A Gilbert & Sullivan Christmas

Samantha PillingHistory

GandS Christmas

During their careers, both Gilbert and Sullivan contributed to Christmas entertainment in a variety of ways. Gilbert not only contributed through his written works, but his family also enjoyed spreading the Christmas spirit through their parties and pantomimes. Sullivan did not have a family, but he kept himself busy with his compositions, including four Christmas carols and opera collaborations with … Read More

Thespis – the first collaboration of Gilbert & Sullivan

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

inside an old theatre

Thespis was a Christmas entertainment operatic extravaganza, produced by John Hollingshead. He bought together W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan for their first collaboration. John Hollingshead has been the lessee of the Gaiety Theatre since 1868, successfully producing several musical burlesques and operettas. It was also the largest of five London theatres known to show the works of Gilbert & Sullivan, … Read More

W.S. Gilbert, writer of Victorian burlesque?

Samantha PillingHistory

Victorian Lady

W.S. Gilbert’s first solo success came in 1866. It came about after his friend and mentor, Tom Robertson, was asked to write a pantomime but declined, due to the timescale – two weeks. He recommended Gilbert. The pantomime ‘Dulcamara, or the little duck and the great quack’ was the end result. The pantomime was a Victorian burlesque, based on Gaetano … Read More

W.S. Gilbert and ‘An Old Score’

Samantha PillingHistory

savoy operas

Following the success of his recent opera burlesques, W.S. Gilbert wrote his first full-length prose – ‘An Old Score’.  Described as a 3-act comedy-drama, it was based in part, on his previous 1967 short story, ‘Diamonds’ and on episodes in the lives of Irish engineer and railway contractor William Dargan, and banker John Sadlier. ‘An Old Score’ opened at the … Read More

D’Oyly: the man who initiated the Gilbert & Sullivan collaboration

Samantha PillingLatest News

Savoy Theatre

Richard D’Oyly Carte, English composer, talent agent, impresario and hotelier, was born in the West End of London on 3rd May 1844. He was instrumental in bringing together W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, as well funding and creating two of London’s theatres, an opera company and the incredibly successful Savoy chain of hotels. Carte was born into a family that appreciated … Read More

The cultural influences of Gilbert & Sullivan

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

muppets

Gilbert & Sullivan were well-known for their comedy operas, with the likes of ‘Pirates of Penzance’ and ‘Iolanthe’. They appealed to the audiences of their time, due in part, to the successful partnership of Gilbert’s lyrical genius & the musical composition of Sullivan. However, their operas were more than great shows – they also influenced our culture, from politics through to advertising. Gilbert & … Read More

Gilbert & Sullivan’s Trial by Jury

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

Trial by Jury

In 1868 W.S. Gilbert wrote a one-pace illustrated comic piece for ‘Fun’ Magazine. Entitled Trial by Jury, it drew on his experiences as a barrister and satirised the legal system, spoofing a trial over a ‘breach of promise’ arrangement of marriage. When Gilbert was approached by Carl Rosa, composer and opera manager, in the autumn of 1873 to create a … Read More

Gilbert & Sullivan’s Ruddigore

Samantha PillingLatest News

Ruddigore

As was customary for W.S. Gilbert, as soon as The Mikado had its opening night, he started work on the next production – Ruddygore. However, due to other work commitments, Sullivan delayed setting the opera to music until the latter part of 1886 – with rehearsals finally being commenced in December of the same year. The tenth Savoy Opera, Ruddygore … Read More

Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado

Samantha PillingEntertainment, Latest News

Mikado

The Mikado (or The Town of Titipu) was Gilbert & Sullivan’s ninth collaboration. Set in Japan, the story is based around the chief executioner, who has a tender heart that is in direct opposition to that needed for his official duties. The Mikado has an impressive operatic history – but this Savoy Opera nearly didn’t happen at all. Earning its … Read More

Gilbert & Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore

Samantha PillingEntertainment, Latest News

Opera Glass

The Grim’s Dyke Hotel is proud to present H.M.S. Pinafore. Gilbert & Sullivan’s fourth operatic collaboration and their first international sensation, it is being performed by The Grim’s Dyke Opera group. One of Gilbert & Sullivan’s flagship operas So much more than ‘just’ one of Gilbert & Sullivan’s plays, this production was the first one that was self-financed by the … Read More