AN OPERATIC society is preparing for its spring concert – the Gilbert and Sullivan production HMS Pinafore.

Richmond Operatic Society, celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, will perform in the Georgian Theatre Royal from Wednesday, May 22 until Saturday, May 25.

The comic opera, with music by Arthur Sullivan and a libretto by WS Gilbert, opened at the Opera Comique in London in May 1878 and ran for 571 performances.

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It was the duo’s fourth operatic collaboration and first international success.

The story takes place aboard the British ship H.M.S. Pinafore. The captain's daughter, Josephine, is in love with a lower-class sailor, Ralph Rackstraw, although her father intends her to marry Sir Joseph Porter, the First Lord of the Admiralty.

She abides by her father's wishes at first, but then the couple declare their love for each other and plan to elope. The captain discovers the plan but a surprise disclosure changes things dramatically near the end of the story.

Tickets cost £6.50 to £13.50 and are available from the theatre’s box office on 01748-825252.