The Gilbert & Sullivan Book

The Gilbert & Sullivan Book

The Gilbert & Sullivan Book

The Gilbert & Sullivan Book

Excerpt

JACK POINT: For, look you, there is humour in all things, and the truest philosophy is that which teaches us to find it and to make the most of it.

W. S. Gilbert , THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD.

There are so many things I want to do for Music, if God will give me two days for every one in which to do them.

Arthur Sullivan, in a letter to his mother.

This book has grown out of a series of radio programmes, first broadcast by the BBC in 1947 and since repeated in many parts of the world, telling the story of the partnership of Sir William S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan. As author of the radio-biography I was fortunate to obtain access to sources of documentary evidence--diaries, letters, notebooks, etc.--which had never been systematically and thoroughly examined and compared. The history told on the radio was based on this information. It is a very human story, of failure and success, of human weakness and greatness, of quarrel and reconciliation. It is also a Gilbertian paradox in real life: that such opposites as Sullivan and Gilbert should make a perfect combination--or nearly perfect, for of course they fell out; but the most remarkable fact is not that they quarrelled but that they worked together so well and so long. The personal story of the two men is woven in this book into a documentary panorama of the history of their operas in the nineteenth century and right down to the present day--for in an extraordinarily ageless way the Gilbert and Sullivan operas still go on making history. Delightful, ridiculous, gay, melodious, satirical, ranging in style from the brilliant fireworks of Trial by Jury to the near-grand-opera of The Yeomen of the Guard, they are to the British a national possession--as Gilbert himself said, 'world-known, and as much . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.