H.M.S. Pinafore is Gilbert and Sullivan's fourth comedic opera and is on of their most famous. When first opening in 1878, the play ran for 571 performances and reached extreme popularity both in Britain and overseas — Gilbert & Sullivan's first major success. Pinafore is a love story between the lowborn sailor Ralph Rackstraw and his captain's highborn daughter Josephine. The star-crossed lovers are forced to confront their gaps in rank when Josephine is betrothed to Sir Joseph, the wealthy and affluent monarch of the seas. A hilarious satire of class, patriotism, and bureaucracy; Pinafore is filled with colourful characters, heartbreaking drama, and fantastic songs.