Gilbert & Sullivan
a selling exhibition of memorabilia
ARCHIVE: Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan
   
 
     
 

This archive page lists all of Sullivan's works for the theatre, illustrated with programmes where possible, and giving run lengths, where that information is available. Some, but not all, revivals are also included, as well as some examples of Sir Arthur's more serious work. The section also covers some personal appearances by the composer, as conductor or pianist. Joint works with Gilbert (titles highlighted in red) are only represented by a single programme for each production, as tours are noted elsewhere in the archive pages. Opening night dates of first productions are highlighted in purple. Most items on this page are not currently for sale. All early items for sale can be found here.

 
     
1861    
     
 

The Tempest

While studying in Leipzig in 1861 Sullivan composed incidental music to Shakespeare's The Tempest. When this music was played in a concert at the Crystal Palace in Sydenham, the young composer achieved instant fame.

   
1864    
     
  L'Ile Enchantée

A ballet, first performed at Covent Garden Theatre on May 14th 1864. Portions were later recycled as the Thespis ballet and in Sullivan's 1897 ballet, Victoria and Merrie England.

   
1867    
     
  Cox & Box

Sullivan's first true theatre piece, the single act Cox & Box, with lyrics by F.C. Burnand, was first performed privately in 1866 or 1867, (sources differ). The first public performance was at the Adelphi Theatre on 11th May 1867, as part of a charity event for the benfit of the widow and child of the artist C.H. Bennett.

   
  The Contrabandista

The first full length theatre piece to have a Sullivan score, The Contrabandista, or The Law of the Ladrones, with lyrics by F.C. Burnand, premiered at St George's Opera House on 18th December 1867. It ran for 72 performances, until 27th March 1868, and would be revised and expanded to form The Chieftain in 1894.

   
1869    
     
  Cox & Box

Cox & Box was produced again by the German Reeds at the Gallery of Illustration on 29th March 1867, as companion piece to the Gilbert play No Cards, making this the first date on which Gilbert & Sullivan's names would appear together on a theatre programme. No Cards was replaced on 22nd November 1869 by another Gilbert play, Ages Ago and Cox and Box remained on the bill until 26th March 1870.

   
1870    
     
SOLD Sullivan as accompanist

On 4th January 1870 Sullivan's name appears in a charity benefit programme from the Theatre Royal Covent Garden. Various songs and playlets were performed for the benefit of Charles Mathews, who would soon depart for Australia. A rather tongue-in cheek note suggests that because the band has been "washed out" of the pit, Mr T. German Reed, Mr Arthur Sullivan, Mr Ferdinand Wallerstein and others will accompany the action on a grand piano. If true, three of Gilbert's collaborators appeared on the bill that afternoon, and it is tempting to wish that Gilbert might have made an appearance too, in the audience, if not on the stage.

   
1871    
     
  Cox & Box

Cox & Box was revived at the Alhambra Theatre on 16th October 1871, playing with two ballets, The Chinese Revel and Fête a la Watteau.

   
   
SOLD

Thespis

Thespis, or The Gods Grown Old, the first Gilbert & Sullivan collaboration opened at the Gaiety Theatre on 26th December 1871. This early example of the programme was printed sometime before Jan 13th. The companion piece, Dearer Than Life, was replaced by Ganymede & Galatea and Off the Line on 20th January, and by Paul Pry on 26th February. Thespis closed on 8th March 1872 and was given just one revival, at Mdlle. Clary's benefit on 28th April 1872.

   
  The Merchant of Venice

Sullivan wrote a suite of music for The Merchant of Venice, first performed during a production of Shakespeare's play at the Prince's Theatre in Manchester on 19th September 1871.

   
   
1873    
     
SOLD

Sullivan Night

Even before Trial by Jury, Sir Arthur was an established enough composer to be afforded his own night at the Covent Garden proms. October 18th 1873 was "Sullivan Night", and the entire first half of the concert was composed of his work, conducted by the man himself. As well as songs (including "Little Maid of Arcadee" from Thespis, the audience heard the Tempest and Merchant of Venice material, the Cello Concerto and the "Overturo di Ballo".

   
1874    
     
SOLD

Cox & Box

Possibly a previously unrecorded performance of Cox & Box, this production appeared at the Gaiety Theatre during the week of Sept 7th 1874. The composer's brother, Frederic Sullivan, played Cox, with Arthur Cecil as Box and J.G. Taylor as Bouncer. The evening commenced with Offenbach's A Mere Blind and ended with the 2nd and 3rd acts of the same composer's The Princess of Trebizonde.

   
SOLD

The Merry Wives of Windsor

Arthur Sullivan composed "new and original music" for the last act of a production of Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor which opened at the Gaiety Theatre on December 19th 1874. The words to an interpolated song for Anne Page were set by Algernon Swinburne. This programme, dated 29th January 1875, also credits Sullivan with having selected the chorus of children which sang in the piece.

   
1875    
     
SOLD

Trial by Jury

Trial By Jury opened at the Royalty Theatre on 25th March 1875, playing as an afterpiece to Offenbach's La Perichole. The true initial run was rather short, as the theatre closed on June 12th to allow the company to tour the provinces for four months. 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.

   
  The Zoo

First performed at the St James's Theatre on 5th June 1875, The Zoo, described as "a musical folly", was a single act piece with libretto by B. C. Stephenson (writing under the pseudonym Bolton Rowe). It was companion piece to A Practical Man and Gilbert's Tom Cobb.

   
   
  The Zoo

On 28th June 1875 The Zoo transferred to the Haymarket, where it played for two weeks with Brighton, closing 10th July 1875.

   
   
  The Zoo

The Zoo surfaced again on 2nd October 1875, at the Philharmonic Theatre in Islington, this time with a different cast, and directed by Richard Temple, who also played Thomas Brown. It played with Offenbach's Les Géorgiennes until 30th October.

   
   
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. 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 Royalty production of Trial by Jury 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. Gilbert and Sullivan appear on the cover and the programme is full of line drawings of characters from both pieces.

   
1877    
     
   
SOLD

Trial by Jury

Trial By Jury was the highlight of Mr. Compton's benefit at Drury Lane on March 1st 1877. George Honey was Judge, leading a distinguished cast which included George Grossmith as a juryman, making what was probably his first appearance in a Gilbert and Sullivan opera, almost nine months before the opening of The Sorcerer. Sullivan conducted the orchestra, but no actor is credited with the role of Associate, leaving open the possibility that this was Gilbert, which would make this one of the very rare occasions when G&S appeared together in public.

   
SOLD

Trial by Jury

The first true revival of Trial By Jury was on March 3rd 1877 at the Strand Theatre, as afterpiece to Tom Taylor's Babes and Beetles and Charles Matthews' The Dowager. After the first two weeks George Leith took over the role of Judge from J.G. Taylor, but otherwise the cast remained the same for the whole of the run. This programme is dated for 27th March 1877.

   
SOLD

Trial by Jury

This programme for the last week of performances of Trial By Jury at the Strand Theatre shows that it was, towards the end of the 73 performance run, afterpiece to Sidney Grundy's Mammon and the comic drama Toodles. The run ended on 26th May 1877.

   
  Henry Vlll

Sullivan wrote his fourth suite of music for a Shakespeare play, Henry Vlll, for a production the Theatre Royal in Manchester on 29th August 1877.

   
   
SOLD

The Sorcerer

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. The opera closed on 24th May 1878 after 175 performances.

   
1878    
     
SOLD

Trial by Jury

On 23rd March 1878 Trial by Jury was added as afterpiece to The Sorcerer at the Opera Comique, running alongside it for 56 performances. This programme, dated 29th April, used the same format as the Pinafore first night one would, less than a month later.

   
SOLD

H.M.S. Pinafore

H.M.S. Pinafore, or The Lass That Loved a Sailor opened at the Opera Comique on May 25th 1878. This programme was intended for use on just 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. After 571 performances the piece closed on February 20th 1880.

   
1879    
     
SOLD The Zoo

The Zoo made a final London appearance at the Royalty Theatre on 14th April 1879, as forepiece to Crutch & Toothpick, this time with W.S. Penley as Grinder and Lottie Venne as Eliza. It was withdrawn on 3rd May and would not be seen again in a fully-costumed professional production in the UK until 2007. Although not specifically stated, there are indications that this programme was issued on the first night, and that Edward Solomon, resident conductor at the Royalty, was conductor on that occasion. (Solomon would later compose The Nautch Girl for the Savoy. )

   
   
SOLD

H.M.S. Pinafore

On August 1st 1879 a rival production of Pinafore opened at the Imperial Theatre (Royal Aquarium), produced by the Comedy-Opera Company. After a month the piece transferred to the Olympic Theatre, where it ran from September 8th to October 25th, totalling 91 performances in the two venues. On this Olympic cover, the production company claim that the piece was written "expressly for them by Messrs. Sullivan and Gilbert" !

   
SOLD

The Children's Pinafore

The Children's Pinafore 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.The cast named in this November 1880 programme from Liverpool was as had been seen in London, except that Hebe was Alice Roe and Bob Beckett was played by Master R. Presano. The Children's Pinafore played a second Christmas season of 28 matinees at the Opera Comique between Dec 22nd 1880 on January 28th (or Feb 11th ?) 1881. Following this the company set out on tour again, until July 2nd.

   
SOLD La Poule aux Oeufs d'Or

A Sullivan curiosity ! This English version of a French "feerie" at the Alhambra boasted music by a number of composers including Rossini, Offenbach and one "A. Sullivan". It must be presumed that some of his themes were borrowed, presumably with his permission. The programme, dated 15th March 1879, includes illustrations of the scenes, and much detail of the settings and dances. Emily Soldene played Princess Fanfreluche.

   
SOLD

Pinafore at the Proms

It is well known that during the first run of HMS Pinafore, Sullivan strategically programmed a selection from the piece in occasional Covent Garden promenade concerts, in what was an apparently successful attempt to boost sales of tickets at the Opera Comique.. On this occasion, Saturday August 23rd 1879, Sullivan was to have conducted, but it is noted that during his "temporary and unavoidable absence" Alfred Cellier would undertake his duties. The Pinafore selection was arranged by Hamilton Clarke.

   
1880    
     
SOLD

The Pirates of Penzance

The Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty 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. The official premiere had been in New York on 31st December 1879, although one day earlier the piece (or a close approxiomation) had played at the Bijou Theatre in Paignton in order to secure the British copyright.

   
1881    
     
SOLD

Patience

Patience, or Bunthorne's Bride opened at the Opera Comique on April 23rd 1881, where it played for 170 performances before closing on October 8th, ready to reopen immediately at the new Savoy. This first night programme has a distinctive red border on the cover.

   
SOLD

Patience

Patience transferred to the new Savoy Theatre on 10th October 1881 where it ran for a further 408 performances, closing on November 22nd 1882 after a total run of 578 performances.

 

   
SOLD

Patience

On Friday November 4th 1881 Her Majesty's Theatre was host to a benefit for Charles Morton by a "grand combination of theatrical managers and artistes". Cellier conducted Leonora Braham and Rutland Barrington in a scene and duet from Patience. The rest of the bill was a mix of serious and light-hearted pieces and musical hall turns.

   
1882    
     
SOLD

Iolanthe

Iolanthe, or The Peer and the Peri 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. The opera closed on Jan 1st 1884, after a run of 398 performances.

   
1884    
     
SOLD

Princess Ida

Princess Ida, or Castle Adamant opened on 5th January 1884, and closed on October 9th, after a disappointing run (for a G&S opera) of just 246 performances. This early programme, dated 22nd Jan 1884, describes the opera as being "in a prologue and two acts". Later, the piece was simply in "three acts".

   
  Cox & Box

Cox & Box was revived at the Court Theatre on 15th April 1884, playing until 18th April with Dan'l Druce, Blacksmith. Richard Temple played Cox, Arthur Cecil was Box, and Furneaux Cook was Bouncer.

   
   
click to view item Princess Ida

Selected as the finale of the annual Actors Benevolent Fund Matinee, at Drury Lane on June 19th 1884, was a selection from Princess Ida, featuring Durward Lely, Charles Ryley and Henry Bracy. Also on the bill that afternoon were, among many others, Henry Irving, Ellen Terry, and Kate Vaughan. Madame Patey and Mr Santley also sang, and it is maybe not entirely coincidental that Richard D'Oyly Carte is named on the cover as Vice-President of the charity !

   
SOLD

The Sorcerer / Trial by Jury

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 by Jury for the opening night of the first DOC revival on October 11th 1884. As stated in this programme, Sullivan conducted the first performance. The two pieces ran together for 150 performances, until March 12th 1885.

   
SOLD

Cox & Box

Cox and Box was again presented at the Royal Court Theatre, initially as part of a series of Wednesday afternoon matinees, with the same cast seen during the short run the previous April, starting with the 10th Dec 1884 performance, when the Sullivan piece was joined on the bill by My Milliner's Bill and Twenty Minutes Under an Umbrella.

   
SOLD

Children's Pirates of Penzance

From Dec 26th 1884 until Feb 14th 1885, 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

Cox & Box

Following the success of the three "Mid-Week Matinee" series of performances at the Royal Court, Cox and Box was introduced once more into the evening bills, as companion piece to Young Mrs. Winthrop, from 26 Dec 1884. It ran thus until 31 Jan 1885. Cook and Cecil again took the roles of Bouncer and Box, but Mr E. D. Lyons played Cox from at least the third Wed matinee on 17th December. The Times gives no cast for the 17th Dec 1884 matinee.

   
1885    
     
SOLD Cox & Box

Programme, with decorative cover, for a "special dramatic performance" on Jan 22nd 1885, by the Vaudeville Club, of Daisy Farm followed by Cox & Box. St George's Hall, Langham Place, was the venue, and Bouncer was played by S. Ambrose. The title roles were taken by W.J. Strip and J. Stephens.

   
SOLD

The Mikado

The Mikado, or The Town of Titipu opened at the Savoy on March 14th 1885 and didn't close until Jan 19th 1887, following a 672-performance run. This souvenir programme is among the lavish ever produced by D'Oyly Carte. The cover design was used for many years.

   
SOLD

Patience

Although The Mikado was still running, the D'Oyly Carte stars Grossmith, Barrington, Braham & Brandram chose to present a scene from Patience at the Lyceum Theatre at 3pm on July 21st 1885 as part of a benefit performance for the Actors' Benevolent Fund. The conductor of the segment was F. Cellier. Mr. J.L. Toole (of Thespis) also appeared, as did Sarah Bernhardt, Henry Irving and Ellen Terry.

   
1886    
     
click to view details

The Golden Legend

Sullivan's cantata The Golden Legend was first performed at the Leeds Festival, 16 October 1886. This bound set of proof pages, signed by Sullivan, and containing amendments to the stage directions in the hand of the lyricist Joseph Bennett, was produced before the opening performance. Click on the image to the left for full details.

   
1887    
     
SOLD

Ruddygore

Ruddygore, or The Witch's Curse 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". On, or around, 2nd February 1887, the spelling was changed to Ruddigore, for reasons of decency, and thus revised it ran a total of 288 performances, closing on November 5th 1887.

   
SOLD

Trial by Jury

A Lyceum benefit, this one for Amy Roselle on 16th June 1887. George Grossmith performed a "sketch", and Irving and Terry appeared in a scene from The Merchant of Venice. The afternoon concluded with Trial by Jury; lead roles taken by Rutland Barrington, Richard Temple, Rudolph Lewis, Geraldine Ulmar and Henry Bracy. Leading theatrical personalities of the day appeared in Court.

   
SOLD

H.M. S. Pinafore

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. Pinafore was given a run of 120 performances, closing on 10th March 1888. This is an example of the first night programme.

   
1888    
     
SOLD

The Pirates of Penzance

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

Cox & Box

Richard Temple, Bernard Lane and Furneaux Cook played Cox, Box and Bouncer in a performance of Cox and Box on July 12th 1888; part of "The Silver Fete", a four-day charity event held at the Royal Exhibition Grounds in South Kensington in aid of the Victoria Hospital for Children in Chelsea. Other D'Oyly Carte regulars named in this thick brochure include Grossmith, Pounds and Brandram. (Interestingly, Gilbert is given author credit for Cox & Box !)

   
click to view item

The Mikado

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 and ran until September 29th.

   
SOLD

The Yeomen of the Guard

The Yeomen of the Guard, or The Merryman and his Maid opened at the Savoy on October 3rd 1888, and ran for 423 performances, closing on November 30th 1889. This attractive souvenir, with Jessie Bond as Phoebe on the cover, was used in the middle of the run.

   
SOLD

Cox & Box

Arthur Cecil, Eric Lewis and William Lugg played Box, Cox and Bouncer when Burnand and Sullivan's Cox & Box was performed at the Royal Court Theatre as a forepiece to the play Mamma !. It was first seen at this revival on 25th October 1888.

   
SOLD

Macbeth

Henry Irving first appeared with Ellen Terry in the Lyceum production of Macbeth on December 29th 1888. Incidental music was by Arthur Sullivan.

   
1889    
     
SOLD The Gondoliers

The Gondoliers, or The King of Barataria opened at the Savoy on December 7th 1889, and closed on June 20th 1891 after 554 performances.

   
1890    
     
click to view item

Macbeth recital

On Wednesday afternoon, July 16th 1890, at St James's Hall, Henry Irving and Ellen Terry gave a recital of scenes from their production of Macbeth, first seen at the Lyceum in 1888. Sullivan had composed music specifically for this production, and at the 1890 recital a full orchestra played the pieces. This rare flyer for the event is printed on hand made paper.

   
1891    
     
SOLD

Ivanhoe

The opening production at the Royal English Opera, D'Oyly Carte's new theatre, was Ivanhoe, an opera by Sullivan. The cover of this souvenir programme produced for opening night does not appear to represent a characters from the opera, which opened on Jan 31st 1891. It does not state that Sullivan would conduct, although of course he did.

   
SOLD

Ivanhoe

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 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 Ivanhoe

Sullivan also 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

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 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

Ivanhoe

With an amazing continuous run of 155 performances, achieved through the use of two alternating casts, Ivanhoe closed on July 31st 1891. A futher six performances were given between November 6th and 18th 1891, the beginning of an intended repertory season with Messager's La Basoche which proved sadly short lived. As few Ivanhoe programmes are dated it can be tricky to identify those from the latter section of the run. This alternative souvenir programme, with a bride totally unrelated to the opera on the cover, was used throughout.

   
1892    
   
SOLD

Haddon Hall

The Savoy Theatre had been dark for over three months when it finally opened 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.

   
1893    
   
 

The Foresters

Alfred Lord Tennyson's play based on the legend of Robin Hood, The Foresters, included nine songs by Sullivan and premiered in America, where it opened at Daly's Theatre, New York City, on 17th March 1893. The piece was a moderate success, spawning productions in other US cities.

   
SOLD

The Foresters

The Foresters opened at Daly's Theatre in London on October 3rd 1893, but did not prove as popular as it had in America. This opening night programme does not suggest that Sullivan conducted, presumably as he was busy with Utopia preparations. The play ran for just 15 performances.

   
SOLD

Utopia (Limited)

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. The brackets were removed from the title within a few weeks of the opening.

   
1894    
     
SOLD

The Chieftain

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 / 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

King Arthur

King Arthur,a play by J. Comyns Carr, opened at the Royal Lyceum Theatre on 12th January 1895. Starring, of course, Henry Irving and Ellen Terry, the piece had choral and incidental music by Sullivan. As noted in the programme, which includes all the song lyrics, the entr'actes were also selected from Sir Arthur's previous compositions.

   
SOLD

King Arthur

For King Arthur, Irving produced some of the striking posters typically used for Lyceum productions. Interestingly, this large pre-opening example is the only one I've yet seen which mentions Sullivan's name. Perhaps once the play opened there was less need to publicise the composer ? The artist Edward Byrne-Jones is also given full credit at this early stage.

   
SOLD Mikado 2nd Revival

The second revival of The Mikado opened at the Savoy on 6th Nov 1895. This opening night programme is specifically dated, and includes the information that the composer would conduct. The production featured Rutland Barrington, Jessie Bond and Rosina Brandram in their original characters, and closed after 127 performances, on March 4th 1896.

   
1896    
     
SOLD The Grand Duke

The Grand Duke, or The Statutory Duel, Gilbert & Sullivan's final collaboration, opened on March 7th 1896. The programme cover bears the Savoy crest. The piece ran for just 123 performances, closing on July 10th 1896.

   
SOLD

Trial by Jury

Benefit for Kate Vaughan at the Gaiety Theatre, June 9th 1896. The bill included Trial by Jury, directed by Gilbert, who also played the Associate. Rutland Barrington was Judge; Florence St. John, the Plaintiff; Eric Lewis was Counsel and Charles Kenningham, the Defendant. W.S. Penley, then most famous for Charley's Aunt, played Foreman, a part he had taken at the Royalty Theatre in 1875 ! Among the bridesmaids and jury were many D'Oyly Carte "names", including: Florence Dysart, Walter Passmore, Edith Johnston, Emmie Owen, Florence Perry and J.J. Dallas. Francois Cellier conducted, and in the chorus was the usual mix of personalities of the day.

   
SOLD The Mikado

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. The production also featured Rosina Brandram of the original cast, and closed after 226 performances, on February 17th 1897.

   
SOLD

Trial by Jury

Benefit matinee for the Actors' Association at the Lyceum Theatre, December 3rd 1896. Concluded with Trial by Jury, with Rutland Barrington as Judge. Florence Dysart appeared as Plaintiff, a role she had played in the 1884 Savoy revival. Walter Passmore was Foreman, and other Savoyards in the cast included Charles Kenningham, Charles Childerstone and Edith Johnston. Elsewhere on the bill, Henry Irving gave a recitaion and George Grossmith (Jnr.) appeared in a scene from A Night Out.

   
1897    
     
SOLD

Yeomen of the Guard

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. The revival closed on November 20th 1897, after 186 performances.

   
SOLD

Victoria and Merrie England

With choreography by C. Coppi, Victoria and Merrie England was a full length ballet produced at the Alhambra Theatre on 25th May 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. It ran for about six months, although for some reason programmes are very hard to find. This elaborate example is dated for the week of July 19th.

   
1898    
     
SOLD

Trial by Jury

Nellie Farren, star of Thespis, was, by the late 90s, crippled and unable to work. The funds raised for her at this benefit at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on March 17th 1898 would provide for her for the remainder of her life. One of the most star-studded events of the decade, the show included a performance of Trial by Jury with Gilbert himself playing the Associate, as well as the premiere of a J.M. Barrie playlet. Marie Lloyd, Ben Davies, Ellen Terry, Henry Irving, Clara Butt, Dan Leno, and many others (including a host of Savoyards) are named.

   
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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.

   
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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.

   
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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).

   
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The Sorcerer / Trial By Jury

The second Sorcerer revival opened at the Savoy on Sept 22nd 1898, and ran for 102 performances, in tandem with Trial by Jury, closing on New Year's Eve. Thursday November 17th 1898 marked the 21st anniversary of the opening night of The Sorcerer, and to mark the occasion D'Oyly Carte produced this 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.

   
1899    
     
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HMS Pinafore / Trial By Jury

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.

   
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Rose of Persia

Sullivan's comic opera, The Rose of Persia, with words by Basil Hood, opened at the Savoy on November 29th 1899. This 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.

   
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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    
     
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Trial by Jury

Another of the grand benefit shows of the late Victorian/Edwardian period, the matinee for Princess Christian's Homes of Rest for Disabled Soldiers was held at Drury Lane on the afternoon of May 15th 1900. The show included an all-star performance of Trial by Jury with Gilbert himself playing the Associate (and Lady Bancroft, his wife), Barrington as the Judge, Courtice Pounds as Edwin, Passmore as Usher and Florence St. John as Angelina. Many celebrities appeared in the jury and crowd, including Decima Moore, Lytton, Pinder, Denny, and Lionel Monckton. Francois Cellier conducted and later on the bill Nellie Farren gave a recitation.

   
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Pirates of Penzance

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.

   
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Patience

The first revival of Patience opened at the Savoy on November 7th 1900, and ran for 150 performances until April 20th 1901. This opening night programme indicates that there was no curtain raiser before the first performance.

Sullivan died on 22nd November 1900.

   
1901    
     
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The Emerald Isle

Sullivan's last opera, The Emerald Isle premiered at the Savoy on April 27th 1901, the score having been completed by Edward German. This 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.

   
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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. During the run the management of the Savoy, and indeed the Company, was taken over by William Greet.

   
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Sullivan Anniversary Concert

On Friday 22nd Nov 1901, the first anniversary of the death of Sullivan, Henry Wood conducted a memorial concert at the Queen's Hall in London. The Golden Legend was followed by scenes from Act 2 of Ivanhoe, performed by Mr Ffrangcon-Davies, who had appeared in the original cast of the opera, with Madame Kirkby Lunn and others. The programme includes notes on both pieces, libretti, and a brief biography of Sullivan.

   
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Sullivan Anniversary Concert

The following night, Sat Nov 23rd 1901, the Alexandra Palace in North London hosted another performance of The Golden Legend. The evening also included Sir A. C. Mackenzie's piece, The Singers, written in memoriam of Sir Arthur, and conducted on this occasion by the composer. The programme includes the words to Longfellow's poem.

   
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Iolanthe

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    
     
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Trial By Jury

The testimonial benefit for William Rignold, at the Lyric Theatre on December 5th 1902, was a chance for London's theatre community to pay tribute. Highlight of the afternoon was a performance of Trial By Jury, at which Gilbert himself played the Associate. Others in the cast included Rutland Barrington, Charles Childerstone, C. Hayden Coffin, Evie Greene & Lionel Monckton. Cox & Box was also on the bill, featuring Richard Temple, Powis Pinder and Vernon Cave.

   
1903    
     
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The Tempest

Shakespeare's The Tempest at Royal Court Theatre, London. This production used Sullivan's Intoduction, Prelude, Entr'acte and Dance of the Nymphs and Reapers. It opened on 26th October 1903 and closed after fifty performances, on 5th December.

   
1906/7    
     
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Trial By Jury

Souvenir programme for the Ellen Terry Jubilee Commemoration at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, June 12th 1906. This hard-back brochure gives full details of all the events including Trial By Jury with Gilbert himself as Associate. As well as familiar Savoyards in the solo parts, the production included many famous faces in the jury (e.g. Arthur Conan Doyle) and in the crowd (e.g. Rosina Brandram).

   
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1st REP 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    
     
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2nd REP 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