YAOS Past Productions > 1903 > The Pirates of Penzance
Yeovil Operatic Society
or 'The Slave of Duty'
by Gilbert & Sullivan
The Assembly Rooms
21 & 22 April1903
Hon Secretary: Mr Frederic C Hook
Pianists: Mrs C T Pitcher & Mr Bernard Hamblen
Conductor: Mr F E Bastick
The Pirates of Penzance is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W S Gilbert. The opera's official premiere was at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York City on 31 December 1879, where the show was well received. Its London debut was on 3 April 1880, at the Opera Comique, where it ran for 363 performances.
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Words by W. S. Gilbert
The story concerns Frederic who, due to a misunderstanding, is serving his indentures as an apprentice to a band of pirates and, having reached the age of 21, is now due to be released from his apprenticeship. He meets Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley, and the two young people fall instantly in love. However Frederic soon learns that he was born on the 29th of February, and so, technically, he has a true birthday only once each leap year. His indenture specifies that he remain apprenticed to the pirates until his 'twenty-first birthday', meaning that he must serve for another 63 years. Bound by his own sense of duty, Frederic's only solace is that Mabel agrees to wait for him faithfully.
The Principals (taken from the 1934 Programme)
Cast photograph of the YAOS 1903 production of 'The Pirates of Penzance'
The Yeovil Constitutional Club & Assembly Rooms in Princes Street (c1902)