The Pirates of Penzance (The Savoy Company at Harrogate 2016)

9 Aug 2016

Harrogate North Yorkshire: The Royal Hall to Be Invaded by The Savoy Company’s Musical Comedy THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE!

The Savoy Company (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA) was the first international group to apply to perform in the very first International Festival in Buxton back in 1994. The Savoy Company is delighted to be welcomed back this year with a performance of THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE. The essence of Savoy remains a unique social club where fun loving people come together and form lifelong friendships, many marriages, and support for local charity organisations.

After a 5-year hiatus and its triumphant return to Philadelphia’s South Broad Street evidenced by 3 SOLD OUT performances at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre and 2 almost capacity crowds under the stars on the stage of the Open Air Theatre amid the tranquil beauty of the Family DuPont’s Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square, PA) performances, The Savoy Company will fly to the 23rd International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival to present Gilbert and Sullivan’s dazzling musical comedy, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, OR, THE SLAVE OF DUTY.

In celebration of this timeless tale of Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta, view the silent movie behind this production of THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE []. This much-beloved comic opera is filled with waggish pirates, blundering policemen, and ludicrous adventures. It culminates with a most brilliant paradox, all accompanied by Gilbert’s pin-sharp wit and Sullivan’s scintillating score filled with beautiful melodies and toe-tapping tunes.

Passion and poetry radiate from the talented cast. Alize Rozsnyai and Joshua Glassman portray the star crossed young lovers Mabel, daughter of the Major-General, and Frederic, the apprentice pirate. Ross Druker is the blustery Major-General Stanley. Steve Underwood is the swashbuckling Pirate King, with Gene Schneyer playing his loyal lieutenant, Samuel. Sharon Rose Derstine is Ruth, the piratical maid of all work. Guillermo L. Bosch lends his deep bass to the role of the Sergeant of Police with Bill Kiesling as Deputy to Sergeant. Other beautiful daughters of the Major General include Lauren Meyer as Edith, Megan Alburger as Kate, and Amber Gay as Isabel.

The Savoy Company’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE promises to be a delightful adventure for audiences of all ages. Savoy’s onstage members, fill out the chorus as additional daughters of the Major-General, pirates, and policemen.

Major-General Stanley = Ross Druker
The Pirate King = Steve Underwood
Samuel (his Lieutenant) = Gene Schneyer
Frederic (the Pirate Apprentice) = Joshua Glassman
Sergeant of Police = Guillermo L. Bosch
Deputy to Sergeant = Bill Kiesling
Mabel = Alize Rozsnyai
Edith = Lauren Meyer
Kate = Megan Alburger
Isabel = Amber Gay
Ruth (a Piratical Maid of all Work) = Sharon Rose Derstine

Amy Bailey, Portia Bosch, Elizabeth Cleek, Kathryn Craig, Sophie Craig, Judith Jenkins, Shelley McMackin,
Krista Paone, Lisa Panzer, Margaret Tucker Wallace, Amy Williams,
Debra J. Appel, Charles A. Craig, III, Charlie Dodge, A.J. Kait, Mark McMackin, Richard Siller, Thomas K. Crumlish,
Christopher Jones, Martyn Pratt, Henry Reed, Henry W. Tyler, Thomas E. Tyler

Director = Bill Kiesling
Conductor & Music Director = Peter Hilliard
Choreographer = Jennifer Bibbs
Stage Manager = Antony Vickery
Properties = Debra J. Appel
Properties Assistant = Mary Siller
Lighting Design = William Kader, Jr.
Lighting in Harrogate = Peter Blackmore
Costume Design = Hether L. May
Costume Supervisor = Gail Cooper
Costume Assistant = Portia Bosch
Set Design = Paul Lazell
Festival Chorus Captains = Christopher Jones, Gene Schneyer, Amy Williams
England Trip Committee = Belinda Tyler, Tom Tyler, Katie Craig, Tripp Craig
England Trip Assistant = Marta Kiesling

Bill Kiesling returns as Stage Director for his second season. Bill has a fond familiarity with Gilbert and Sullivan operettas (having met his wife Marta in a production of Iolanthe). Additionally, Bill has a passion for using theater as a means to build “community”. Bill reflects, “I am grateful for this wonderful opportunity to work with The Savoy Company to honor its history and to work as part of a team to build a ‘community’ for Savoy’s future.”

Peter Hilliard returns as Musical Director for his fourth season. Peter states, "THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE is Gilbert and Sullivan's American Operetta. They wrote it to cater to American tastes, the first production was on Broadway and a lot of it was written in New York. It's funny, tuneful, irreverent, and silly. It makes perfect sense that it's one of their most popular works."

A Philadelphia tradition supporting local charitable organizations since its founding in 1901, The Savoy Company is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The Savoy Company is the oldest amateur theater company in the world dedicated solely to the production of the 13 surviving immortal operas of Gilbert and Sullivan.

In 1901 a young Philadelphia doctor named Alfred Reginald Allen, a medical school graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, having witnessed Gilbert and Sullivan works in England, decided that the operas should be produced in Philadelphia in the “original” manner. Allen was convinced that the G&S operas heretofore produced in the United States had been ruined by “modernization, colloquial interpolation, and improvements.”

Dr. Allen, along with his sister and one of her friends, recruited a group of local people to perform a "true" Gilbert and Sullivan show. The group rehearsed and then presented Trial By Jury at the Merion Cricket Club, in Haverford, PA, on May 4, 1901 to great acclaim. The production was such a huge success that the original conspirators were moved to form a permanent organization, known as ‘The Savoy Operas’.

The young organization presented successfully the double bill of Trial By Jury and The Sorcerer on December 6 and 7, 1901 at St. James Hall and two weeks later reprised the performances at the Manheim (Germantown) Cricket Club. A unique and noble tradition had been born.

As it is known today, the all-volunteer Savoy Company presents the best known Gilbert and Sullivan operettas in a 12-year cycle, including blockbusters like H.M.S. Pinafore (“I’m Called Little Buttercup”), The Mikado (“I’ve Got a Little List”) and The Pirates of Penzance (“I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General”). In 2014 the Company presented Trial By Jury (“When I, Goof Friends, Was Called to the Bar”) and The Sorcerer (“My Name is John Wellington Wells”). In 2015 the Company presented Patience, or, Bunthorne’s Bride ("Am I alone and unobserved?").

Since the beginning The Savoy Company, itself a non-profit, has dedicated proceeds to local charities. The Savoy Company donates a portion of the proceeds from its performances to the Alfred Reginald Allen Memorial Fund of the University of Pennsylvania. Established by Savoy in 1921 in memory of the founder, the fund supports the acquisition of books and scores for the university’s Otto E. Albrecht Music Library. Philadelphia area performances of THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE in 2016 benefited CAPA, (the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts).

Members of Savoy help run the all-volunteer Company by helping on committees and other projects. Working and performing together results in lifelong friendships! The Company’s volunteer cast has included such luminaries as Hollywood film star Nelson Eddy, Metropolitan Opera soprano Margaret Harshaw, Wagnerian bass-baritone James Pease, and Broadway star Wilbur Evans.

Visit The Savoy Company’s website at for more information about The Savoy Company.

Interpretative style: 
01422 323252