Performance Dates

Friday, Nov 2, 2018 @ 8:00 PM – Discovery Theatre in the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts
Saturday, Nov 3, 2018 @ 8:00 PM  – Discovery Theatre in the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts
Sunday, Nov 4, 2018 @ 4:00 PM – Discovery Theatre in the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts

Season Subscription Tickets on sale now! Call CenterTix at 907-263-2787 or online CLICK HERE
(Single ticket sales begin Sept 1, 2018)

About H.M.S. Pinafore

Set sail for hysterical hi-jinks on the high seas with Gilbert & Sullivan’s beloved comedy of star-crossed lovers, mismatched marriages and mistaken identities. The captain’s daughter has caught the eye, and the heart, of two men; a lowly sailor and the pompous First Lord of the Admiralty himself. Will true love prevail? What long-held secret holds the key to happiness for all? This effervescent musical romp, overflowing with infectious tunes, jaunty dances and hilarious action, is a bitingly funny parody of class and society that still makes a modern-day splash! Leave your cares on dry land and chart a course for this beloved, light-hearted classic operetta, suitable for audiences of all ages.

In English with English Supertitles


Production Team

Chelsea MillerJosephine

John Riesen – Ralph Rackstraw

Charles Prince Conductor

Allison Grant – Stage Director

Johnathan Hays – Sir Joseph Porter

Kyle Gantz – Dick Deadeye

Carrie Yanagawa – Set Designer

Cedar Cussins – Lighting Designer

Lisa Willis – Little Buttercup

Richard Gordon 150x150
Richard Gordon – Chorus Master/Rehearsal Accompanist/Coach

Emily Butzi – Stage Manager



The sailors on the HMS Pinafore are scrubbing the decks and polishing the brass preparing for the arrival of Sir Joseph Porter, the First Lord of the Admiralty (“We Sail The Ocean Blue”). Sir Joseph is coming today to ask for the Captain’s daughter’s hand in marriage. It is payday on the Pinafore and Buttercup, a bumboat gypsy woman, arrives to sell her wares (“I’m Called Little Buttercup”). Buttercup alludes to a dark secret she is hiding. It appears that the entire crew owe money to Dick Deadeye. Dick is a fellow seaman, the ship’s contraband supplier, money lender, and mischief maker (“Disagreeable Man”).

We next meet Ralph Rackstraw, who loves the Captain’s daughter Josephine, but knows that she is much above his station (“A Maiden Fair To See”). Dick Deadeye firmly believes in England’s class system and he tells Ralph that his love for the high born beauty is doomed, “a foremast hand don’t marry no Captain’s daughter”.

Captain Corcoran appears on deck to inspect his crew (“My Gallant Crew”). The Captain confides in Buttercup that his daughter is showing little interest in the prospect of marriage to Sir Joseph Porter. Josephine appears and tells her father that she loves a humble sailor on board his own ship (“Sorry Her Lot”), but she promises the Captain that the sailor shall never know it.

The Captain prepares his welcome speech for Sir Joseph as the crew get ready for inspection (“Over the Bright Blue Sea/Sir Joseph’s Barge Is Seen/Now Give Three Cheers”). Sir Joseph’s entourage precede him.

They are his sister, his cousin, and his aunt (“Gaily Tripping”). Sir Joseph comes on board and explains his remarkable rise in rank from office boy to First Lord (“When I Was A Lad”). Sir Joseph is impressed with Ralph and tells him that a British sailor is any man’s equal. This idea prompts Ralph to plan to declare his love for Josephine and all the crew approve, except for Dick Deadeye. The crew then sing the song that Sir Joseph has written to encourage independence of thought and action in the lower ranks (“A British Tar”).

Ralph confesses to Josephine that he loves her, but she keeps her promise to her father and haughtily rejects Ralph (“Refrain, Audacious Tar”). The crew tries to comfort Ralph, though Dick Deadeye rubs salt in the wound (“I Told You So”). Ralph is inconsolable and opts for suicide. (“Can I Survive This Overbearing”). Just in time, Josephine confesses her love for her able seaman. The couple decide to elope that night with the help of the ship’s crew. Only Dick Deadeye opposes the couple’s plans. All others hail the loving couple (“Let’s Give Three Cheers For The Sailors Bride”).


It is the evening and Sir Joseph teaches the Captain to dance a hornpipe while Josephine is torn between her love for Ralph and her sense of duty to her father and her class (“The Hours Creep On A Pace”). The crew gamble their wages away in Dick Deadeye’s illegal casino (“The Roulette Song”).

The Captain is at his wits’ end with his crew acting strangely, and Sir Joseph feeling rejected by the Captain’s unhappy daughter (“Fair Moon To Thee I Sing”). In the shadows, Little Buttercup reveals her tenderness for the Captain, but she too is trapped in the tyranny of class and cannot declare her true feelings. Buttercup warns the Captain not to take things at face value (“Things Are Seldom What They Seem”).

Ralph and Josephine face the fact that they either accept the world’s sorrow and restrictions or they follow their hearts (“In Sailing O’er Life’s Ocean Wide/The World Is But A Broken Toy”). Sir Joseph is ready to give up pursuing Josephine, but the Captain and Dick Deadeye convince him that she may feel intimidated by Sir Joseph’s exalted position. If Sir Joseph would tell her of his belief that love levels all rank, she might have a change of mind (“Nothing Venture Nothing Win”). Sir Joseph agrees and approaches Josephine relaying the idea that love levels all rank. This convinces Josephine to follow her heart and marry her true love, Ralph (“Never Mind The Why Or Wherefore”).

Dick Deadeye tells the Captain of Josephine and Ralph’s plans (“Kind Captain, I’ve Important Information”). The furious Captain hides in order to catch the elopers (“Carefully On Tiptoe Stealing”). Captain Corcoran denounces his daughter and her fiance, but they protest that according to Sir Joseph’s philosophy, a British sailor is the equal of anyone in the world (“He Is An Englishman”).

Affronted by events, the Captain swears, only to be sent to his cabin by Sir Joseph. When Sir Joseph learns of Ralph’s love for Josephine, he sends Ralph to the ship’s prison. At this point, Little Buttercup reveals her terrible secret (“A Many Years Ago”). When she was a nurse, she carelessly mixed up two babies, one of low birth, the other a patrician. The two babies were Ralph and Captain Corcoran. As a result, Ralph is really the high-born Captain, and the Captain is none other than the common Ralph.

In light of these circumstances, Sir Joseph finds it impossible to marry the low born Josephine, so he hands Josephine over to Ralph. That also means that the former high born Captain is a common sailor and able to wed Little Buttercup.

Sir Joseph laments that he will have to spend the rest of his days alone. But Dick assures Sir Joseph that what he needs is a Secretary Of The Navy to look out for Sir Joseph and his sister, his cousin and his aunt. Dick accepts the position immediately. (“Oh Joy, Oh Rapture Unforeseen!”).

Free Pre-Opera Talks

Plan to join us one hour before each performance of H.M.S. Pinafore to learn the interesting background, tidbits of information and fascinating insights into this laugh out loud Gilbert & Sullivan favorite. We are proud to present our colleague in the arts, Michael Jungreis, as your Pre-Opera Talk Host for H.M.S. Pinafore. Michael is well-known to Anchorage audiences as the host of KLEF’s “Saturday Night at the Opera”.
Friday, Nov 2 at 7:00 pm – Discovery Theatre Parterre
Saturday, Nov 3, 2018 at 7:00 pm – Discovery Theatre Parterre
Sunday, Nov 4, 2018 at 3:00 pm – Discovery Theatre Parterre

Free Student Final Dress Rehearsal

Anchorage Opera would like to open the final dress rehearsal to K-12 students at no cost for our production of H.M.S. Pinafore by Gilbert & Sullivan on Oct 31, 2018 at 7:00 pm performed in English with projected Supertitles in English. This production will be held at The Discovery Theater, Alaska Center for the Performing Arts and seating is limited. We will do our best to accommodate any K-12 student that would like to come, however some parties may receive fewer tickets than requested based on availability.

Please contact Kaylee Vardeman at 907-279-2557 or email to request your vouchers.

As this is a coveted event for many schools in the Anchorage area, please do not request more tickets than you will use. If you are promised a certain number of tickets and find you will not be able to use them all, please contact us as soon as possible so that people on the wait list can be notified and make arrangements to attend.

We hope to see a full house of  K-12 Students there! BRAVO