ASU presents The Pirates of Penzance Jan. 22

Article Published: Dec. 23, 2009 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
ASU presents The Pirates of Penzance Jan. 22

Stephen Quint is Major General Stanley in the NY Gilbert & Sullivan Players' presentation of The Pirates of Penzance.

Photo by Carol Rosegg

Appalachian State University's 2009-10 Performing Arts Series welcomes the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players to the stage of Farthing Auditorium, performing the classic musical comedy, The Pirates of Penzance, at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22.

Advance tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and Appalachian's faculty and staff, and $10 for ASU's students and all students 18 and under. Ticket prices increase at the door on show nights. For tickets or information, call the Farthing Auditorium box office at (800) 841-ARTS(2787) or (828) 262-4046, or visit

The Pirates of Penzance centers on the dilemma of the young and conscientious Frederic who, as a child, was apprenticed to pirates until his 21st birthday. Upon release from his obligation, he plans to marry Mabel, the daughter of the delightfully stuffy Major-General Stanley.
Unfortunately, Frederic discovers that since was born in a leap year on Feb. 29, his 21st birthday won't occur for another 63 years. Despite his moral objection to piracy, Frederic is honor-bound to remain a pirate until the distant date of 1940.

Helping Frederic to deal with this unusual predicament are Mabel (who agrees to wait for him), Ruth, the pirate maid-of-all-work, Major-General Stanley and the brash Pirate King.
Productions by the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players (NYGASP) are charged with contemporary energy, while retaining respect for the traditional shows themselves, which is so important to Gilbert & Sullivan enthusiasts. This exuberant musical theater masterpiece is performed in its original format. The rich sounds of full orchestra, chorus and vocal soloists resonate with classic elegance and power, while the company's vibrancy, energy and contemporary sense of humor keep the show alive and exciting to a modern audience.

Now in its fourth decade of operation, NYGASP is America's preeminent professional Gilbert & Sullivan repertory ensemble. Under the dynamic leadership of artistic director Albert Bergeret, who has been hailed as "the leading custodian of the G&S classics" by New York magazine, NYGASP has created its own special niche in the cultural mosaic of New York City and the nation. Since its founding in 1974, the company has presented more than 2,000 performances of Gilbert & Sullivan masterpieces throughout the eastern United States and Canada, captivating audiences of all ages.

Bergeret's vision for his company's mission is clear: to build and maintain an ensemble of professional repertory singers, actors, dancers and musicians dedicated to bringing quality performances of the Gilbert & Sullivan masterpieces to as wide an audience as possible. To do so, he has developed a unique blend of creative spontaneity and classical precision, which is neither revisionist in nature nor mired in the rigidity of the more typical view of "tradition."
The use of elaborate, but relevant choreography and movement is a particularly important element. Where possible, topical references from the 19th century are updated when the original intent would be lost on a modern musical theatre audience, but without disturbing the shape or scope of the material as written. Gilbert's satire of human foibles and sophisticated wit remain intact, while Sullivan's evocative scores, which need no revision at all, are given the full range of vocal and orchestral color for which they call.

The 2009-10 Performing Arts Series is a presentation of Appalachian State University's Office of Arts and Cultural Programs. The mission of the series is to support the teaching mission of Appalachian State University by presenting a diverse array of music, dance and theatre events designed to enrich the cultural landscape of the campus and surrounding region. By creating memorable performance experiences and related educational and outreach activities, the series promotes the power and excitement of the live performance experience; provides a "window on the world" through the artistry of nationally and internationally renowned artists; and showcases some of the finest artists of Appalachian State University's campus community and the surrounding region.

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