The fourth collaboration between Gilbert & Sullivan and their first blockbuster hit was HMS Pinafore, or ‘The Lass That Loved a Sailor.’ The opera opened on 28 May 1878 at the Opera Comique in London and ran for 571 performances. It became a huge hit in England, as well as in America, being copied illegally by dozens of performing companies.
Pinafore is one of the most popular Gilbert & Sullivan operas, perhaps because of its infectious tunes and generally well-constructed libretto. Drawing on several of his earlier ‘bab ballad’ poems, Gilbert imbued HMS Pinafore with mirth and silliness in abundance. The opera’s gentle satire reprises and builds upon the love between members of different social classes.
The action takes place on the quarterdeck of HMS Pinafore which is anchored in the harbour at Portsmouth. This is a tale of mismatched love across different social classes. Josephine is the captain’s daughter and has fallen for lowly sailor Ralph. Yet her father has other ideas – he has promised her to Sir Joseph Porter, the First Lord of the Admiralty. Will love prevail? Climb aboard to find out and enjoy a feast of fun along the way. Hip hip hooray!
Held in the stunning Arundells garden in the shadow of Salisbury Cathedral. Come early and enjoy a wander around the garden or explore in the interval.