H.M.S. Pinafore
H.M.S. Pinafore
Libretto by W. S. Gilbert | Music by Arthur Sullivan | Orchestration by Peter Murray
Gilbert and Sullivan are the undisputed masters of comic operetta and the proud parents of the modern musical. That their works are more in demand today than when they were created over a century ago is ample proof of their lasting brilliance. We are pleased to offer reduced orchestrations based on the D'Oyly Carte originals for productions of H.M.S. PINAFORE, THE MIKADO, or THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE. H. M. S. PINAFORE answers the burning question of who, among equals, is the most equal, but only when the men of the mismatched couples discover they were switched in their cradles as infants. Obviously the authors will stop at nothing to delight and amuse - and again they succeed!
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About The Show

History for H.M.S. Pinafore

Production Info


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Trivia for H.M.S. Pinafore

The birthday of W.S. Gilbert, born 1836. Gilbert was the lyricist for the partnership Gilbert & Sullivan, renowned for comic operas including H.M.S. PINAFORE, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, and THE MIKADO.
In 1842 Arthur Sullivan was born; the composer collaborated with partner W.S. Gilbert on iconic comic operas including THE MIKADO, H.M.S. PINAFORE, and THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE.
In 1878 Gilbert and Sullivan's fourth collaboration and first international success, H.M.S. PINAFORE, premiered at the Opera Comique in London, where it ran for 571 performances.

 Press for H.M.S. Pinafore

  • Quotes
"We shall laugh at the jokes and smile at the social satire, but behind both are some extraordinary music and Arthur Sullivan's talent for pushing irresistible melody into long, rushing sequences that never lose their equilibrium. This is not superficial stuff." — Bernard Holland, The New York Times, January 01, 2006
"A charmer... alive with the music and lyrics that influenced theatrical composers and lyricists through the first half of the twentieth century." — Elyse Sommer, CurtainUp, January 01, 1989

Musical Numbers for H.M.S. Pinafore

Song #
Song Name
Character Name
Play
Other Versions

When Gilbert and Sullivan decided that their fourth collaboration would take place on a ship, Gilbert took his task seriously. He spent a day of research exploring the tall ships docked at Portsmouth, England, sketching the H.M.S Thunderer, the H.M.S Victory, and the H.M.S. St. Vincent. From his sketches he built a model of the deck of the fictional H.M.S. Pinafore, representing all the characters with colored blocks. Using this model, he planned out all the blocking before the show was even cast.

Gilbert was racked with anxiety about the production. He would stay up all night writing and rewriting the libretto; once rehearsals had begun, he spent all day and all night at the theater. His gout was acting up, which made him irritable. He was terrified that H.M.S. PINAFORE would flop.

And indeed, when the show opened on May 25, 1878 at the Opera Comique, it looked as though Gilbert's fears would come true. A heat wave was sweeping London, and a crowded, stuffy theater was the last place people wanted to be. (In the days before air conditioning, a heat wave could absolutely kill a show.) Critics were generally favorable to H.M.S. PINAFORE, but not effusive; the Daily Telegraph predicted that it would “soon subside into nothingness.” Discouraged, the producers posted closing notices and relinquished the show's rights to Gilbert, Sullivan, and producer Richard D'Oyly-Carte.

It was Sullivan who came up with the idea that would save their show. Every night, he conducted a series called the Promenade Concerts; one night, he slipped in an orchestral selection from H.M.S. PINAFORE. It was a smash success, and soon everyone wanted to see the show. By the end of August, every performance was sold out. Gilbert and Sullivan had created their first blockbuster, which ran for a total of 571 performances.

Then came the drama. The former producers, who had lost confidence in the show and given up the rights to it, were angered that the show was suddenly making money—and that they were getting none of it. To get revenge, they hired thugs to invade the stage during a performance and steal all the scenery! Luckily, the show's stagehands bravely fought off the thugs; the scenery was saved, and the show went on.

Today, H.M.S. PINAFORE remains one of Gilbert and Sullivan's most enduringly popular operas. Except for THE MIKADO, it has more recordings than any of their other works. Many of its lines (“What, never?” “No, never!” “What, never?” “Well...hardly ever!”) have become familiar catchphrases, and it is not uncommon to see the opera referenced in popular culture. (Who can forget the time Bart Simpson stalled his would-be murderer by convincing him to sing the entire score of H.M.S. PINAFORE?)

The Daily Telegraph had to eat its words. Far from disappearing into nothingness, H.M.S. PINAFORE is one for the ages.


Awards for H.M.S. Pinafore

Vocal Range of Characters:

Photos for H.M.S. Pinafore

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Writers Notes for H.M.S. Pinafore

Performance Tools for H.M.S. Pinafore

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Rental Materials for H.M.S. Pinafore

STANDARD

  • HMS PINAFORE - Orchestration Package (14 Books/15 Players)
    • 1 – FULL SCORE (CONDUCTOR)
    • 1 – FLUTE (Doubling Piccolo)
    • 1 – OBOE
    • 1 – CLARINET (Doubling Alto Clarinet)
    • 1 – HORN
    • 1 – TRUMPET (Optional Alto Trumpet)
    • 1 – TROMBONE
    • 2 – PERCUSSION (see "Materials Notes", under "Production Information")
    • 1 – VIOLIN I (Divisi)
    • 1 – VIOLIN II ( Divisi)
    • 1 – VIOLA
    • 1 – CELLO
    • 1 – BASS
  • Rehearsal Set (22 Books)
    • 20 – Libretto/Vocal Books
    • 1 – Logo CD
    • 2 – PIANO VOCAL SCORE
    • Digital Logo

ADDITIONAL

  • Libretto/Vocal Books 10 pack
    • 10 – Libretto/Vocal Books
  • PINAFORE - PRE-PRODUCTION PACKAGE
    • 1 – Libretto/Vocal Books
    • 1 – PIANO VOCAL SCORE

Cast Requirements for H.M.S. Pinafore

PRINCIPALS
3 Women
6 Men

FEATURED
2 Men

ENSEMBLE
Singing, dancing ensemble consisting of the First Lord's Sisters, his Cousins, his Aunts, Sailors, Marines, etc. - as desired.

SPECIFIC CHARACTERS
The R. Hon. Sir Joseph Porter, KCB - First Lord of the Admiralty
Captain Corcoran - Commanding H.M.S. Pinafore
Ralph Rackstraw - Able Seaman
Dick Deadeye - Boatswain's Mate
Bill Bobstay - Boatswain's Mate
Bob Becket - Carpenter's Mate
Tom Tucker - Midshipmite
Sergeant of Marines
Josephine - The Captain's Daughter
Cousin Hebe - Sir Joseph's First Cousin
Mrs. Cripps / Little Buttercup - A Portsmouth Bumboat Woman
Chorus of First Lord's Sisters, his Cousins, his Aunts, Sailors, Marines, etc.

Set Requirements for H.M.S. Pinafore

H.M.S. PINAFORE takes place on the Quarter-Deck of H. M. S. Pinafore, off Portsmouth.

Materials Notes

Orchestration by Peter Murray is based on the D'Oyly Carte originals.
(2 Players) Cymbals, Bass Drum, Side Drum, Triangle, Snare Drum, Timpani (2)

Media Rights

Promotional

1. The Promotional Video shall be recorded and shown for the sole purposes of advertising your licensed production of the Play. For such a video, R&H allows theatres to film up to 10 minutes of total footage taken at either a performance or rehearsal (i.e.: 10 minutes of scripted moments.)

2. The Promotional Video may not include more than (i) 1 minute from any song or (ii) 3 minutes, in the aggregate, of footage of copyrighted material from the Play.

3. The Promotional Video may not include any sponsorship or underwriting without the prior consent of all R&H.

4. The Promotional Video must be submitted to R&H by sending the source video and video link to editor@rnh.com.

5. The Promotional Video must include the following: "Rights courtesy of Rodgers & Hammerstein, www.rnh.com"

6. Upon approval by R&H of the Promotional Video, you agree not to make any alterations in the approved copyrighted material used therein and you agree to obtain the prior written approval of R&H for any other use of the Promotional Video not specifically granted herein.

7. Upon termination of the Term, you shall cease to have any rights to use the Promotional Video including, without limitation, in connection with a future production of the Play, and shall immediately remove its content from any and all websites on the Internet.

8. You may not use a commercially available recording.

9. Any additional promotional rights must be approved by R&H by contactingTheatre@rnh.com.

 

*Promotional video rights can only be granted once a performance license for H.M.S. Pinafore has been secured. Please contact customer service if you have any questions. If you have not yet applied for H.M.S. Pinafore, you can do so here. LOG IN to learn more.

Archival

1. Subject to the information provided in Licensee’s application and payment of the fee as set forth in Paragraph 3 herein, Licensee shall have the right to create a single copy of the Video for internal archival, private viewing purposes at Licensee’s address only and shall not be re-copied, distributed or otherwise exploited, in whole or in part, in any media now known or hereafter developed without the prior written approval of R&H. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Video shall not be (i) sold to anyone (ii) telecast by any television station or network, including, without limitation, any local cable station or (iii) distributed, exhibited or otherwise exploited over the Internet or as part of any online auction.

2. Licensee agrees to include the following language at the beginning of the Video:

©Year By R&H Theatricals. This production was videotaped by special arrangement with R&H Theatricals for archival purposes only. All Rights Reserved.

WARNING: Federal law provides severe civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized reproduction, distribution or exhibition of copyrighted motion pictures, videotapes or videodiscs. Criminal copyright infringement is investigated by the FBI and may constitute a felony with a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and/or a $250,000.00 fine.

This Video is provided to you for private, organizational and home viewing purposes only. By accepting the Video, you agree not to authorize or permit the Video to be copied, distributed, broadcast, telecast or otherwise exploited, in whole or in part, in any media now known or hereafter developed.

*You must be and licensed to present H.M.S. Pinafore in order to license Archival rights. Please contact customer service with any questions.

Distribution

1. Licensee shall have the right to create the Video and to make up to one hundred (100) copies of the Video for sale at cost to its Members for internal archival, private viewing purpose at Licensee’s address and for private, home-viewing purpose by Members, and shall not be re-copied, distributed or otherwise exploited, in whole or in part, in any media now known or hereafter developed without the prior written approval of R&H. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Video shall not be (i) sold to anyone other than the Members (ii) telecast by any television station or network, including, without limitation, any local cable station or (iii) distributed, exhibited or otherwise exploited over the Internet or as part of any online auction.

2. Licensee agrees to include the following language at the beginning of the Video:

©Year By R&H Theatricals. This production was videotaped by special arrangement with R&H Theatricals for archival purposes only. All Rights Reserved. WARNING: Federal law provides severe civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized reproduction, distribution or exhibition of copyrighted motion pictures, videotapes or videodiscs. Criminal copyright infringement is investigated by the FBI and may constitute a felony with a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and/or a $250,000.00 fine. This Video is provided to you for private, organizational and home viewing purposes only. By accepting the Video, you agree not to authorize or permit the Video to be copied, distributed, broadcast, telecast or otherwise exploited, in whole or in part, in any media now known or hereafter developed.

*You must be and licensed to present H.M.S. Pinafore in order to license Distribution rights. Please contact customer service with any questions.
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