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Set Sail with 'The Pirates of Penzance' at Heritage Center

By University Relations Staff

DUBUQUE, Iowa - The Pirates of Penzance, performed by New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, will set sail at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, March 26, 2023, in John and Alice Butler Hall, Heritage Center, University of Dubuque. The performance is part of the 10th annual Live at Heritage Center Performing Arts Series.

WHAT: The Pirates of Penzance, performed by New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players
WHEN: 3:00 p.m. Sunday, March 26, 2023
WHERE: John and Alice Butler Hall, Heritage Center, University of Dubuque

- Public: $24 to $45
- UD Affiliates (UD Faculty and Staff, UD Alumni, Parents of Current UD Students, Military/Veterans, Groups of 10 or More): $19 to $40
- UD Students: First ticket $5; additional tickets $19 to $40
Ticket prices increase by $5 at midnight the day of the event.

Join the band of swashbuckling buccaneers, bumbling British bobbies, frolicsome Victorian maidens, and the delightfully dotty "model of a modern Major-General" for a rollicking romp over the rocky coast of Cornwall. The Pirates of Penzance features a band of tenderhearted pirates celebrating the coming of age of Frederic, who was mistakenly apprenticed to the pirates until his 21st birthday. A ludicrous leap year snap threatens to keep him apprenticed to the pirates for life, despite his moral objection to piracy.

Performed in its original format with a cast of 30 and a 17-piece orchestra, The Pirates of Penzance is directed and conducted by Albert Bergeret with choreography by Bill Fabris. The rich sounds of full orchestra, chorus, and vocal soloists resonate with classic elegance and power while the company's vibrancy, energy, and contemporary sense of humor keep the show alive and exciting to a modern audience. Gilbert's wit and Sullivan's memorable score are among the most valuable treasures of musical theater history.

The Pirates of Penzance, or Slave of Duty, was first performed at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York City on Dec. 31, 1879. It was the only Gilbert & Sullivan operetta to have its world premiere in the US and it has remained popular both here and throughout the English-speaking world ever since.

Patter songs are a Gilbert & Sullivan trademark and The Pirates of Penzance features the most famous of them all, "I am the very model of a modern Major-General." This jaunty tune has been cleverly set to different words countless times and used in commercials to sell everything from Campbells soup to Handi Wipes, cars, newspapers, and other items.

Quickly approaching 50 years of existence, New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players is America's preeminent professional Gilbert & Sullivan repertory ensemble. Under the dynamic leadership of Artistic Director Albert Bergeret, who has been hailed as "the leading custodian of the G&S classics" by New York Magazine, New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players has created its own special niche in the cultural mosaic of New York City and the nation. Since its founding in 1974, the company has presented over 2,500 performances of the G&S masterpieces throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom captivating audiences of all ages.

A free pre-show reception for "Anatomy of a Painting: Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper" will be precede The Pirates of Penzance from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Bisignano Art Gallery, Heritage Center. The exhibit will be open Wednesday, March 1, 2023, through Saturday, March 26, 2023.

Tickets for The Pirates of Penzance can be purchased from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 90 minutes prior to events at the Farber Box Office, Heritage Center, University of Dubuque, 2255 Bennett Street; by calling 563.585.SHOW; or by visiting

New this season, H-PALS allows people to earn a point for every dollar spent. When patrons reach 200 points, they receive one free ticket (valued up to $50) for an eligible event of their choice.

Conlon Construction is the presenting sponsor of the 2022-2023 Live at Heritage Center Performing Arts Series.