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Pirates of Penzance – The Ballet! (originally called Pirates! The Ballet) is a comic ballet adapted from Gilbert and Sullivan's Savoy Opera The Pirates of Penzance. The plot remains the same as for the opera, and the music is arrangements of music by Arthur Sullivan.

The work was created for the Queensland Ballet. The choreographer was Daryl Gray, with orchestration by Henry Aronson and design by Christopher Smith. The world première took place at the Suncorp Theatre in Brisbanemarker, Queenslandmarker, Australia, on 12 April 1991.

Between 1991 and 1995, the ballet was slightly restructured by its choreographer and given the new title of Pirates of Penzance – The Ballet! The Queensland Ballet performed the work under its new title during March, 1996, following which the company took it on tour to the United Statesmarker, with another U.S. tour in 2004. It was revived in November 2009 at Ballet San Jose. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote: "Ebullient, athletic, bright as a picture book and blurrily overstuffed, Ballet San Jose's Pirates of Penzance is a crowd pleaser by default. With all that's happening onstage, how can you not be entertained?"

During the ballet, there are four opera singers "shoehorned into the piece as chatty first-nighters" (audience members). There is some singing, and during the ballet both the Pirates and Police interact with these "members of the audience." The pirates and police hiding among them, and a pirate theatens the "audience members" with his sword.


  1. Winn, Steven. "Dance review: Pirates of Penzance in San Jose", San Francisco Chronicle, 21 November 2009

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