by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTOS: VERN UYETAKE - Laura Myers practices the role of Ruth.

Marylhurst University’s Department of Music will present two performances of “The Pirates of Penzance” on campus June 7 and 8. This popular comic opera is a classic tale of love on the high seas that features music by the renowned team of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.

Former D’Oyly Carte Opera Company cast member Alistair Donkin will travel to Marylhurst from his home in the United Kingdom to direct and narrate. Donkin was for many years the principal comic baritone for D’Oyly Carte, the company set by Gilbert and Sullivan in the 1870s to perform their operas.

Adam Young, right, is the pirate king, and Thomas Keep plays Samuel.

“We are really excited to welcome back Alistair Donkin, who directed ‘HMS Pinafore’ for us last year,” Marylhurst’s Director of Choral Activities Justin Smith said. “Alistair was the principal comic baritone role for the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in London for many years. This company was set up by Gilbert and Sullivan themselves in the 1860s for the express purpose of performing their operettas. So it’s a long unbroken line of theatrical tradition we’re tapping into by having Alistair stage our show, and very much the way we might have expected Gilbert, who directed the original productions, to have staged them.

“More than that, though, the show is a brilliant and hilarious satire of politicians, pirates and male machismo — that ‘stiff upper lip’ of British society,” Smith said. “We have some amazing music majors filling our principal roles, a terrific chorus and a professional orchestra in the pit. Our nationally recognized Interior Design Department will be designing and building our sets, to transform St. Anne’s chapel into the rocky coast of Penzance, England. We guarantee a great time!”

Justin Smith is the director of the production.

The performances are set for 7:30 p.m. June 7 and 4 p.m. June 8 in St. Anne’s Chapel on campus. Tickets are $15 general admission; seniors and students are admitted for $10. Tickets may be purchased online at

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