program notes by composition > P > Suite from the Ballet "Pineapple Poll"

Suite from the Ballet Pineapple Poll

Arthur Sullivan / arr. Charles Mackerras & W.J. Duthoit, A.R.C.M.

Suite from the Ballet Pineapple Poll This suite contains four movements from the Gilbert and Sullivan-inspired comic ballet, Pineapple Poll. The ballet was created in 1951 after Sullivan’s copyright protection expired, by choreographer John Cranko and arranger Sir Charles Mackerras (1925–2010).

The ballet is based on "The Bumboat Woman's Story," written in 1870. The Gilbert and Sullivan opera H.M.S. Pinafore (especially its character Little Buttercup) was also based in part on this story. Listen for snippets of many familiar Sullivan tunes from Pinafore, The Mikado , The Gondoliers , and The Pirates of Penzance.

In the Suite’s Opening Number , sailors on shore leave from H.M.S Hot Cross Bun mingle with attractive local girls, among them flower girl Poll (Polly Pineapple.) Jasper’s Dance , the second movement, features a “potboy” (server) at the local inn who hankers for Poll. She does not reciprocate the warmth. Poll’s Dance is the third movement. In the Finale , the local girls don naval uniforms and board the ship in pursuit of its handsome captain. They are discovered, the captain turns out to be already betrothed and gets promoted to admiral, Jasper gets promoted to captain, Poll now goes for Jasper, the sailors and local girls become friendlier and everybody dances and lives happily ever after.

Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900) was an English composer well-known for over a dozen comic opera collaborations with the dramatist W. S. Gilbert. His many other works include ballets, orchestral and choral works, and church pieces, including "Onward, Christian Soldiers."

Last updated on May 7, 2018 by Palatine Concert Band