UConn Opera is proud to present Gilbert & Sullivan's comic operetta H.M.S. Pinafore.
H.M.S. Pinafore (1878), or the Lass That Loved a Sailor, was Gilbert and Sullivan’s fourth collaboration and their first major success. The action takes place aboard the British Warship H.M.S Pinafore at anchor off Portsmouth, England. Captain Corcoran’s daughter, unbeknownst to him, falls in love with one of his dashing sailors even though her hand has been promised to Sir Joseph Porter, The First Lord of the Admiralty. The lovers experience rough seas but in classic Gilbert and Sullivan fashion, true love levels all ranks! The show includes memorable songs such as “When I Was a Lad,” “I’m the Captain of the Pinafore,” and many more. All aboard, while we sail through the trials and tribulations of young love, nautical nuttiness and merry melodies!
The operetta is led by bass-baritone, Anthony Leathem, who plays the role of Captain Corcoran. Leathem has been performing for audiences in and around the UCONN community for nearly four years. Leathem’s depiction of Captain Corcoran is just the latest in his extensive performing career. Leathem was recently named one of the graduate winners of the UCONN Concerto Competition and he will also perform the title role in Le nozze di Figaro this coming March. In April, he will make his return to Hartford Opera Theater to sing the baritone roles in David Wolfson’s, The Faith Operas. Also leading the cast is tenor Spencer Reeese, playing the role of the handsome sailor Ralph Rackstraw. Reese was last seen on the UCONN stage as Monostatos in the university’s Spring 2013 production of Die Zauberflöte. After graduating from UCONN he earned a Master’s degree in opera stage direction at the Eastman School of Music. Reese now spends his summers in residence with Ohio Light Opera where he is the choreographer as well as a performer for the seven-show repertory season. The rest of this large and talented cast draws from the undergraduate and graduate programs: Jon Dyson, Michael McAvoy, Tyler Panek, Sandra Marante, Caroline O’Dwyer and Judy Bowers. The creative and production team includes Michelle Hendrick, Dr. Brett Hodgdon and Dr. Constance Rock.
UCONN Opera is privileged to have the support of the Jeffery P. Ossen Family Foundation. Through the foundation’s generous grant, the fourth and fifth grade students of the Windham Public Schools will have the opportunity to see a live performance of H.M.S. Pinafore at no cost. In addition, the cast members of H.M.S. Pinafore will treat the Windham students to a pre-performance presentation of the operetta. During these outreach visits, our singers will perform excerpts from the show, as well as expose the students to important concepts of music and the arts. UCONN Opera is proud to partner with the Jeffery P. Ossen Family Foundation in order to provide a live musical and theatrical experience to these students.