H.M.S. Pinafore

HMS Pinafore; or, The Lass That Loved a Sailor was the first internationally acclaimed opera by Gilbert and Sullivan.  It was the duo’s fourth collaborative work and enjoyed wild popularity in Great Britain, the United States, and around the world. The format and content of the opera proved a very successful combination and led to the creation of the other Gilbert and Sullivan works, such as Pirates of Penzance. It is one of the most popular of the Savoy operas and continues to delight audiences well into the 21st century.

Story Synopsis

Aboard H.M.S. Pinafore, lying off Portsmouth, the crew is preparing for a visit by the First Lord of the Admiralty, Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B., who always travels with an admiring bevy of sisters, cousins and aunts, headed by Hebe.  The Captain of the Pinafore, Captain Corcoran, is hopeful that his daughter, Josephine, will marry Sir Joseph, but she is secretly in love with and loved by Ralph Rackstraw, one of the sailors aboard ship.  The lovers decide to elope, assisted by Little Buttercup, the bumboat woman, the crew and the sisters, cousins and aunts, but are foiled through Dick Deadeye, an unpleasant member of the crew, who has discovered the plot and tells the captain.

 When Sir Joseph has had Rackstraw loaded with irons and taken to the cells, Buttercup confesses that many years ago she practiced baby-farming and mixed up two babies, so that in fact it turns out that Ralph is of aristocratic birth and Corcoran came from humble parentage.

Ralph, therefore, becomes captain of the Pinafore and is able to marry Josephine; Corcoran becomes a common sailor and marries Buttercup; Sir Joseph is married to Hebe; and everyone lives happily ever after.

High Resolution Photographs

Please include photo credits when using these photographs.

"The Monarch of the Sea"
Robert Millard Photography (2.6 mb)
The Monarch of the Sea
"When I Was a Lad"
Robert Millard Photography (3.3 mb)
When I Was a Lad
"Poor Little Buttercup"
 Robert Millard Photography (3.3 mb)
Poor Little Buttercup
"The Captain and Dick Deadeye"
 Robert Millard Photography (3.4 mb)
The Captain and Dick Deadeye

Program Copy

Please contact Opera A La Carte for the most recent program for this production.

Press Release

Please contact Opera A La Carte for the most recent press release for this production.

Technical Materials

HMS Pinafore Tech Package  – (268kb pdf)

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