Friday, March 16, 2012

review: the pirates of penzance

image source: Pittsburgh City Paper
This past weekend was not all work for me- I took the evening off on Saturday to attend a performance by the Pittsburgh Savoyards of The Pirates of Penzance, that famous 1879 opera by Gilbert and Sullivan.  

It was nearly a full house at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, PA, where the performance took place.  I came dressed in a Victorian dress I featured in a previous post, for which I received many compliments.

Having never seen The Pirates of Penzance, I had no idea what to expect.  I was very pleasantly surprised- the storyline was very simple and yet very entertaining- the perfect farce.  The singers were excellent, the lines were very often hilarious (such as the Major-General's declaration that he was an "orphan" to get the pirates to not take his beloved daughters) and the full orchestra accompanying the singers was perfect.  The Major-General did a great job singing "The Major-General song", Mabel had a beautiful soprano voice, and the woman who played Ruth was also a beautiful singer.  The scenery was well done, and the props (of which there were many) were appropriate and well used to compliment the choreography. Outbursts of laughter from the audience were very common, proving that a 133 year old opera can still be enjoyed nearly as much as when it was first performed.

image source: Your Carlynton 
The only real issues I had were not being able to understand some of the singing- because none of the singers had microphones and, because I was seated on the far right-hand side of the audience, whenever they turned their heads to sing in another direction the volume dropped considerably and sometimes I could not hear what they said.  

It wasn't the most professional production- some of the players were off in their choreography more than once and, as mentioned, not all of the singers could fill the music hall with their voice enough to be heard, but  overall it was a very enjoyable and well done performance.  Great job, Pittsburgh Savoyards!

1 comment:

  1. Pirates of Penzance has got to be my favourite Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. I love how funny it is, and the songs are brilliant!