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Music Text

Libretto by Donald Madgwick (E)

Scoring

S,M,A,2T,T/Bar,5Bar,B,speaker; chorus; ballet
2(II=picc).1.1.1-1.1.1.0-timp.perc:BD/cyms/SD/tgl/glsp/tamb/cast-
strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
11/3/1971
London
Robert Horsfall, director
Conductor: Brian Goodwin
Company: Barclays Bank Operatic Society

Roles

W.S. GILBERT Baritone
ARTHUR SULLIVAN Tenor
RICHARD D'OYLY CARTE Baritone
HELEN LENOIR, Carte's secretary, later his wife Mezzo-Soprano
LUCY GILBERT, Gilbert's wife Soprano
ANNE GILBERT, Gilbert's mother Contralto
WILLIAM GILBERT SENIOR, Gilbert's father Bass
CLEMENT SCOTT, a Drama critic Baritone
FREDERIC CLAY, a composer non-singing role
GEORGE GROSSMITH, an entertainer Baritone
RUTLAND BARRINGTON, an entertainer Bass
A THEATRE MANAGER (can double with Grossmith) Baritone
SAUNDERS, Gilbert's manservant Tenor
POLICEMAN Baritone or Tenor
Citizens, Club members and Officials, Reporters, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Savoy Theatre Chorus SATB
Time and Place

London, between 1869-1893

Synopsis

A new extravaganza with music by Frederic Clay and a libretto by W.S. Gilbert is being premiered. Clay introduces Gilbert to his colleague, the composer Arthur Sullivan. At the offices of the impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte, his secretary Helen Lenoir sees the potential of this new partnership: they try their luck with Thespis, which proves a moderate success, then go their separate ways. Fast forward to 1875, when Carte suggests another collaboration, and Trial by Jury is an enormous hit. The triumvirate is established, and goes from strength to strength, despite occasional differences. The Savoy Operas become a national institution and an international money-spinner, until in 1888 a quarrel over the costs of a new carpet for the foyer of the Savoy breaks the partnership, and ends up in court. Eventually, relations are resumed, and G&S return to the Savoy in 1893 with Utopia Ltd. All – including Gilbert's wife and parents, and Helen (now married to D'Oyly Carte) – celebrate the much-desired reunion.

Moods

Comic

Subjects

History, Literary, Music/Arts, Relationships




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