"Making his Utah Opera debut, John Riesen was perfectly cast as Frederic, the orphan who was mistakenly apprenticed as a child to the leader of a band of tender-hearted pirates . . . Riesen’s expressive voice was mannered in just the right way to reflect Frederic’s self-righteousness, and as an actor, he fully committed to being the “slave of duty.” The seriousness he brought to his character’s moral dilemma propelled the show forward and heightened its humor. . .
The same could be said for Craig Irvin as The Pirate King. He wore red-striped tights, a coat with tails, and a giant top-hat and delivered “Oh Better Far to Live to Live and Die” with swashbuckling panache, but underneath the trappings of piracy was a decent fellow who had made a moral choice to become a pirate and who had genuine concern and affection for his apprentice Frederic."