"Climbing over Rocky Mountain”: The Ladies’ Rendezvous to a Pirate Trail
"Climbing over Rocky Mountain (Chorus of Girls)” is part of the operetta "Pirates of Penzance" or "Slave of Duty." The operetta was the work of the dramatist W. S. Gilbert (1836-1911) and Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900) as the composer. The song is the fifth song in Act I and was performed by a chorus of girls. The song is also part of the play's Overture.
This piece is a combination of singing and spoken parts, which is common in opera.
Thus, it has an irregular structure of verses and melody.
The performers of this song were a chorus of girls. The main parts were performed by Edith, Kate, and Isabel. The three girls were sisters of the female protagonist Mabel, who is not present. The sisters are all daughters of General Stanley. In the chorus, Edith and Kate are classified as a mezzo-soprano. Isabel has no singing part, only a speaking role.
The performance of the song happens after Frederic, the lead male and protagonist, hides when he sees the girls going through the path over the mountain. The trail leads to the pirates' lair. The chorus is performed with exuberating joy and giddiness upon discovering the trail and secluded spot.
The dramatist W.S. Gilbert wrote the libretto for the song and the opera. His works were characterized using fancy words and absurd environments but always end up with logical explanations or endings. His partner in many theatrical ventures, Arthur Sullivan, is a gifted composer whose music is described as full of humor and emotions. Both the dramatist and the composer formed a partnership that revolutionized the Victorian theatre and society. The partnership was a successful collaboration that spanned the Anglosphere. They produced 14 operas between 1871 to 1896. One of their most successful production is the "Pirates of Penzance," a comic opera in two parts that serve as the context of this song.