Jesse Wakeman of Belfast plays Ralph Rackstraw in the University of Southern Maine School of Music’s production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “H.M.S. Pinafore.” Performances will be Friday, April 8 at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, April 10 at 2 p.m. at USM’s Corthell Concert Hall.

Love, elopement, and overthrowing the social order — “H.M.S. Pinafore” is everything one could want in an operetta. The USM production is presented by the USM Opera Workshop and Chorale students. Directors and USM School of Music faculty members Ellen Chickering and Robert Russell selected “Pinafore” to provide their students with the experience of performing in a complete opera role … and because the show has such a fun reputation.

“‘Pinafore’ has a clever plot and beautiful melodies. The USM Chorale has never done anything quite like this, at least in recent memory,” said Russell.

Chickering is equally pleased to offer the opportunity to her opera students who, she says, are particularly suited for the performance. Students playing leading roles include Wakeman; Joshua Miller of Southwest Harbor as Sir Joseph Porter; Shannon Connell of Haverill, Mass. as Josephine; Earl C. Vogel of Portland as Captain Corcoran; and Sarah Flagg of Hampden as Little Buttercup.

Tickets are $10, $5 for students, senior citizens, children and USM employees; to reserve, call the USM Music Box Office at 780-5555.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to