana's The Kiss

Other Links to Consider

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Review

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Tabarro & Pagliacci Review

Pre Season Review

Season Announcement

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# Posted By Utfifa.com | 12/17/13 10:23 PM
Always a few new operas, and some old faves. Beautiful and amazing costumes and acting and also incredible singing. Have a meal on the grounds under the tents.
# Posted By Lifestyle News Update | 1/30/14 1:42 AM