Les Dennis to make opera debut in Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore

The English TV presenter will star in a new production of HMS Pinafore at the English National Opera later this year

Published: May 25, 2021 at 2:09 pm

Les Dennis is moving from our TV screens to the opera stage, making his debut with the English National Opera in a new production of Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore. He'll be taking on the role of Sir Joseph, the First Lord of the Admiralty for the duration of the comic opera's run at the London Coliseum.


It's not the first time the former host of Family Fortunes has appeared on stage though, having trod the boards of the West End and the Royal Shakespeare Company. He is also due to appear in Hairspray, another production at the London Coliseum, from 21 June. 'Every night in Hairspray we will be doing a vocal warmup, so I hope that will improve the muscles. It is a muscle, and we've not been using it – anybody that is on stage, that is,' Dennis told the Guardian today.

This is the first time the ENO is putting on a performance of a Gilbert and Sullivan opera, and are handing over the reins to director Cal McCrystal, who also worked on One Man, Two Guvnors and the Paddington films.

The ENO recently announced that its free ticket scheme for under 18s will be extended to under 21s for its new season.


HMS Pinafore will run from 29 October to 11 December 2021. Tickets available here.


Freya ParrDigital Editor and Staff Writer, BBC Music Magazine

Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.

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