Gilbert and Sullivan's "Ruddigore"
February 21, 2017

LACEY, Wash. – A remarkable treasure from the Gilbert and Sullivan musical collaboration of the Victorian era, the comic opera “Ruddigore,” or “The Witch’s Curse,” will be staged by the Saint Martin’s University Music Department this month. Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 and at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 26 in Kreielsheimer Hall 105 on the Saint Martin’s campus, 5000 Abbey Way SE. There is no admission charge, although a free-will donation is suggested. Seating is limited, and is first-come, first served.

A parody of the Victorian melodramas popular in the late 1800s, “Ruddigore” has a happily-ever-after ending, but not before mayhem runs its course. Set in the pastoral village of Ruddigore, where eons ago, a witch placed a dreadful curse on the generations of Baronets in power, each successive Baronet must commit a crime a day to avoid a painful death. The virtuous and “sweet-as-new-mown-hay” Rose Maybud, is being courted by a worthy farmer, Robin Oakapple, who is actually the true Baronet and who has shirked his duty and the curse. Instead, his brother has assumed the role. But Robin’s identity is exposed, and he must assume the title and the curse, something he tries to avoid each day. As with most melodramas, “Ruddigore” is replete with dastardly villains, suffering heroes, and even some professional bridesmaids and ghosts of earlier Baronets, says Associate Prof. of Music Darrell Born, the operetta’s director, who is also assisting with choreography and music direction.

“Besides a full cast of characters, there’s lots of dark gloom, funny, playful music and comedy surrounding daily life in the town, love, marriage – or the lack thereof,” he says.

Performed by Saint Martin’s voice students and the Saint Martin’s University Chorale, “Ruddigore” is being choreographed by Teal Christensen. Music direction is by Claudia Simpson-Jones.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,243 undergraduate students and 277 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 350 more students to its extended campus at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at

For additional information:

Darrell Born
Associate Professor, Music
Director, Saint Martin’s University Chorale

Deanna Partlow
Interim Media Relations Manager