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'Pirates of Penzance' comedic light opera highlights Elizabethtown College music department

May 6 performances showcase orchestra, choirs, soloists

Pirates of Penzance performanceAppropriately performed in a leap year, "Pirates of Penzance," a Gilbert and Sullivan comedic operetta, takes the stage at Elizabethtown College's Leffler Chapel and Performance Center at 3 and 8 p.m. Sunday, May 6. Tickets are $7; $5 for students. Call 717-361-1170 or emailing

The light opera, performed by the College's Department of Fine and Performing Arts, features the College orchestra, Concert Choir, women's choir, College-Community Chorus and men's chorus.

"Pirates of Penzance," also known as "The Slave of Duty," is the only Gilbert and Sullivan opera to premiere in the United States. The show first took the stage at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York in December 1879.

'Pirates' centers on Frederic, a young man released from his apprenticeship to pirates on his 21st birthday. Frederic falls in love with Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley, only to find out he was born on Feb. 29, technically giving him a birthday only on the leap year. He must remain in service to the pirates another 63 years until his official 21st birthday. Frederic is bound by duty to fulfill his apprenticeship while Mabel faithfully waits for him.

Performers include first-year student Daniel O'Connor as The Pirate King and senior David Hiddemen and first-year student Jason Sandonato as Frederic. Senior Alena Lerch and first-year student Elizabeth Boyer share the role of Mabel.

The role of Samuel is performed by Elizabethtown College junior Rob Otto and sophomore Alex Ochs. Dr. Donald G. Muston, assistant professor of business emeritus, is Major General Stanley. Junior Joseph Bomberger is Sergeant of Police, and Edith is played by junior Abigail Eagleson and senior Pauline Jarvie.

Sophomore Keri Height and junior Amy Osterhoudt share the role of Ruth. First-year students Rebecca Olsen and Suzy Messick perform as Kate and junior Anna Matlack is as Isabel.

Associate Professor of Music Matthew P. Fritz is music 'Pirates' director. Sarah Daughtrey, assistant professor of music, is vocal coach; Michael Swanson, associate professor of theatre and director of theatre and dance, is dialogue coach; and Robert Spence, assistant professor of music and director of instrumental studies, is conductor.

Read more about "Pirates of Penzance" at Elizabethtown.

Contact: Amy Reynolds at or 717-361-1212.

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