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Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company presents H.M.S. Pinafore in annual benefit production for the University of Chicago Department of Music

Feb. 28, 2007

Sail away with the good right Captain Corcoran at the helm and his gallant crew of sailors! The Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company and the Department of Music proudly present H.M.S. Pinafore in three performances: Friday and Saturday, March 9 and 10 at 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday, March 11 at 2:00 p.m. The twenty-third benefit production will take place at Mandel Hall, located at 1311 East 57th Street, with musical accompaniment provided by the University of Chicago Chamber Orchestra. Thrisa Hodits is the Director, William C. White is the Musical Director, and Mark Johnson returns for his fourth season as the Producer. All proceeds benefit the Department of Music Performance Program’s student ensembles, which involve over 500 musicians in presenting more than 100 concerts each year.

H.M.S. Pinafore, also titled The Lass That Loved A Sailor, opened in London on May 25, 1878. Although Sirs W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan were dismayed that H.M.S. Pinafore was not an immediate success, the two-act comic opera soon became all the rage in England, as well as across the Atlantic, due to Sullivan conducting a selection from H.M.S. Pinafore at the Promenade concerts. Amply imbued with mirth, the plot centers on love between members of different social classes: a middle-class naval captain’s daughter (betrothed to the upper-class government official in charge of the Royal Navy) is really in love with a lower-class common sailor. Find out how Little Buttercup’s secret will affect this love triangle and who will end up tying the knot. This year’s production features Matt Edlen as Ralph Rackstraw, Michael Swisher as Captain Corcoran, Sarah Stern as Little Buttercup, Rebecca Prescott as Josephine, Howard Timms as Sir Joseph Porter, and David Craven as Dick Deadeye -- all directed by a recent graduate of Loyola University’s Theater Department, Thrisa Hodits.

The oldest Gilbert & Sullivan organization in the Chicago area, the Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company mounted its first show, The Gondoliers, in 1960. Incorporated in 1964, the Company is dedicated to promoting the delightful operatic oeuvre of Gilbert and Sullivan. The University of Chicago’s Department of Music has collaborated with the Company since 1984. This annual benefit enables the Performance Program to engage professional artists such as the renowned violinist Rachel Barton Pine, to offer master classes with Artists-in-Residence, to purchase instruments, and to recruit talented students.

Donor tickets are $50, general admission for adults is $15, and students with ID or children are $5. Single tickets by phone go on sale Monday, February 26. Call the Ticket Hotline at (773) 702-9075 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Group discounts are available for 10 or more people. Tickets are also available at the door one hour prior to each performance. For donor ticket information and an order form for H.M.S. Pinafore, please visit:

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Last modified at 11:09 AM CST on Monday, July 23, 2007

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