Valerie Varnuska - A Synopsis of The Pirates of Penzance

Valerie Varnuska

A lover of fine arts, Westbury, NY, resident Valerie Varnuska particularly enjoys viewing her favorite plays and operas, which include Madame Butterfly, the Nutcracker Suite, and Die Fledermaus. Valerie Varnuska also appreciated the PBS production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and an impressive staging of The Pirates of Penzance at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

Written by Gilbert and Sullivan, The Pirates of Penzance is a comic opera in two acts. The story centers on Frederic, who spent his first 21 years as an apprentice to a gang of pirates. On his birthday, he shocks the pirates by announcing his plans to leave them. After departing, he falls in love with Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley. When the pirates abduct Mabel and her sisters with the intent to marry them, General Stanley pleads for their release by claiming to be an orphan just like the pirates, who will not harm one of their own.

Meanwhile, the pirate king informs Frederic that because he was born on February 29 and thus not yet 21, he is still indentured to the pirates. After several conflicts among the pirates, the police, and General Stanley, all is resolved. The pirates win the sisters, Frederic wins Mabel, and everyone lives happily ever after.