H.M.S. Pinafore, or The Lass that Loved a Sailor, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It is one of the Savoy Operas, and the first big hit by Gilbert and Sullivan. It opened at the Opera Comique, London, on May 25, 1878 for a run of 571 performances, which was almost unprecedented for a musical theatre piece, and one of the longest runs of any theatre piece up to that time. This work was Gilbert and Sullivan’s fourth operatic collaboration.
The plot revolves around a middle-class naval captain’s daughter who is in love with a lower-class foremast hand (a common sailor, well below officer rank), even though she is betrothed to the upper-class First Lord of the Admiralty, the government official in charge of the Royal Navy. As with most of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, a surprise twist changes everything dramatically near the end of the story.
The Opera was produced under the direction of the Hon. Conductor Mr Leopold Glasspoole.