The Savoy Company

The Savoy Company

Summer Series
performers in costume dancing on stage

Photo by Helga Yang

Helga Yang

Dates & Time

Friday, June 2, 2023 at 8:30 pm

Saturday, June 3, 2023 at 8:30 pm

Raindate: Sunday, June 4, 2023

Open Air Theatre


Reserved Seating: $29-$39

Gardens Preferred, Gardens Premium Members, and Innovators: $24-$34

Children (Ages 4 & under): Free

Ticket includes all-day Gardens Admission. Tickets limited. Sell out likely.

The Pirates of Penzance features some of the most memorable Gilbert and Sullivan songs, including Poor Wand’ring One, I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General, and Hail Poetry.


About the Pirates of Penzance

As a young boy, Frederic was apprenticed to a band of pirates through a mistake made by his nursemaid, Ruth. Now 21 years old, he disavows the pirate life forever. Resolving to lead a blameless life henceforth, Frederic takes his leave from the Pirate King and company. On the beach he encounters many beautiful and proper young maidens, all daughters of the Major-General Stanley. It is love at first sight for the handsome Frederic and the beautiful Mabel. The pirates determine to wed all the other daughters! The Major-General tells a story which saves the day, but by night he is tormented by his tale of untruth. Just as Frederic is ready to lead the Police Sergeant and his officers to subdue the pirates, he is presented with an unforeseen paradox that would make him the slave of duty.

banner art for Pirates of Penzance


Historical Context of the Show

After the success of H.M.S. Pinafore, many American theatrical companies presented their own unauthorized versions. To prevent that from happening again and to protect their copyright, Gilbert and Sullivan with D’Oyly Carte presented official versions of The Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty simultaneously in England and America. With Sullivan conducting, the opera premiered in New York on December 31, 1879 at the Fifth Avenue Theater to secure the U.S. copyright, with a single performance given the previous day at the Royal Bijou Theatre, Paignton, England, to secure the British copyright. The Pirates of Penzance played successfully for over three months in New York and then opened in London on April 3, 1880, at the Opéra Comique, running for 363 performances.


Listen to The Savoy Company


More about The Savoy Company

This fully staged production features the musical and artistic talents of The Savoy Company, the oldest amateur theatre company in the world dedicated to Gilbert & Sullivan operas, which has been a Philadelphia tradition for 120 seasons. Since 1901, The Savoy Company has been steeped in history and tradition, while still making time for fun and social gatherings. The company draws its diverse members, representing all walks of life, from throughout the Delaware Valley. A full professional orchestra, including musicians from a variety of Philadelphia-area music ensembles, accompanies The Savoy Company's performances.

Savoy has long been known for its large chorus and backstage crew, and has performed on professional stages, employing professional orchestras, for almost 120 years and counting. The Company’s volunteer cast has included Hollywood film star Nelson Eddy, Metropolitan Opera soprano Margaret Harshaw, Wagnerian bass-baritone James Pease, and Broadway star Wilbur Evans.

Find out more on their website.

Explore the Entire Series

Our Summer Performance Series showcases the beauty of the performing arts in the beauty of our Gardens.