The Pirates of Penzance is the first Gilbert and Sullivan opera/operetta that SDO has ever produced.
  • The Pirates of Penzance is the first Gilbert and Sullivan opera/operetta that SDO has ever produced.
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The last time Greer Grimsley was in a production at San Diego Opera I was accused, in so many words, of having an unhealthy man-crush on the steely voiced bass-baritone. I don’t deny it.

Although I must point out that this is a healthy man-crush based on my admiration of Grimsley’s vocal abilities going back to his company debut as Telramund in the 2000 SDO production of Lohengrin.

Grimsley is back in town but in a different role. He is appearing at The Pirate King in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. The show opens on Saturday, October 14 at 7 p.m.

I have to admit that I have been impressed with the approach SDO has taken to promoting Pirates. Their Facebook feed has been full of pirates making appearances in the company offices as well as footage from rehearsals.

Video:

Singers Greer Grimsley and Luretta Bybee, who are married, discuss their roles in Pirates of Penzance.

Also appearing in this production and making her company debut is Luretta Bybee. Bybee and Grimsley happen to have been married for 30 years and have often worked together in the past.

The rest of the cast includes another company debut from tenor Mackenzie Whitney along with returning singers Patrick Carfizzi and Maureen McKay. Carfizzi was last seen at SDO as Henry Kissinger in Nixon in China. McKay played the role of Nanette in last season Falstaff.

The Pirates of Penzance is the first Gilbert and Sullivan opera/operetta that SDO has ever produced. Part of that is due to the now defunct Lyric Opera San Diego which routinely put on G & S shows for three decades.

This Pirates promises to be a musical treat for both the experience opera aficionado and the novice—because, you know, Greer Grimsley.

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