Sir W. S. Gilbert

(2063 words)
  • Jeremy Tambling (University of Hong Kong)

William Schwenck Gilbert (1836-1911) and Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900) co-authored the “Savoy operas” – the name given to the operettas which were commissioned by Richard D'Oyly Carte (1844-1901), who built the Savoy theatre in the Strand for them (1881) – as he later built the Royal English Opera House (now the Palace) for Sullivan's Ivanhoe in 1891. Carte had intended to become a composer, but began in theatre management in 1874 with opéra bouffes by Serpette (1846-1901) and Lecocq (1832-1918). Gilbert was a journalist and barrister and dramatist, writing opera burlesques, while Sullivan, the son of an Irish musician with a career in military music, had studied as a star pupil at the Royal …

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Tambling, Jeremy. "Sir W. S. Gilbert". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 January 2003
[, accessed 29 November 2015.]