The CMU Swinney Conservatory Opera Workshop Presents:

Songs, dialogues, and dances from Gilbert and Sullivan

January 29, 2018

February always brings a ray of sunshine, regardless of the weather. Every year at this time Dr. Susan Quigley-Duggan, Central Methodist University professor of opera, leads a talented cast in a fun and sunny weekend of humor and music, usually, as is the case this year, from the genius of composers Gilbert and Sullivan.


This winter’s workshop titled “Hail Poetry, Pirates, and Gondoliers!” will be presented on Thursday, Feb. 15 - Sunday, Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m. (Thurs. – Sat.) and 4:00p.m. on Sunday in the Kountz Recital Hall, Swinney Conservatory, on the Fayette campus of CMU.

Tickets are $7 for general admission and $5 for seniors, CMU faculty and staff, and students.

The Gondoliers, full of fresh and delightful music is a story of mistaken identity and misplaced love, as is common in Gilbert and Sullivan operas. The King of Barataria was abducted in infancy and entrusted to the care of a gondolier. The gondolier raises the king as his son with his own child and grows unable to tell which boy is the king. One of these gondoliers is in line to become the king of Barataria; but, only his childhood nurse can tell them apart. To complicate things, the future king was married in infancy to the daughter of a royal couple and she is now brought in to be his queen. As both young gondoliers have just married local girls, and the arriving young woman is in love with someone else, the plot is, as usual, completely twisted. Through the confession of their foster mother, the rightful king is identified and all lovers are completely content.

The songs that will be performed from The Gondoliers include “List and Learn,” “Hail Gallant Gondolieri” and “Buon Giorno Signorine”; “We’re Called Gondolieri”; “Oh Rapture!” and “When along together/There was a time”; “When a merry maiden marries”; “Do not give way to this uncalled for grief!”;”Then one of us will be a queen”; “Dance a Cachuca”; “Now let the royal lieges gather round”; and “Once more Gondolieri!”

In Patience (or the Bride of Bunthorne), a comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, which makes fun of love in general and the aesthetic movement of the 1870s and 1880s in England, two poets are swarmed by available maidens whenever they quote their poetry. One has fallen in love with a maiden named Patience who loves the second poet but decides he’s too perfect for her own imperfect love; thus, they can’t marry. It is a hopeless situation that conveniently remedies itself so that Patience and her love can be together.


Music from Patience includes “The Soldiers of our Queen”; “In a Doleful Train”; “Let the merry cymbals sound”; “Prithee pretty maiden”; “It’s clear that medieval art”; and “If Saphir I choose to marry.”

The final Gilbert and Sullivan play that will be pillaged for songs is the oft-favorite Pirates of Penzance. The play centers around Frederic, who has completed his 21 years of servitude to a kind-hearted group of pirates. After he is released he meets and falls in love with Mabel, the daughter of the Major-General.  Soon after Frederic receives the news from the Pirate King that he was born in leap year on February 29th and that he is apprenticed until his 21st birthday not year. He feels thwarted but honor bound to rejoin the pirates. Needless to say, it all works out in the end, and true love endures.

The cast will sing from Penzance “Pour o pour the pirate sherry”; “O better far to live and die”; “Climbing over rocky mountain”; “Oh, is there not one maiden breast?”; “Poor wandering one!”; “Stay we must not lose our senses”; “I am the very model of a modern major general”; and the finale “Oh men of dark and dismal fate.”

Directing the Opera Workshop is Dr. Susan Quigley-Duggan, who has held the helm in presenting all of these comic operas on Central’s stage. The musicians will be accompanied by pianist Mary Jane Nance, flutists Dr. Dori Waggoner, dean of the CMU Swinney Conservatory of Music, and Mikaela Lewis, a senior music education major from Harrisburg. Costuming will, as always, be provided by Terri Rohlfing with lighting by Alexia Farris

Cast members will play multiple roles in the scenes. They include opera fellow, Keaton Denney (sophomore music education major from Cole Camp); Gannon Craig (senior music education major from Salem); Kay Wilken-Neas (senior music education major from Cole Camp); Corneille Bryan (sophomore music education major from Springfield);

Josh Goggin (senior music major from St. Louis); Cayla Carr (junior music education major from Mount Sterling); Malik Hughes (junior vocal performance major from St. Joseph); Music Professor Thomas Arnold; Catherine Barnard (sophomore nursing major from Columbia); Curtis Lierheimer (senior music education major from Mexico);

Rachel Martin (sophomore music education major from Richland); Marissa Dickman (freshman music education major from Maryland Heights); Samantha Reid (freshman music education major from Holt); Nicole Milovich (junior music major from Catawissa); and Hadley Wiggans (freshman vocal performance major from Macon).

For more information, contact Lynette at or at 660-248-6317.