Gilbert & Sullivan
a selling exhibition of memorabilia
ARCHIVE: Richard D'Oyly Carte
   
 
     
 

A survey of the career of D'Oyly Carte and his company, this archive page has a complete list of productions at the Savoy Theatre during his management, including cast changes and variant programme covers where illustrations are available. Also, details of productions prior to the opening of the Savoy and of some of the early touring companies. Items are listed in approximate date order, according to the printing date of the item (where known). Most items on this page are not currently for sale. Early items for sale can be found here.

 
     
1875    
     
SOLD

Trial by Jury

Trial By Jury opened at the Royalty Theatre on 25th March 1875, playing, generally, as an afterpiece to Offenbach's La Perichole and a short piece titled A Good Night's Rest. The true initial run was rather short, as the theatre closed on June 12th, the company taking the production on tour. Although probably issued on 10th April 1875, it is possible that this programme was printed even earlier, as it does not mention the Associate, a role which is generally believed to have been named after 1st April. All the original cast members were in place at this exceptionally early date. Strictly, Carte was only the Manager, not the impressario, at this stage.

   
SOLD

Trial by Jury

This attractive programme dates from after May 5th 1875, when A Good Night's Rest was replaced by The Secret, which played with Trial by Jury and La Perichole until June 12th. The theatre then closed, and the production went on tour. Note Gilbert and Sullivan as cherubs on the cover. Carte, and scenes from Trial, appear inside. The original cast are all listed, except for C. Campbell as Foreman and C. Kelleher as Usher.

   
SOLD

Trial by Jury

Following their tour, the Trial By Jury company re-opened at the Royalty Theatre on 11th October 1875, again playing with La Perichole and a third piece, My Wife's Out, initially at least. By the date of this programme, 16th November, there had been some substantial cast changes and the piece was now described as "successful". The operetta was withdrawn on 18th December, having totalled an initial, if fractured, run of 131 performances.

   
1876    
     
SOLD

Trial by Jury

On January 13th 1876 the production moved to the Opera Comique, where it was initially an afterpiece to Offenbach's Madame L'Archiduc. This Opera Comique programme, dated 14th February 1876, features the composer's brother Fred Sullivan in his original role as the Judge. Counsel, Usher and Foreman were all played by actors who had appeared at the Royalty. An inside page is shown, decorated with characters from Trial.

   
SOLD

Trial by Jury

During the 96 performance run of Trial by Jury at the Opera Comique it shared the bill with three different operettas. On this programme it was forepiece to Offenbach's Genevieve de Brabant, starring Emily Soldene, which dates it to between 18th March and April 1st 1876. Fred Sullivan was still The Judge and understudy "E. Cambell" (Charles ?) was The Defendant. Foreman was W.S. Penley, later famous in the title role of Charley's Aunt.

   
1877    
     
SOLD

The Sorcerer - first programme

The Sorcerer opened at the Opera Comique on 22nd November 1877, and it appears that no special programme was produced for opening night. However, this copy was issued during the first two weeks of the production, as it gives Act 2 as "Market Place in the Village", and has typographical errors consistent with the example reproduced by Reginald Allen, and which he considers likely to have been the first issued. This copy is dated for the third night.

   
SOLD

The Sorcerer / Dora's Dream

Rosina Brandram was one of the stalwarts of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. From 1884 to 1903 she appeared in every Savoy piece which required a contralto, but even before this time she was in the chorus, and filled in for soloists in every G&S opera from The Sorcerer onwards. This extremely rare programme names Brandram as Lady Sangazure, filling in for Mrs Howard Paul, and is dated December 3rd 1877. The forepiece Dora's Dream, which had opened the same night as The Sorcerer, ran until 7th or 8th February, 1878.

   
1878    
     
SOLD

The Sorcerer / Dora's Dream

Dated January 24th 1878, this rare programme names Gertrude Cave-Ashton as Aline. In 1875 she had created the role of Laetitia Grinder in Sullivan's musical folly The Zoo, but this short stint in The Sorcerer was her only appeance in a Gilbert & Sullivan opera.

   
SOLD

The Sorcerer / The Spectre Knight

The forepiece The Spectre Knight opened on 9th February 1878. This copy is dated by hand for 23rd February, and names all the original cast, including Barrington and Richard Temple. Only Lisa Muncey, playing Second Lady in Waiting, did not also have a solo role in The Sorcerer. At this time George Power was Alexis and Giulia Warwick had moved up to play Aline, leaving Lisa Walton to make her first appearance on the stage as Constance.

   
SOLD

The Sorcerer & Trial by Jury

On 23rd March 1878 Trial by Jury replaced The Spectre Knight as the afterpiece to The Sorcerer at the Opera Comique, running alongside it for 56 performances. This programme, produced on 29th April 1878 by The Graphic, a firm that specialised in elaborately bordered playbills, used exactly the same artwork as would appear on the first Pinafore programme a few weeks later. The role of Notary is given here as "Counsel".

   
SOLD

The Sorcerer & Trial by Jury on tour

The first G&S opera to tour was The Sorcerer, with Trial as an afterpiece. Following a March 9th matinee at the Opera Comique the Comedy Opera Company played Liverpool, Bradford, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh before landing at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham on May 20th 1878. Rosina Brandram played Lady Sangazure, and at this date Foreman of the Jury was Mr Bell Pepper.

   
SOLD

H.M.S. Pinafore - Opening Night

H.M.S. Pinafore opened at the Opera Comique on May 25th 1878. This programme was intended for use on both the first and second nights and it bears both dates. Only five hundred were printed, and of these just a handful are known to have survived.

   
SOLD

H.M.S. Pinafore - 3rd Night

This H.M.S. Pinafore programme is reliably dated in pencil for 28th May 1878, the third performance. This was the opening night of the first revival of the forepiece, The Spectre Knight.

   
SOLD

H.M.S. Pinafore

Rollins and Witts do not record Michael Dwyer's appearance as Corcoran at the Opera Comique, but here he is, covering Rutland Barrington's short illness in June 1878. After a short spell in the provinces he was lured to the Imperial Theatre by the Comedy-Opera Company, and he played Corcoran in the rival production of Pinafore, both there at at the Royal Olympic Theatre, for all of the 91 performance run. Not surprissingly, he never worked for D'Oyly Carte again!

   
SOLD

H.M.S. Pinafore

This H.M.S. Pinafore programme is reliably dated in pencil for 7th August 1878, and is remarkable in that Ralph Rackstraw was played by a Mr Ferran, who is not listed in Rollins and Witts or any other source that we've seen, although this may be a mis-print for D'Arcy Ferris who played the role on occasion. Buttercup was Emily Cross, here appearing in the role much earlier than has been previously documented.

   
SOLD

H.M.S. Pinafore

During the run of H.M.S. Pinafore there were occasional cast changes. This example probably dates from either August 1878 or February 1879, as Josephine is played by Alice Burville.

   
SOLD

H.M.S. Pinafore

Attractive H.M.S. Pinafore programme, featuring on the cover images of Gilbert, Sullivan and Carte as well as a note to the public, dated August 2nd 1879, stating that the Opera Comique production alone has a cast selected and directed by the authors. Hand dated for 10th October, the cast includes Blanche Roosevelt as Josephine - a role she would play in the first D'Oyly Carte New York production on December 1st 1879. Frank Thornton is Deadeye, Mr Ramsay is Beckett, and other parts are as opening night.

   
SOLD

H.M.S. Pinafore

Dated November 1878, this unusual H.M.S. Pinafore programme gives the expected forepiece, Cups and Saucers, but instead of After All George Grossmith gave one of his monologues, Beauties on the Beach, as an afterpiece. It appears to have been performed with Pinafore, on occasion, between 25th May and 14th December 1878. The entire first cast of Pinafore is named.

   
SOLD

H.M.S. Pinafore

This programme was printed for a matinee, or "morning perormance" on Saturday 16th November. Cups and Saucers opened the entertainment at 2.30pm, followed by H.M.S. Pinafore at 3.15pm. There was no afterpiece.

   
1879    
     
SOLD

H.M.S. Pinafore

Highly decorated programme featuring the original cast of Pinafore. The use of gold and full-colour litho would suggest that this was intended for use in only the very best seats, or at a special performance, although it is frustratingly undated. It must date from before the split between D'Oyly Carte and the Comedy Opera Company on 1st August 1879.

   
SOLD

H.M.S. Pinafore

Attractive H.M.S. Pinafore programme, with cover advert for The Children's Pinafore and dated in pencil for 13th December 1879. Many of the roles are played by cast members who would not be expected to appear at this date. Frank Thornton is Deadeye; Elinor Loveday is Josphine; Mr Montelli is Bobstay; Mr Ramsay is Beckett; and Haidee Crofton, Hebe.

   
SOLD

H.M.S. Pinafore

The first provincial D'Oyly Carte production was in March 1878, when The Sorcerer was seen in Liverpool with Trial By Jury. This programme was printed to mark the second time H.M.S. Pinafore reached the city, when the 1st Pinafore Company opened at the Prince of Wales Theatre on October 30th 1879. W.S. Penley, later famous for creating the tite role in Charley's Aunt, played Sir Joseph. The forepiece was After All, featuring Richard Cummings, J.H. Rogers and the husband and wife team of Robert and Theresa Cummings. The programme cover advertises future events.

   
1880    
     
SOLD

H.M.S. Pinafore

The cover of this similar programme states that it was produced for the "last performances" of Pinafore. It is dated by hand for Feb 9th 1880. After 571 performances the piece closed on Feb 20th. Again, there are a few unexpected cast members, most notably Fanny Holland as Josephine. The programme is decorated inside and out with scenes from the opera, and includes many plugs for the Children's Pinafore and an announcement that Pirates is due to open "at Easter".

   
SOLD

The Pirates of Penzance

The Pirates of Penzance was first seen in London at the Opera Comique on April 3rd 1880, where it ran for 363 performances, closing on April 2nd of the following year. This unusual programme printed on pale lilac paper, dates from before July 1880, as it features all the original London cast.

   
SOLD

The Pirates of Penzance

An unusual programme for The Pirates of Penzance at the Opera Comique. Although it clearly dates from before July 1880, Ellen Shirley plays Mabel. A note explains that this actress would "sustain the part during Miss Hood's indisposition". This would therefore appear to represent Ellen's debut in a solo G&S role, at least 6 months earlier than previously recorded. Otherwise, the cast is that which had been seen on the London opening night.

   
SOLD

The Pirates of Penzance

A pale lilac Pirates of Penzance programme, featuring all the original cast with the exception of Harriett Everard replacing Emily Cross as Ruth. Everard was to have created the role, but sustained an accident during rehearsals, when a piece of scenery fell and sliced off part of her scalp. Although not dated, the programme is presumably from June 1880, when she assumed her intended part for a short period. The actress would never appear with the organisation again and died less than two years later.

   
SOLD

The Pirates of Penzance

Dated by hand for 6th August 1880, this programme names the ladies who had created Pirates roles in America, and had returned to London in July 1880: Jessie Bond played Edith (thus bouncing Julia Gwynne down to play Kate), Alice Barnett was Ruth and Billie Barlow (here mysteriously billed as "Miss M. Barlow") was Isabel.

   
SOLD

The Pirates of Penzance

This strange programme was issued on 24th September 1880, when some of the cast returned from New York, having created their roles in the States. It is unusual in that Frederic is played by one "F. Seymour". Was this W.S. Seymour, the Opera Comique stage manager who deputised for George Power on odd occasions during the run ? Billie Barlow, as Isabel, is credited as "M. Barlow". It is possible that her real initial has been used here in error, as she had only recently adopted the name Billie.

   
SOLD

Children's Pinafore on tour

The Children's Pinafore had opened at the Opera Comique on Dec 16th 1879, playing 78 matinees over the Christmas season. On August 2nd 1880 this company set out on tour, reaching Liverpool in November, where the final eight performances at the Alexandra Theatre were given following November 15th. Unlike in London, the children performed in the evening as well as at Wed and Sat matinees. The cast was as had been seen in London, except that Hebe was Alice Roe and Bob Beckett was played by Master R. Presano.

   
SOLD

Children's Pinafore on tour

FromNovember 29th 1880 the Children's Pinafore company appeared for six nights at the Theatre Royal in Brighton. This extraordinary survivor is not a programme, but is a four sided herald intended to push ticket sales in the town. With an embossed edge, and rear page advert for Rimmel's products, just like a typical programme of the period, the cover has an introduction by D'Oyly Carte. The inside two pages consist of quotes from the reviews of the show from seven national newspapers.

   
SOLD

Pinafore and Six & Six on tour

"D" Company played Pinafore at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham for six nights from November 29th 1880. The conductor was Patrick William Halton, and his own composition, Six & Six, a 6-hander with words by B. T. Hughes was performed as the curtain raiser - a piece which Carte never brought into London. Richard Mansfield, an important early Jekyll & Hyde, was Sir Joseph Porter.

   
SOLD

The Pirates of Penzance

This attractive programme, with artwork by Burnside, was used for a performance of Pirates featuring Durward Lely (making his D'Oyly Carte debut as Frederic) opposite Marion Hood as Mabel, thus placing it between Nov 1880 and January 1881.

   
1881    
     
SOLD

Children's Pinafore returns

The Children's Pinafore had initially played at the Opera Comique during the run of Pinafore, but returned to the Opera Comique in a series of twenty eight matinees during the run of Pirates, between Dec 22nd 1880 and Jan 28th 1881. R. Presano, who had played Bob Beckett on tour, played Bill Bobstay. Also not mentioned in Rollins and Witts: A. Rivers was Bob Beckett and Fanny Carter was Hebe.

   
SOLD

The Pirates of Penzance/ In The Sulks on tour

D'Oyly Cartes "B" company arrived in Liverpool on 28th February, where they presented The Pirates of Penzance for two weeks. Half way through this engagement at the Alexandra Theatre the cast became known as "C" company. This was also a period of change-over among the lesser female roles, and during the first week (at least) Edith was Agnes Mitchell, Kate was Lucy Millais and Isabel was Ethel Maribel. In the curtain raiser, In The Sulks, Louis Herbert played Liverby, Lucy Millais his wife and Joseph was W. T. Hemsley.

   
SOLD

Children's Pinafore on tour

The Children's Pinafore set out on tour again after the second Christmas season of matinees at the Opera Comique ended on January 28th (or Feb 11th ?) 1881. Despite this being a short tour, ending on July 2nd, the company returned to Liverpool for a twelve-night engagement from 30th May 1881. There were more cast changes from the original Opera Comique production, with George Coburn as Ralph and Edith Stanfield as Hebe. By this time Bob Becket was now Anthony Presano while (his brother ?) R. Presano had moved across to play Bill Bobstay. It is interesting that in both Liverpool programmes Sir Joseph is played by "James E. Pickering", while in London he had been listed as Edward.

   
SOLD

The Pirates of Penzance

Dated by hand for 30th March 1881, just four days before the piece closed on April 2nd, this Pirates programme names Emilie Petrelli as Mabel. This soprano was the first to appear as Josephine in the rival Pinafore at the Imperial Theatre, but soon joined D'Oyly Carte to play the part on tour in the "official" company. She created the role of Mabel in the copyright performance of Pirates at the Bijou Theatre on December 30th 1879, and apparently took the role at the Opera Comique for the final three months of the run (not just in January as stated by Rollins and Witts).

   
SOLD

Patience - Opening Night

Patience, or Bunthorne's Bride opened at the Opera Comique on April 23rd 1881. The first night programme has a distinctive red border on the cover. There was no curtain raiser on opening night.

   
SOLD

Patience SILK

This 16"x 10" programme, printed on perfumed silk, names the complete original cast of Patience, before Richard Temple was replaced in September 1881, and includes the following notice: "The music will be published in a few days. Orders taken by the attendants will be executed post free on the day of publication". (The same notice has previously been noted on a programme dated 6th May.) The forepiece, Uncle Samuel, premiered on 3rd May 1881, and this souvenir most likely commemorated that opening, but no such confirmation is printed. Patience is played by "Lenora Braham" (sic).

   
SOLD

Pinafore / Sorcerer on tour

The D'Oyly Carte "B" Company arrived at the Theatre Royal Opera House in Southampton on 20th June 1881, presenting H.M.S. Pinafore on Monday, Friday and Saturday evenings, and The Sorcerer on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoon. Each performance was preceded by In the Sulks. The programme also carries an announcement that the Children's Pinafore would be appearing at the theatre for a week from June 27th 1881.

   
SOLD

Patience

Patience played for 170 performances before closing on October 8th, ready to reopen immediately at the new Savoy. This programme, dated September 24th 1881 shows no forepiece as it was for a matinee performance. The cast is as opening night, but with one important exception: Ellen Shirley in the title role. Although the programme states that this was her first appearance at this theatre, she had actually filled in for Marion Hood as Mabel on occasion in the previous January.

   
SOLD

Patience / Mock Turtles

Patience transferred to the new Savoy Theatre on 10th October 1881. Programmes are hard to date accurately, as we have to rely on dates written in by the original theatregoers. To add to the confusion, the programmes were printed in at least two designs and in many colour variations. This paper one, issued to those sitting in the cheaper seats, was originally bright orange paper but has since faded to beige.

 

   
SOLD

Patience / Mock Turtles

The curtain raiser, Mock Turtles, was probably added to the bill around 15th November 1881, with Courtice Pounds creating the role of Mr. Wranglebury. This pale green cardboard programme, printed in iridescent green ink, is dated in pen "Nov 10th 1881" but this is probably a mistake - 1882 is much more likely as Arthur Law plays Wranglebury. Walter Browne appears as the Colonel; otherwise the Patience cast is as opening night.

   
SOLD

Patience / Mock Turtles

This programme is similar, though decorated with scenes from the opera in iridescent red ink. Printed on card, it would have been given to those in more expensive seats.

   
SOLD

Patience - SOUVENIR

Printed in New York, this elaborate souvenir programme was produced to mark a double occasion: the 250th London performance of Patience, and the 100th performance of the same opera in New York, on Dec 29th 1881. (Amazingly it appears that both anniversaries did indeed fall on about this date.) It includes cast lists for both performances and ten illustrations of scenes from the opera by J. E. Kelly. The cover design is based on four variants of harps and lyres, and the decorative border is a musical stave with the vocal line of "If you're anxious for to shine".

   
1882    
     
SOLD

Patience on tour

The number 2 Patience company started touring the UK on Jan 2nd 1882, while the piece was still on stage at the Savoy. By March 27th the tour had reached the Royal Albert Hall in Reading, where it played for one week. Frederick Federici played the Colonel, but his name is mis-spelled in the programme.

   
SOLD

Patience

This green (despite appearances) paper Patience programme from the Savoy is unusual in more than just its colour. Rosina Brandram occasionally filled in for Alice Barnett as Lady Jane, but here plays Lady Angela at a matinee performance. It is believed to date from either February or April 1882.

   
SOLD

Patience

This pink paper Patience programme from the Savoy is hand dated May 15th 1882. Rosina Brandram was still playing Angela, and must therefore have played the part much longer that Spring than was previously believed.

   
SOLD

Patience on tour

In May 1882 the Number 1 Patience company reached Hull. This elaborate four-sided flyer was distributed by the advance publicity team, and features G, S and Carte on the cover, with three pages of scenes from the operas by the artist "Orme". D'Oyly Carte explains that the piece is aims to lampoon the "new school" of aestheticism, with it's "unhealthy admiration for exhaustion, corruption and decay" rather than the movement in the Ruskin's day.

   
SOLD

Patience on tour

Early tour programme from the Theatre Royal and Opera House in Bolton, where the Number 2 Patience company played for six nights from June 19th 1882. Superb example of Victorian typography produced by the local printer,and note that the opera's title has gained three exclamation marks! This week of performances is unrecorded in Rollins & Witts.

   
SOLD

Pirates / A Silent Woman on tour

Pirates continued to tour in the provinces years after the London production had closed. On 25th September 1882 the "No. 1 Pirates Company" was nearing the end of its existence when it played six nights at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool. W.T Hemsley played Samuel as well as Arthur Merton in T. H. Lacy's farce "A Silent Woman" which opened the bill. Jospephine Findlay also played two roles, Isabel and Marianne Sandford, while C.J. Stanley appeared in just the curtain raiser, as Mr. Sandford.

   
SOLD

Patience / Mock Turtles

One of the best designed decorative souvenir programmes we have seen, presumably produced to mark a special occasion, or possibly just for those sitting in boxes. Walter Browne played the Colonel. Printed in blue and gold, the cover depicts the military men in aesthetic guise in the centre of a blue and white china plate, while the inside has four vignettes from the opera and the portrait heads of Gilbert & Sullivan. The rear cover has an advert for the vocal arrangements.

   
SOLD

Patience / Mock Turtles

This yellow paper programme uses completely different artwork. Walter Browne plays the Colonel - otherwise the cast remains as opening night. Patience ran for a further 408 performances at the Savoy, closing on November 22nd 1882 after a total run of 578 performances.

   
SOLD

Iolanthe - Opening Night

Iolanthe was the first piece to have its premiere at the Savoy Theatre, opening on 25th November 1882. This opening night programme states the date inside, and also notes that "on this occasion the opera will be Conducted by the Composer". This cheap-seats version is printed on an odd ribbed paper of pale green.

   
SOLD

Iolanthe / Mock Turtles

This programme, issued to those in better seats, is something of a classic, famously incorprating the Savoy's electric light bulbs into the decorative scheme. It dates from before February 1883, as Leila is played by Julia Gwynne, and Celia by May Fortescue. Rosina Brandram appears in the curtain raiser, "Mock Turtles" with Eric Lewis.

   
1883    
     
SOLD

Rip Van Winkle on tour

D'Oyly Carte didn't just send out the G&S operas on tour in the 80s. The company arrived in Edinburgh on 12th February 1883 with something rather different: Planquette's Rip Van Winkle was still playing at the Comedy Theatre at the time, and it would appear that D'Oyly Carte obtained the touring rights. J.A. Arnold, who played the role in London for a period, took the title role, with other familar names including Fred Billington and David Fisher. The tour apparently lasted from December 1882 to July 1883.

   
SOLD

Iolanthe matinee

An undated pale green programme, with full first cast, there is no clue exactly when this may have been produced. The lack of curtain raiser suggests that it was for use at a matinee.

   
SOLD

Iolanthe

This blue programme, of the type issued to those in cheaper seats, dates from between February and August 1883, during which period Leila was played by Maud Cathcart. Although this matinee programme lists no curtain raiser, Iolanthe ran with Mock Turtles until 30th March 1883, and then A Private Wire until the end of its run.

   
SOLD

Iolanthe

Also used at some point between February and August 1883, this unusual Iolanthe cheap-seats programme has a different design with a butterfly on the cover and, between the centre pages, a parrot in a cage. Clearly the printer, W. Aubert, used whatever motifs he had available and did not concern himself with the subject of the play!

   
SOLD

Iolanthe

A similar, but less decorative programme to that seen above, this was used at some point between Feb and August 1883. Maud Cathcart plays Leila and the entire first cast appeared in A Private Wire, the forepiece.

   
SOLD

Iolanthe

Undated, but issued for a matinee of Iolanthe between February and August 1883, this attractive paper programme has six fairies flying around the Westminster clock. Phyllis and Strephon appear on the cover, and all the other major principals are pictured inside.

   
SOLD

Iolanthe

With the same cast as the programme above, this example has yet another variant cover, in pale yellow.

   
SOLD

Rip on tour

The Rip Van Winkle company arrived in Hull on 21st May 1883, by which time D'Oyly Carte had changed the title to the rather more succinct Rip.

   
SOLD

Iolanthe on tour

lolanthe arrived at the Royal Opera House in Leicester on May 28th 1883. Frank Thornton starred as Chancellor with Laura Clement as Phyllis. The curtain raiser was Cups and Saucers.

   
SOLD

Iolanthe / A Private Wire

Another variant cover, this pink programme has been dated by hand for 1st October 1883. Charles Manners still plays Willis, while Sybil Grey is Leila, Rose Hervey is Celia and Grace Arnold, Fleta.

   
SOLD

Iolanthe/ A Private Wire

Beautiful programme printed in gold, pink and black, featuring the Queen with three fairies on the cover; Willis, Tolloller, Mountararat and Chancellor on the reverse; and Iolanthe, Strephon, Phillis and the Chancellor again within. This example can be firmly dated to October 1883 as the cast list has been amended with a stuck-on panel naming Charles Ryley, making his Savoy debut as Private Willis. The triple bill commenced at 8pm with A Private Wire, and after Iolanthe, at 10.50pm, Grossmith gave his drawing-room entertainment, The Drama on Crutches.

   
SOLD

Iolanthe on tour

Early tour programme for Iolanthe and Cups and Saucers at the New Theatre Royal in Bristol, where it played for six nights from November 12th 1883. Frank Thornton must have been rather busy, playing Lord Chancellor and being Stage Manager ! The first provincial production had opened a little over a month after the London premiere.

   
SOLD

Iolanthe /A Private Wire

The cast changes in Iolanthe during its long run affected mainly the minor characters. This version of the regular programme, with a rather more conventional border, dates from after November 1883, when Warwick Gray was playing Private Willis. Iolanthe closed on Jan 1st 1884, after a run of 398 performances.

   
1884    
     
SOLD

Princess Ida - Opening Night

Princess Ida opened on 5th January 1884. This pink programme is dated in full, and unusually for a Savoy first night does not state that Sullivan would conduct. The composer was ill, and was not expected to appear, and the programme was printed accordingly, but, as anyone that has seen "Topsy Turvy" will remember, Sir Arthur insisted at the last moment that he would take his place in the pit. Miss Twyman is credited with creating the role of Ada, and the piece is described as being in a prologue and two acts. The back cover has an ad for Liberty fabrics.

   
SOLD

Princess Ida

There was only a single cast change during the run, when Lilian Carr replaced Miss Twyman as Ada shortly after the opening night, making dating programmes quite tricky. At some point early in the run the "prologue and two acts" were redesignated as "three acts". This cheap-seats example printed on grey paper is very similar to that issued on opening night, and is dated by hand for 11th January. Carr is already in the cast, and the piece has two acts. Perhaps significantly, it carries no advertising whatsoever; the back page is blank.

   
SOLD

Princess Ida

An identical programme to that described above, except that it is printed on pink paper and has the front cover design repeated on the back, in order to fill the blank space left by the lack of advertising.

   
SOLD

Princess Ida

This exceptional programme was produced for those in the better seats, and also has no advertisements of any kind. Dated 22nd Jan 1884, it describes the opera as being "in a prologue and two acts" but Ada was of course being played by Lilian Carr. It is decorated inside with characters from the piece and is printed in maroon and gold.

   
SOLD

Princess Ida

Superficially similar to the souvenir shown above, but note that the cover has been made into an advert, so that it now reads, "Princess Ida uses Edenia, the perfume supreme" ! It also has further adverts inside, and describes the opera as having three acts. It is printed in brown and gold.

   
SOLD "The Princess Ida " on tour

This opening night programme for the first provincial performance of Princess Ida, at the Royalty Theatre in Glasgow, 4th Feb 1884, adds a "The" to the title of the piece, both inside and on the cover. By this time Richard D'Oyly Carte was clearly geared up to a speedy launch in the provinces, this production by D Company opening within a month of the Savoy premiere.

   
SOLD "Princess Ida !" on tour

"A" Company (also known as Princess Ida No.2 Company) took the new piece to smaller towns, sometimes playing just two or three nights before moving in the middle of the week. For example, in the week of 15th July 1884 they had played Monday to Thursday in Margate, Kent, but here they are at the Granville Hall Theatre in nearby Ramsgate, for the Friday and Saturday performances. Interestingly, at this time Ramsgate's visitors were probably the better heeled of the two. I'm reminded of Penelope Ann, who also used to share her business between these two resorts. With typical diregard for punctuation this programme announces the piece as "Princess Ida !, or Castle Adamant !".

   
SOLD

Princess Ida

The regular Princess Ida souvenir programme has superb artwork by Alice Havers, with four colour, and four sepia, illustrations from the opera. The back pages use the characters as frames for advertisements.

   
SOLD

Princess Ida tour herald

This four page herald uses Havers' artwork, the cover being almost the same as the Savoy programme shown above although it is much smaller, just 4.5" x 3.5". It mostly consists of adverts, but page two, shown at left, was used to promote forthcoming performances by the Princess Ida company on tour.

   
SOLD

Princess Ida

Dated for 7th March 1884, this Princess Ida programme has a contemporary pencil notation suggesting that Kate Chard, who usually played Psyche, took the lead role on this occasion.

   
SOLD

Princess Ida on tour

Early tour programme for Princess Ida at the Prince of Wales' Theatre in Liverpool, where D-Company played for twelve nights from May 19th 1884. Although not named in the programme, this tour marked Henry Lytton's first D'Oyly Carte appearance, in the chorus and understudying David Fisher as Gama; his wife, Louie (here, "Louise") Henri played Ada.

   
SOLD

Princess Ida on tour

By June 9th 1884 D-Company had reached Bristol, playing six nights at the New Theatre Royal. Fred Billington, who had, by default, created the role of Sergeant of Police in Paignton in 1879, played Hildebrand, and Hilarion was Courtice Pounds, who would go on to create the roles of Fairfax and Marco at the Savoy.

   
SOLD

Patience on tour

While A & D-Companies were touring the UK with Ida, three others were presenting Patience. B-Company played the smaller towns, and this programme, printed in Windsor (where the comapny were seen on June 6th and 7th) gives no details of date or venue, so could be used on more than one occasion. The original owner has helpfully annotated it, showing that it was issued in Epsom on June 13th, where the company appeared for one-night-only. It is also intersting to note that it credits "scenery by W.T. Helmsley", who had not designed the setting for either the Opera Comique or Savoy productions. It has been suggested in the past that in small towns the shows were presented with stock scenery, or none at all, but the clear implication here is that the company toured with a small set, specifically designed for the purpose.

   
SOLD

Princess Ida ticket

Rare ticket for Balcony seat at the Savoy Theatre for the Wednesday June 18th performance of Princess Ida in 1884. The reverse has a mini seating plan of the balcony, with all seats numbered, showing that seat 147 was in the back row.

   
SOLD

Princess Ida

An undated programme, this example is printed on pale green paper.the opera closed on October 9th, after a disappointing run (for a G&S piece) of just 246 performances.

   
SOLD

Sorcerer / Trial revival Opening Night

D'Oyly Carte had no original opera to put into the Savoy following the relative failure of Princess Ida. The Sorcerer was therefore given a new act 2 opening, and paired with "Trial" for the opening night of the first DOC revival on October 11th 1884. As stated in this programme, Sullivan conducted the first performance.

   
SOLD

Sorcerer / Trial

D'Oyly Carte continued to use old artwork on his full-colour programmes for some time after each new opera opened. This Princess Ida cover was used for the first revivals even a month after they opened.

   
SOLD

Sorcerer / Trial

Programme for the first revival of The Sorcerer and Trial By Jury, which ran together for 150 performances, until March 12th 1885. Durward Lely left the cast of Trial in mid-November, so this example must have been printed earlier.

   
SOLD

Children's Pirates

For a short season from Dec 26th 1884, a company of children performed a series of matinees of The Pirates of Penzance at the Savoy. This four-sided foldout souvenir programme depicting the child actors on one side and full details of cast etc on the back was among the most elaborate and expensive ever produced by D'Oyly Carte.

   
SOLD

Children's Pirates

For those in the cheaper seats, a regular paper programme was also produced. There were no cast changes during the run of 36 performances. This example clearly states that the piece was to be seen every afternoon "except Saturday", and the relevant issue of The Times clearly states that the final performance was on Friday 13th Feb 1885, a day earlier than indicated by Rollis and Witts.

   
1885    
     
SOLD

Sorcerer / Trial

There was only one cast change during the short (150 performance) run of Sorcerer/Trial, and this programme dates from February or March 1885, when Jessie Bond was replaced as Constance by Alice Davies. An indulgence slip, pasted into the programme, shows that Lyn Cadwaladr played Alexis, due to the indisposition of Durward Lely. The run ended on March 12th 1885.

   
SOLD

The Mikado

The Mikado opened at the Savoy on March 14th 1885 and didn't close until Jan 19th 1887. This programme has all the original cast members in place, and must date from the first few weeks of the run, as it doesn't include the character Go-To, added in April 1885.

   
SOLD

The Mikado

From rather later in the run, this programme does include Go-To, played by Rudolph Lewis. I've always had a soft spot for the role, as it was my first, in a school production. Eight words and nine whole syllables - what a star ! This example is in better condition than most.

   
SOLD The Mikado on tour

"D" Company, playing the larger towns, first took The Mikado to Liverpool for a two-week run in August 1885. This programme is from 21st December of the same year, when they returned to the city, playing another two weeks at the Royal Court Theatre. Clearly Liverpool loved the new piece!

   
1886    
     
SOLD

The Mikado

Dated 23rd January 1886, this elaborate souvenir has six coloured pages depicting scenes from the previous operas. The cover design was reused and adapted over the following years. All the information normally found in a programme appears on page two, the rest being images and advertisements.

   
SOLD The Mikado

A highly unusual programme naming Eric Lewis, Grossmith's understudy, as Ko-Ko and Ada Rose playing opposite him as Katisha. J. M. Gordon took Lewis' role in The Carp. Dated by hand for 11th February 1886.

   
SOLD The Mikado

Dated by hand for 13th March 1886, this programme is perhaps most interesting for the indulgence slip was has been pasted inside, showing that Jessie Bond was indisposed, and that her part was taken by Annie Cole. Although Cole is known to have played Pitti-Sing from Sept to Nov 1886 this may have been the first occasion she stepped out from the chorus to play a major part.

   
SOLD

Mikado poster

The Mikado D-company tour reaching Bradford on Aug 30th 1886 where this large poster was overprinted with details of the week-long stay at the Theatre Royal. Strangely, the design appears to be based on an image of the first American little maids, featuring, from left to right, Geraldine St Maur, Geraldine Ulmar and Kate Forster.

   
SOLD

The Mikado

Frustratingly undated, this Mikado programme lists all the opening cast members, with one important exception: Annie Cole plays Peep-Bo in place of Sybil Grey. It has not previously been recorded that she played this small role at the Savoy. The casting of the companion piece, The Carp, suggests that the programme dates from August or September 1886.

   
1887    
     
SOLD

Ruddygore - Opening Night

Ruddygore opened at the Savoy on January 22nd 1887. This opening night programme states the date inside, and also notes that "on this occasion the opera will be conducted by the composer". The souvenir has scenes from Iolanthe and Patience on the covers, and Pirates and The Sorcerer inside.

   
SOLD

Ruddigore / The Carp

On, or around, 2nd February 1887, the spelling of the opera's title was changed, for reasons of decency. By the time this souvenir programme was printed, on 6th April, Josephine Findlay was playing Rose Maybud for a short period. All the other original major cast members were in place.

   
SOLD

Ruddigore ticket

Savoy Theatre ticket stubs rarely survive; this example was issued to the occupant of a front row aisle seat in the First Circle at a Ruddigore performance on 3rd March 1887. Bonnets could be worn in this part of the house, while in the stalls, balcony, and boxes they had to be removed during evening performances.

   
SOLD

Ruddigore poster

Ruddigore first appeared in the provinces at Newcastle on March 7th 1887, the C-Company tour reaching Bradford on June 13th where this large poster was overprinted with details of the week-long stay at the Theatre Royal. Rather naively executed, it shows Robin and Rose in front of the first act set.

   
SOLD

Ruddigore / The Carp

Geraldine Ulmar replaced Leonora Braham as Rose Maybud in May 1887. In this programme, probably from August 1887, Aïda Jenoure is named in the the part, a change not noted by Rollins & Witts. Jenoure had created the role of Zorah in America, and played that part (routinely) at the Savoy from May 1887 until the end of the run.

   
SOLD

Ruddigore on tour

B-Company toured Ruddigore through the smaller towns in the provinces, here reaching the Theatre Royal in Eastbourne for the week of 29th August 1887. The programme has the usual collection of typos, with appearances by Hettis Lund and George A. Colvill.

   
SOLD

Ruddigore / The Carp

When possible, changes in cast were announced in a reprinted programme. Very late changes were presumably announced from the stage, as occasionally a theatre-goer has ammended their cast list, but it appears that a pre-printed slip was available, ready to be inserted into the programme, if one of the pre-appointed understudies stepped into a role. These slips are almost as large (sometimes even larger than) the programmes, and this one, for a performance of Ruddigore in September 1887, includes two. Madge Christo played Dame Hannah and Amy Augarde was Mad Margaret.

   
SOLD but click to view

Ruddigore herald

B-Company played Ruddigore for just two performances at the Theatre Royal, Bury St. Edmunds, on Wed and Thurs, October 12th and 13th 1887. Similar to a programme in size, this extraordinary item is actually a herald, promoting those performances, and possibly distributed at the theatre on the Mon and Tues of that week. Inside is a long piece of puff about the piece in which the entire plot is given in great detail, even including the denouement.

   
SOLD

Ruddigore / The Carp

Quite late in the Ruddigore run the souvenir programme was changed to include scenes from the actual opera being performed. This programme, dated 1st Nov, has Geraldine Ulmar playing Rose and Aïda Jenoure as Zorah. It would also appear that Rosina Brandram returned to her role of Dame Hannah before the opera closed, four days later, on November 5th 1887, after 288 performances. A rather less impressive run than The Mikado !

   
SOLD

The Mikado on tour

The Mikado toured the provinces with Patience in the latter part of 1887. This copy of the the programme of the first engagement of D-Company following a tour of Europe was originally owned by Ivy Bonheur (Yum-Yum), and she has written at the top "my first appearance professionally in Comic Opera". Bonheur's real name was Eveline Medora Gunning, and she was half sister of Frank Wyatt, who would go on to create the role of the Duke of Plaza Toro. The Mikado was performed at the Prince's Theatre in Manchester for three nights in the week of 12th September.

   
SOLD

Mikado & Patience on tour

Barely three months after seeing Ruddigore (see poster above) Bradford audiences received D-Company, performing The Mikado and Patience. Each opera was given three times at the Theatre Royal in the week of September 19th 1887, and the programme did duty for both pieces. George Thorne was Ko-Ko with Fred Billington as Poo-Bah (sic). The only surprise in the casting was Mr Jones as Bunthorne's Solicitor, not Mr Cottrell as suggested by Rollins & Witts. As was often the case in the provinces the title of Patience was given an illegal apostrophe !

   
SOLD

Pinafore - first revival - Opening Night

On November 12th 1887, following the early close of Ruddigore, Richard D'Oyly Carte was forced, once again, to mount a revival at the Savoy. This first night souvenir programme, is dated 12th November, and states that the opera would be conducted by the composer.

   
SOLD

Pinafore - first revival

Pinafore was given a run of 120 performances at its first revival, closing on 10th March 1888. This example of the souvenir programme is dated 13th December 1887.

   
SOLD

Pinafore - first revival

Cheap-seats version of the programme for the first revival of Pinafore. During the run there were cast changes affecting the roles of Josephine and Hebe, but here Geraldine Ulmar and Jessie Bond, who had appeared on the opening night in 1887, are still in place. After the performance George Grossmith gave his drawing room sketch, "Homburg; or Haunted By the Mikado", as an afterpiece.

   
SOLD

Pinafore - first revival

The paper programme issued to those in the Gallery and Pit was also printed on blue paper. In the lack of any other evidence, it seems that the paper choice appears to have been at the whim of the printer, and to have no deeper significance.

   
1888    
     
SOLD

Pirates - first revival

The Pirates of Penzance was given its first revival on March 17th 1888. It closed on 6th June, after just 80 performances - one of the shortest runs in the nineteenth century for a G&S opera. This example of the souvenir programme is dated 26th March 1888. The forepiece was Mrs. Jarramie's Genie.

   
SOLD

Carte Wedding: gift from E-Company

On 1st May 1888 E-Company was appearing in Bath and a local printer was comissioned to print this souvenir card for the cast members to keep. It records the text of an address presented, with a pair of silver candlesticks, to the Richard D'Oyly Carte and Helen Lenoir, who had wed on April 12th. It is a fascinating record of the names of the company and its associates, including many choristers whose names have previously been unrecorded.

   
SOLD

Mikado - first revival

During the 116 performance run of the first Mikado revival there were a number of cast changes. This programme has Richard Temple in the title role, Geraldine Ulmar as Yum-Yum, Annie Cole as Pitti-Sing and Brandram, Grossmith and Barrington recreating their original parts. The curtain raiser was Mrs Jarramie's Genie. The revival opened at the Savoy on June 7th 1888.

   
SOLD

Mikado - first revival

The first Mikado revival ran for 116 performances, closing September 29th 1888. Those in better seats were given souvenir programmes still using Alice Havers' 1884 Ida artwork on the cover.

   
SOLD

The Merry Wives of Titipu!

Richard D'Oyly Carte occasionally let the Savoy Theatre for weekday matinees. This programme was issued for a production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, an opera by Otto Nicolai, performed by pupils of the Royal College of Music at 2pm on Wed 11th July 1888. It states that "the theatre and scenery kindly lent by R. D'Oyly Carte Esq.". While an Iolanthe set might double as Windsor Great Park it is hard to imagine how Elizabethan interiors and exteriors were created from Carte's stock. The Mikado was performed that evening.

   
SOLD

Mikado & Pirates on tour

Despite an extraordinarily decorative cover, this programme has no printed details of venue or date. The original owner's scribble on the front, "St George's Hall, Burton on Trent, Oct 1888" is backed up by Rollins & Witts, as the cast is almost what might have been expected on October 3rd and 4th, when "C" Company appeared in the town for just two nights. Although "The Carp" was to have been presented with Pirates the title has been crossed through, both on the cover and inside.

   
SOLD

The Yeomen of the Guard

The Yeomen of the Guard opened at the Savoy on October 3rd 1888. This first cast programme names Tom Redmond as 1st Citizen, a role he apparently only played during 1888. Mrs. Jarramie's Genie was the forepiece. Yeomen ran for 423 performances, closing on November 30th 1889.

   
SOLD

The Yeomen of the Guard

The first Yeomen of the Guard souvenir programme was this rather odd one, with a line drawing on the cover adapted from the 1885/6 Mikado souvenir. Inside are further line drawings of characters from other operas. This copy is dated 6th November 1888.

   
1889    
     
SOLD The Yeomen of the Guard

Discreetly dated in pencil, this programme for The Yeomen of the Guard was most likely acquired at the Savoy on January 26th 1889. Note the colour variation. There appears to be no rhyme or reason to the different colours used - it is possible they represented different parts of the house, but I suspect it was more to do with what the printer had available.

   
SOLD

Yeomen ticket

Rare ticket for Stall seat at the Savoy Theatre for the Tuesday Jan 22nd performance of The Yeomen of the Guard in 1889. The reverse has a mini seating plan of the stalls, with all seats numbered, showing that seat 138 was in the eighth row.

   
SOLD

Yeomen on tour

C-Company toured The Yeomen of the Guard from November 1888, reaching the Theatre Royal in Hull on 18th February 1889. David Fisher, playing Shadbolt, died during this tour, on May 25th. George Thorne was Point and Fred Billington played Sergeant Meryll.

   
SOLD

Yeomen souvenir

Dated 29th March 1889, this style of souvenir, with Jessie Bond as Phoebe on the cover, was used in the middle of the run. Interestingly, Tom Redmond is named as 1st Citizen despite the late period.

   
SOLD Yeomen on tour

The Yeomen of the Guard presented by C-Company at the Prince's Theatre in Manchester, July 1st 1889. The city had hosted the first provincial production of the piece, on November 1st 1888, and the venue had been visited by the same company, with the same opera, less than two months earlier.

   
SOLD Yeomen souvenir

Produced for those sitting in the better seats at the Savoy, the souvenir booklet includes coloured illustrations of scenes from The Yeomen of the Guard. It dates from September 2nd 1889, soon after John Wilkinson had replaced Grossmith as Point, and was printed in an edition of five hundred copies. This style of souvenir became the standard at the Savoy for the following five years or so.

   
SOLD Yeomen

A late programme for Yeomen, dated 23rd Sept 1889, printed on bright orange paper. Grossmith had been replaced as Jack Point by John Wilkinson in August 1889, and Mr Lees had taken the role of First Citizen at around the same time. Geraldine Ulmar's name has been crossed out by the original owner, and "Norah Phyllis" written in. If this were the fact it would have marked Norah's Savoy debut (she created the role of Giulia later in December 1889, and would cover for Ulmar again during the same month).

   
1890    
     
SOLD The Gondoliers

From an edition of one thousand, printed on 20th March 1890, and apparently issued two days later, this programme shows that the majority of the cast who had opened the piece on December 7th 1889 were still playing their original parts. The exceptions are among the female characters, as here we have Annie Cole as Tessa, Jose Shalders as Vittoria, and Cissie Saumarez as Giulia.

   
SOLD The Gondoliers

D'Oyly Carte had major problems with his Gianettas during the run of The Gondoliers. The part, created by Geraldine Ulmar, was played by a total of fifteen actresses during the 554 performance run (though interestingly these are not the same 15 sopranos listed in Rollins and Witts !). Here Gianetta is Esther Palliser.

   
SOLD The Gondoliers

Emily Squire as Gianetta. According to earlier research this soprano supposedly played the part for just twelve performances, from 19th to 30th June 1890. This programme was printed on 20th June but was dated by the original owner on 3rd July. By this time Carrie Donald should have been having her first crack at the role, so maybe the change was noted in a slip, now sadly lost? Primarily a concert platform singer, Emily Squire was making here her first, and apparently only, appearance in an operatic role. Agnes Wyatt played Giulia, Rudoph Lewis was Ottavio, Cissie Saumarez was Fiametta and all other roles were taken by those that created the parts.

   
SOLD The Gondoliers

Here Gianetta is Amy Sherwin. This actress only played the role for seven performances between 25th and 31st July 1890. This programme is dated for the 28th.

   
SOLD The Gondoliers

This cheap-seats programme for The Gondoliers is dated 21st August 1890. and features George Temple (the original Samuel) as the Duke of Plaza Toro.

   
1891    
     
SOLD Gondoliers souvenir

On 5th Jan 1891 Nita Carritte took over the role of Gianetta, giving around 54 performances, until 27th February. This souvenir, printed on 9th Feb, has a number of other variant cast members: W.S. Laidlaw, Giuseppe; W.R. Shirley, Francesco; P. Burbank, Annibale; Rudolph Lewis, Ottavio; and Cissie Saumarez as Giulia.

   
SOLD Mikado on tour

A particularly attractive programme produced for the three nights when E Company performed The Mikado in Bournemouth Town Hall, February 16th to 18th, 1891. It has views of the principal sights of the town on the cover, and the cast list names Henry Lytton as Ko-Ko, Louie Henri as "Petti-Sing" (sic) and Florence Perry as Yum-Yum.

   
SOLD The Gondoliers

By March 1891 Gianetta was being played by Carrie Donald and Giulia was Cissie Saumarez. Although the programme was issued on 7th March it had been printed four days earlier. The production closed on June 20th 1891 after 554 performances.

   
SOLD

Ivanhoe - Opening Night

The opening production at the Royal English Opera, D'Oyly Carte's new theatre, was Ivanhoe, an opera by Sullivan. The souvenir programme for the opera is known to exist with at least two different covers, although neither appears to represent characters from the piece, which opened on Jan 31st 1891. D'Oyly Carte regulars Charles Kenningham, Frederick Bovill, Esther Palliser and Richard Green are named in this opening night copy, which is dated in full, but which does not state that Sullivan would conduct.

   
SOLD

Ivanhoe - Opening Night

The paper programme produced for the first performance on Jan 31st 1891 also fails to mention that Sullivan would conduct. It was printed in red and black, in contrast to those used during the run, and names all the members of the orchestra. Two slips were enclosed on opening night: one requesting the indulgence of the public during long delays in scene changes; the other a statement from Carte announcing the establishment of English Grand Opera at his new theatre and listing his principal performers.

   
SOLD Ivanhoe: 100th performance

Sullivan conducted the 100th performance himself. Although some were given an illustrated souvenir to mark the occasion, those in cheaper parts of the house got a paper programme, including a note that "On this occasion the Opera will be Conducted by the COMPOSER." Dated in code for 25th May 1891, the programme also contains a slip, noting that the title role would be played by Mr J. O'Mara on this occasion.

   
SOLD

Ivanhoe: 100th performance

A trimmed cabinet card photo of a presentation certificate given to Sullivan by the members of the Royal English Opera orchestra on the occasion of the 100th performance of Ivanhoe. As well as signatures of conductors and players there is a decorative border which incorporates the music of one of the Torquilstone trumpet calls as well as the shields of The Templar and Ivanhoe.

   
SOLD The Gondoliers by Royal Command

This souvenir was produced for one of the most important events in D'Oyly Carte history, when The Gondoliers was presented in front of Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle on March 6th 1891. Very few can have been printed, and even fewer survive. Contrary to legend, the programme does name Gilbert as the author.

   
SOLD

The Nautch Girl

The first non-G&S piece presented at the Savoy, The Nautch Girl opened on June 30th 1891. Written by George Dance, with music by Edward Solomon, the opera starred many familiar names: Rutland Barrington, Courtice Pounds, Franks Thornton, Jessie Bond, Frank Wyatt, W. H. Denny etc.

   
SOLD

Ivanhoe

With an amazing continuous run (for grand opera) of 155 performances, achieved through the use of two alternating casts, Ivanhoe closed on July 31st. This copy, dated 27th July 1891 names the Welsh tenor Ben Davies as Ivanhoe, with Ffrangcon Davies as Cedric, and most of the other opening night cast members.

   
SOLD

The Gondoliers on tour

A fascinating one-sided single-sheet programme for The Gondoliers. E-Company toured the holiday resorts on the Isle of Wight from 10th August 1891, and this simple programme was probably used for each of the one-night-only engagements. It was printed on the island, in Ryde, and according to a note made by the original owner it was issued at the Drill Hall in Newport on August 13th. The set, in such a venue without a fly tower, must have been rather basic, but a virtue is made here of the fact that "on this occasion the same splendid scenery as was used before Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle, will be mounted". Lytton was Duke, with his wife as Tessa and Florence Perry as Gianetta.

   
SOLD The Mikado by Royal Command

Following the success of The Gondoliers at Windsor Castle in March, Queen Victoria commanded a further Royal Performance of G&S. D'Oyly Carte's "C" Company was playing Mikado, Yeomen and Gondoliers at Her Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen when the cast made a special trip to the Queen's castle at Balmoral, where The Mikado was presented on Friday 4th September. This small cardboard programme was probably issued to members of the Royal Household.

   
SOLD The Mikado by Royal Command

This large souvenir, printed on cream silk, was probably presented only to the Royal Family and special guests. Interestingly, both the two examples known to have survived have extra loops of silver braiding on only the right and lower edges, and only this one has retained the two gold silk pom-poms which hang from the bottom edge. Both this and the card programme shown above feature the same view of Balmoral Castle, printed in red.

   
SOLD The Nautch Girl

This example of the The Nautch Girl programme probably dates from after the start of a series of major cast changes which occured in Autumn 1891. Miss Shalders plays Banyan, and there is no curtain-raiser, which would indicate a date between August and September, but neither Rutland Barrington not Jessie Bond are named, which according to Rollins and Witts, they should be at this time !

   
SOLD Mikado & Iolanthe

D'Oyly Carte on tour at Morton's Theatre in Greenwich, SE London, with Henry Lytton as Ko-Ko and Chancellor, October 19th and 20th, 1891. A note in the programme states that the following week the Monday performance would be under the patronage and in the presence of W.F. Cody (Buffalo Bill), but by this time Lytton et al would be in Croydon !

   
SOLD The Basoche - Opening Night

Richard D'Oyly Carte's second venture at his new opera house, The Basoche by Andre Messager, opened on November 3rd 1891. The first night programme uses a cover design which had earlier been used for Ivanhoe, and does not state whether or not the composer would conduct.

   
SOLD The Basoche

The Basoche ran until Jan 16th 1892, a total of 60 performances. Disillusioned by the project, Carte sold the theatre, which became the Palace Musical Hall, and later the Palace Theatre. This programme is dated for the 14th November 1891 and is a cheap-seats version.

   
1892    
     
click to view item The Nautch Girl / Captain Billy

This example of a Nautch Girl programme is dated 8th January 1892 and would indicate that, contrary to Rollins and Witts, Rutland Barrington and Jessie Bond returned to play The Rajah and Chinna Loofa for the final few performances. Edith Briant (or Bryant ?) also made an unexpected appearance as Cheetah at this time. The piece closed on Jan 16th 1892, after 200 performances. In the curtain-raiser, Captain Billy, which had opened on 23rd September 1891, Cissey (sic) Saumarez played Polly.

   
SOLD Vicar of Bray - Opening Night

Second of D'Oyly Carte's stop-gap productions, The Vicar of Bray opened on 28th January 1892. This souvenir programme for the opening night clearly states that on this occasion the opera would be conducted by the composer, Edward Solomon. The cast included many DOC regulars: Barrington, Pounds, Brandram etc.

   
SOLD Vicar of Bray / Captain Billy souvenir

The Vicar of Bray was a revised version of Sydney Grundy's comic opera which had originally been produced at the Globe Theatre in 1882. The Savoy piece closed on June 18th after only 142 performances, yet continued to be presented in the provinces for some years. This souvenir programme is dated for 9th April 1892.

   
SOLD

Nautch Girl & Yeomen on tour

On April 18th 1892 "B" Company reached Exeter, presenting The Nautch Girl and The Yeomen of the Guard. The programme covered both pieces.

   
SOLD

Haddon Hall

Following the last night of The Vicar of Bray, the Savoy was dark for over three months, finally opening on 23rd Sept 1892 with a new Sullivan opera, Haddon Hall. Sir Arthur's collaboration with Sydney Grundy proved unpopular, and the piece ran for just 204 performances. This unusual programme, dated 21st January 1893, has Bates Maddison as John Manners, a role he played for a very short period, and unrecorded by either Rollins & Witts or Ganzl.

   
1893    
     
SOLD

Haddon Hall on tour

While still running in London, a touring production of Haddon Hall was sent on the road, reaching Edinburgh on 9th Jan 1893. This was the first visit of a D'Oyly Carte company to this Scottish city.

   
SOLD Jane Annie

Jane Annie was written by J.M. Barrie and Arthur Conan Doyle, with music by Sullivan's pupil, Ernest Ford. Despite this excellent pedigree, and a cast of DOC regulars, the piece was the first real Savoy flop, opening on May 13th 1893 and closing after just 50 performances. The first programme style issued was similar to the Windsor Yeomen shown above, rapidly followed by this paper version, printed on either green, yellow or orange paper. Sometime after 17th May the characters of second and third student were dropped from the cast list.

   
SOLD Jane Annie / Mr. Jericho

On 3rd June the curtain-raiser Mr Jericho was added to the bill. The programme style was changed again, to this cream or pink type, made of handmade paper and usually with a rough-trimmed edge. This example was printed on 30th June, and according to a pencil annotation on the cover, was issued at the last performance on 1st July. The Savoy remained dark throughout July, August and September.

   
SOLD

Iolanthe on tour

"C" Company reached Manchester on 1893, appearing at the Theatre Royal for two weeks from June 5th. This programme was printed just for two performances of Iolanthe on June 14th and 15th. Contrary to Rollins & Witts, Private Willis was Ernest Eglington.

   
SOLD

Haddon Hall & Patience on tour

D'Oyly Cartes B company reached The Londesborough Theatre in Scarborough on August 21st 1893, presenting Haddon Hall for the first five nights and Patience on the Saturday only. There does not appear to have been a matinee performance. Edith Briant (Bryant) appears as Saphir, a part for her which does not appear to have been noted previously. Kate Kavanagh played Angela and Marion Grey was Ella.

   
SOLD

Utopia (Limited) - Opening Night

Utopia (Limited), or The Flowers of Progress opened at the Savoy on 7th October 1893, running for 245 performances. This souvenir programme, issued to those in the better seats on the first night, notes that the composer would conduct. After twelve performances the brackets were removed from the title on 20th October, at Gilbert's request.

   
SOLD

Utopia (Limited) - Opening Night

There were two different programmes issued for the opening night of Utopia (Limited), this version issued to those in the cheaper seats. Faded to a pale green, it may possibly have been pink when issued. It is dated in full, and notes that "on this occasion the opera will be conducted by the composer". Both the first night programmes wrongly credit Florence Easton as Phylla.

   
SOLD

Utopia, Limited

This programme is from 24th October 1893, and therefore includes all the original cast. Miss Howell-Hersee was originally employed simply to understudy Florence Easton in the tiny part of Phylla, but due to illness, she created the role. Miss Easton replaced her in November, after this programme was printed. Note that the title has lost its brackets, but gained a comma.

   
SOLD

Utopia Limited on tour

D-Company programme from Bristol, where they presented Utopia Limited (without the comma) for one week from November 25th 1895. Lytton was Paramount, with wife Louie as Nekaya. Elsie Duncan was still playing Melone, a month after Rollins & Witts suggest that she stopped, and most unaccountably, Albert Rees apparently took the parts of both Calynx and Corcoran. The company was also presenting Princess Ida at this time.

   
SOLD

Utopia, Limited

This green programme was printed later in the run, after Clarence Hunt had replaced Walter Passmore as Tarara.

   
 

 

1894    
     
SOLD

Utopia, Limited

By 12th January 1894, when this programme was printed, Madeleine Galton was Melene and Florence Easton was Phylla. Utopia, Limited closed on June 9th 1894 after a run of 245 performances.

   
SOLD

Mirette - Opening Night

Probably the most troubled piece to appear at the Savoy, Mirette, based on a French opera by Andre Messager, opened on July 3rd 1894. The composer conducted the first performance. The girl on the cover does not appear to be from any Savoy opera, and the design was used for the following few months, for at least three different productions.

   
SOLD

Mirette - first version

After the 41st performance, on August 11th, Mirette was taken off, for revision, and the theatre remained dark for nearly two months. This programme for the first version is dated 24th July, at which time the title role was played by the original, Maud Ellicott.

   
SOLD

Mirette - revised version

The revised version of Mirette finally opened on October 6th, with Florence St. John now playing the lead and Richard Temple as the Baron. This yellow programme, dated 2nd November clearly states that it was produced for the "new version by Adrian Ross". The show was still not a success, and this time ran for just 61 performances, finally closing on 6th December 1894

   
click to view item

The Chieftain / Quite An Adventure

The Chieftain was a reworking of Sullivan and Burnand's The Contrabandista, and opened at the Savoy on 12th December 1894, running for just 97 performances. From 15th to 29th December the Sullivan piece was preceded by a short Desprez/Solomon operetta, Quite An Adventure, in which Beatrice Perry, named in this programme, appeared for just the final week. According to the cast list Powis Pinder unaccountably played both Ferdinand de Roxas and Escatero in the main piece !

   
SOLD

The Chieftain

A souvenir of The Chieftain was produced during the run, possibly for the 50th performance, although the event was not specified. The covers reproduced Dudley Hardy's wonderful poster, and inside were eleven full colour illustrations of the characters, by the same artist.

   
SOLD

The Chieftain / Cox & Box

Cox and Box replaced Quite An Adventure as companion piece to The Chieftain on 31st December 1894. This programme features all the original Chieftain cast members except for W. A. Peterkin who had by this time taken over the role of Ferdinand de Roxas from Scott Fische. Richard Temple played Bouncer. The Chieftain closed on March 16th 1895.

   
1895    
     
SOLD

Hansel & Gretel

While the D'Oyly Carte toured the suburbs, Carl Rosa's company transferred their production of Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel from the Princesses Theatre to the Savoy for two months of performances between April 16th and June 15th. The theatre then remained closed until November 6th.

   
SOLD

Hansel & Gretel

Those in cheaper seats were probably given copies of this rather less decorative programme; this example was printed on 4th May, and issued on Mon 6th.

   
SOLD

Mikado silk programme

The appearance of C-Company in Leeds on May 6th 1895 coincided with the reopening of the Grand Theatre and Opera House. To mark the occasion the opening night programme was printed on pink silk. This is one of the very few silk programmes D'Oyly Carte ever produced.

   
SOLD

The Chieftain on tour

Three companies toured with The Chieftain from February to August 1895. E-Company reached Oxford on May 20th, presenting the new piece for four performances in the early part of the week, followed by Patience from Thursday to Saturday. Emmie Owen played Juanita, the Dancing Girl.

   
SOLD

The Chieftain on tour

D-Company played the Royal Opera House, Leicester, in the week of June 17th, following the same pattern: The Chieftain and Cox & Box Monday through Thursday, with Utopia, Limited on Friday and Saturday. There appears to have been no matinee. Henry Lytton played Paramount and Grigg; Louie Henry was Nekaya and Dolly; Courtice Pounds and Scott Fishe played their original parts of Vasquez and Ferdinand de Roxas; Jones Hewson apparently played Corcoran and Calynx, the latter not a role assigned to him in Rollins and Witts.

   
SOLD

Patience on tour

For the first part of the week of Aug 26th 1895, the Hastings and St. Leonard's Gaiety Theatre was host to the D'Oyly Carte "E" company giving Patience. Emmie Owen played the title role. An announcement in the programme states that from Thursday audiences could see The Gondoliers.

   
SOLD Mikado 2nd Revival - Opening Night

The second revival of The Mikado opened at the Savoy on 6th Nov 1895. The opening night programme is specifically dated, and includes the information that the composer would conduct. There was no curtain raiser before the first performance. The cover was printed in grayscale.

   
SOLD Mikado / After All

The production featured Rutland Barrington, Jessie Bond and Rosina Brandram in their original characters. This sepia version of the cover is one of many different ones which were based on the 1885/6 souvenir.

   
1896    
     
SOLD D'Oyly Carte on tour

D'Oyly Carte's touring company "C" reached the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh early in 1896, presenting Iolanthe, Patience, Sorcerer/Cox and Box between 21st and 23rd January. This programme is most interesting as it names one "H. M. Pursen" as Box, a role which should have been played by H. Manfred Russell. The identical initials suggest that this was a simple misreading by the typesetter who worked on the programme. Relatives of Mr. Pursen please step forward and prove me wrong, and claim your descendant's place in the D'Oyly Carte roll call!

 

   
SOLD Vicar of Bray on tour

Despite having closed at the Savoy after a relatively short run of 142 performances The Vicar of Bray continued to appear in the provinces for some years. Here it was presented "by special request" in Barnsley for two nights of a three-day stay by "B" company in February 1896. The Mikado was played for just one night!

   
SOLD Mikado / After All

The same cover, but in colour, printed on 27th January 1896, presumably issued to those in better seats.

   
SOLD Mikado / After All

The same design was used yet again rather later in the run of the second Mikado revival. This example was issued just two days before the piece closed after 127 performances, on March 4th 1896. The front and back covers are green and sepia on green paper, with a gold border, but inside it is sepia on a pink ground.

   
SOLD The Grand Duke - Opening Night

The Grand Duke, Gilbert & Sullivan's final collaboration, opened on March 7th 1896. This "cheap seats" first night programme has the date inside, and clearly states "On this occasion the opera will be conducted by the composer".

   
  The Mikado

During the run of The Grand Duke, between May 27th and July 4th, six matinee performances of The Mikado were given.

   
The Grand Duke / After All

The Grand Duke ran for just 123 performances, joined by the curtain raiser After All on 4th April, and closing on July 10th 1896. This programme, intended for the more expensive seats, has details printed in gold.

   
SOLD

Grand Duke on tour

D'Oyly Carte's "E" Company arrived in Oxford on May 11th 1896, performing The Grand Duke seven times in the week.

   
SOLD

Grand Duke on tour

While "E" Company played the smaller towns, "D" Company took The Grand Duke to the cities and larger towns. For twelve nights from June 1st 1896 they were resident at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Birmingham. Lytton played Ludwig, and his wife, Louie Henri, was Julia.

   
SOLD

Grand Duke on tour

"E" Company arrived in Croydon on June 15th 1896, where they played The Grand Duke for one week. The envelope-format programme has views of the exterior, auditorium and front-of-house areas of the Grand Theatre & Opera House.

   
SOLD

Grand Duke on tour

From Croydon, "E" Company crossed London to perform The Grand Duke for a week at the Grand Theatre in Islington, North London from June 22nd. Now demolished, the Grand was only a short walk from Sadlers Wells, a theatre which become a virtual London home for the company in later years.

   
SOLD Mikado / After All

Jessie Bond appeared on stage for the last time in the third revival of The Mikado, which opened at the Savoy on July 11th 1896, although she made guest appearances in galas after this date. One of 1000 printed on 27th July, this programme is dated by hand for the following night. The production also featured Rosina Brandram of the original cast, and closed after 226 performances, on February 17th 1897.

   
SOLD D'Oyly Carte on tour

D'Oyly Carte's touring company "C" reached the Edinburgh Theatre Royal on 5th October 1896, presenting Yeomen, Gondoliers, Mikado and, at a matinee only, Iolanthe.

   
SOLD

Mikado on tour

D'Oyles Cartes "E" Company returned to Oxford on Dec 7th 1896, performing The Mikado four times, and The Gondoliers three times in the week. Walter Summers plays Ko-Ko in this Mikado programme.

   
1897    
     
SOLD His Majesty - Opening Night

Written by F.C. Burnand and Adrian Ross, His Majesty opened at the Savoy on 20th February 1897, and featured most of D'Oyly Carte's company of regulars. This first night programme names George Grossmith as King Ferdinand - a role he only played for only six (according to The Times) performances, following a bad reception on opening night. He was replaced temporarily by Herbert Workman and ultimately by Henry Lytton, but the show floundered and finally closed on April 24th, after just 61 performances.

   
SOLD

Yeomen of the Guard First Revival - Opening Night

This cardboard programme for the first performance of the first revival of Yeomen at the Savoy, which opened on 5th May 1897, clearly states that Sullivan conducted on opening night. Richard Temple, Rosina Brandram and H.Richards (Headsman) appeared in their original parts.

   
SOLD

Yeomen of the Guard

For just a few weeks during the first revival of Yeomen at the Savoy, in May 1897, Shadbolt was played by Tom Redmond. Other cast changes of note in this paper programme, intended for those in the cheaper seats, are Cory James as Leonard and Charles Childerstone as First Yeoman. The revival closed on November 20th 1897, after 186 performances,

   
SOLD

Gondoliers / Mikado on tour

During 1897 "B" Company toured with ten G&S operas (including Trial), and by the time it reached the Grand Theatre & Opera House in Hull in November there were as many as eight pieces in the repertoire at the same time. The week started with The Gondoliers ! on Mon 16th evening and ended with The Mikado !, played on both Tuesday and Saturday nights. It is interesting that as late as 1897 theatre managements still felt justified in adding exclamation marks to the titles of G&S operas, in their programmes.

   

The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein - Opening Night

Many of the familiar D'Oyly Carte regulars appeared in this Offenbach piece, which was presented in a new version by Charles H. Brookfield and Adrian Ross. It opened on Dec 4th 1897 and the opening night programme, although dated both in full and in code, does not trumpet the fact, possibly because the piece could not be conducted by the composer. There was no curtain raiser after the first performance, and the programme, unusually for an opening night example, has adverts on the back cover.

   

The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein

The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein ran for 104 performances, closing on March 12th 1898. Henry Lytton played Prince Paul while his wife, Louie Henri, had a part only in the curtain raiser, Old Sarah, playing the title role.

   
1898    
     
SOLD

Mikado on tour

Programme for a "C" Company Mikado at the Theatre Royal in Manchester, 18th May 1898. Fred Billington as Pooh-Bah and George Thorne as Ko-Ko.

   
click to view item

Gondoliers - first revival

The Gondoliers was given its first revival at the Savoy on March 22nd 1898, with only Rosina Brandram of the original cast repeating her role. There was one cast change during the 62 performance run, but this programme, dated 19th May, shows Emmie Owen as Gianetta. In some programmes during this run Mildred Baker is listed as playing the mysterious character Carlotta! The revival closed on May 21st to make way for The Beauty Stone, which is advertised on the bottom inside edge.

   
SOLD

The Beauty Stone

Sullivan's "romantic musical drama" The Beauty Stone was a very different beast to the typical Savoy opera. With treacle-like book and lyrics by Arthur Wing Pinero and J. Comyns Carr it tickled the taste of neither critics nor public, and closed just 50 performances after its May 28th 1898 opening. This programme for Sullivan's biggest flop at the Savoy, is dated 1st June, and was printed in a small edition of just 300. Familiar names in the cast include Henry Lytton, Rosina Brandram and Walter Passmore.

   
SOLD

Gondoliers - back again

Following the failure of The Beauty Stone, The Gondoliers returned for a further 63 performances between July 18th and September 17th 1898. This first night programme for the revivification of the first Gondoliers revival shows that Sullivan did not conduct as this was not considered an "opening" as such. The cast was somewhat changed from the earlier segment of the run, with Robert Evett as Marco, Blanche Gaston-Murray as Tessa and Mildred Baker as Vittoria (Carlotta is not listed).

   
SOLD

The Sorcerer 21st birthday

Thursday November 17th 1898 marked the 21st anniversary of the opening night of The Sorcerer. To mark the occasion D'Oyly Carte produced one of his souvenir booklets, presumably available only to those present on the night. It includes photographs of all the leading characters in all the productions to date.

   
click to view item

Sorcerer / Trial

Regular programme for the 2nd Sorcerer revival, dated 5th December. The opera had opened on Sept 22nd 1898, and ran for 102 performances, in tandem with Trial by Jury, closing on New Year's Eve. At this point in the run Charles Childerstone was the Defendant with Henry Franckiss as the Associate, and Jones Hewson was Sir Marmaduke.

   
1899    
     
SOLD

The Lucky Star - Opening Night

Ivan Caryll's The Lucky Star opened at the Savoy on Jan 7th 1899, and featured many of the usual D'Oyly Carte regulars. This opening night programme states that the composer conducted the premiere performance.

   
SOLD

The Lucky Star

The Lucky Star featured many of the usual D'Oyly Carte regulars. This programme, dated 15th March, includes all the first cast with the exception of Fred Wright Jnr, who had replaced Sydney Paxton as Sirocco.

   
click to view item

The Lucky Star

This Lucky Star programme, dated 4th April 1899 shows two cast changes from opening night. As well as Fred Wright Jnr the cast includes Henry Claff as Kedas, the Chief of Police, replacing Frank Manning. The show closed on 31st May after 143 performances.

   
SOLD

Pinafore / Trial

With only Richard Temple in his original role, HMS Pinafore was given its second revival (with Trial By Jury) on June 6th 1899. The production ran for 174 performances, closing on 25th November. This programme was printed on 11th October.

   
SOLD

The Lucky Star on tour

From February 1899 two companies toured with The Lucky Star. Here is "E" Company, giving just four performances at the New Theatre in Oxford from Thurs June 8th 1899, having started the week in Bedford.

   
SOLD

Pinafore / Trial on tour

"E" Company returned to the New Theatre in Oxford on 27th November this time staying for six nights. This programme for HMS Pinafore and Trial by Jury was used on 1st and 2nd December. Although the programme stated that Pinafore was, "now playing to crowded houses at the Savoy", it had in fact closed a week earlier.

   
SOLD

The Rose of Persia - Opening Night

Sullivan's comic opera, The Rose of Persia, with words by Basil Hood, opened at the Savoy on November 29th 1899. The first night programme is dated in full, and includes the fact that "on this occasion the opera will be conducted by the composer". This would be Sir Arthur's final appearance in the pit at the Savoy.

   
SOLD

The Rose of Persia

The Rose of Persia's London run closed after 211 performances on June 29th 1900. This programme dates from 14th December by which date Isabel Jay had already replaced Ellen Beach-Yaw in the leading soprano role, the Sultana Zubeydeh, known as Rose-in-Bloom. There was no curtain-raiser during the run.

   
1900    
     
SOLD

The Rose of Persia on tour

Even while London audiences were still enjoying The Rose of Persia, D'Oyly Carte sent it around the UK. The tour opened in Brighton on April 16th 1900, and reached the Prince's Theatre in Manchester on 7th May, where it stayed for one week.

   
SOLD

D'Oyly Carte tour flyer

D'Oyly Carte "C" company played their last week of 1900 at the New Grand Theatre in Woolwich, S.E. London. This unusual herald for the week commencing Dec 10th mentions only The Mikado, and gives a list of company members inside. Front and back cover bear chromolithographs of the Savoy crest and a dancing girl, possibly inspired by The Gondoliers or even The Chieftain.

   
click to view item

Pirates / The Outpost

Pirates was given its second revival at the Savoy, opening on June 30th 1900. Despite a short run of just 127 performances, there were a number of cast changes during the run. The work was preceded by The Outpost, adapted from the German piece by Korner.

   
SOLD

Patience - Opening Night

The first revival of Patience opened at the Savoy on November 7th 1900, and ran for 150 performances until April 20th 1901. There was no curtain raiser on opening night, and Sullivan did not conduct.

   
SOLD

Patience / Pretty Polly

Sir Arthur Sullivan, Richard D'Oyly Carte and Queen Victoria all died during the short run of this revival, and as a mark of respect the theatre was kept dark for a period to mark each of these events. This programme is dated for 28th December, and includes details of the Basil Hood / Francois Cellier curtain-raiser, Pretty Polly.

   
1901    
     
SOLD

The Emerald Isle - Opening Night

Sullivan's last opera, The Emerald Isle premiered at the Savoy on April 27th 1901, the score having been completed by Edward German. The first night programme is dated in full, and includes the fact that "on this occasion the opera will be conducted by Mr. German". The book for the piece was by Basil Hood.

   
SOLD

The Emerald Isle

During the run of The Emerald Isle the management of the Savoy, and indeed the Company, was taken over by William Greet. This tour programme is from the week of July 6th, when the company was appearing at the Shakespeare Theatre in Clapham Junction, South London (despite Rollins and Witts claiming that the company was in Southend!). This was the second week that The Emerald Isle was presented in the provinces.

   
SOLD

The Emerald Isle

The Emerald Isle ran for 205 performances, closing on November 9th. This programme was issued on 27th October. Lower class version printed on paper.

   
SOLD

Ib and Little Christina / The Willow Pattern

For just 16 performances, between November 14th 1901 and November 29th, the Savoy was home to a pair of short pieces. Ib and Little Christina, by Basil Hood, had been produced as a straight play at the Prince of Wales in May 1900 but was now rewritten as a short opera with music by Franco Leoni. The other piece, also by Hood, was a new comic operetta, The Willow Pattern, with music by Cecil Cook. The two casts included many Savoy favourites, including Henry Lytton, Isabel Jay, Rosina Brandram and Walter Passmore.

   
SOLD

The Emerald Isle

By November 18th 1901, William Greet's "Savoy Theatre Opera Company" (D'Oyly Carte "E" Company had been renamed thus on July 1st) had reached Glagow's Theatre Royal with The Emerald Isle.

   
SOLD

Iolanthe first revival - Opening Night

The first revival of Iolanthe opened at the Savoy on December 7th 1901, and ran for 113 performances until March 29th 1902. This programme is dated for the opening night, Dec 7th, although it was printed on the previous day.

   
1902    
     
SOLD

The Emerald Isle

The Emerald Isle continued to be played in the provinces, touring until May 1902. Here is a programme from the Public Hall (Harvey Institute) in Barnsley, where the piece was produced for six nights from February 24th 1902. Charles R. Walenn was Professor Bunn and Mrs Arthur Rouseby (widow of the D'Oyly Carte baritone) played Rosie Pippin.

   
SOLD

Iolanthe / Willow Pattern

This "cheap seats" paper programme for the first Iolanthe revival was printed on 7th March, and includes details of The Willow Pattern, a curtain raiser by Basil Hood and Cecil Cook.

   
SOLD Merrie England - Opening Night

Edward German's first solo work for the Savoy, Merrie England, with libretto by Basil Hood, opened on 2nd April 1902. The composer conducted the opening night performance, as noted in this cardboard first night programme, which includes adverts. The show ran for 120 performances at the Savoy before setting out on tour after the final (for the time being) performance on 30th July.

   
SOLD Naughty Nancy

From September 8th 1902 Kitty Loftus' company took the Savoy for a presentation of Naughty Nancy, a musical comedy. A revised version of a piece which had toured the provinces, the show ran until November 22nd, chalking up 77 performances. The whole back page of this 11th October programme is an advert for "Merrie England", at the Kennington Theatre in South London from October 13th.

   
SOLD Merrie England

An example of Merrie England on tour, from the Prince's Theatre in Bristol, week commencing August 11th 1902. The cast is similar to that which had played in London, with Passmore, Lytton, Evett, Brandram at al. M.R. Morand had taken over the part of Silas Simkins from Mark Kinghorne and Eva Bond, the only actor named in this programme that never played their role at the Savoy, was Kate.

   
SOLD Merrie England

Merrie England returned to the Savoy on November 24th and ran a further 56 performances until January 17th 1903. This programme, dated 6th December, features a few actors not named in Rollins and Witts: M.R Morand continued in the role of Silas Simkins which he had taken on tour, Lena Leibrandt was Kate, and Mr. C. Earldon was a soldier. It includes an announcement that German would conduct the 250th performance, on December 10th.

   
1903    
     
SOLD

A Princess of Kensington - Opening Night

A Princess of Kensington opened on January 22nd 1903, with a cast including Henry Lytton, Walter Passmore and Rosina Brandram, making her final appearance at the Savoy. Edward German is named as conductor in this first night programme. The words were once again by Basil Hood. Arthur Boielle played Sir James Jellico at the first performance, and Edward Royce did not appear, contrary to the listing in Rollins & Witts.

   
SOLD

A Princess of Kensington

A Princess of Kensington proved not to be so popular as Merrie England, closed on May 16th 1903 after just 115 performances. This was the final original comic opera produced at the Savoy, which was dark for nearly nine months before reopening under new management on Feb 10th 1904.

   
SOLD

A Princess of Kensington on tour

Following the London run, Greet's A Princess of Kensington company started a short tour of the UK, but the piece was soon dropped in favour of Merrie England when audiences were not so large as expected. One of the first bookings was at the Princess of Wales' Theatre in Kennington, South London, where it played for seven performances from May 25th 1903.

   
SOLD

Gondoliers & Yeomen

D'Oyly Carte companies continued to tour, "C" Company reaching Glasgow's Royalty Theatre on 17th August 1903. This programme is for the Wed and Thurs performances of Gondoliers and Yeomen. Casts include C.H. Workman, Fred Billington and Jessie Rose, but Vittoria is played by Ruby Lingard, appearing with the company four months earlier than recorded by Rollins and Witts. Amy Royston was also in an unexpected role, as Inez.

   
1906/7    
     
click on opera title to view

1st Repertory Season at Savoy Theatre

December 1906 to August 1907: If title is a link, a prog is in stock. Alternate casts, colours and original prices, if any, are detailed lower on the same page.

Yeomen opened Dec 8th 1906 87 performances
Gondoliers opened Jan 22nd 1907 75 performances
Patience opened April 4th 1907 51 performances
Iolanthe opened June 11th 1907 43 performances
   
1908/9    
     
click on opera title to view

2nd Repertory Season at Savoy Theatre

April 1908 to March 1909: If title is a link, a prog is in stock. Alternate casts, colours and original prices, if any, are detailed lower on the same page.

Mikado opened April 28th 1908 142 performances
Pinafore opened July 14th 1908 61 performances
Iolanthe opened Oct 19th 1908 38 performances
Pirates opened Dec 1st 1908 43 performances
Gondoliers opened Jan 18th 1909 22 performances
Yeomen opened March 1st 1909 28 performances
   
   

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thanks to those who have helped build this webpage. The Gilbert & Sullivan Archive pages have been invaluable, as have contributions from John McLean, George Low, David Eden, Stephen Turnbull and many others. To Alison Piano, a special thank-you for access to the fascinating research materials collected by her father, the G&S enthusiast, Philip Plumb. The Theatre Museum collection has also been an important resource - thanks to the staff there. Finally, thanks also to those who have offered to help fill image-gaps on these pages - however, all pictures are of items either currently or previously held in C20th stock.

Information has mostly been gleaned from the following books:

* Clarence, Reginald. The Stage Cyclopedia, Burt Franklin, 1909 (reprinted 1970)

* Ganzl, Kurt. The British Musical Theatre, Vol 1, 1865-1914, Macmillan, 1986

* Wearing, J.P. The London Stage 1890-1899, Scarecrow, 1976

* Wearing, J.P. The London Stage 1900-1909, Scarecrow, 1981

* Wearing, J.P. The London Stage 1910-1919, Scarecrow, 1982

* Rollins, C. & Witts, R.J. The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in Gilbert & Sullivan Operas, Michael Joseph, 1962