This May, the Sonoran Desert Chorale sets sail on the H.M.S. Pinafore for a whirlwind tour of those brilliantly British patter songs and comic lyrics. The 60-member Chorale performs “Phantasies of the Opera,” where the second half of the concert includes choruses from the well-loved operas of Puccini, Mozart, Wagner, Bizet and more.

The performance takes place 3 p.m. Sunday, May 3, at Valley Presbyterian Church, 6947 E. McDonald Drive in Paradise Valley.

Where will you find the captivating Josephine, daughter of the ship’s captain, and Ralph Rackstraw, “the smartest lad in all the fleet”? On the deck of the Pinafore, of course, along with the memorable characters of Captain Corcoran, Dick Deadeye, (Poor Little) Buttercup, and Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B. who has risen to his rank of First Lord of the Admiralty even though he has never been to sea. This tale of love between members of different social classes is filled with gentle satire and was a favorite theme of Gilbert & Sullivan’s work.

Opera choruses are an important and integral part of choral repertoire. They can be epic in scale or soft and tender as the night air. For the second half of the concert, the Chorale will perform a variety of pieces from operas such as Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly,” Wagner’s “Tannhäuser,” and Verdi’s “Nabucco.” Each work highlights a different choral viewpoint from Carmen’s Habanera based in a dance motif to the lilting rhythms of the Chorus of the Wedding Guests—which are in direct opposition to the emotions of the bride, Lucia of Lammermoor.

Tickets are $18 for adults/$15 for seniors, students and groups of 10 or more. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 480-305-4538.


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