H.M.S. Pinafore: Gilbert and Sullivan’s rock opera?

Gilbert and Sullivan wrote extremely catchy tunes that sounded quite contemporary… back in 1878.

So when the Guthrie Theater decided to stage H.M.S. Pinafore, music director Andrew Cooke decided the score needed an update.


The cast of H.M.S. Pinafore at the Guthrie Theater

Photo: Michal Daniel

This morning Cathy Wurzer spoke to Cooke, who has brought elements of tango, disco and rock opera to the classic musical. You can listen to their conversation (and excerpts of the updated tunes) by clicking on the audio link below.

Well turn about is fair play. Just as Cooke has updated Gilbert and Sullivan’s music for a contemporary audience, at least one G&S devotee has taken contemporary music and given it a true 1898 feel. Behold!