Gilbert & Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore will set sail on Friday, November 21 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 23 at 2:30 p.m. at Knoxville’s hallmark Tennessee Theatre. Maestro Brian Salesky will host a special opera preview session 45 minutes prior to each performance. The musical comedy is perfect for a family outing or special date.
The classic comedy contains familiar melodies (“I’m Called Little Buttercup”, “The Monarch of the Sea”, “When I Was a Lad”, and “I am the Captain of the Pinafore.”) and clever wordplay that pokes fun at politics and authoritative figures, in a delightfully provocative way. People of all ages will be entertained by the music, characters, elaborate stage setting, and costumes.
H.M.S. Pinafore was Gilbert and Sullivan’s first blockbuster hit. The comic operetta opened in London in 1898 and ran for 571 performances. The plot plays out aboard a naval ship and centers on the conflicts of love between people from different social classes. Taking jabs at the British class system, party politics, the Royal Navy, and the ironic rise of unqualified people into authority, even the title injects humor by using the name of the female pinafore garment in reference to the masculine naval warship.
The musical structure and style of H.M.S. Pinafore have been echoed by many composers and contributed significantly to music history and the development of modern musical theatre. A full plot summary and cast bios can be read here.