Keith J. Krueger
                                Mabel (Emma Dorsch) and Frederic (Ben Fagerstedt) share a moment.

Keith J. Krueger Mabel (Emma Dorsch) and Frederic (Ben Fagerstedt) share a moment.

‘Pirates of Penzance’ storms Bishop stage

  • Wed Jun 19th, 2019 5:30pm
  • Life

By Kat Bryant

Grays Harbor News Group

This Saturday and Sunday in Aberdeen, a rollicking band of pirates will take on goofy policemen, a modern major-general and his strong-willed daughters.

This weekend only, the Grays Harbor College Opera Workshop is staging an abridged version of “The Pirates of Penzance” at GHC’s Bishop Center for the Arts.

It’s a swashbuckling and utterly silly tale of mistaken identities, piratical hijinks and a duty-bound young man (played by local celebrity Ben Fagerstedt).

GHC Opera director Ian Dorsch was drawn to this Gilbert and Sullivan classic because of its timeless humor.

“It’s amazing how clearly this late Victorian-era humor speaks to modern audiences,” he said. “‘The Pirates of Penzance’ will be 140 years old this year, but there’s a straight line from this stuff all the way through to Monty Python.”

He noted that this production is GHC Opera’s largest to date, with as many as 30 people onstage at any given time — including a strong group of leads.

“For quite few of them, they’re seasoned performers, but it’s their first opera. I’ve especially enjoyed the opportunity to introduce this stuff to them,” said Dorsch. “Historically and musically, ‘Pirates’ lives in a bit of a transitional area between comic opera and musical theater, so it’s a great entry point into classical singing for strong musical theater performers.”

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10; children 12 and younger are admitted free.

 

Samuel (Adam Cooper, lower right) tries to save his master, the Pirate King (Jerrod Phelps), from the Major-General’s angry daughters.

Samuel (Adam Cooper, lower right) tries to save his master, the Pirate King (Jerrod Phelps), from the Major-General’s angry daughters.

Keith J. Krueger
                                Gary Morean is the very model of a modern Major-General (with Emma Dorsch as Mabel and Ben Fagerstedt as Frederic).

Keith J. Krueger Gary Morean is the very model of a modern Major-General (with Emma Dorsch as Mabel and Ben Fagerstedt as Frederic).

Keith J. Krueger
                                Isabel (Andy Blake), left, and Edith (Analei Holt) flank the Pirate King (Jerrod Phelps).

Keith J. Krueger Isabel (Andy Blake), left, and Edith (Analei Holt) flank the Pirate King (Jerrod Phelps).

Photos by Keith J. Krueger
                                The Pirate King (Jerrod Phelps, center) waxes poetic with his band.

Photos by Keith J. Krueger The Pirate King (Jerrod Phelps, center) waxes poetic with his band.

Keith J. Krueger
                                The Sergeant of Police (Jeff Beard) instructs his men.

Keith J. Krueger The Sergeant of Police (Jeff Beard) instructs his men.

Keith J. Krueger
                                Frederic, the Pirate Apprentice (Ben Fagerstedt), center, receives unwelcome counsel from his maid, Ruth (Sadie Karl), and the Pirate King (Jerrod Phelps).

Keith J. Krueger Frederic, the Pirate Apprentice (Ben Fagerstedt), center, receives unwelcome counsel from his maid, Ruth (Sadie Karl), and the Pirate King (Jerrod Phelps).