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.”