model shipIn case you didn’t know, September 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day.  For a little “holiday” fun with a seasonal twist, here are a few random bits of nautical silliness, picked just for Listers:

Pop quiz

Quick: how many nautical operas and song cycles can you name in ten seconds or less?  Give it a shot, and check your answers by scrolling down to our list below.  (We compiled it with a few quick searches, so let us know what we’re missing!)

Put that language training to work

Just because we can, learn how to talk like a pirate — in German.  Grab your Enterhaken and get a handle auf Deutsch here.  (If that’s too easy, try it in Dutch — think of it as Method prep for a little Wagnerian nautical ditty…)

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 5.18.27 AMHow about a vacation?

MSC Cruises’ luxury ship the MSC Opera sails the Mediterranean with mildly opera-themed fun for the whole family.  The online reviews are mixed, but it could be fun…

…and a blast from before The Big Chill

Though the 1983 Pirates of Penzance film certainly has some gaping holes for true G&S fans, watching the amazing Kevin Kline (still early in his stardom) throw himself wholly into the Pirate King is just too good to pass up:


ship's riggingNautical-themed vocal works — A list quickly sourced*

Billy Budd  (Britten)

The Commodore  (Offenbach)

Dido and Aeneas  (Purcell)

The Flying Dutchman  (Wagner)

Fringes of the Fleet (Elgar)

HMS Pinafore  (Gilbert & Sullivan)

Il corsaro  (Verdi)

Jonah and the Whale  (Argento)

Le pauvre matelot  (Milhaud)

Moby Dick  (Heggie)

Noye’s Fludde  (Britten)

Pelléas et Mélisande  (Debussy)

Peter Grimes (Britten)

Pirates of Penzance  (Gilbert & Sullivan)

Riders to the Sea  (Vaughn Williams)

The Sailor-Boy and the Falcon  (Siskind)

Sea Pictures  (Elgar)

Siren Song  (Dove)

The Tempest  (Adès; Hoiby)

Three Pirate Songs  (Schickele)

To Be Sung Upon the Water  (Argento)
(This one’s plenty wet, but not really naval in any way — but it was written for our own Lister tenor Mallory Walker!)

Tristan and Isolde  (Wagner)

Also, here’s a list of individual pirate songs created by a San Antonio radio station in 2011.

* What are we missing?  Please comment below!

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: