Friday, October 30, 2009

Mikele's last day

I've had a fabulous time with this amazing company, but it's time for me to move on.

Long-time PRO Board Member and advocate, Sharon Dobson, is joining PRO as Acting Managing Director. Sharon has not only been with PRO for many years as Board Member, but has also been teaching Marketing and Business at Cal Poly for many years. The breadth of her experience will be a great asset as PRO moves forward.

Welcome Sharon! And farewell, my PRO friends!

Best wishes - Mikele

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Arr, me hearties! T'was a bodacious showin'

What a night! Great crowd, great show! I was even surprised by flowers after my pre-show talk... my last opening night with PRO had it's bitter-sweet elements.

Tonight, as always, will be just that much better - hope to see you ALL there!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Opening Night!

It's here! Tonight's the night, and we're all set to go! Hope to see you there, it's going to be a wonderful show!

Friday, October 9, 2009

More on the Major-General's song... WHO KNEW???

I found the following article fascinating - explaining all the crazy references in the Major-General's song - there is SO much more to it than I would have expected!!

The lyrics to the song follow the article so you can reference back and forth...

Special notes on Major-General's song – from Wikipedia.


Line four is a reference to The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World by Sir Edward Creasy. This classic military history describes the great battles of the world, from "Marathon to Waterloo". When the Major-General says "order categorical", he is saying that he will organise the information not merely in a simple order, such as chronological order, but by category – sea battles vs. land battles, etc.[1] In line eighteen, the Major-General says, "I know the croaking chorus from The Frogs of Aristophanes". But all the chorus says in The Frogs is "Brek-ek-ek-ek co-ax co-ax". In line nineteen, he claims to be able to hum a fugue, but that is impossible, since a fugue requires more than one voice. In line 22, he sings "And tell you ev'ry detail of Caractacus's uniform". In John H. Foley's 1859 sculpture, Caractacus is only wearing a loin cloth, and so knowing the details of his "uniform" is not a great achievement.[2][3]

In some versions of the libretto, "Mauser rifle" in line 26 is "Chassepot rifle" - the former is more common in performance. The Mauser rifle was based on the earlier Chassepot and had an improved rotating bolt system for breechloaders. First invented in 1867, the Mauser rifle was adapted by the German army in 1871, after the German victory in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71.[4] Subsequently, the Mauser became the more widely used rifle and the more familiar to audiences, and the lyric was changed.[5]

I am the very model of a modern Major-General,
I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical
From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical;
I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical,
I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical,
About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news,
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.
I'm very good at integral and differential calculus;
I know the scientific names of beings animalculous:
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.
I know our mythic history, King Arthur's and Sir Caradoc's;
I answer hard acrostics, I've a pretty taste for paradox,
I quote in elegiacs all the crimes of Heliogabalus,
In conics I can floor peculiarities parabolous;
I can tell undoubted Raphaels from Gerard Dows and Zoffanies,
I know the croaking chorus from The Frogs of Aristophanes!
Then I can hum a fugue of which I've heard the music's din afore,
And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinafore.
Then I can write a washing bill in Babylonic cuneiform,
And tell you ev'ry detail of Caractacus's uniform:
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.
In fact, when I know what is meant by "mamelon" and "ravelin",
When I can tell at sight a Mauser rifle from a javelin,
When such affairs as sorties and surprises I'm more wary at,
And when I know precisely what is meant by "commissariat",
When I have learnt what progress has been made in modern gunnery,
When I know more of tactics than a novice in a nunnery—
In short, when I've a smattering of elemental strategy—
You'll say a better Major-General has never sat a-gee.
For my military knowledge, though I'm plucky and adventury,
Has only been brought down to the beginning of the century;
But still, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dressin' fer Pirates... Arrr

Updates on our costume contests!

We're had such a response that we've extended our pirate costume contest to include a raffle. Everyone in costume will be given a raffle ticket to be drawn toward a gift basket stuffed with goodies. There will be separate drawings for children and adults at all three performances!

A costume is defined at apparel that
suggests a pirate costume -

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Major-General's song

The Major-General's Song is a patter song from Gilbert and Sullivan's 1879 comic opera The Pirates of Penzance. It is perhaps the most famous song in Gilbert and Sullivan's operas. It is sung by Major-General Stanley at his first entrance, towards the end of Act I. The song satirises the idea of the "modern" educated British Army officer of the latter 19th century. It is one of the most difficult patter songs to perform, due to the fast pace and tongue-twisting nature of the lyrics.

The song is replete with historical and cultural references, satirically demonstrating the Major-General's impressive and well-rounded education that seems to come at the complete expense of any useful military knowledge. Some performing companies write their own lyrics satirizing current events. The stage directions in the libretto state that at the end of each verse the Major-General is "bothered for a rhyme." Interpolated business occurs here, and in each case he finds a rhyme and finishes the verse with a flourish.

Credit --'s_Song

Wait until you hear the presentation of this song during the show!! A special surprise you’ll tell your friends about!

Pirates Approaching!

OMG. I cannot believe how busy busy busy it's been around here! Ak! We lost both of our regular staff members in September, and while Carolyn (our Marketing Associate) has stepped in to help with the office stuff, it's still CRAZY.

Ok - I'm going to start with daily posts between now and Pirates, to get you ALL the scoop and some little known tidbits. Starting with:

Did you know….

After the sensational success of H.M.S. Pinafore, many American performing companies presented unauthorized versions of that opera. Gilbert, Sullivan and Carte decided to prevent that from happening again by presenting official versions of their next opera, The Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty simultaneously in England and America. The opera premiered on December 31, 1879 at the Fifth Avenue Theater in New York with Sullivan conducting. To secure British copyright, there was a perfunctory performance the afternoon before the New York premiere, at the Royal Bijou Theatre Paignton, Devon, organised by Helen Lenoir (who would later marry Richard D'Oyly Carte). The cast, having performed Pinafore the night before, read from scripts carried onto the stage, making do with whatever costumes they had on hand.

Finally, the opera opened on April 3, 1880, at the Opéra Comique in London, where it ran for 363 performances, having already been playing successfully for over three months in New York.

Information gleaned from The Gilbert & Sullivan Archive and Wikipedia