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Where Was The Premiere Of “The Pirates Of Penzance”?

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: the very model of a modern comic opera…

The island nation of England is more than familiar with the act of piracy. Since ancient times, their shores have been stalked by the Vikings, Irish, and Anglo-Saxons, to name just a few.

It’s no wonder then that they would hold a fascination with the subject. But The Pirates of Penzance wasn’t written for the English stage. The opera saw it’s premiere in New York City in America on New Year’s Eve, 1879.

Gilbert and Sullivan’s playful romp “The Pirates of Penzance,” tells the story of an apprentice pirate who is released as he has reaches his 21st birthday.

It’s only later that they find out he was born on leap day, February 29th, so he has not yet reached his 21st birthday, and he must remain with the pirates for 63 more years!

Music Heard On This Episode

Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900): Pirates of Penzance: Overture
Neville Mariner/Academy of St. Martin in the Fields — Gilbert and Sullivan: Overtures (Philips, 1993)
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album cover
Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900): Pirates of Penzance: Overture
Neville Mariner/Academy of St. Martin in the Fields — Gilbert and Sullivan: Overtures (Philips, 1993)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

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