Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera Pirates of Penzance opens at UNT Feb. 22

“Pirates of Penzance” at UNT
The comic opera “Pirates of Penzance” features kind-hearted pirates and runs for two weekends, starting Feb. 22, in the Lyric Theater of the Murchison Performing Arts Center. CREDIT: Christopher Walker/UNT
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 10:36

What: UNT Opera and the UNT Concert Orchestra present The Pirates of Penzance.

When/Where: 8 p.m. Feb. 22 (Friday) and March 1 (Friday); 3 p.m. Feb. 24 (Sunday) and March 3 (Sunday) in the Lyric Theater at the Murchison Performing Arts Center, 2100 Interstate 35 Frontage Road, Denton. “In the Know” pre-performance lectures begin 45 minutes prior to each performance.

Cost: Ticket prices range from $15 to $35. Purchase online at or by calling the Murchison Box Office at 940-369-7802.


DENTON (UNT), Texas – A fun and carefree opera allows for plenty of laughs when the University of North Texas Opera and UNT Concert Orchestra present Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance.

Gilbert and Sullivan operas were popular years ago and are now experiencing a revival across the nation, said Director of Opera Paula Homer. The Pirates of Penzance is good for those who are new to opera, she said.

Written and performed in English – so no translation is necessary – the comic opera tells the story of Frederic, indentured to a band of soft-hearted pirates, Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley, and the antics of her father and sisters, the pirates and the police, all while Frederic and Mabel fall in love.

“I think in particular this Gilbert and Sullivan opera has number after number that is a delight,” said Homer. “It’s terrific. It’s funny.”

The student performers have been practicing for weeks, refining their high-class British accents – and their working class Cockney accents, too, Homer said.

“They’re really great,” Homer said of the performers. “Some of them just leapt right into it.”

Performances are at 8 p.m. Feb. 22 (Friday) and March 1 (Friday) and at 3 p.m. Feb. 24 (Sunday) and March 3 (Sunday).

The UNT Concert Orchestra will be conducted by Stephen Dubberly, who will give pre-performance lectures for opera ticket holders 45 minutes prior to each performance.

All performances take place in the Lyric Theater in the Murchison Performing Art Center, located along the north side of Interstate 35E in Denton. Tickets are $15 to $35. For tickets, contact the Murchison Box Office at 940-369-7802 or go online to

About UNT Opera

The UNT opera program began at UNT in 1944. It is one of the oldest programs of its kind in the western half of the United States. The program earned first place in the National Opera Association competition last year for its production of Marc Blitzstein’s “Regina.” The final production of the spring season will be a collaboration with the Baroque Orchestra to perform Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Le devin du village, April 19-21.

About the UNT College of Music

The UNT College of Music is one of the largest and most respected comprehensive music schools in the country. About 1,500 music students attend UNT each year, participating in more than 40 widely varied ensembles and pursuing specialized studies in performance, composition, music education or music scholarship. UNT faculty members and students have made appearances on the world’s finest stages and have produced numerous recordings, many receiving Grammy awards and nominations. Distinguished UNT alumni can be found around the globe, in top music ensembles, opera companies, universities and schools.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108