Pirates of Penzance - Critique
The Pirates of Penzance was an opera performed by the Southwest Texas Opera Workshop. The Pirates of Penzance, composed by Gilbert & Sullivan, is a light-hearted parody of the traditional opera. This opera takes place somewhere in the British Virgin Islands. It is about a boy, Federic, who is to be apprenticed by his nurse, Ruth, to become a pilot. Ruth mistakes the word pilot for pirate and apprentices him to a band of pirates. She, too, remains with them as a maid-of-all-work.
Act I opens with the celebration of Frederic's coming of age. He is planning to leave the pirates and devote his life to the eradication of piracy. Now that Frederic has come of age, Ruth wishes to become his spouse and he reluctantly agrees, believing that she is as beautiful as she says. Soon after he agrees to marry Ruth, Major-General Stanley's many daughters stumble upon the island. After Frederic sees their beauty, especially that of Mabel's, he renounces Ruth and pursues Mabel. The other girls are seized by the pirates and threatened with marriage. When the Major-General shows up he too is captured by the pirates. The Major-General eludes the pirates by telling them a lie about being an orphan. Having been orphans themselves and having a place in their hearts for them, the pirates let the Major-General and his daughters go. Over the next few days, the Major-General's conscience gets the best of him and he confides to Frederic the lie that he told the pirates. Frederic consoles him and tells of his plan to lead a band of police against the pirates. While this goes on, the Pirate King and Ruth discover Frederic was born on February 29, leap year. This discovery leads them to realize that Frederic has only had 5 birthdays, making him well short of the 21 years he must serve the pirates. Upon learning this, Frederic rejoins the pirates and tells them of the Major-General's deception he practiced upon them. The Major-General is...
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