Pattaya Classical Music, in conjunction with Grand Opera Thailand, put together a Concert entitled Gilbert and Sullivan Return, “High Crimes and Misdemeanours”, on Saturday 1st February. This was a follow up to a previous Gilbert and Sullivan concert that had been extremely successful; so much so that the audience on leaving were asking, “When are you having another one”.
Stefan Sanchez, the Musical Director, put together various Crimes and Misdemeanours from different Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta with the overall thread of the Police and Courts bringing the various miscreants to justice. This resulted in several hilarious moments throughout the evening.
Before the Concert started the patrons were able to indulge in a variety of snacks and drinks produced by the staff at Diana Garden Resort. These had been paid for by a generous sponsor.
The cast consisted of: Mahannop Panasaratool, Pichaya Kemasingki, Benyapa Pharaksa, Ohmmapat Kaosam-ang, Helene McClellan, and Stefan Sanchez, with pianist Sara Choi.
The programme commenced with an opening medley of songs as a “warm up” for the singers who entered in turn to perform different numbers. The programme itself started with numbers from Trial by Jury, the case being announced by Stefan as the Sergeant of Police as a Breach of Promise action.
The lady claimed that her suitor was in love with her and he had slighted her. Then we were introduced to the Judge who had a penchant for a bottle of whiskey and told us his history. Finally the Judge asked for the plaintiff and the case moved on, but not before the Judge had taken a fancy to the plaintiff. The plaintiff reciprocated her love to the Judge and the final song was their duet “I love him.” The audience had really got into the swing of things and clapped, cheered and booed as appropriate.
At this point we had an intermission so that the audience could have a cup of coffee, tea or soft drink and more snacks.
We were called to order for the first part of the second section that started with songs from the Mikado; this is probably the most well-known opera by Gilbert and Sullivan as one song in particular has been performed many times and in our version resulted in great hilarity. Basically, the Mikado has stated that people should be executed for “flirting” and that is where the problems started. His son, Nanki-Poo, had fled Court because The Mikado wanted him to marry Katisha, an elderly lady. He became a wandering musician and met and fell in love with Yum-Yum, but she was the ward of Ko-Ko, a cheap tailor in the town of Titipi. But Yum-Yum was already betrothed to Ko-Ko and Nanki-Poo left in despair. But he returned because he had heard that Ko-Ko was to be executed for flirting. But to his dismay he found that Ko-Ko had been reprieved at the last minute and made Lord High Executioner.
Here lies a problem, as Ko-Ko has to execute himself and the Mikado wants to know why there have been no beheadings. This is a dilemma! Things finally get resolved when Nanki-Poo is revealed as the Mikado’s son and he is able to marry Yum-Yum, the Mikado saying that Ko-Ko should marry Katisha.
The final section of the performance was the selection of songs from The Pirates of Penzance. This tells the story of a young pirate apprentice called Frederic who has come to the end of his indentured period. He was indentured by mistake as his half-deaf nurse had been told to apprentice him as a “pilot” but got it a little wrong! However, he was indentured until he was 21 and now is free to leave the pirates and going onshore. He meets a group of young ladies and falls for Mabel, the most beautiful one. But the pirates arrive and see this as a chance for all of them to get wives with impunity.
Their plans are foiled by the arrival of the major-general who declares he was an orphan. As the pirates were all orphans they had pledged never to harm any other orphan and so the young ladies gained a reprieve. But the major-general was not an orphan and he was terrified that they would find out. Further complications arrived when it was discovered that Frederic was born on 29th February, so as his indenture was till his 21st birthday and not his 21st year he was still, technically, a pirate. From now on the plot becomes hilarious until the pirates capture the police, but then Mabel reveals that the pirates are all noblemen who have sworn allegiance to the Queen. Promptly the police arrest the pirates. What a mix-up! In the end all sorts itself out, Frederic gets Mabel and the pirates all get one of the other girls.
One of the most memorable songs was the “patter” song by the Major-General. The cast were met by thunderous applause at the end of the show and yet again as people left they asked when the next one would be. Amongst the many guests were Sopin Thappajug, owner of Diana Garden Resort, who provided the hall; Radchada Chomjinda, the director of the Human Help Network, ladies from the Pattaya International Ladies Club, members of Pattaya City Expats Club, various Rotary International Clubs and the Masons.
Pattaya Classical Music is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing musical entertainment to Pattaya. It comprises Greg Barton (Founder and Chairman), Les Edmonds (Secretary), Judith Edmonds (Treasurer), Brian Alexander and Evelyne Wachtenheim. We also have to thank David Shnider for assistance and Max (for use of the Steinway piano, donated). All profits for this venture went to the Human Help Network and the Child Protection and Development Centre. On this occasion it amounted to approximately 60,000 baht.
We would like to thank the staff at Diana Garden Resort for their efforts and, of course, you the audience, because without you it would all have been in vain. Finally a very, very big thanks to Stefan and the crowd at Grand Opera-Thailand for a fun – filled night.