H.M.S. Pinafore is the story of the sailors of the H.M.S. Pinafore who are preparing the ship for inspection by Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty. The atmosphere is marred only by the peddler Little Buttercup’s hints of a dark secret she is hiding, and by the lovelorn plaints of Ralph, a sailor, and Josephine, the Captain’s daughter. Class pride keeps Josephine from sharing her feelings with Ralph, while Captain Corcoran has been arranging a marriage between her and Sir Joseph, who is in a social class even above the Corcorans. Sir Joseph appears, attended by a train of female relatives, and Josephine finds him insufferable. When Ralph pleads his suit she rejects him, but when he threatens suicide she agrees to elope. They rejoice as Dick Deadeye croaks a warning that their hopes will be frustrated.
Buttercup attempts to comfort the Captain, whom she loves, in his despair at the coldness of his daughter towards Sir Joseph. Dick Deadeye informs Captain Corcoran of the planned elopement. The Captain, intercepting the lovers, is so incensed that he cries “Damme!” Sir Joseph, horrified at the swearing, send the Captain off in disgrace. When he learns of the elopement, Sir Joseph orders Ralph put in irons. Buttercup now reveals her long- withheld secret, which results in a sudden reversal in social status, thus allowing all of the lovers to be happily united.
This production is led by stage director David Ward and music director Mary Marcell. This is Ward’s first CLOC production as a stage director. Marcell also music directed How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying this season.
Ward, a resident of Tucson, AZ, received his degrees from the University of Houston. He was a member of the CLOC Vocal Company from 1982-83. He is currently the Director of the University of Arizona Opera Theater, where he recently directed Die Fledermaus and The Magic Flute. He has also directed for the Opera in the Ozarks, the Moores School of Music, and Houston’s Opera in the Heights.
Marcell, from New York, NY, received her degrees from Smith College and the Hartt School of Music. She returns to CLOC for her 22nd season and has led over 30 CLOC productions as a Principal Conductor. Mary leads groups ranging from a 12-voice vocal jazz ensemble to the 180 performers of her annual Festival Chorus Concert. Mary chairs the music department at Rye Country Day School, where she teaches the Upper School Choruses, AP Music Theory, and music directs the Student/Faculty musical.
The cast is full of new CLOC vocal company members. Talents to look forward to are Joshua Gronlund as Ralph (Detroit, MI – Michigan State University ’15), Will Hawkins as Sir Joseph, (Alexandria, VA – UNC Chapel Hill ’14), Mike McCann as Captain Corcoran (Winslow, ME – Middlebury College ’15) and Erin Reppenhagen as Little Buttercup (Tully, NY – SUNY Potsdam – The Crane School of Music ’14).
Returners to look for include Jens Jacobson as Dick Deadeye (Platteville, WI – Belmont University ’14) and Maggie Langhorne as Josephine (Santa Barbara, CA – Oberlin Conservatory of Music ’16).