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WORKS ON THE STAGE 



BY THE SAME AUTHOR. 



I 



THE LIFE OF GARRICK. 

LIVES OF THE KEMBLES. 

PRINCIPLES OF COMEDY AND DRAMATIC 
EFFECT. 

THE WORLD BEHIND THE SCENES. 

THE ART OF THE STAGE. 

THE ART OF ACTING. 

WATTS PHILLIPS, ARTIST AND DRAMATIST 
(wi/A Af/SS IV. PHILLIPS). 

LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF ALEXANDRE 
DUMAS. 

HENRY IRVING ; or, Twenty Years at the Lyceum. 
THESPIAN CARTES (««M<f /I wj). 






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INSCRIBED 



TO 



GEORGE GROSSMITH 



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I 



PREFACE 



To the Savoy opera and its 
merry men playgoers are in- 
debted for many an agreeaMe 
hour and innamerable laagh- 
ter-moring quipa. I have 
thought, therefore, that some 
record of this pleasant home 
of song and humour noiild be 
ivelcome, and hare gathered 
together everything about 
the plays, authors, and performers that is likely to be 
interesting. This will be found « propos, as the Savoy 
opera might be considered almost a new form of enter- 
tainment, which the pubhc has accepted cordially. The 
present moment is suitable for such a review, on account 



\ 



V1I1 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



h 



of the late amoris redintegratio, when the old merry 
combination has been started afresh. 

I fancy the extracts given from the various operas 
will be found acceptable as agreeable souvenirs of the 
more entertaining episodes. The trafiSc of the stage 
is now so busy and so hurried that these lively passages 
are likely enough to have been forgotten. 

I may add that I have received abundant assistance 
and, indeed, every information I desired, from the best 
sources— Mr. W. S. Gilbert and Mr. and Mrs. D'Oyly 
Carte. 

Athen£um Club: 
Jf ay 1894. 



CONTENTS 



Gilbert's versatility, p. 1. List of his pieces, 2, note. His * stock pieces,' 
8. Not 60 sncoessfiil in Comedy, 4. As Harlequin in the Amateur 
Pantomime, 4. The * Fairy Ck>medy,' 4. The old fashion of Bur- 
lesque, circa 1S70, described, 6. Bill of the * Royal Thames Theatre,' 
7. False principles of Burlesque, 8. Illustration from the * Rejected 
Addresses,' 9. ' Mr. Jacks ' and his songs, 10. Gilbert a reformer, 11. 
Fitted for his task by following various professions, 11. Protest 
addressed to the author, 12, note. *La Vlvandi^re' in 1866, 12. 
Specimen, 13. *Gilbertian humour,' a term not accepted by Gil- 
bert, 14, note. Similarity between his methods and those of Lewis 
Carroll, 14. An * inverted view' of things set out in the *Bab 
Ballads,' 15. Arthur Sullivan a clever choir-boy, 17. Collabo- 
rates with Burnand in * Coz and Box,' 18. Another joint work, the 
' Contrabandista,' 19. The German Reed Entertainment a pre- 
cursor of the Savoy Opera, 20. Miss Kelly's Theatre in Dean 
Street, 21. Miss Selina Dolaro, 21. 

' Tbul bt Jubt,' 187o, p. 22. The performers, 22. The Bill, 23. The 
* facetious Penley ' Foreman of the Jury, 23. Analysis of the work, 24. 
Judge's autobiographical song, 26. Gilbert's novel system of treating 
the chorus, 30. The English Comic Opera Company formed, 81. 
Account of D'Oyly Carte, 32. Energy of Mrs. D'Oyly Carte, 33. 
George Grossmith, 35. Account of his engagement, 36. A costly 
lunch, 37, note. Rutland Barrington, 38. Jessie Bond, 39. The 
'Entertainment' as a preparation for the Stage, 40. Various shapes 
of the ' Entertainment,' 40. Foote as an ' Entertainer * ; George A. 
Steevens, 45. Lee Lewes, 46. Bannister, 47. Anecdotes of Bannister, 



^ 



i I 



X THE SAVOY OPERA 

47. Account of Mathews the elder. 40. John Parry and » Wanted, 
a Oovemesg/ 68. Henry Ruasell. 53. * Wm the tree spared ? ' 54. 
Albert Smith, 54. Arthur Cecil and Corney (irain, 55. 

The • SoBCBBEB,' 1877. p. 66. Bill of the play, 57. Its cast at a Inter 
revival, 67. noU, Grossmith's d^hut, 58. His • surprise-ft^ic,' 59. 

• The clown of the orchestra,' CO. * The rollicking bun and gay Sally 
Lunn,* CI. 

'H.M.S. Pinafore.' 1878, p. 62. The Captain's 'What, never?' and 
« big. big D,' 64. The • Itulcr of the Queen's Navce,' 66. * Sisters, ' 
Cousins, and Aunts,' 66. Germ of the whole in * Captain lleece,' 
66. note. The fantastic dance a 'note' of a Savoy opera, 67. 
Gilbert's happy rhymings, 69. Imparts gravity to certain platitudes, 
70. Revivals generally failures, 71. Gilbert's work in high favour 
with amateurs, 72. Cast of later revival, 71, note. Performance 
at Dublin Castle, 72. 

The *PmATE8 or Pknzanck,' p. 73. Analysis of the story, 74. Patter 
song of Major-General Stanley, 77. * Have you ever known what it 
is to be an orphan ? ' ' Often,' 78. The Police and their • Tarantara ' 
chorus, 79. The Sergeant's song, 82. Grotesque echoes, such as 

• 'culty smother.' 83. 

• Patience, or Bdnthorne's Bride,' 1881. p. 84. Postlethwaite and Maudle 
its precursoi-8, 84. Ballad character of its airs, 85. » \Vhcn I first 
put this uniform on,' excellent in words and music, 87. *A 
most intense young man,' 89. Suggestion of the story in the 

• Rival Curates,' 92. An ' overripe ' lady, 94, iwtc. Topsylurvey- 
doms in real life, 94. mtc. The new Savoy Theatre planned, 94. 
Difficulties of site, 95. The Manager's Address to the Public, 95, 
110^. Details of construction, 99, iw/c. Opened October 10, 18«l, 
with * Patience.' 09. Saving in decorations owing to the use of 
electricity, 102. Details as to nightly expenses, 108, ftotc. None 
of the GUbertSuUivan operas a failure, 104, noU. Register of 
candidates kept, 105. The travelling companies, 105, note, Michael 
Gunn, 106. * English-for(^{pi sinners; 106, note. Gilbert, Sullivan, 
Carte, a happy combination, 107. Composers' methods, 108. 
Writing their stories as well as the music, 108. Gilbert has • no car 
for music,' 109. A tune • like chloride of lime,' 109, note. Influ- 
ence of the author on every department, 110. Acting the piece 
by deputy, 110. Blocks to denote groups, 110. Leading motive 



CONTENTS 



XI 



of the ironical comedy. 111. Perfect sincerity in nnion with 
absurdity, 111. Gilbert's methods of writing, 113. * Where do the 
plots come from ? * 114. Difficulties of furnishing original characters, 

116. Uncertainty of a character * coming out* as intende<l, 115. 
Gilbert as scene designer and stage carpenter. 116. As stage manager, 

117. A part rarely spoiled by the performer, 118. System of col- 
laboration with Sir A. Sullivan, 118. Relations of composer and 
librettist, 119, note, Gilbert at his desk, 121. His letter on 'actors* 
old clothes' and other memorials, 122, note. Characteristics of 

. Sullivan's music, 122. His principle of accurately fitting each word 
with music, 128. Not so successful in oratorio, 121. Ill success of 
' Ivanhoe,* 126. Only two scenes in a Savoy opera, 125. The secret 
of its success, 126. Ironical humour in colourless phrases, 126. The 
music to set off the words, not the words the music, 126. The 
orchestra might be subdued, 127. The Savoy playbill, 128. Design 
by Alice Havers, 129. Incidents at rehearsal, 129. Strictness of 
Sir Arthur as to the rendering of his music, 130. Gilbert's models, 
130. Stories of the choristers, 130. Gilbert and the *counting- 
house,^ 132. The peers in * lolanthe,' 134. Shaving enforced, 134. 
Scenic portraits painted from life, 135. Substitutes and understudies, 
136. Romance of Miss Fortescue, 138. Withdrawal of Durward 
Lely, 140. 

* loiiANTBE,' November 25, 1882, 141. Programme, 141. 'Blue blood I * 

144. A test from the Trial in Pickwick, 145. ' A fairy down to the 
waist,' 146. 

* Princess Ida,' January 6, 1884, 150. Programme, 150. An adaptation 

of Tennyson's ' Princess,' 161. Its three young men, 162. Song of the 
three * strong men,* 168. The propriety of two or three acts discuRsod, 
156. 

The * Muaoo,* March 14, 1886, 166. The programme, 156. The roost 
popular of the series, 157. Its rich appointments, 158. ' Pooh-Bah * 
and his offices, 159. * I've got a Uttle list,' 161. The Mikado's ' some, 
thing with boiling oil in it, I fancy,' 162. Mr. Beatty -Kingston's 
criticism of the music. 164. 

* Ruddioore,' January 22, 1887, 169. Programme, 169. ' Ruddigore ' not 
Ruddj^gore, 170. ' Kensington Gore, or Robin and Richard.' 170, note. 
The picture gallery and the uniforms, 172. Recipe for being a ' bad 
baronet,' 172. The Salvationist duet, 173. * Hail the bridegroom— 



4 



XII 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



\ 



hail the bride 1 ' 175. Droll rhyme, 177. Question of the ' book of 
etiqaette* diseassed, 178. 'Basingstoke, I beg,' 179. Proposed 
* challenge * from French officers, 180, note. Withdrawal of Bar- 
rington, 180. ' Brantinghame Hall,' 181. Miss Julia Neilson's d4lbui^ 
182. ' Paralysed with nervousness,' 182, w>te^ 

The 'Teo>iek of the Gtjabd,* October B, 1888, 188. Programme, 183. 
Plan of the piece, 184. Jack Point, the * private buffoon,' 187. 
Somewhat * archaic,' 187. Denny, the new recruit, 191. 

The * OoNDOLiEBa,' December 7, 1889, 192. McCrankie's song, 209. Odd 
incident connected with *Haddon Hall,' 209. Mr. Bonlding's blank 
Terse drama, 210. The 'Wedding March' revived, 210. Music 
by Grossmith, 211. ' Gee-Gee ' as composer and conductor, 211. 
The * Mountebanks,' 212. Herpism of Cellier, 213. Account of him 
and his works, 218, noU> Programme, 214. Specimen of the songs, 
215. 

The * Nautch Gntii,' 221. Success of American singers in England, 222. 
The *VicAB OF Bbat' revived, 222. Mr. Barrio's *Jame Anvie,' 
222. The *New Humour,' 223. Its apparent foundation, 228. 
Phenomenal lack of real humour, 224. Programme of 'Jane 
Annie,' May 18, 1893, 225. The page boy ' Caddie,' 226. Specimens 
of his and the school-girls' talk, 227. 'The nail came out, and 
the apartment fell into the fireplace,' 229. 'Hyp-hyp-hypnotise,' 
229. Reconciliation between the authors, 230. A new opera in 
preparation, 280. Miss Nancy Mcintosh ^grima domna^ 230. In- 
cidents of her engagement, 231. Characteristic scene at the final 
rehearsal, 232. Self-possession of the heroine, 233. Analysis of the 
story, 284. Some specimens of Ihe w t, 235. 

Programme of ' Utopia (Limited),' October 7, 1893, p. 236. "FirHi Life 
Guards I 287. Effective rhymes, 240. * You s/:e, leanH d) myself 
JfUiicef 241. The explosive cracker, 241. Humour at times 
unequal, 242. Wit in the form of expression, 243. Strange ap- 
preciation of the 'Country Girl,' 243, note, 'The practice at the 
Court of St. James's— Hall,' 245. Goldbury's song, 246. Appearance 
of the two authors on the stage, 247. Conclusion. 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



Ma. W. S. Gilbert FrontispieJ'''''' 

The Author ^. 

Sir Arthur Sullivan •« 

Mr. D'Oyly Carte ^^ 

Mr. George Grossmith 3* 

The Incantatioe gg 

Sir Marxadukb, Lady Sanoazure, and Dr. Daly ... 59 

Mrs. Partlet ^ 

Constance and the Notary gj 

The Pirates or Penzance ^g 

I SHALL have to BE CONTENTED WITH TlIEIll HkaRTKELT SyM- 

^^^^^^^ 86 

* NonooY BE Bunthorne's Bride ! ' gg 

Two liOVE-sicK Maidens g^ 

• I'M A Steady and Stolid-y, Jolly Bank-Holidy, Every-Day 

Young Man I ' ^ 

Miss L. Braham as Patience gj 

•iESTHETIcI He is iEsTHETIcI YeS, yes- I AM -EsTHETIC AND 

^«»"^'* 98 

The Lord Chancellor *.« 

Strbphon, Mr. Temple . -g 

Phyllis, Miss Braham ... ,.- 

147 

loLANTHE, Miss Bond; Strefhon, Mr. Temple ... 143 



xi V THE I SA VO Y OPERA 

FAOK 

Pbitatb Wilus, Mr. Maknbbs; Qdben or the Faibies, Miss 

Babnett 149 

Mr. Bobebtson as Nanki-Poo 158 

Mr. G. Grossuith as Ko-Ko 159 

Mi88 Bbandbam as Katibha ........ 160 

Miss L. Bbahau as Tuu-Yuh 161 

Mb. B. Temple as the Mikado '. 163 

Thb Thbee LnriiE Maids from Bcbool (Miss Sybil Gbbt, 

Miss L. Brahau, and Miss Jessie Bond) 168 

Dame Hannah, Mms Bbandbam 171 

Hose, Mns Bbaham 171 

Mb. Lelt, Biiss Bbaham, and Mr. Grossuith 173 

Miss Bond, Mis3 Bbandbam, and Mb. Barbinoton .175 

The Fishino ViLLAaE of Bedebrino 178 

Mb. D. Lelt as Bichabd Dauntless 179 

Pr<ebe Mertll, Miss Jessie Bond 184 

Sebozant Mebtll, Mb. Bichabd Temple 185 

Colonel Faibfax 186 

Elsie Matnabd 187 

WiLFBBD ShADBOLT 188 

The Societt Clown 189 

Miss Jessie Bond and Mr. W. H. Dennt as Phoebe Mebtll 

AMD Wilfred Shadbolt 190 

The Yeomen of the Sayot 191 

A Leading Lady 195 

Miss Moore, Mr. Pounds, Mr. F. Wtatt, Miss Bbandram . . 198 

Miss Moore, Mb. Pounds, Mr. Dennt 201 

The Duke 203 

Miss Lucille Hill and Mr. Courtice Pounds as Dorothy Yebnon 

AND Lord John Manners 308 

Ultuicb, Miss L. Saunders; Teresa, Miss Gebaldinb Ulmar; 

Alfredo, Mr. Bodertson 216 



1 

I 



i 



it 



i 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xv 

Mr. Harry Moxkhouse as the Ci/>wn in the * Mounteiiakkm ' . m 
ArrostW Ankegato, Mr. Frank Wyatt ; Minestua, Miks Eva 

Moore ; Kisotto, Mr. C. Bcrt gift 

The Duke and Duchess ... 
Mr. Harry Monkhoche as Hamlet. Mihs Ai'ju Jenou^e as 

Ophelia, and Mr. Lionel Dkough ah the Mocntkrank . 220 

Mr. Scott Fishe and Master Bioxold ^^ 

Master Bignold and the 8chooi.oiri.k .227 

Jane Annie and Bab . 

• • 228 

Mr. Barrington as the Puoctor ^^ 

Mr. BuTLA^•D Barrington .« the Kino in aiom (Limitej,)' .' 239 

MB. W. 8. GiLRERT READING « UtopU (LimITED) » TO THE AcTORS 

AT THB Savoy Theatbe t> ^ «.^ 

To face 240 



A 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



What a fund of enjoyment the community owes to the 
brilliant pair who for nearly twenty years have regularly 
increased for all ' the public stock of harmless pleasure ' ! 
The pleasant humours of the Savoy have served to 
recreate us not only during the performance, but have 
even spread in mirthful ripples over the mosaic . surface 
of social life. The pair have diffused a genuine hilarity 
and cheerfulnesSi and their conceits are so piquant and 
original that even as we recall them now we find the 
muscles relaxing. There are no obstreperous bursts of 
laughter such as are provoked by the buffoonery of the 
burlesque, but a vein of quiet, placid enjoyment akin to 
that of comedy. 

Gilbert has had more influence on the theatre and 
on public taste than any writer of the time. No one 
has enjoyed such complete and overpowering success. 
No one has been the cause of such general mirth. He 



2 THE SAVOY OPERA 

has succeeded not in one department, bat in many. He 
yi^% asked to furnish Mrs. Bancroft with a short piece of 
domestic but strong interest, and ' Sweethearts ' at once 
secured a position in the repertoire which it has never 
lost ; it even inspired the beautiful waltz air which is 
associated with it. This success in a trifle is evidence 
of purpose and ability; only a skilled hand knows 
how to suit his means to an end. It was the same 
with 'Clarice,* written for Miss Anderson, and later 
transferred to Miss Neilson. Gould there be a more 
mirthful and satirical production than the ' Happy . 
Land,' written under the name of Tomline ? He has 
written comedies, popularised what he called the ' Fairy 
Comedy,' or fairy tale, suppUed farces, burlesques, 
operas,, tragedies, and melodramas. He has written 
stories of the kind that the * literary man ' furnishes to 
newspapers and magazines, with poems and humorous 
ballads, and has passed judgment on the works of his 
brethren as a dramatic critic. He is, moreover, a clever 
and spirited artist — witness his grotesque sketches in the 
style of Thackeray. This is a wonderful record of talent 
and versatility.' 



* The following is a fairly complete list of Gilbert's prpdnotiona in 
all dramatic departments : The Bab Ballads, begun (in Fun) 1861 ; 
IhUeamara, burleiqae, St. James's Theatre, 1866;-jRo&«r< the DetU, 
1868; La VivandUre, 1868; the Princess ; the Palace of TrtUh, Hay- 
market, November 1870; Pygmalion and Qalatea^ 1871; Thespia, 
or the Oods Grown Old, 1871 ; the Wicked World, January 1878 ; the 



GILBERrS WORKS 3 

Many of bis works have become what are called 

* stock pieces,' and are acted again and again aU over 
the kingdom, the colonies, and America. ' Sweethearts,* 
•Pygmalion and Galatea,' 'Creatures of Impulse,' 

• Dan'l Druce,' ' Trial by Jury,' ' Comedy and Tragedy,' 
are in constant requisition. This is substantial praise, 
for there are not a dozen ' stock pieces ' in the repertoire. 
Further, he has extraordinary business instincts. No 
Uteraryman-or, at least, dramatist-since Dickens has 
made such a fortune or has turned it to such profit. He 
has built the Garrick Theatre, now leased to Mr. Hare, 
and which from its admirable situation is certain to 
prove a most valuable property. He is, moreover, a 
man of ready wit and furnishes cheerful company. He 
is, in short, one. of the best specimens of a generally 
successful man, and I have dwelt to this extent upon 
his merits for the reason that we are often apt from 
familiarity to overlook such claims to our respect and 
emulation. 

Gilbert has always been eager to shine in comedy, 

fT'L^"'^' **''" Stceelhearts, mi; Brokm Ifcarlt. 1875- lUin 
^^Y^; To,.CoM>,lS7li., T,.„pis,m6.. Vrcalurs 0/ Me' 

Pinafore, 1878; the W«'«-d<,-««7, 1878; Gretcl,en, 1879; the I'iraU, 
0/ Penance. 1880; Bn^a^^f. 1881; 0.» BM, 1881; PalU,uc im^* 
/oZ«»«. 1888; the Brn^n^i.. 1884; i.n..c.« W 188 T"i^^^^^ 

CWy. I880; Ruddtgore. 1886; the Yccnu-n of the Guard 1888 
i^e Gondolier,, 1889; the MounUU,nks, 1892; BoJZan't'^ 
<}uildev,tern,im;Vtoi,ia,Lmiicd,m3. <> " and 

n 3 



4 THE SAVOY OPERA 

bat here his efforts have not been quite so successful. 
He seems to lack the quiet restraint necessary, and knows 
little between sober, earnest gravity and extravagant 
farcical ebulUtion. The * Ne'er-do-weel ' and * Branting- 
hame HaU ' did not attract. The ' Ne'er-do-weel ' was 
one of the few pieces which have been withdrawn, 
repaired, and tried again, but without altering the result. 
Some years ago there was a pleasant, enjoyable 
entertainment given at the Gaiety-an amateur pan- 
tomime— m which several Uterary men took part. It 
is to be wished there were more of these exhibitions. 
The feature of the whole was the Harlequin, dis- 
charged by GUbert Ita-in^me. To this he brought his 
usual conscientiousness ; he had learned aU the trips 
and twirls in the most thorough fashion. 

The ' Fairy Comedy ' excited interest even in fashion- 
able and hlasi folk. The design, as the author himself told 
us, was to treat a supernatural element on everyday prin- 
ciples, as though it were an accepted element in human 
life. He thus made the situation superhuman, and the 
characters human. Yet it would seem that under such 
conditions the spectator is led into thinkmg that the 
supernatural elements are almost de trop and excrescences, 
and that with a Uttle extra trouble an ordinary play 
could have been fashioned out of the same materials. 
We are invited to imagine that people are wearing magic 
cloaks invisible to the naked eye. The audience is pre- 



THE 'FAIRY COMEDY' 



5 



sumed to believe that persons who are walking about 
in the flesh are really invisible or visible, as the occasion 
requires. This is renlly immaterial, considering the 
many illusions of the stage, and is rather a strain on 
dramatic credulity. 

The public is always ready to welcome anything truly 
poetical, or that will lift it above the common prosaic 
level of life. The ' Fairy Comedy,' his own device, 
and, perhaps, his own invention, at once attracted, 
though the legend was familiar, and it was curious to 
find the ordinary audience listening with pleasure and 
even delight to unpretending blank verse conceits and 
metaphors of an antique and classical pattern. This 
success is greater testimony to Gilbert*s ability than 
even his later efforts, which were more artfully 
adapted to the measure of public taste. There was a 
fanciful grace in these formal productions which was 
certainly attractive,, and Buckstone, now grown old and 
deaf dLnA passe y contributed not a little as the ' art critic' 
to the success of the whole. How ' winsome ' was lilrs. 
Eendal in her part — what a piquant stateliness did she 
exhibit ! At this time she and her husband were in the 
full bloom of youth and spirit. They were an attractive 
pair. There was a series of these fairy tales, which 
served their purpose ; when it was found that the public 
had had enough, the adroit author turned his efforts 
in another direction. 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



To thoroughly appreciate the work that Gilbert and 
hifl coadjutor have done it is only necessary to look 
back to the dreary type of 'entertainment' — 'Heaven 
save the mark!' — that was in favour when they first 
began to write. There was then a regular recipe for 
these things: given the name and subject, we could 
almost forecast beforehand how it would be treated. The 
story was a sort of frame or ' clothes-horse ' on which to 
hang grotesque pantomime dresses, combined with antics 
of all kinds, ' breakdown ' dances, an infinite amount of 
clowning, and what were called topical songs. Whether 
it was ' Joan of Arc,' the ' Field of the Cloth of Gold,' 
or ' Aladdin,' the same treatment was always adopted. 
The chief male characters were taken by females ; ' the 
prince ' or hero was a young woman in trunks and hose ; 
while the duenna or termagant matron was played by 
the low comedian. Stories were often chosen that were 
unfamiliar and unsuited. Thus in one a 'Prince of 
Burgundy ' was brought on whom the pit and galleries 
had never heard of, and who, to prove who he was, ex- ' 
hibited on his cuirass a painted bottle and two glasses 
filled with very red wine. But indeed a general un- 
intelligibility reigned ; it was difficult to know * what it 
was all about.' Scenes and antics followed ea^h other ; 
song followed song in dreary monotony. True, we heard 
laughter ; but laughter is not an unerring sign of enjoy- 
ment. How many dreary, weary hours had we to lay 



THE OLD BURLESQUE 7 

to the account of what was called so complimentarily ' a 
capital burlesque ' ; or, to quote the hoardings, ' Tir'cm- 
out's last uproarious burlesque ; 400th night.' In those 
days we used to read in the newspapers announcements 
like the following : 

ROYAL THAMES THEATRE. 



GLORIOUS AND UNEQUIVOCAL SUCCESS! 



CHARLES THE FIRST; or, THE ROYAL i?XOC^HEAD. 



THE GREAT TOPICAL SONG. 
Encored six times every evening. 



M188 PoLLT Buxom as Kino Charles. 



Mb. D. Jacks as Old Noll. 



A HOUSE OP COMMONS DEBATE. 

The Speaker . . Miss Nellt Grace. 



TAKE THAT BAUBLE AWAYI* 
Encored six times nightly. 



Take that baable away, 
Sell it, change it, or spout it ; 

Bat here it no longer shall stay- 
No more bones, if you please, about it 



DOUBLE BREAKDOWN. 



RoTAL Tha&ies Theatre. 



8 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



This was no exaggeration of the modern fashion of 
patting a bill of fare before a childish public. We were 
enticed in, entering with a certain alacrity, believing 
that a delightful night was before us, yet not without 
misgivings. 

Every subject has its serious and its comic side ; or, 
at least, may be so handled as to have its coniio side. 
The lowest manner of producing the last effect is by 
dress or distortion of face. A man comes on in an absurd 
costume, and the surprise to the eye produces a laugh. 
A large nose in a pantomime makes the children scream 
with enjoyment. But see the dress or large nose a 
second time and the effect is gone ; nay, rather, there is 
produced a sense of weariness and depression. There 
was something comic in the Ethiopian serenaders when 
they first appeared; now no one smiles at their high 
linen collars and blackened faces. What is wanting is 
the intellectual element, an underlying earnestness which 
shall introduce quite a new element. Thus, could we 
suppose Mr. Huxley — and we ask his pardon for such a 
supposition — to be so eager, in justification of the negroes 
and of their state, as to come forward and identify him- 
self with their cause by lecturing in the popular Ethiopian 
dress — triangular linen, blackened face, woolly hair, &c. 
— and were he to impress his views earnestly, argu- 
mentatively, and passionately, the effect would be ir- 
resistibly ludicrous, especially as he grew more earnest 



THE OLD BURLESQUE 9 

and more passionate. The fun would be inexhaustible 
and ever fresh. This example reveals one of the secrets 
of true burlesque — an unconsciousness that it is bur- 
lesque. 

Everyone remembers that exquisite bit of fooling, 
the 'Rejected Addresses'; and a criticism, made on the 
imitation of Grabbe, really touched the true key-note of 
burlesque. It was said that if this poet had been set to 
write a poem on the fire at Drury Lane, he would have 
written it much in the same style as the caricaturist had 
done. Here is the real humour of the thing; the 
hypothesis of the poet in this new attitude, and his belief 
that he was as dignified as before. So at an electro- 
biological seance — to come lower down — the sight of 
some grave professor dancing away or singing is really 
ludicrous. 

The simple result of all this was repetition, monotony, 
and fatigue. The screaming new burlesque at the. Iloyal 
Thames was the screaming old one of six years before, 
with the cards shuffled. The rival * Nellys ' and * Pollys ' 
in the pink satin or blue satin ' tights ' go through their 
little dances as before, and * Mr. D. Jacks ' only wears a 
higher false forehead and a more startling shape of 
moustache, say five inches longer than his last pair. 
The * great topical song ' was usually eome doggerel of 
this kind : 



10 THE SAVOY OPERA 

Once more has Bacbel been refused 

To be let out on bail ; 
Enough to make the ladies all 

Become so very pale. 

Burden^ to a facetious air. 
What it means — 
What it screens— 
I*m sure I cannot tell. 

The ' encoring ten times ' was contrived by the performer 
retiring at the end of each verse, as if he had quite 
finished, and reappearing, as if much to his own an- 
noyance. This took in the simple stranger at first ; but 
more amazing still was it to hear the frantic applause 
with which rhyme and sentiment far inferior to the 
above were welcomed. At one of our leading funny 
theatres a perfect hurricane of applause used to greet 
something worse than the following extract from 'the 
great topical song ' : 

And so the cabman's fare, at last. 

Is settled, nearly quite ; 
I'm sure there's no one here will grudge 

Poor Cabby all that's right. 

Burden. What it means — 
What it screens — 
I'm sure I cannot toll. 



Though the old form of burlesque has passed away, 
being utterly extinguished by the new, we have still with us 



THE OLD BURLESQUE 



II 



a sort of kindred entertainment, supported by the untiring 
Arthur Bol)ert8 and his fellows male and female. But this 
does not profess to be burlesque, it is merely a ' variety ' 
show, an incoherent collection of soogs, jokes, and dances, 
strung together ' anyhow and everyhow.' This is simply 
an exhibition, and there are numbers to whom it gives 
pleasure. But it makes no claim. to intellectual enter- 
tainment, which is the foundation of all enjoyment. For 
what appeals merely to the eye and ear, or to the sense 
of verbal pleasantries, is not merely the lowest form of 
pleasure, but it is speedily exhausted and becomes mono- 
tonous. 

In this disastrous state of things there was the 
fairest opening for anyone possessed of real talent, and 
Mr. W. S. Gilbert came upon the scene. No one could 
be better equipped for a public entertainer. For such 
an ofiSce versatility and variety of gifts are almost essen- 
tial. The fancy and imagination are perpetually at play, 
new ideas and fresh treatment must be ready at call, 
otherwise there is repetition and monotony. It is soon 
found out that the old ideas are being rcchavffM. His 
experiments in the choice of profession must have fur- 
nished him with piquant experiences. Now in a Govern- 
ment ofiSce, now a barrister, now a militia captain, he 
must have seen and learnt a good deal of character and 
social humours. In his most effective piece we are sure 
to find some members of the Services, civil, naval or 



12 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



'LA VrVANDlkRR' 



«3 



military. Finally, the attraction of the stage became 
irresistible, though it was not until he was past thirty that 
he devoted himself formally to dramatic composition. 

Full as he was of his ideas of reform, it was natural 
that at first he should find himself compelled to follow 
, the existing models of burlesque, and almost his earliest 
piece, ' Dulcamara,' produced at the St. James's Theatre 
in 1866, was somewhat after the existing pattern, but 
with a great deal of the more legitimate spirit of 
burlesque. It was followed by ' Bobert the Devil,' which 
was much after the fashion of Mr. Blanche's elegant 
though really dull burlesques, and wh3^h was full of neat 
responses and pleasant quips.' But a production that 
more closely anticipated his genre was ' La Yivandi^re,' 
produced in 1868, some seven years before the ' Trial by 
Jury.' It was given at the defunct Queen's Theatre in 
Long Acre, erst ' Hullah's Concert Hall.' Brough and 
Toole and Miss Hodson performed in it, and some of 
the passages might have found a place in the later Savoy 
works. Here is a specimen of the fashion in which he 

' At the time I was dramatie oritio to the Ohtervety and haying a 
Btrong prejudice against all existing forms of borlesqae, I inveighed with 
some severity against this treatment of the subject by Gilbert. I re- 
member receiving from the author a very vehement expostulation and 
defence, filling, I suppose, a score of folio pages, in which he defended 
his work with much spirit, and, I think, success. He insisted that he 
was trying to bring about reform, and was aiming at a higher ideal than 
then existed. I long preserved this interesting paper, but at the moment 
I cannot find it. 



worked the * Gilbertian ' topic of the English traveller 
* turning up his nose ' at everything he sees abroad. 
Lord Margate is addressing some companions at the 
Grands Mulcts on Mont Blanc : 

You all remember, when we left the shore 
Of Bule Britannia, we in concert swore 
We'd do our best on reaching those localities 
To show our undisputed nationalities, 
To show contempt in everything that we did : 
Tell me, my comrades, how have we succeeded ? 

Marquis of Cbanbourne Alley. I*ve sworn at all who've 

hindered my researches. 
Lord Pentonvillb. I've worn my hat in all the foreign 

churches. 
Lord Peckham. On all their buildings I've passed verbal 
strictures. 
And poked my walking-stick through all their pictures. 
I only carry it about for that use. 
Marquis of Cranbourne Alley. I've decorated all their 

public statues. 
Lord Pbntonville. When Frenchmen have conversed with 
me or you, 
We've always turned the talk to Waterloo. 
Lord Margate. I've half a dozen Frenchmen tried to teach 
That I'm twelve times as brave and strong as each, 
And showed that this corollary must follow, 
One Englishman can thrash twelve Frenchmen hollow. 
In fact, my friends, wherever we have placed ourselves, 
I may say we have thoroughly disgraced ourselves. 

Some of these merry conceits might have been found 
in ' Utopia, Limited/ 



i 



M 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



Perhaps the nearest approach to the 'Gilbertian 
humour/ ' which it certainly anticipated, is to be found 
in Lewis Carroll's children's books, * Alice in Wonder- 
land' and ' Through the Looking-glass.' For here was 
the same system of treatment applied to fiiiry or nursery 
tales, the same sincerity in dealing gravely with com- 
binations only found in dreams and nightmares, the 
same grotesque oddities, which we are yet inclined to 
accept from the coherence with which they are treated. 

The principle of common bm'lesque, as we have shown, 
is to take some natural and accepted story and torture it 
into wildly grotesque shapes. Gilbert and Lewis Carroll 
adopted an opposite principle — viz. to fashion an ec- 
centric, super-earthly story into shape, and deal with 
it coherently and logically, so as to compel our sym- 
pathies. Of the two methods it is easy to' see which has 
the most art. 

Perhaps a suggestion of Gilbert's efforts is to be 
found in the ' Bab Ballads,' humorous sketches which 
he later developed into something more serious and 
pretentious. This process is indeed significant of his 
cleverness : all through he has shown this deliberation and 

' ' I have no notion,' our author writes to me, * what Gilbertian 
humour may be. It seems to mc that all humour, properly so called, is 
based upon a grave and quasi-respootful treatment of the ridiculous 
and absurd.* Notwithstanding this protest, it will be admitted, I think, 
that there is a sort of ' Oilbertian humour ' of which the author has 
the patent. 



THE 'BAB BALLADS' 15 

absence of waste, this putting of his wares to the vory l>est 
profit. Most remarkable, too, is the persevering fashion 
in which he has actually taught his public to appreciate 
him— an absolutely necessary process, for a jmori it 
would have been assumed that the conceits of the ' Bab 
Ballads,' however expanded or dilated, could hardly have 
been robust enough for the stage. He has even com- 
pelled the public to accept and relish conceits of the 
slightest kind. 

The curious grotesque inversion of all things below, 
which is the note of our author's later work, has 
always been an essential part of his humour. In the 
old ' Bab Ballad ' days he set down, in ' My Dream,' 
his quaint notions of what he has called * Topsy-Turvey- 
dom': • 

Where babies, much to their surprise, 
Are bom astonishingly vnse ; 
With every Science on their lips, 
And Art at all their finger-tips. 

For, as their nurses dandle them 
They crow binomial theorem, 
With views (it seems absurd to us) 
On difierential calcalus. 

But though a babe, as I have said, 
Is born with learning in his head, 
He must forget it, if he can, 
Before he calls himself a man. 






i6 THE SAVOY OPERA 

Policemen mai-ch aJl folkB away 
Who practise virtue every day — 
Of coarse, I mean to say, yoa know. 
What we call virtue here below. 

For only scoundrels dare to do 
What we consider just and true, 
And only good men do, in fact. 
What we should think a dirty act. 

But strangest of these social twirls, 
The girls are boys— the boys are girls t 
The men are women, too— but then. 
Per contra, women all are meo. 

With them, as surely as can be, 

A sailor should beack at sea. 

And not a passenger may sail 

Who camiot smoke right through a gale. 

A soldier (save by rarest luck) 
Is always shot for showing pluck 
(That is, if others can be found 
With pluck enough to fiie » round). 

' How strange t ' I said to one I saw 
' Yon quite upset oar every law. 
However can you get along 
So systematically wrong 1 ' 

About this time there was in London, beginning 
to attract notice, a yonng musician of great promise, 
■whose early work had been received with much en- 
couragement. This wft8 Arthnr Sullivan, who had been 



S//} ARTHUR SULLIVAN 17 

a choir-boy in the Chapel Boyal, an(J, after studying 
under Sterndale Bennett, had been sent to Leipsic to 
complete his musical education. His compositions. 



K AKTHUB nriiUTjIlV 



such as the 'Tempest' music, were found to eshibit 
a spoDtaneity and freedom which ofifered a contrast 
to the generally conventional strains of the British 



,3 THE SAVOY OPERA 

musician of the dky. Unfortunately for the develop- 
ment of his talent he was attracted by the forms of 
oratorio, usuaUy written for some great festival, whose 
rather stated academical style often checks all airiness 
and spontaneousness. An experiment, however, which 
he made in 1876 showed what a vein of buoyant, 
humorous melody he possessed. Burnand had fashioned . 
the old farce of 'Box and Cox' into a sort of operetta 
under the title of ' Cox and Box,' and this the young 
composer set in very delightful fashion, in a sort 
of joyous Cimarosa vein. Nothmg could be more flow- 
ing or exhilarating, and it may have suggested to the 
composer and his future partner a new method of 
entertaining the public. Burnand has related the almost 
accident which led to this co-operation. A little piece 
was wanted for an entertainment at a private house, 
and, chancing to meet SulUvan, he suggested to him that 
they should join then- talents m turning this little piece 
into an operetta. 1 believe the whole was dashed off 
by both parties in little more than a week's time. 
Indeed, it was all but ' on the cards,' as it is called, that 
the composer might have joined his fortunes with this 
writer, and thus the pubUc might have been destined 
to laugh over the quips and conceits of the author of 
' Happy Thoughts.' This pleasant adaptation of the well- 
known Buckstonian farce certamly contams some of the 
most spirited, flowing music the composer ever wrote. 



/^ C. BURNAND 



19 



It is quite in the spontaneous vein of the later ' Trial by 
Jury.' Some of the sentimental strains of this work, such 
as the aria addressed to the mutton chop, the lullaby, &c., 
are in the best vein, and surprising in one so young. An- 
other work due to this association was the ' Contrabnn- 
dista,' said to have been equally brilliant.' 

Just before the English comedy opera was started 
the composer was seeking a libretto of an ' eccentric ' 
kind, and applied to his friend, who could only furnish 
a slight sketch, which was later fashioned into a sort 
of drawing-room Christmas piece, and fitted with Sul- 
livan's music. Later, the directors of the company 
proposed that ' F. C. B.' and Cellier Bhould supply an 
opera, and the plot and some of the ' lines ' were pre- 
pared; but the scheme fell through. But other in- 
fluences were now slowly working, and drawing Gilbert 
and Sullivan into intimate association. 

The little elegant dramas presented by the German 
Beeds (formerly at the Gallery of Illustration), and 
which have become now a standing London recreation, 
have been smiled at as though of a ' goody-goody ' order, 
and as providing a harmless, pleasing sort of show, to 
which a worthy 'Dr. Daly' from the country or 
strictest matron can bring their children without fear 
of damage. These pieces deserve higher praise than 

' Some time ago it was proposed to bring forward the Contrabandista 
again (the second act to be re-writtcn). 

) 



20 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



this, for they were neatly constructed, got up with 
extraordinary care and finish, and acted with much spirit 
and emphasis. It is always a happy gift, however, to 
look for and find what is * good in everything,* and not 
to be led, or misled as so many are, by mere forms arid 
surroundings. The ever-ready disdainful 'Pooh-pooh' 
is fatal to real enjoyment. < I see nothing to laugh at, 
said the philosopher ' Pooh-Bah.' ' It is very painful to 
me to have to say, " How de do, how de do, little girls ? " 
to young persons. I am . not in the habit of saying, 
" How de do, how de do, little girls ? " to anybody under 
the rank of a stockbroker. 

It's hard on us. 

It's hard on us. 
To our prerogative we cling ; 

So pardon us, 

Bo pardon us, 
If we decline to langh and sing.* 

The German Beed drama anticipated a little the 
Savoy opera. The music was subsidiary to the words, 
and was meant to furnish colour and expression. Gilbert 
once or twice catered for the place, and supplied that 
very pleasing drama, 'Ages Ago,' with its gracefully 
managed supernatural element, the living picture- 
gallery, which he afterwards expanded in ' Buddigore.' 
It gave pleasure to many, and a satisfactory proof of its 
merit is that after so many years its incidents linger 



THE CHAMBER DRAMA 



21 



in the memory. This sort of chamber drama is really 
only going back to the original condition of the stage, 
where intellectual expression is sought under the most 
favourable conditions, and where play of feature, tone 
of voice, emphasis, and, above ^11, intelligent utterance 
are aimed at. Under the modern conditions of scenic 
development, blaze of light and colour, these essential 
elements have become secondary matters. It is some- 
times refreshing to find oneself in a small theatre, where 
the canon strictly obtains that the play, and the play 
only, is * the thing.' 

There is in Dean Street, Solio, a little theatre, erst 
'Miss Kelly's,' a quaint structure built in the garden 
attached to an old Georgian dwelling. It was at that 
time unaltered, and the visitors still ascend the old- 
fashioned stone staircase and pass through the floridly 
decorated drawing-rooms to get to their places. Miss 
Selina Dolaro, a sympathetic singer, was then playing in 
the ' Perichole,' with an odd ' show ' or entertainment, 
described by a cabalistic word of inordinate length. This 
attraction flagging, she prudently determined to supple- 
ment the bill by what was described as 'a new and 
original cantata called "Trial by Jury,"' wliich was 
announced in an unassuming way for the night of March 
25, 1875, close on nineteen years ago. Much — ac- 
cording to the familiar phrase— has taken place since 
then. 



22 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



The rather unpretending venture was under the 
direction of D'Oyly Carte, of whom little then was known 
save that he was a capable and pushing manager. He 
it was who saw the original merit of the new operetta. 
I still recall the surprise and hearty approbation with 
which the little piece was welcomed. 

Nothing could be more sprightly or airy than the 
fashion in which this truly whimsical work was conceived. 
Each character seemed irresponsible; the miniature 
theatre and stage were eminently favourable to the eflfect 
of the little piece, and every word was heard. The 
judge was 'Fred' Sullivan, brother of the composer, 
who had a pleasant humour of his own ; Walter Fisher, 
a lively tenor, long forgotten, was the faithless Lothario ; 
one Hollingsworth the counsel, and Pepper the usher— 
and ' a good usher too ' — the more satisfactory because 
so unobtrusive ; while the winsome Nelly Bromley was 
the plaintiff, which she gave with unexpected spirit. » 
The reception of this brilliant and witty little satire was 
of the most hearty kind; there was surprise mingled 
with the enjoyment, the subject was handled with so light 
and airy a touch. As was justly remarked, the Law 
Courts had been often satirised, but never in so whimsical 



* This Udy hM since left the stage, and is now Mrs. Staart Wortley. 
She was associated with a smaU piece of my own, to which she gave 
her best energies, and I could not bat be struck by her unflagging good- 
humour and hearty zeal. 



'TRIAL BY JURY' 



23 



and original a fashion. The music, too, was not merely 
grotesque, but picturesque and dramatic* 

First produced on Thursday, March 25, 1875, at the 

Royalty Theatre 

TRIAL BY JURY 

AS ORiaiNAL DRAMATIC CANTATA 

BT 

ABTHUB SULLIVAN AKD W. S. OnjBEBT 



:i^tamaUB personam 



The Learned Judge 
The Plaintiff 
The Defendant 
Counsel fob the Plaintiff 
USHEB .... 
FOBEXAN OF the JubT 

Absocute 

F1B8T Bbideshaid 

Chorus of Jurymen, dc. 



Mb. F. Sullivan 
Miss Nelly Bbosilet 
Mb. Walter Fibbeb 
Mb. Hollingsworth 
Mr. Pepff^ 



The now popular and facetious Penley filled the 
humble role of * Foreman of the Jury.' 

Of all our authors' joint works I should be inclined 
to say that this, their first really successful experiment, 
was the most brilliant, owing to the ease and spontaneous- 
ness and unfettered natural humour that pervaded it. 
It is a trifle, but an admirable trifle, thrown off by both 

* The best and most efFective parody of a trial at law is surely 
Dickens*8 account of the action against Mr. Pickwick for breach of pro- 
mise. I have often thought that this might be an e£Fective subject for 
SolliTan^s treatment. 



24 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



t 



in a moment of exuberant fun, and mth little thought 
of responsibility. The subject, it was felt, lent itself to 
humorous treatment and to their particular style. It 
was really delightful to hie to the little theatre and find 
there an hour's genuine entertainment. It was set forth 
without pretentious scenery and dresses, and entirely 
depended on the humorous treatment of the situations. 
The farcical exaggeration of the incidents of a trial for 
breach of promise was kept within probable limits, and 
the whole was enlivened by some original devices. No- 
thing could be more pleasant than the contrasts between 
the romantic character of the bride- plaintiff, her faith- 
less swain, the grotesque humours of the judge, the jury, 
and officers of the court. The composer, too, took care 
to emphasise the same contrast, allotting charmingly 
graceful music to plaintiff and defendant, and classically 
humorous strains to the judge, JU17, and officers of the 
court. The counsel's speech with its persuasive motive 
is charming, the judge's little autobiography wonder- 
fully comic. I always thought that one of the best 
passages of the whole, though the least pretentious, was 
the usher's solemn proclamation : 

Now, jurymen, hear my advice — 
All kinds of vulgar prejudice 

I pray you set aside : 
With stern judicial frame of mind, 
From bias free of every kind, 

This trial must be tried ! 



25 



'TRIAL BY JURY 

Chorus 
Prom bias free of every kind, 
This trial must be tried 

Usher 
Oh, listen to the plaintiff's case : 
Observe the features of her face — 

The broken-hearted bride. 
Condole with her distress of mind 
Prom bias free of every kind, 

This trial must be tried I 

Chorus 
Prom bias free, *c. 

Usher 

And when amid the plaintiff's shrieks. 
The ruffianly defendant speaks — 

Upon the other side ; 
What A« may say you needn't mind— 
Prota bias free of every kind. 

This trial must be tried f 

Chorus 
From bias free, &c. 



The music to which this was wedded had an assumed 
dignity and state, with an almost Handelian tone. The 
usher's plea for strictest impartiality, all the time dwell- 
ing on the charms of the plaintiff, is legitimate humour 
of the best kind. 

Here was first introduced that Gilbert-Sullivan recipe 
of making some dignified personage— a judge or 'Lord 
High * something— supply a humorous biography of him- 



26 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



self, and in nmnv verses : a duty which later usually fell to 

• • • • 

the facetious Grosswith. It may not be strictly legitimate 
that a personage should thus explain an grand 8erieu.r all 
his methods, as though he were actually conscious of his 
own absurdity. The practice was steadily adhercid to 
for many years and in many pieces. 

Dickens had his grotesque Mr. Justice 8tareleigh in 
' Pickwick ' ; but Gilbert's judge was a different character 
altogether. His entry is heralded by the uprising of the 
jury, who acclaim him, as it were, in a fine stately strain : 

All hail, great judge I 

To your bright rays 
We never grudge 

Ecstatic praise. 

May each decree 

As statute rank, 
And never be 

Reversed in Banc. 

The judge graciously answers in recitative : — 

For these kind words accept my thanks, I pray, 
A breach of promise we*ve to try to-day. 
But firstly, if the time youll not begrudge, 
I*II tell you how I came to be a judge. 

All. He*ll tell us how he came to be a judge ! 

The dramatic compression of these lines and the 
pleasantly abrupt transition, ' But firstly,' &c., is the best 
and most legitimate vein of humour. 



'TE/AL BY JURY' 27 

SoNQ— Judge 

When I, good friends, was called to the Bar, 

I'd an appetite fresh and hearty. 
But I was, as many young barristers are, 

An impecunious party. 
I'd a swallow-tail coat of a beautiful blue 

A brief which I bought of a booby— 
A couple of shirts and a collar or two. 

And a ring that looked like a ruby ! 

Chorus repeats, ' A couple of shirts,' &c. This sort 
of grotesque repetition is one of our author's happiest 
devices (see also the Police Chorus). 

Judge 

In Westminster Hall I danced a dance, 

Like a semi-despondent fury ; 
For I thought I should never hit on a chance 

Of addressing a British jury— 
But I soon got tured of third-class journeys, 

And dinners of bread and water ; 
So I fell in love with a rich attorney's 

Elderly, ugly daughter. 

The rich attorney, he jumped with joy, 

And repHed to my fond professions : 
* You shall reap the reward of your pluck, my boy, 

At the Bailey and ^liddlesex Sessions. 
You'll soon get used to her looks,' said he, 

' And a very nice girl you'll find her I 
She may very well pass for forty- three 

In the dtisk^ with a light behind her ! * 



28 THE SAVOY OPERA 

At length I became as rich as the Oomeys — 

An incnbns then I thought her. 
So I threw over that rich attorney's 

Elderly, ugly daughter. 
The rich attorney my character high 

Tried vainly to disparage — 
And now» if you please, I'm ready to try 

This breach of promise of marriage I 

Ghobus 
And now, if you please, &c. 

Judge. For now I'm a judge ! 
All. And a good judge too ! 
Judge. Yes, now I'm a judge I 
All. And a good judge too ! 

Judge 

Though all my law is fudge, 
Yet I'll never, never budge, 
But I'll live and die a judge ! 

As a composition this song is admirable, the ' points * 
being shortly touched and made as effective as possible. 
It was sung by every huffo of private life in hundreds of 
drawing-rooms. Some of its phrases have become stock 
quotations, such as ' In the dusk, with a light behind 
her ' ; * elderly, ugly daughter,* &c. 

The entry of the plaintiff with her bridesmaids in a 
sort of dance is accompanied by the most attractive 
music; indeed, nothing is more captivating than the 
different changes of style and tone which are suited to 
each situation. The sympathies of judge and jury are 



'TRIAL BY JURY' ^9 

at once enlisted, the latter giving vent to their feelings in 
the plaintive strain, 'Comes the broken flower,' &c., the 
judge exclaiming : 

wotT since I joined the human race 

Saw I so exquisite a face. 
The Jury {shaking their finger at him). Ah I bIv doff f 

Ah I sly dog! 
Judge. Now, say you, is she not designed for capture 9 
Jury. We've but one word, my Lud, and that is ' rapture ' 
Plaintiff (curtseying). Your kindness quite overpowers 
Jury. We love you fondly, and would make you ours. 

This, too, is dramatically excellent. Then the coun- 
Bel begins his speech, in a persuasive air, somewhat in 
the shape of the eternal • Last Rose of Summer ' : 

With a sense of deep emotion 

I approach this painful case, 
For I never had a notion 

That a man could be so base, 
Or deceive a girl confiding, 

Vows, et cetera, deriding. 

How real the agitation of the enticing plaintiff, who, 
about to give her evidence, makes as though she would 
faint ! • That she is reeling,' the judge says, * is plain 
to me.' And the jury, to her, 'If faint you're feeling, 
lean on me!' She falls sobbing on the foreman's' 
breast, and feebly murmurs : 

I shall recover 
If left alone. 



30 THE SAVOY OPERA 

Jury. 0, perjured monster, 
Atone I Atone! 
Foreman. Jnst like a father 

I wish to be. 
0, if you'd rather, 
Lean on me. 

This competition of attentions between judge and 

jury is truly grotesque. 

She finally reclines on the judge, and her counsel 

says: 

Fetch some water 

From far Cologne. 

All. For the sad slaughter, 

Atone I Atone 1 

Then they burst into tragic denunciation : 

Monster, monster, dread our fury. 
There's the judge, and we're the jury. 

Altogether, a happy parody of the methods of grand 
opera. Thejinale is not so good, and becomes a sort of 

general romp.^ 

It was in this piece that the author first made use of 
a happy device which he afterwards largely developed. 
His object was to avoid the conventional methods of 
using the chorus, nearly always a professional crowd 
who came in at intervals and raised their voices. A 

1 The length of these and future extracts from these pleasant pieces 
will. I think, not be objected to. as they will bring back to the reader 
many pleasant momenU enjoyed while making his Savoy eCucation. 



IMPROVED METHOD OF USING CHORUS 31 

more probable and natural method occurred to him. 
Assuming that the conspicuous personages must have 
some following connected with or dependent on them, he 
contrived to emphasise these attendants in a picturesque 
way. They had the air not of a ' crowd,' but of a large 
number of friends. Thus in * Trial by Jury ' the brides- 
maids and the jury raised their voices. In the * Pina- 
fore' the famous 'sisters, cousins, and aunts of the 
First Lord' were the chorus. In other pieces he 
would have a number of officers, or some policemen. 
There were also the ' House of Lords ' ; and the ' ancestors ' 
in * Ruddigore.' It is astonishing what a variety of 
groups of this kind our author managed to devise out of 
his teeming imagination. The chorus thus became a 
personage, not merely a collection of voices introduced to 
swell the music. With the view of individualising it as 
much as possible he generally made a few members 
prominent, and thus is brought to our recollection many 
out of those charming groups of girls who lent such an 
attraction to his pieces. 

About the year 1876 there was formed a society called 
the English Comic Opera Company, which had secured 
the Opera Comique for its performances. Their secretary 
and adviser was the manager of the Royalty, D'Oyly 
Carte, a man of much tact and sound business instincts — 
a born manager, in fact. This is proved by his showing 
himself * equal to either fortune.* lie has known how to 



32 THE SAVOY OPERA 

Becure Bnccess, and, vhnt ib more difficult, to retiiin it. 
No one but a man of abilit; could have extricated him- 



{Frtm a nuttfrf* if Ifrnttrf, Brtni BfntI) 

self from the tremendouB failure of the ambitioaB and 

costly yenture in Shaftesbury Avenue.' 

' 'The Comedj-Op«n CoinpMj vm entirely Ur. Cuic'i i<1n, uid 
bit own cTGation. He wma mftnager ftt the Bojftit; at the time ot 
the origiiul production of Trial by Jftry, and after that pieoe he alwaja 



AfJt. D'OYLY CARTE 33 

D'Oyly Carte, the creator and present manager of 
the Savoy Theatre, was the son of Richard Carte, a name 
known to all flute-players, and a partner in the firm of 
Rudall h Carte. After lea^•ing the London University 
he followed musical agency aa a profession, and among 
other enterprises directed Mario's ' Farewell Tour.' But 
about 1876 he began to work out his great scheme of 
an English Comic Opeia Company, and was adroit 
enough to see what advantages he would gain by securing 
the aid of that clever pair, Gilbert and Sullivan. It 
might have been said to him, as one of the characters 
does to the Pirate King in the ' Penzance ' operetta : 
' You mean to develop comic opera into a system by the 
aid of new talent, and look to having a special home for 
it in a new, specially devised, and attractive thentre, 
made brilliant by the introduction of electric lighting ? ' 
And the answer ma; have been a dry, ' }>g, {hat is 
the idea.' This was an almost gigantic plan, which at 
that time must have appeared quite Utopian ; but he 
was encouraged by the aid of his efficient wife, one of 
the best 'women of business' of the day. This was 
Miss Cowper -Black, or 'Lenoir,' a name she later as- 



had the idea of getting Mr. Gilbert and Sir Anhur SoDivan to write a 
Uigei irorlt together ; but it wai a long lime before he oonlil get thie 
amuiged, and before they irere both read; and able to iinderlake it, and 
then a theatre had to be found, and the mone; got together to start It. 
The Comedy-Opera Company eame to an end after the production ot 
Pinafort,' —LttUr from ISrt. D'Oyly Carit, 



34 THE SAVOY OPERA 

sumcd. After a brilliant career at the London Uni- 
verBit; she took ap ntage buBJnesd and management, 
for which she had a marked taste, and became translator 
and secretary to the Opera Comique Company. In a 
few months she bad completely made herself mistreBB of 
the system. She crossed the Atlantic about fifteen times, 
and at one period waB directing foor travelling companies. 
She combined with these arduous daties the agency for 
lectures, and arranged and directed the tonrs of Archi- 
bald Forbes, Matthew Arnold, Oscar Wilde, and the 
now almost forgotten Sergeant Ballantine. It is not 
' generally known ' that the great Savoy Hotel was 
another venture of this enterprising pEiir, and Mra. 
D'Oyly Caite is eaid to havo settled all the details of 
the vast scheme. 

When the enterprising partners — or trio, rather — . 
were entering on their new operatic venture, they were 
met by the grave difficulty of finding suitable interpreters 
for their work. There were plenty of the old well-trained 
singers ; hnt these were formed to the old methods. 
They cast about for young and promising talent which 
they could mould to their own fashion. This system 
has been found to work admirably at the Savoy, which 
has since become a large and regular school where 
young persons of promise and ability are certain to find 
an opening for their abiUties. Freshness and novelty 
are thas secnred. All that is required ie a good voice 



GEORGE r.ROSSMITH 
and musical taste, with a certain natural enthusiasm ; 
the mstructions of the librettist and the ,enim Wi 
do the rest. 



»". OlOBOe ORIMBHITH 

Al this time there ™b . btffli.„t .„d p„„j„. 
you„g m^, named George Grossmith, „i,„ ,., ,^, ^ 
died .„ ■entertainer,' «,d bad the fairest proepeet, rf 
snecess „, .h,s way. He wa. highly p„p„,a, fo, J, 



THE SAVOY OPERA 

spirits and fun, and overflowing with humorons con- 
oeitB and devices, which fonnd expression in songs 
and recitations, little comedies and scenes, which he 
presented in so vivid a fashion and with so many re- 
sources of expression as to have the e£fect of a drama ; 
from his finish and certainty he seems to have been the 
most perfect of the many 'delineators' who have 
attempted this attractive fashion of entertauung. He 
was an exceUent masician, for whom his pianoforte was 
almost an instinctive form of expression, Uke the hnman 
voice. He had performed on the stage occasionally, 
and had once or twice attempted such parts as Paul 

Pry. 

One night in November 1877 he vas asked by 

Mr. Arthur SulUvan to return with him to his rooms in 
Victoria Street, where in the company of a number of 
choice spirits a pleasant evening was passed. The 
stranger or • new man ' cheerfully contributed his little 
talents ; everyone went away pleased with him. George 
Grossmith is indeed good company: his anecdotes, 
told unaffectedly and without effort or artifice, fall mto 
dramatic shape, and seem to be a portion of his enter- 
tamment. They are set off by the most expressive of 
feces. His tales, too, are not of the kind that actors tell, 
half professional, and turning on some comic speech or 
incident, but deal with grotesqueness of character, or 
Bome oddity of social Ufe. He is a jnost acute observer 



GEORGE GROSSAflTH 



37 



of such things, and sees humour and humorous situations 
which would escape others less trained. 

In a few days he received an unexpected proposal 
from the composer, offering him a part in a new piece, 
which it was thought he would play admirably. He was 
delighted and yet undecided, for this involved abandon- 
ing his own proper profession. If he failed — or rather, if 
he did not succeed — it would be impossible for him to 
return ; for his correct and serious clients who welcomed 
him at their lecture-rooms would not accept him after 
he had been on ' the wicked stage.' His father and some 
of his friends were against the step. So, too, were the 
directors of the Comedy-Opera Company (Limited), 
who thought it imprudent to take an untried ' hand.' 
Even the adventurous D'Oyly Carte was cold or scarcely 
encouraging.' The engagement, however, was at last 
settled. When he was going over the part with Gilbert, 
he hazarded the objection, ' For the part of a magician, 
I thought you required a fine man with a large voice.' I 
can still see Gilbert's humorous expre^ision as be replied, 
' No, that's just what we dorCt want ! ' — a light touch 

' In the discussion on the amonnt of salary, Grossmith held oat for 
an increase of three guineas. The manager asked him to hinch, to 
talk the matter oyer. Some admirable Sieinbeig Cabinet and other 
delicacies were produced. After the lunch was despatched the salary 
question was discussed ; but under the agreeable influence of the Stein- 
berg Cabinet three guineas seemed a trivial thing, and Grossmith gave 
way. * I calculate,* he used to say, ' that that lunch cost me about 
1,8002.' 



38 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



that really involves the whole philosophy of the Gilbertian 
opera, and shows how much the finesse of its humour 
was opposed to the common standards.^ 

Another promising recruit was Rutland Barrington, 
who seems to have been fitted in the most h propos 
way for the interpretation of the new methods of opera. 
His peculiar tranquil or impassive style has always 
exactly suited the characters allotted to him, and it 
would now be difficult to imagine a Savoy opera with- 
out him. He alone, I think, has been with it — with one 
slight interruption — from the beginning to the present 
moment. He is usually cast for some impossible 
monarch, prime minister, or personage of ' Lord High ' 
degree, possessed of some fantastic theories which he 
essays to carry out with supreme gravity ; and though 
his methods and humours have been much the same all 
through, there is sufficient variety in his intellectual 
conceptions of each part. We recall with enjoyment his 
unctuous clergyman, his sea captain in the 'Pinafore,' his 
various Court functionaries, and his eccentric monarchs. 
Barely or never does he pass the limits of a becoming 
gravity, or become more extravagant than is necessary. 
He can become delightfully helpless and inefficient, or 

' OroBsmith has related his Kfe and adventures in an agreeable little 
volome, A Society CUnm, fall of good strokes of human charaeter and 
humour. It shows that he had severe and valuable training (not to say 
a struggle) for manj years— a most profitable and blessed thing for a 
performer. 



/ESSIE BOND 3^ 

break out into exuberance when it is called for. His 
full taU figure and round face help the effect. 

Another of the more valuable members of the corps 
was the piquant and vivacious Jessie Bond, whose very 
presence and animated tones seemed to quicken the 
action the moment she appeared. She enjoyed an extra- 
ordinary favour and popularity: audiences seemed glad 
to see her, to have her before their eyes. She has 
figured, I believe, in every Savoy opera save the last, 
and has always been a welcome aid. Another steady 
piUar of the enterprise, who has been constant to it till 
this moment, was Eosina Brandram, with her rich 
contralto, and who is generaUy cast for some austere 
duenna. She, like some of the others, owes her training 
to the entertainment stage. 

Grossmith and his career suggest here some refleo^ 
tions which are really connected with the art of stage 
expression. Many entertainers have been tempted by 
their successes in this walk to venture on the stage ; and 
it may be an interesting speculation here to inquire 
to what extent the training of the platform is service- 
able for exhibition in the theatre. George Grossmith 
and Arthur Cecil present two notable examples where 
the change has been made with success, but it must be 
said that on the whole the two systems or processes are 
opposed. Theatrical effects are large, broad, and general, 
whereas those of the entertainer are minute, and 



40 THE SAVOY OPERA 

' Btippled in • as it were. The two methods start from 
the same point, but seem to recede from each other. The 
entertainer has to rely upon the words and on his face and 
voice ; the actor on his internal conception, using the same 
means to express what he feels. When the entertainer 
brings his talents to a theatre it is likely enough that 
his methods will prove ineffective, and the minute 
details— his stock-in-trade - become overpowered . Real 
talent, however, will triumph over such a disability, and 
secure the artist the necessary 'breadth.* Still, it is 
diflBcult to unlearn ; and in most cases the old system, in 
which the performer feels he can make his best efforts, 
^11 clmg to him. Thus Alfred Bishop, Arthur Cecil, 
and Grossmith to this hour show traces of their early 
training on the platform rather than on the stage. 
Bishop, when performing at the Lyceum as Old 
Ashton, showed little of the breadth necessary for so 
great an area; and Cecil has abundance of delicate 
touches, which, however, become ineffective in a large 
theatre. Defects of this kind are scarcely noticeable in 
the case of Grossmith, who has only appeared on a stage 
where such touches are acceptable and really necessary ; 
for at the Savoy every word and gesture are calculated 
beforehand, and become of importance. 

Still, there can be no doubt that this ' entertainer * 
element is more and more leavening legitimate stage 






THE ENTERTAINER 



41 



performances ; and that the present fashion requires the 
personal efforts of the actor to be more and more de- 
veloped is shown by the constant intrusion of the 
music-hall performer and his devices, for whom and 
for which the public have shown an extraordinary 
fancy. The effects of this change will no doubt have by- 
and-by an extraordinary influence on the stage. Nor is 
it fanciful to say that the development of the manager- 
actor system is intimately connected with this change ; 
for such is really the development of the personal element, 
carried as far as it can well go. The system, however, 
has its serious disadvantages, for when by some accident 
the personal element is withdrawn, the 'show' loses 
attraction ; which is proved by the instance of Grossmith, 
whose retirement was a serious loss to the Savoy. 

The entertainment seems almost to have changed 
its character, and has taken many shapes. At the 
beginning a single versatile person was himself the 
whole play, and supplied from his intellectual wallet 
characters, dialogue, music — everything. In our time 
this grew into the pleasing drawing-room entertainment 
given by the German Beeds at the Gallery bf Illustration 
and St. George's Hall. This school became almost the 
nursery of the Savoy opera, and most of its inter- 
preters — Grossmith, Miss Brandram, Mrs. Howard Paul, 
Barrington, the Temple Brothers, Arthur Cecil, and 



42 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



THE ENTERTAINER 



43 



many more — have graduated in this college, and have 
there happily acquired the art of minute touching and 
delicate strokes. 

The entertainer's art, trivial as it may appear, is 
really the quintessence of the drama; for in its most 
orthodox shape it is independent of dresses, scenery, and 
what is called facial ' make-up.' These things the 
performer has to supply from his own intellectual 
* properties.' With the skilful entertainer before us, 
holding us with his vivacipus eye, making his mobile 
features express, not imitate, the twists and oddities of 
character, while he plays on his voice as on an instru- 
menty we are beguiled by his cunning, and fancj that 
whole tapestries of life are being unrolled before us. 
This sort of show, therefore, has always enjoyed favour ; 
and the listeners, being in direct contact with their host, 
naturally feel a partiality or goodwill for the amiable 
being who, for some two long hours or so, devotes him- 
self to their entertainment. When it is of the first 
class, nothing gives more genuine pleasure— a pleasure 
compounded of an admiration of the performer's gifts 
and of the diverting quips and humours which he 
displays. 

This pastime, as I said, has taken various shapes, 
being moulded according to the ' form and pressure of 
the time.' In the last century a leading portion of the 
actor's equipment was mimicry, and too often mimicry 



of his brethren. Dog surely should not eat dog. Even 
Garrick descended to this. Poote, a licensed free-lance, 
who made a living by taking oflF public personages in his 
comedies and entertainments, was perhaps the greatest 
showman of the age, and, from his great powers of wit, 
vivacity, recklessness and unscrupulousness, maintained 
his hold upon his admirers until his death. Personality 
is perhaps the greatest attraction known to the stage. 
In our time, happily, it is not tolerated at all, though 
many will recall what unbounded enjoyment and interest 
were excited by Gilbert's piece which, years ago, drew all 
London to the little Court Theatre— the ' Happy Land,' 
in which three members of the Government were intro- 
duced. But the exhibition, which was not an ill-natured 
one, was speedily moderated. 

In 1747 Foote arranged an entertainment at the 
little Haymarket Theatre called the * Diversions of the 
Morning,' which had extraordinary success ; nearly all 
the characters were rude portraits of personages well 
known on town. The public rushed to see, but, as he 
also performed the regular drama in an unlicensed 
theatre, the authorities interfered. He then thought of 
a rather colourable device to elude the law : ' Mr. Foote 
begs the favour of his friends to come and drink a dish 
of chocolate with him ; and he hopes there will be a great 
deal of comedy and s^me joyous spirits ; he will en- 
deavour to make the morning as diverting as possible. 



44 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



^ 



Tickets for this entertainment to be had at St. George's 
Coffee House, Temple Bar, without which no pers(m will 
be admitted. N.B. — Sir Dilberry Dibble and Lady 
Froth have absolutely promised.' It was found impos- 
sible to suppress this sort of performance, and Mr. Foote's 
' show' became the rage. His plan was to introduce a 
number of young performers whom he affected to be 
instructing for the stage, rehearsing with them, and 
making sarcastic remarks on the leading writers, poli- 
ticians, &c., of the day. 

Foote, who in the way of ridicule spared nobody, 
seems to have been himself most sensitive and thin- 
skinned when any liberties were taken with him. It is 
amusing to find that he was to suffer acutely from an 
obscure parasite whom he himself had instructed in the 
art — Tate Wilkinson, a forward, clever lad, one of the 
' supers * at Drury Lane, who had been exhibited by him 
on the stage as ' a pupil.' This youth had an extra- 
ordinary talent for low mimicry, and was encouraged by 
his employer to exhibit it. One night at the Dublin 
Theatre, after giving his imitation of Mrs. WoflSngton, 
he was greeted with so much applause that he was on 
the instant tempted to an imprudent step. ' A sudden 
thought,' he tells us, ' occurred. I felt all hardy, all 
alert, all nerve, and immediately advanced six steps: 
and before I spoke I received the full testimony of true 
imitation. The master, as he was called, sat on the 



THE ENTERTAINER 45 

stage at the same time. I repeated twelve or fourteen lines 
of the very prologue he had spoken that night, and, before 
Mr. Foote, presented his own self, his manner, his voice, 
his oddities, and so exactly hit that the glee and pleasure 
it gave may be easily conceived to see and hear the 
mimic mimicked. The suddenness of the action tripped 
up his audacity so much that he, with all his effrontery, 
sat foolish, wishing to appear equally pleased with the 
audience, but knew not how to play that difficult part.' 
A graphic picture. The jackal became a thorn in the 
greater mimic's side. He early appropriated the enter- 
tainment, and traveUed over the kingdom, ' giving Tea ' 
everywhere, and * taking off,' in his vulgar way, his late 
master and the leading actors. 

After Foote, who had been absurdly called 'the 
English Aristophanes,' a humorous song-writer named 
George Alexander Steevens devised a very original species 
of entertainment. When the curtain rose, or the scene 
was * drawn,' the audience saw before them a table with 
a vast number of heads or busts. The entertainer then 
came forward and delivered what was called a * Lecture 
on Heads'; and, taking one of the specimens in his 
hand, would illustrate it with a number of satirical ob- 
servations on politicians, authors, &c. Thus he would 
begin, ' Here we have the head of a divine,' &c. The 
lecture ' on Heads ' obtained great celebrity, was printed 
in a volume, passed through many editions, and was 






46 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



thought exquisitely humorouB; though, on reading it 
over now, it seems much laboured, rather jejune, and 
tedious. 

There was a roistering actor, Lee Lewes, who enjoys 
a sort of fame from his having been selected by Gold- 
smith to ^ create ' the part of Young Marlow, a jovial 
being and a teller of convivial stories, which, when 
published later in four volumes, read ineptly enough. 
The dramatic story seemed to be the form then in demand 
for this kind of entertainment, in which various characters 
were contrasted, and a dialogue kept up, the whole con- 
cluding with some boisterous situation. No doubt the 
applause of the supper-table suggested the sort of article 
that would suit a larger audience. One of Lee Lewes's 
most effective scenes was his account of a dialogue 
between Garrick and Lord Orrery, on the subject of 
Mossop the actor. Garrick 's vanity, it was known, was 
80 sensitive that it could be played on artfully, and Lord 
Orrery, for his own and his lady's amusement, would 
noisily extol the actor's voice to provoke Garrick's dis- 
sent; after which the nobleman would abruptly and 
cordially change his view, and abuse Mossop heartily. 
Thus he would loudly extol Mossop's voice, and when 
Garrick hesitated or doubted, the other would declare 
that 'he roared like a bull.' 'We always called him 
BttM-ilfoMop.' 

Charles Dibdin, Incledon, and other popular singers 



THE ENTERTAINER 47 

also gave ' entertainments/ Incledon, for a time, joined 
his talents with those of Mathews, and the pair travelled 
about the kingdom together. But the most successful 
of these showmen was Bannister, one of Garrick's 
' school,' as it was called, and an actor of much reputa- 
tion. One morning in 1807 he rushed in to George 
Colman, carrying a huge bundle of songs, recitations, 
humorous stories, &c., which he wished his lively friend 
to fashion into an 'entertainment.' Colman had just 
planned a week of delicious lethargy and idleness, but 
he cheerfully accepted the task, and in a few days had 
reduced the mass of inchoate drolleries into form. It 
had become - Bannister's Budget,' which the actor at 
once took into the country with extraordinary success. 
It appears to have been a medley of detached stories, 
songs, recitations, and ' odds and ends ' of all kinds. 
One item, for instance, was entitled 'Two Ways of 
Telling a Story ' ; the survivor of a shipwreck was sup- 
posed to relate aU the horrors of the scene in the most 
dramatic way, the storm, the roaring of the billows, the 
imminent destruction, rescue, &c. ; a ' Jack Tar ' then 
gave Ai« account, but in a light, careless, unconcerned 
fashion, as though the whole were a joke. There, was a 
gruesome, grotesque tale of some length called 'The 
Superannuated Sexton,' with such characters as Doctors 
Doublechops and Lank Jaws. He would also describe 
—to great applause— his first introduction, as a youth 






»• 



^8 THE SAVOY^ OPERA 

aspiring to the stage, to Mr. Garriok. He found tbe 
great man shaving, his chin covered with soapsuds. 
The actor bade him ' never mind,' but recite a speech 
from ' Hamlet '—say ' Angels and ministers of grace,' &c. 
During the recitation Garrick is described as stropping 
or lathering, or 'taking himself by the nose,' with 
grotesque effect. At the close 'he turned quick on me, 
and thrusting his half-shaved face dose to mine, ex- 
claimed in a tone of ridicule, " Angels and ministers of 
grace, yaxo-waw—vaw \ " then finished his operation, 
and putting on his wig, good-naturedly said, ," Come, 
young gentleman, eh ? Let us see what we can do," 
then recited the whole speech in his best style.' Bannister 
was summoned by the King to give his show at Windsor, 
and a number of the nobility were invited. He was 
naturally a Uttle nervous, when the good-humoured 
Princess Sophia said, to reassure him, 'You are 
frightened : I declare, if you don't do it weU, I tkaO. hiss 

yoa, Mr. Bannister ! ' 

Our modem peripatetics, who have their shrewd 
' agents in advance ' to prepare the ground and secure 
' dates,' would smile at the carelete, unbusinesslike ways 
of the^ early pioneers. Bartley, a fellow-actor, used to 
relate how, when attending one of Bannister's per- 
formances at the Booms in Edinburgh, he was requested, 
on coming out, by his friend to take up the money from 
the doorkeepers. He was disappointed to find that the 



' 



.: 



i 



THE ENTERTAINER 



49 



whole sum only came to 901. ' Pooh ! * said the easy- 
going Bannister, ^ if I am pleased, why not you ? ' They 
met some men on the staircase who, it seems, were 
stationed at the other entrances, and had 60^ more to 
give them. Bannister declared that but for his friend 
he would have gone away without it. The results of 
' the Budget ' were indeed so satisfactory, that though 
Colman declined remuneration the actor insisted on 
releasing him from a bond for 700^ as a token of his 
gratitude. It must be said, however, that neither party 
would have gained or lost by the transaction, as the 
impecunious Colman, who spent the chief portion of 
his days within the Bules of the King's Bench, would 
never have dreamed of repaying it, or any other 
obligation. 

Mathews the Elder was one of the most versatile and 
accomplished men that have adorned the entertainment. 
He had a boundless store of devices, his talents for 
comedy and mimicry contributing much to the gaiety 
of his generation. In fact, his stores of 'harmless 
pleasure ' were of a marvellous kind. He was a most 
delightful companion — vivacious, 'incompressible,' like 
Foot« — an affectionate father and husband, while his 
letters are truly admirable for their liveliness, genuine- 
ness, and graphic style. His power of ventriloquism, 
and of disguising his features and figure — not by 

B 



\ 



JO THE SAVOY OPERA 

mechanical art, but by sheer mental effort— were extra- 
ordinary and unuBual; witness that 'Mr. Pennyman' 
who was perpetually found behind the scenes, plaguing 
everybody, though the doorkeepers were on the watch 
not to admit him. At table friends would find them- 
selves annoyed by a quarrelsome stranger, who would 
appear and disappear in a marvellous and all but super- 
natural way. It was not surprising that he should have 
utilised these gifts for the pubUc diversion and his own 
profit. After some slight experiments, in the year 1808 
he determined to make the venture, employing James 
Smith, one of the authors of the ' Rejected Addresses,' 
to furnish him with an entertainment. This was the 
first of a long series supplied by the same ' eminent 
hand,' who was assisted by Poole, the author of * Paul 
Pry.' The form was usually the same— a journey in a 
mail coach or in a diUgence-literaHy a * vehicle' for 
introducing the varied humours of the performer— with 
many grotesque or eccentric passages. The *Mail 
Coach ' was long popular, the whole of the incidents of 
such a journey being humorously described. 

An adroit manager— one of that Arnold managerial 
family which still holds the Lyceum— had suggested to 
hun this mode of utilising his talents, and now induced 
him to mortgage his services to him for a term of years. 
The thoughtless player, dazzled by the prospect of a 
fixed income, signed and sealed with a Ught heart, and 



THE ENTERTAINER 51 

in due course made his appearance at a London theatre. 
His success was extraordinary; nothing so novel, bo 
exhilarating, had been seen for many a day. The bill 
set forth ' he will exhibit an entire new entertainment, 
consisting of songs, recitations, imitations, ventriloquism, 
entitled " The Mail Coach, or Rambles in Yorkshire." 
Part I. Recitations, introductory address ; general im- 
provement in the conveyance of live lumber as exemplified 
in the progress of the Heavy Coach, light coach, and 
mail ; whimsical description of an expedition to Brent- 
ford. Song, "Mail Coach.*' Recitation: description 
of the Passengers ; Lisping Lady ; Frenchman. Song, 
"Twenty-four Lord Mayors' Shows." Mr. and Mrs. 
Nicky NumskuU; cross-examination of a Pig. Song, 
" The Assizes." ' 

It will be seen from this programme that the shape 
of these entertainments has been somewhat conserved to 
our day— alternations of song and speech, more or less 
formal. Mathews always stood behind a little table, on 
which were two shaded candles, whilst an accompanyist 
sat at a piano. He relied almost entirely on his facial 
expression to produce changes, though he would some- 
times hurriedly wrap a handkerchief round his head to 
simulate an old lady. Later, however, he introduced 
dresses, and became what is called 'a quick-change 
artist '—a descent into a lower walk of business. What 
astonished his audience was the elegance, airiness, and 

K 2 



THE SAVOY OPERA 

buoyancy of the whole perfomance-the variety of 
talents displayed. They would hear a conversation 
between jivt different persons-a valet talking with a 
chad, a butler, the housekeeper, &c. The success was 
immense, the crowds enormous. But presently the 
much.foUowed performer discovered that he had sold 
himself at a depbrably low price. The bond which he 
had so recklessly signed was full of penalties and for- 
feitures; he had placed himself, with all his talents, 
faculties, and powers, at the disposal of a master. This, 
however, he had done 'with his eyes open' ; it was a 
speculative transaction, and, had there been failure, the 
manager would have been bound. He was not, how- 
ever, pitUess, and consented to a Uberal revision of 
the arrangement. There were a few rare veteran play- 
goers-notably the late amiable, genial Fladgate, the 
father of the Garrick Club-v^ho could recaU Mathews 
and his pleasant exhibitions. It is curious to thmk 
that we had amongst us only yesterday one who had 
Been and talked with Kemble and Siddons, and also with 

Irving. 

After Mathews a change seems to have come over 
the style of these entertainments. During the past 
forty or fifty years they have reverted to the old form. 
They exhibit more finesse and delicacy, more refine- 
ment of character, and are, indeed, addressed to a 
superior description of audience. This is no doubt 



THE ENTERTAINER 



53 



owing to the disappearance of the old farce, which 
seems to have altogether ' gone out.' Much more was 
required from the impersonator, who found dramatic 
aid in his piano, at which he sat and over which his 
fingers strayed, and from which he only occasionally 
rose. It became for him a second, even more eloquent, 
voice. 

Perhaps the first of these reformers was the 
inimitable John Parry, who was a comic-song writer 
rather than an entertainer, and he seems to have 
adopted this mode of exhibition with a view of in- 
troducing his songs to notice. These were sung in 
private circles by amateur humourists and had a large 
sale. A good specimen of his style was the well-known 
* Wanted, a Governess ' : 

Wanted, a governess, fitted to fill 

The post of tuition with competent skill, 

In a gentleman's family, highly genteel, 

Where 'tis hoped that the lady will try to conceal 

Any fanciful airs or fears she may feel 

In this gentleman's family, highly genteel. 

Each verse wound up with an accompanying ' crash ' on 
the piano to the words ' Wanici^ a governess ! * This 
was then thought exquisitely frolicsome ! 

Another of these exhibiting song-writers and singers 
still lives — the author of the ' Ship on Fire ' and 
'Cheer, boys, cheer,' and who, some forty years ago, 



II 



S4 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



was admired and talked of» and, in the provinees 
particularly, drew large houses. This is Henry 
Bnssell. His songs, however, were the piece de /instance, 
and people came to hear the songs and join in the 
choruses. They were linked together by a mUdly 
humorous commentary, chiefly personal or anecdotal, 
as when, after giving vent in his richly melliflubus and 
deliberate tones to the once popular lines, 

Woodman, spare that tree, 

Touch not a single bough ; 
In youth it sheltered me ; 

And I'll protect it now ! 

he would proceed to relate * a little anecdote ' — ^how, at 
some house, a gentleman, standing up among the 
audience, earnestly asked him, 'Mr. Bussell! Mr. 
Russell ! Was the tree spared ? ' 

Albert Smith's ' Ascent of Mont Blanc ' was for some 
years a standing attraction at the Egjrptian Hall, but 
this was somewhat panoramic. The agreeable Albert 
told the story in a lively fashion, and, according to his 
mood, would vary it with extemporised humorous pas- 
sages. Sometimes, recognising a friend in the au- 
dience, he would allude to him by name, fathering on 
him some jest or speech — to the embarrassment of the 
individual. During the succeeding period there was a 
more debased form of the entertainment, the performers 



1 



1 



THE ENTERTAINER 



55 



beginning to rely upon dresses, ' quick changes,' and 
the like, conspicuous professors being Woodin and a 
diverting, versatile being named Valentine Vox, and 
Duval. It was natural that the form should take a 
fresh development, and we presently find two performers 
giving their attractions in a sort of dialogue. From 
this to a slight play was but a natural advance, and for 
a long period — down, indeed, to the present moment — 
the German Beeds have contributed to increase the 
general gaiety of the nation. It was here, as we have 
seen, that Arthur Cecil and Corney Grain learned the 
measure of their powers in the old school of 'de- 
lineation,' though the former speedily passed on to 
the stage, thus reversing the practice of his pre- 
decessors, who passed from the stage to the platform. 
This modern school was to be further strengthened by 
the accession of George Grossmith, who, after quitting 
the platform, became one of the pillars of the Savoy, 
which he has again recently forsaken to return to the 
platform; and it is said now that, in spite of large 
profits, he meditates a return to the more exciting 
glories of the stage. It would be difficult to say too 
much of the extraordinary versatility of these performers. 
Their sketches of society, of its follies and weaknesses, 
offer a power of intellectual analysis and observation 
that is remarkable. An anchorite's muscles would 
relax. They also possess an amazing fertility in their 



• h ii 



56 



TBE SAVOY OPERA 



performance on the piano, which, in an informal 
and nnartificial way, is made to illastrate all they 

say. 

Such is the genesis and development of this pecn- 
liar form of the drama, and which, there can be no 
doubt, is deeply seated in the affections of British 
audiences. 

But I have strayed from our Savoy Opera home into 
a somewhat antiquarian review. Still, the subject is an 
interesting one, and has, besides, a close connection with 
the Savoy methods. 



The 'Sorcerer* — the first attempt of the Comedy- 
Opera Company — was' of a rather serious and dignified 
cast. It seemed as though both author and composer 
were a little fettered by the sense of their ofSce. They 
were by-and-by to be in a situation of ' more freedom and 
less responsibility,' and with the happiest effect. They 
were now feeling their way, as it were. The super- 
natural element of the piece was accountable for this 
tone, the composer finding himself compelled, as it were, 
to treat it with due solemnity and even gravity. The 
press welcomed it with almost tumultuous praise.^ 

* Indeed, some joarnals were so indisoriminate Id their approbation 
as to heartily commend oertain ' numbers * which were not performed 
ataU! 



THE 'SORCERER' 



57 



K 



\ 



Fir$t produced at the Opera Comique, under the management 

of the Comedy-Opera Company (Mr, JR. D'Oyly Carte^ 

Manager), November 17, 1877 

THE SORCERER 

S)ramatis ypersonie 

Sir Mabuaduub Pointdextbe {an Elderly 

Baronet) Mr. Richard Templc 

Alexis {of the Grenadier Guards^his Son) Mr. Oborob Brntham 

Vr. Vjo^y {Vicar of Ploverleigh) , . . Mr. Rutland Barrinoton 

Notary Mr. F. Cliftoh 

JoBN Welunoton Wells {of J, W. Wells dt 

Co,t Family Sorcerers) . . . Mr. Geoboe Grossmfth 

hkD^SjMQkzvKE {a Lady of Ancient Lineage) Mrs. Howard Paul 

khJSE (her Daughter— betrothed to Alexis) . Miss Alice May 

Mrs. Partlet (a Pew-opener) . . Miss Eyebard 

Constance (her Daughter) .... Miss Giulia Warwick 

Chorus of Peasantry 

AOT I.-~GToand8 of Sir Marmaduke^s Maneion 

{Half-anhour is supposed to elapse between Acts L and IL) 

AOT H.— The same Scene by Moonlight 

TIME-THE PRESENT DAY' 

No one then dreamed that this was to be the opening 

* On its later revival, Mr. Durward Lely took Mr. George Power*s 
part; Miss Brandram, Miss Leonora Braham, Miss A. Doite, and 
Miss Jessie Bond the parts of Lady Sangszare, Aline, Mrs. Partlet, 
andj[Gonstance. The opera was revised and partly rewritten for this 
oocasion. The costumes were by MM. Augnste, Caler & Co., J. 6. 
Johnstone, Ede St Son, Frank Smith & Co., Hobson A Co. 



i 



58 THE SAVOY OPERA 

of a striking eeries of Bnocesaes, and a seriea that 
was to be anetamed with an onflaggbg interest for 
Bome fleventeen years. The chief point of interest was 



7 



M- 



bow wonld GroBsmith, the new candidate, acquit himself 
as John Wellington Wells, the traveller in drugs, 
• penny curses,' and the rest ? The spare and wiry little 



THE 'SORCERER' 



S9 



figure, the small, intelligent fa^e, full of finesse and 
expression, was at once a success. No one could have 
received more friendly encouragement. His ' patter 
song,' as it is called— a number of rhymes uttered with 
extraordinary rapidity and clearness— enlev^ed the house. 
This was to become an established pattern in a Savoy 
opera, following the precedent of the judge's little auto- 



*tH 



i 



biography in 'Trial by Jury.' A genuine surprise was 
in store for the audience when, at the close of an 
early scene, the ' traveller in spells,' crouching down, 
made an extraordinary exit, in imitation of a raUway 
train, holding a ' fizzing ' teapot. A tumultuous roar of 
applause greeted the ingenious artist.' 

' It \b said thftt tbii tTBS M tnnoli & sarprise tor his brethren u it 
WM tor the kudieoce, and that thia effective piece ot baninf^i waa kept 
dark nntil the night in qneetion. 



6o THE SAVOY OPERA 

The public is often eis indiscriminate in its partiali- 
ties as it is in its dislikes, and daring the course ol 
these early operas was thrown into convulsions of 
delight b; a rather simple device of the composer's. 
This was the introdaction of a grotesque passage, a 
' remark,' as it were, of the bassoon's, uttered daring 
some 'patter song.' The bassoon has been called 'the 
clown of the orchestra' — a happy description, in the 
case of comic opera. 



The 'Sorcerer,' among its other welcome enjoyments, 
contribated some effective and quotable things which 
constantly do doty in the newspapers. Such was the 
chorns at the end : 

Now to the banquet we preea — 
Now for the egga and the ham — 

Now for the mustard and oress — 
Now for the strawberry jam I 

Chobus. Now to the banquet, Ac 



THE 'SORCERER' 6i 

D». Dalt, Cohbta»oe, Notary, and Mas. Pabtlbt 

Now for the tea of our host- 
Now for %h* rolUcHng hun — 

Now for the muffin and toast — 
Now for ihx gay Sally Lunn ! 

Grobos. Now for the tea, &g. 

This hnmonr is specially * Gilbertian.' There is 
something grotesque in this exuberant praise of the 



8ally Lunn and bun which would bring a rueful smile to 
the &ce even of the most dyspeptic. The 'rollicking 
bun ' has become ' a common form.' 

The success of this experiment — and it was little more 
than an eiperiment — encouraged the partners to give yet 
fuller play to their special talent, and they were now busy 
with a more elaborate effort — the admirable ' Pinafore.' 



62 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



Fir$t produced on the night of May 28, 1878 

H.M.S- PINAFORE 

Dramatis personam 



'H.M.S. PINAFORE' 



63 



Thb Bt. Hon. Sib Joskph Pobtbr, K.C3. 

(Fitit Lord of the AdmiiraUy) . 
Gapt. ' CoBCOBAB (cominonding H.M.8. 

Pituifore) ... 
BaliPR Bacbstbaw {Able Seaman) 
Dick Dbadeyb {Able Seaman) . 
Bill Bobstat {Boaiewain't Mate) 
JoBBPHiNE {the Ca^tain^e Dattghter) . 



Mb. Qxobob Obossmith 

Mb. Butland Babbirotom 
Mb. Obobob Powbb 
Mb. Bichabd Txuplb 
Mb. CurroN 
Mi88 Emma Howson 
Mi88 Jessib Bond 
Little Buttebcup {a PortemMUh Bumboat 

Woman) Miss Evebabd 

FiBST Lord's Sistebs, bis Cousnra, bis Aunts, Bailobs, 

Mabines, Ac. 

80ENE.— Qaazterdeok of H.M.8. Pinafore, 

off Portsmouth 

ACT I.— Noon- ACT II.— Night 

There is a long list of young ladies who essayed the 
part of Josephine— to wit, Miss Emma Howson^ Miss A. 
BurTille, Miss Blanche Boosevelt, Miss MulhoUand, 
Miss Pauline Bita, and Miss Eate SoUivan. 

This opera was, perhaps, the most genuinely success- 
ful of the whole series, for it was more seen, talked of, 
chanted, hummed, and quoted than all of its fellows, 
except, perhaps, the ' Mikado.' Everyone was delighted 
with it. Its good things were irresistibly, though 
quietly, droll. At the outset it rather hung fire. I 



I. 



must confess with some shame that at my first visit 
it appeared to me a little forced and far-fetched. But 
presently it ^became 'all the rage,' and the actors, 
catching the enthusiasm, threw themselves with ardour 
into their work. Cetait immense! and the opera ran 
for nearly a couple of years, to say nothing of its 
regular promenade round the country. 

The story is of the slightest, but more than suf- 
ficient. In these things Gilbert^s touch is of the most 
airy kind ; he indicates rather than describes. He sets 
out a sketch of sea life with sea characters, such as the 
inimitable First Lord, the captain, the bos'un's mate, 
the 'bumboat woman,'' and the gruesome Dick Deadeye. 
The First Lord has a dim notion of wedding the 
captain's fair daughter, who is attached to Ralph 
Backstraw, that ' common ' sailor, the epithet seeming 
to her a bit of fine irony. The author is fond of 
dwelling on a favourite Utopian theory — a reversal of the 
different classes of society, showing the oddities that 
result from a change of position. The bumboat woman 
reveals that she had changed the ' common sailor ' with 
the captain at nurse, who accordingly at the close take 
up their proper positions. But as I said, the story is 
nothing. It is the characters and humour that attract. 

* Whenever I went on board, he would beckon me down below. 
< Come down, Little Buttercup, come ' (for he loved to call me so). 

The Bumboat Woman's Story, 



64 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



Here, too, like the author of ' Pickwick,* GUbert has 

furniflhed sayings which have become the currency of 

social life- Nothing gave the public more enjoyment 

—and the saying is still in favour— than the 'What, 

• never ? Well, hardly ever ! ' of the captain. 

Though related to a peer, 
I can haul, reef, and steer, 

And ship a selvagee ; 
I am never known to quail 
At the fury of a gale, 

And I'm never, never sick at sea ! 
All, What, never ? 
Capt. No, never \ 
All. What, never ? 
Capt. Hardly ever I 
All. He's hardly ever sick at sea ! 
Then give three cheers, &c. 
And again : 

Bad language or abuse 
I never, never use, 

Whatever the emergency ; 
Though • Bother it I ' I may 
Occasionally say, 

I never use a big, big D.* 

This ' big, big D ' also became a stock phrase. The 
expressive music to the interrogation, * What, never ? ' 
will be recalled. 

' When Jack Tare growl, I belieye they growl 

With a big, big D 

Bat the strongest oath of the Hot Cross Bun 

Was a mUd, * Dear me 1 '—Bab BaUadB. 



'H.M.S. PINAFORE' 



65 



The ' Buler of the Queen's Navee * is known to every- 
one, and has done service in newspapers, in talk, and 
in Parliament. Seldom, indeed, has there been a 
happier combination than in this character. There were 
capital good things to say, capital music to sing, and a 
capital comedian to sustain the part. The spare, vriry 
figure of Grossmith, with his whitened hair and blue 
uniform, his dignified bearing, quiet and distinct 
voicing, was long enjoyed by the public. The satire, 
exaggerated as it was, told ; the official methods were 
good-naturedly ridiculed. This tranquil reserve is with 
our author always preparatory to a mirth-moving con- 
trast. 

The First Lord thus introduces himself : 

I am the monarch of the sea, 
The ruler of the Queen's Navee, 
Whose praise Great Britain loudly chants. 

Cousin Hebe 
And we are his sisters^ and his comins, and his aunts ! 

Rel. 
And we are his sisters, and his cousins, and bis aunts ! 

Sir Joseph 

* 

But when the breezes blow, 
I generally go below, 
And seek the seclmion that a cabin grants ! 

Cousin Hebe 
And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts ! 

F 



Ik 



66 



THE SAVOY OPERA 

 

All 



And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts. 

His sisters and his cousins, 

Whom he reckons up by dozens, 
And his aunts ! 

The briny spirit of this capital song was caught to 
perfection by the composer. The opening, with its stately 
Handelian treatment, contrasted with the pleasantly 
exuberant intrusion of the female voices, * And we are 
his sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts,' so pert and 
rollicking. This, again, has become a popular quotation.* 
How lively, too, is Sir Joseph's lesson of politeness with 

which he goes off : 

For I hold that on the seas. 

The expression, * if you please," 

A particularly gentlemanly tone imparts. 

 Then up and answered William Lee 
(The kindly oaptain^e oozsvain he, 
A nervous, shy, low-spoken man), 
He cleared his throat and thus began : 

' You have a daughter. Captain Beece, 
Ten female oonsins and a niece, 
A ma, if what I'm told is true. 
Six sisters, and an aunt or two. 

* If you'd ameliorate our life, 

Let each select from them a wife ; 
And as for nervous me, old pal, 
Qive me your own enchanting gal 1 * 
Good Captain Beece, that worthy man. 
Debated on his coxswain's plan : 

* I quite agree,' he said, * O Bill ; 
It is my duty, and I will.' 

* Captain Beece,' in Bab DcUlcuU. 



'//M.S. P/NAFORE' 



67 



There was an animation and humour in these trifling 
words, and the strains even now ring pleasantly in our 
ears. 

Another often-quoted saying is the. boast of being an 
Englishman : 

He is an Englishman ! 
For he himself has said it, 
And it's greatly to his credit 

That he is an Englishman I 

That he is an Englishman ! 
For he might have been a Uposian, 
A French, or Turk, or Proosian, 

Or perhaps Itali-an I 

Or perhaps Itoli-an ! 
But in spite of all temptations 
To belong to other nations, 

He remains an Englishman ! 

The grotesqueness of this declaration is excellent satire 
on frondatr vauntings. Almost as good is the fine 
contrapuntal strain of the music, with its stately dose. 

One of the regular forms of the Gilbcrtian opera is 
the fantastic dance into which the gravest, most decorous 
characters burst iumiUtuously. These measures have 
yet a quaint reserve, as though extorted from the 
personages in question by the irresistible enUain of the 
situation. Such was the trio between the captain, 
the First Lord, and Josephine : 

» 2 



68 THE SAVOY OPERA 

Captain 

Never mind the why and wherefore, 
Love can level ranks, and therefore, 
Though his lordship's station's mighty, 

Though stupendous be his brain. 
Though your tastes are mean and flighty. 

And your fortune poor and plain, 

Captain and Sir Joseph 

Bing the merry bells on board-ship. 
Bend the air with warbling wild, 

For the union of { «j^} lordship 

With a humble captain's child I 
Capt. For a humble captain's daughter — 
Jos. (aside). For a gallant captain's daughter. 
Sir Joseph. And a lord who rules the water — 
Jos. (aside). And a tar who ploughs the water. 

All 

Let the air with joy be laden, 
Bend with songs the air above. 

For the union of a maiden 
With a man who owns her love. 



The music here was delightful, particularly where the 
characters answer each other in deprecating fashion : 

For a humble captain's daughter — 
And a lord who rules the water — 
iind a tar who ploughs the water. 

Which led to the melodious chime — 



Bing the merry bells, &c. 



'f/.AfS, PINAFORE' 



69 



which in its turn brought on the fantastic and most 
original dance. How many times that used to be called 
for and repeated ! 

But the words without their expressive music lose 
half their effect. As we read them the strains flutter on 
the ear. Thus with Buttercup's song : 

Duet— Little Buttercup and Captain 

Buttercup 
Things are seldom what they seem, 
Skim milk masquerades as cream ; 
Highlows pass as patent leathers ; 
Jackdaws strut in peacocks' feathers. 
Capt. (puzzled). Very t^ue. 

So they do. 

Buttercup 
Black sheep dwell in every fold ; 
All that glitters is not gold ; 
Storks turn out to be but logs ; 
Bulls are but inflated frogs. 
Capt. (puzzled). So they be, 

Frequentlee. 

Here the notes of ' Very true,' &c., are most appropriate. 
Gilbert's rhymes, too, how free and easy ! 



and again — 



Sailors sprightly, 

Always rightly 

Welcome ladies so politely. 

Oaily tripping. 
Lightly skipping. 



70 THE SAVOY OPERA 

Flock tho maidens to the shipping, 
Flags and guns and pennants dipping — 
All the ladies love the shipping. 

It is only when we think of the more conventional 
libretto that we see the novelty of the thing ; the words 
asserting themselves equally with the music and requiring 
to be taken seriously. 

Gilbert, too, excels in imparting a gravity to some 
platitude. As when Buttercup hesitatingly reveals her 
love, the captain replies tranquilly, ' Ah, Little Buttercup, 
still on board ; that is not quite right, little one. It 
would have been more respectable to have gone on shore 
before dusk ' ; and when Josephine reveals to her father 
her love for the ' common sailor,' he soothes her : * Come, 
my child, let us talk this over. In a matter of the heart 
I would not coerce my daughter. I attach but little 
value to rank or wealth — hut the line mvst be drawn 
somewhere.* 

There have since been revivals of these old favourites, 
such as the ' Sorcerer,' * H.M.S. Pinafore,' the ' Mikado,' 
* Trial by Jury,' and on each occasion great efforts 
were made to excel in mounting and decoration all 
previous displays.* It would seem, however, to be the 
result of the ' form and pressure of the time ' that 

In the * Pinafore * a regular deck-flooring was laid doivn, and a per- 
feci reproduction of a man-of-war constructed, under the direction of 
qualified persons from the dockyards. 



REVIVALS 



71 



revivals rarely answer save under special conditions. 
Where the work has been thoroughly appreciated, the 
very familiarity and the enjoyment of its good things 
work against it : the recollection is too fresh — even after 
the interval of almost a generation there is a sugges- 
tion of old fashion. In light comic opera music, too, 
its forms reflect the impression of the moment, and 
have become familiar from constant imitation and 
repetition, until at last the attraction is altogether ex- 
hausted. This is particularly felt where phrases have 
become part and parcel of the language, such as the 
* hArdly ever ' allusions reproduced in * Utopia.' We 
are apt to exclaim 'Connuf We have had some 
recent revivals of comic operas, such as ' Madame 
Angot,' 'Madame Favart,* and the like, and it was 
difficult to listen to them without this sense of ' flat- 
ness ' and stateness.^ 



* At a late revival the cast was : 

H.M.S. PINAFORE 

OB 

THE LASS THAT LOVED A SAILOR 

Dramatfa personam 

Thb Bt. Hon. Sib Joseph Pobtbb, K.G.6. 

{First Lord of the Admiralty) . 
Gapt. Cobooran {commanding H,M,S. 

JPinafore) 

Ralpb Backstbaw {Able Seaman) . 
Dick Dxadete {Able Seaman) . 
Bill Bobstat {Boatsicain^s Mate) 



Mr. Gkorob Gbossuttb 

Mr. Rutland Barrinoton 
Mb. J. G. Robertson 
Mr. Richabd Temple 
Mb. R. Gumminos 



72 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



It is amusing at this distance of time to read the sort 
of reserved criticism and measured encom*agement with 
which these works were received, and which contrast with 
the present hearty approbation which welcomes every 
effort of the authors. A truly absurd appreciation was that 
of a well-known journal, which gravely announced that the 
last portion of the title might have been omitted with ad- 
vantage, and that it should have stood simply ' H.M.S.' 

Most of these operas are peculiarly acceptable to 
amateurs ; and it can scarcely be conceived to what an 
extent they have been performed under these conditions. 
Every leading comiqtt^ of the private stage feels himself 
drawn to reproduce Grossmith as the First Lord in 
' Pinafore.' The management and proprietors of the 
copyright, though jealous enough in enforcing their 
strict rights, have always sliown themselves liberal in 
these cases, especially where a charity is in question. 
One of the most successful of these productions was a 
performance given at Dublin Castle some years ago, 

Bob Becrbt {Carpenter^s Mate) * • . . Mb. R. Lewis 

Josephine {the Captain's Daughter) . . Miss Gebaldinb Ulmab 

Hbbb {Sir Joseph's First Cousin) . . . Miss Jessir Bond 
IjITTle Buttebcup (a PortsmoutJi Bumboat 

Woman) Miss Bosina Bbandbam 

FiBST Lobd's Sibtebs, his Cousins, his Aunts, Sailobs, 

Mabines, Ac, 

SOENE.— Qoarterdeok of H.M.8. Pinafore, 

off Portsmoutli 



' 



AOT I.— Noon. 



AOT. H.— Night. 



THE 'PIRATES OF PENZANCE I y^ 

in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh, who was on a visit 
there, and in aid of the prevailing Irish distress. It was 
excellently played. Sir Joseph Porter being admirably 
given by Captain McCalmont, M.P., and the heroine by 
Miss Geraldine FitzGerald. It was really a brilliant 
spectacle, and was repeated several times with excellent 
pecuniary results.' 

After two years' interval, during which time the 
public had thoroughly learned to appreciate its enter- 
tainers and their methods, a fresh opera was presented. 

Produced at the Opera Cotnique Theatre, London, Saturday, 
April 8, 1880, under tJie management of Mr, i?. D'Oyly Carte 

THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE 

Z>ramati0 perdona^ 

MajobOehebal Stanley .... Mb. Geoboe Obossmith 

The PnuTB Kino Mb. Richabd Temple 

Samuel {his Lieutenant) .... Mb. Geoboe Temple 

Fbedebic {the Pirate Apprentice) , . Mb. Geoboe Power 

Seboeant of Police Mr. RvTiJkND Babrinoton 

Mabel v Misr Mabion Hood 

l""^ HOeneral StanUy's Dat^hters) ' W'^* Bonp 

Isabel ^ Mibs La Rue 

Ruth (a Private Maid-of -all- Work), , . Miss Esiilt Cboss 

- * 

Chorus of Pirates, Police, and Genrral Stanley's Daughters. 

The 'Pirates of Penzance' seems one of the most 
piquant and picturesque events of the series. There is 

» At schools, too, these pieces nre in great demand. Some time ago, 
at one of our great colleges, where nearly the whole series has been per- 
formed, a professor rewrote and re6tted one of the operas, introducing 




74 THE SAVOY OPERA 

a colonr about it, with a genoine and piqttant story. 
Like the 'Sorcerer,' it vas floggested b; an bUoeion 
in one of the old 'Bab Ballads,' and vaa based on a 
characteristic Gilbertian idea — viz. that of a band of 
pirates whose proceedings were regulated by a sort of 
topsj-toTTy loaiic. Thas they sing : 

Poor, pour the pirate sherry ; 

Fill, O fill the pirate glass : 
And to make ns more the merry. 

Let tbe pirate bumper pass. 
For to-day our pirate 'prentice 

Rises, from indenture freed : 
Strong his arm and keen his scent is. 

He's a pirate now indeed I 
All. Here's good luck to Fredbric's ventures, 
Frederic's out of his indentures. 

Frederic, a rather pedantic yoong pirate, and which 
was performed by George Power in an interesting fashion 
and with dne sincerity, is described : ' a keener hand at 
scuttling a Cnnarder, or cutting out a White Btar, never 
shipped a handspike.' Btith ia attached to him, whom 
he describes as ' the remains of a fine woman.' A bevy 
of young girls find their way to the pirates' den, who 

I^Ties ol hia om, uid shaping tbe whole on sntirelj lam linea. He 
WM ■» eonfldine •• to forward s eopy to the knthoi, reokoning on 
■ympUb; and commendation even. It need not be s&id be littla 
knew Ur. Gilbert, uid still lees redked of the Eoond 'wigging' be 
wu to lecciTG for tliii tampering. Tbe poor profesior wai scared b; 
bearing ot impending pains and penalties. 



tBE nuTiB 01 nniuim 



76 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



THE * PIRATES OF PENZANCE* 



77 



prove to be the daughters of ' Major-General Stanley ' 
— who is a happy specimen of onr author's method 
of dealing with such characters. There is something 
quaintly ' impossible ' about him, and yet he is plausible. 
An ordinary writer dealing with him must have followed 
the conventional lines of grotesque military command : 
and we all know the typical bouffe military general, who 
in an exaggerated costume will utter grotesque sayings 
and exhibit pantomime dances and songs. But this 
major-general is intellectually grotesque. 

The pirates surround them, when this droll and 
really dramatic situation follows : 

PiBATES 

Here's a first-rate opportunity 
To get married with impunity, 
And indulge in the felicity 
Of unbounded domesticity. . 
You shall quickly be parsonified. 
Conjugally matrimonified. 
By a doctor of divinity 
Who resides in this vicinity. 

Then Mabel, one of his daughters, gives this caution : 

Hold, monsters 1 Ere your pirate caravanserai 
Proceed, against our will, to wed us all, 

Just bear in mind that we are wards in Chancery, 
And father is a major-general I 

Samuel (cowed) 

We'd better pause, or danger may befall ; 
Their father is a major-general. 



i 



LxniES. Yes, yes ; he is a major-general ! {The Majok- 
General has entered unnoticed on rock.) 
Oen. Yes, I am a major-general ! 
All. You are ! 

Hurrah for the major-general ! 
Gen. And it is — it is a glorious thing 

To be a major-general ! 
All. It is ! 

Hurrah for the major-general ! 

The major-general tells his story according to the 
approved form : 

I am the very pattern of a modern major-general, 

I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral ; 

I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights 

historical. 
From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical ; 
I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical, 
I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical. 
About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news— 
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypote- 
nuse. 
All. With many cheerful iacts, &c. 

General 
I'm very good at integral and differential calculus, 
I know the scientific names of beings animalculous, 
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral, 
I am the very model of a modern major-general. 

All 
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral. 
He is the very model of a modem major-general. 

And so on. This was an extraordinary specimen of the 
' patter ' song, continued for many verses and delivered 



78 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



with eqnal rapidity and accuracy by Grossmith. A 
principle of the pirates in their business is to be mercifal 
to all ' orphans/ they being orphans themselves ; and it 
was reasonably urged that this bit of humanitarianism 
seriously interfered with profits, as everyone pleaded 
orphanage, the major-general among the rest. 

6en. (aside). And do you mean to say that you would 
deliberately rob me of these the sole remaining props of my 
old age, and leave me to go through the remainder of my 
life unfriended, unprotected, and alone ? 

King. WeU^ yes^ that*s the idea. 

Gen. I ask you, have yoa ever known what it is to be an 
orphan ? 

EiKO. Often ! 

Gen. Yes, orphan. Have yoa ever known what it is to 
be one ? 

Emo. I say, often. 

All (disgusted). Often, often, often (tumvig away). 

Gen. I don't think we quite understand one another. I 
ask you, have you ever known what it is to be an orphan, and 
you say 'orphan.' As I understand you, you are merely 
repeating the word ' orphan ' to show that you imderstand me. 

King. I didn't repeat the word often. 

Gen. Pardon me, you did indeed. 

King. I only repeated it once. 

Gen. True, but you repeated it. 

King. But not often. 

Gen. Stop, I think I see where we are getting confused. 
When you said ' orphan,' did you mean ' orphan,' a person 
who has lost his parents, or often — ^frequently 7 

Kino. Ah, I beg pai-don, I see what you mean — frequently. 

Gen. Ah, you said often — frequently. 



THE 'PIRATES OF PENZANCE' 79 

King. No, only once. 

Gen. (irritated). Exactly, you said often, frequently, 
only once. 

This is perhaps too fragile for the stage, but still is 
amusing. A body of pirates naturally suggests other 
bodies who control them. Here was the author's oppor- 
tunity for introducing the police, a topic handled with 
much humour. There is really nothing better than all 
the passages deaUng with the ' Force,' and the naive 
expression of their emotions—not at all far-fetched— is 
delightful. 

(Enter Police, marching in double file. They form in 

line facing audience) 

Sergeant 
When the foeman bares his steel, 

Tarantara, tarantara I 
We uncomfortable feel, 

Tarantara ! 
And we find the wisest thing, 

Tarantara, tarantara ! 
Is to slap our cheats and sing 

Tarantara ! 
For when threatened with dmeutes, 

Tarantara, tarantara I 
And your heart is in yoiur boots, 

Tarantara f 
There is nothing brings it round, 

Tarantara, tarantara ! 
Like the trumpet's martial sound, 

Tarantara, tarantara ! 
Tarantara, rn-ra-ra-ra ! 
All. Tarantara, ra-ra-ra ra I 



8o THE SAVOY OPERA 

Mabel 

Go, je heroes, go to glory, 
Thoagh yoa die in combat gory 
Ye shall live in song and story. 

Go to immortality. 
Go to death, and go to slaughter ; 
Die, and every Cornish daughter 
With her tears your grave shall water. 

Go, ye heroes ; go and die. 
All. Go, ye heroes ; go and die. 

Police 

Though to us it*s evident, 

Tarantara, tarantara 1 
Th^t attentions are well meanty 

Tarantara I 
Such expressions don't appear, 

Tarantara, tarantara 
Calculated men to cheer, 

Tarantara 1 
Who are going to meet their fate 
In a highly nervous state, 

Tarantara 1 
Still to us it's evident 
These attentions are well meant. 

Tai*antara ! 

(Edith crosses to Sebo. G.) 

Edith 

Go, and do your best endeavour, 
And before all links we sever. 
We will say farewell for ever. 
Go to glory and the grave 1 
All. Yes, your foes are fierce and ruthless. 



TIfE ^PIRATES OF PENZANCE' 

Sbbobant 
We observe too great a stress 
On the risks that on us press, 
Avd of reference a lack . 
To our chance of coming back ; 
Still, perhaps it would be wise 
Not to carp or criticise, 
For it's very evident 
These attentions are well meant. 

All 
Yes, to them it's evident 
Our attentions are well meant. 

Tarantara, ra-ra-ra-ra. 
Go, ye heroes, go to glory, &c. 

Gen. Away, away I 

Police (without moving). Yes, yes, we go. 

Gen. These pirates slay. 

Police. Yes, yes, we go. 

Gen. Then do not stay. 

Police. We go, we go. 

Gen. Then why all this delay ? 

Police 
All right— -we go^ we go. 
Yes, forward on the foe, 
Ho, ho I Ho, ho ! 
We go, we go, we go ! 
Tarantara-ra-ra f 
Then forward on the foe ! 
All. Yes, forward 1 
Police. Yes, forward I 
Gen. Yes, but you don*t go ! 
Police. We go, we go, we go ! 
All. At last they really go— Tarantarara-ra. 



8i 



82 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



Thifl rises almost to the style of grand opera, and 
the contrast between the stu-ring strains of encourage- 
ment 'Go! Go!' and the mfld protest of 'the Force' 
is in the best style of burlesque. The music, too, is 
finely wrought and ' worked up ' into a telling zirtUo. 
Later, the Force is constantly ' heard approaching,' and 
their solemn ' tramping ' strains are most eflfective and 

stirring. 

{^vXeir PoLicJB, vuirching in single file) 

Sebgeant 

Though in body and in mmd, 

Tarantara, tarantara ! 

We are timidly inclined, 

Tarantara ! 

And anything but blind, 

Tarantara, tarantara I 

To the danger that's behind, 

Tarantara! . 
Yet, when the danger's near, 

Tarantara, tarantara ! 
We manage to appear, 

Tarantara ! 
As insensible to fear 
As anybody here. 

Tarantara, tarantara, ra-ra-ra-ra ! 

Who will forget, too, the sergeant's song : 

When a felon's not engaged in his employment, 
^jj^^ His employment. 

Bebo. Or maturing his felonious Uttle plans, 

/^jj^^ Little plans. 



' 



THE * PIRATES OF PENZANCE' 83 

Sebobant 

His capacity for innocent enjoyment 
Is just as great as any honest man's. 
Our feelings we with difficulty smother 
When coftstabulary dnttfe to he done ; 
Ab, take one consideration with another, 
A policeman's lot is not a happy one. 

When the enterprising burglar's not a-burgling, 
When the cutthroat isn't occupied in crime, 
He loves to hear the Uttle brook a-gurgling, 
And listen to the merry village chime. 
When the coster's finished jumping on his mother, 
He loves to lie a-basking in the sun ; 
Ah, take one consideration with another. 
The policeman's lot is not a happy one.' 

This capital song has become a general favourite. 
The taking ' one consideration with another, the police- 
man's lot is not a happy one,* the coster 'jumping on 
his mother,' and the ' burgling ' are perpetual topics for 
quotation.' 

At the time the next opera was being prepared—viz. 
in 1881 — the community was afflicted by what was 
called the aesthetic craze, which, as is well known, was 
inspired by that clever personage Mr. Oscar "Wilde, a 

* A grotesque element in this droU song was the repetition by 
the constables of the last words— syllables, rather— of each line, often 
with yery original emphasis and effect, sach as, ' *culty smother/ ' a- 
gurgling,' and * *cent enjoyment.* 

' I have been assured, too, that these passages are in equal favour 
with the Force itself, and their lot not being * a happy one ' is frequently 
quoted. 

a 2 



84 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



man who has since proved himself the possessor of some 
really solid gifts. There was a jargon then used by 
followers of the cult of which the phrase ' quite too 
utter • was a fair specimen. All this has now passed 
away. Naturally it tempted the satirists, Burnand 
and Du Maurier, whose Postlethwaite and Maudle and 
the ' Cimabue Browns' had already been diverting the 
town. 'Patience' was exceedingly popular, and the 
absurd figure of Bunthorne with his sunflower and 
attendant troupe of admiring 'damosels' was highly 
humorous. It certainly helped to ' kill oflf ' the mania. 

Produced at the Opera Comiquey London^ on Satwrday, 
Ajnil 28, 1881, wider the numa^ement of Mr. B. D'Oyly Carte 

PATIENCE 

OB 

BUNTHOBNE'S BBIDE 

Bramatts persotue 



Bboinald Buhthobnb (a FleMy Poet) 
Abchibald Gbobvbnor {an Idyllic Poet) 
Colonel Galvebleti 



{Qfficera of Dragoon 
Guards) 



Majob Murgatboyd 
Lieut, the Ddxb of 
dumstable 

Chorus of Officers of Dragoon Guards, 



Mbi Gbobob Gbossmitb 
Mb. Butland BABBmaTON 
Mb. Walteb Bbowne 
Mb. Fbank Thobbton 
Mb. DtmwABD Lelt 



The Last Anobla 
The Ladt Saphib 
The Last Ella 
The Last Jamb 

Patience (a Dairy Maid) 



{Bapiuroui Maidens) 



Mi88 Jessie Bons 
Miss Julia Qwtnne 
Miss Fobtescub 
Miss Aligb Babnett 

Miss Leoboba Bbaham 



Chorus of Rapturous Maidens, 



If 



'PATIENCE' 85 

AOT I.~Ezteilor of OasUe Bunthorne 
AOT II.>-A Glade 

Musical Cotiductor Mb. Fbank Gellieb 

Stage Manager Mb. W. H. Seymoub 

. The opera produced under the personal direction of the author and 
composer. New scenery by H. Emsen. The ossthetio dresses designed 
by the anthor and executed by Miss Fxsheb. Other dresses by Messes. 
Moses A Son, Messes. G. Hobson A Go., and Masame Auouste. The 
dances arranged by Mb. J. D'Auban. 

At 8 a new and original Vaadeyille, by Fbank Despbez, music by 
Eaton Fanning, called 

MOCK TUBTLES 

Mb. Wbanolebubt Mb. Abthub Law 

Mbs. Wbanolbbubt Miss Minna Louis 

Mbs. Bowcheb Miss Bbansbah 

Jane Miss Sybil Gret 

No fees of any kind. 

Acting Manager Mb. Geoboe Eswabses 

The music in * Patience ' attracted a large class of 
admirers, I believe, on account of its many taking 
ballads and tunes. Numbers — even the more unmusical 
— were attracted by such songs as the ' Silver Chum/ 
which they sang or tried to sing. Even officers and 
prosaic beings of all kinds contrived to * hum ' or growl 
this taking melody. I have often thought that here 
was a hint of which note might have been profitably 
taken, and that this element of popularity might have 
been more steadily developed. But the fact is that in 
later productions the composer seemed to depart further 
and yet further from the original model. He appeared 



86 THE SAVOY OPERA 

to strive more after broad mnaicEiI effects, developed 
chornees and finales, after the pattern of grand 
opera. If we look throagh all these works we shall 
find that tones of the ballad pattern have been what 
attracted the public moat. 



We have seen that Gilbert's method of devising 
cboinaes is original enough, becaase be individnalises 
them. There is something very piquant in the group of 
officers belonging to the 85th Dragoons. We always 
welcome the honest fellows as they enter. They have 



'PATIENCE' 87 

double the effect of a large professional chorus. How 
pleasantly, and legitimately, too, the author plays with 
the alight topic of uniform ! One would think that little 
could be made of such a theme : 



DuKB. We didn't design our uniforms, but we don't % 
how they conld be improved. 

Bono — CotONEi, 
When I first put tliis uniform on, 
I said, as I looked in the glass, 
' It's one to a million 
Tbat any civilian 
My figure and form will sarpass. 
Gold lace has a charm for the fair. 
And I've plenty of tliat, and to spare, 
Whilt a lover's professions, 
When tittered in kessians, 
Are eloquent everywhere I ' 
A fact that I counted upon 
When I first pal this uniform on I 

Chorus op Dhaooons 
By a Bimplo coincidence few 

Could ever have reckoned upon. 
The some thing occurred to mo, too. 

When I first put Uiis uniform on t 

Colonel 
I said, when I first put it on, 
' It is plain to the veriest dunce 
Tbat every beauty 
Will feol it her duty 
To yield to its glamour at once. 



THE SAVOY OPERA 

Tkey will see thai I'm freely gold-l&ced 
In a utuform handsome and chaste ' — 
Bnt the peripatetics 
Of lODg-haired nstheties 
Are very maoh more to their taste — 
Which I never counted apon 
When I first put this uniform on I 



The dignity of the notion ' Whtn 1 first put (At« mit- 
/onn nn ' is pleasimtly cxpreBsed by the spirited, martial 
clang of the tone, which Blmost exactly conveys the 
sentiment. In the description of the nsthetical yoath 
the aathora revel : 



Ghobos 
By a simple coincidence few 

Could ever have counted upon, 
I didn't anticipate that, 

When I first put this uniform on. 



A most intense young man, 
A soulful-eyed young man, 
An ultra-poetical, siipor-rosthetical, 
Out-of-the-way young man. 



^ 



THE SAVOY OPERA 

A Japuiese yoimg man, 
A bine and white Tonng man, 
Franoesoa di "Rimini , nimioy, pitnioy, 
Je-n^saia-qitoi ycmag man. 

A Ghancerr Iads yonnf man, 
A Somerset House yonng man, 



Jolly BAHK-HOLiDy „ ^ \^ 

A very delectable, highly respectable, 
TArMjienny-frus young man. 

A pallid and thin yoong man, 
A haggard and lank young man, 
A. greenery -yaUery, Orotvenor Gallery, 
Foot-in-the-grav6 young man. 



N 



92 THE SAVOY OPERA 

A Bewell and Cross young man, 
A Howell and Jftioes young man, 
A puBhiiig young particle — what's the nest article 7 
Waterloo House young man. 

EnSEHBIiE 
BUHTHORNE 

Conceive me, if you can, 

A crotchety, cracked young man, 
An ultra-poetical, super-SBthetioal, 

Out-of-the-way young man. 
Obobtehob 

Conceive me, if yon can, 

A matter-of-bct young man. 
An alphabetical, arithmetical, 

EvGiy-day young man. 

The exuberant fertility mtb which the idea is here 
varied will be noted. Tbe * gtecnery-yallery, Groevenor 
Gallery,' for rhyme and point is first rate, and has josUy 
become ptoverbiaL 

At the close of the piece tbe hero becomes 
An every-day young man, 
A commonpUcfl type 
With a stick and a pipe. 
And a haU-bred block and ton. 

A suggestion of the story is found in that lively 
' Bab Ballad ' the ' Rival Curates,' wherein the Kev. 
Hoptey Parker figures.* 

e indated on, to tha uciifioe ot 
ID ' ColoOTDth uid Oalomel ' we 






94 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



THE SAVOY THEATRE 



9S 



This tide of prosperity suggested a largep and more 
ambitious scheme and an important change of methods. 
The contracted Opera Comique, with its stinted accom- 
modation, was quite unsuited to the run of popularity 
which the associates might count upon. The shrewd 
and adventurous D'Oyly Carte was now planning a 
theatre that was to be specially suited to this new genre 
of opera. Everything was carefully mapped out and 
calculated— the situation, size and arrangement— and 
the plans of a beautiful and costly building were being 

coald have wished away. An over-deiicaie oritio, indeed, was shocked at 
the word 'fleshly.' A tall and somewhat portly lady, with a good 
yoice, who made a semblance of accompanying herself on the violoncello, 
was made to dwell rather too persistently on her physical gifts. 
Such topics do not appeal to the humorous sense, and are something of 
a hnmiliation for the performer. Her appeal to her admirer— rather, to 
the person she admired- is, however, exceedingly humorous : 'But do 
not daUy too long, Reginald ; for I am ripe, Reginald, and already I am 
decaying. BtiUr w^wrt m« ert I have gone too far: It must be flatter- 
ing to the author to find that the freaks of what has been called his 
' topsytarveydomi' though presumed to be confined to the land of dreams 
and nightmares, are constantly reproduced m the matter-of-fact course 
of Ule. Thus the consequences of a union of offices in one person was 
grotesquely illustrated in the Mikado \ and, in the discussion on the 
Parish Councils BiU, it was pointed out that ' one body acting as a parish 
coiineil wiU have to report to itself, acting as a district council, that 
allotments are wanted. It wiU then, acting as a district council, in- 
quire into the accuracy of its own report as a parish council. A 
situation,' added the speaker, * worthy of Gilbert and Sullivan.' And 
not long since, a well-known Liverpool magistrate was summoned 
with others for an offence. *Can I fine myself?' he asked. It was 
suggested that he should inflict double the usual penalty. The new 
Pooh-Bah accordingly fined himself, and then administered a severe 
rebuke to himself and to the other culprits t 



I. 



matured. . It was difficult, however, to procure a site, 
and a suitable one was at last found between the Strand 
and the Embankment, and in the precincts of the 
old Savoy. The patch of ground was not very large, 
and. rather awkwardly situated on a steep descent 
with inconvenient approaches, wedged in, as it were, 
among surrounding buildings. It had to be reached 
through a sort of tunnel. Tet with all tliese incon- 
veniences the ingenuity of the architect and owner 
contrived that it should have approaches on three sides 
at least. The chief portion of the interior, like that of 
the Criterion, was excavated ; and the stage lay far below 
the street level. Though many new theatres have since 
been erected — and Gilbert himself has indulged in the 
luxury of building one — none have surpassed the Savoy 
in elegance, comfort, or even luxuriousness.' 

> On the eve of the opening our manager i;«sued an address to the 
public, setting forth his views, adding also a minute account of the 
details of construction. It will be noted that he claims that this was 
the first theatre which was lighted throughout, both stage and auditorium, 
by electricity. 

To tlie Public 

Ladies and Oentlembn,— I beg leave to lay before you some details 
of a new theatre, which I have caused to be built with the intention of 
devoting it to the representation of the operas of Messrs. W. S. Gilbert 
and Arthur Sullivan, with whose joint productions I have, up to now, 
had the advantage of being associated. 

The Savoy Theatre is placed between the Strand and the Victoria 
Embankment, on a plot of land of which I have purchased the freehold 
and is built on a spot possessing many associations of historic interest, 




96 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



I recall the night after the theatre was finished 
and ready to open, when a number of friends and 

being oloee to the Savoy Chapel and in the ' prednct o« the Savoy/ 
where etood fonnerly the Savoy Palaoe, onoe inhabited by John of Gaunt 
snd the Dukes of Lancaster, and made memorable in the Wars of the 
Boees. On the Savoy Manor there was formerly a theatre. I have used 
the ancient name as an appropriate title for the present one. 

The new theatre has been erected from the designs and under the 
superintendence of Mr. C. J. Phipps. F.SA., who has probably more 
experience in the building of such places than any architect of past or 
present times, having put up. I beUeve, altogether thirty-three or thirty- 

fonr theatres. a xt. * • 

The fwjade of the theatre towards the Embankment, and that m 
Beaufort BuUdings, are of red brick and Portland stone. The theatre 
18 large and commodious, but little smaller than the Gaiety, and will 

seat 1,292 persons. ^ . ^ 

I think I may claim to have carried out some improvements deserving 
epecial nottoe. The most important of these arc in the lighting and 

decoration. « . , ^ • i- ti • 

From the time, now some years since, that the first electric lights m 

Umps were exhibited outside the Paris Opera House, I have been con- 

irinoed that electric light in some form is the light of the future for use 

in theatres, not to go further. The peculiar steely blue colour and the 

flicker which are inevitable in all systems of « arc ' Ughts, however. 

make them unsuiUUe for use in any but very large buildings. The m- 

▼ention of the • incandescent lamp ' has now paved the way for the 

application of electricity to Ughting houses, and consequently tjieatres. 

The * arc ' light is shnply a continuous electric spark, and is nearly 

the colour of lightning. The incandescent light is produced by heating 

a filament of carbon to a white heat, and is much the colour of gas— a 

little clearer. Thaaks to an ingenious method of * shunting * it, the 

current is easily controllable, and the Ughts can be rwsed or lowered at 

wilL There are several extremely good incandescent lamps, but 1 finally 

decided to adopt that of Mr. J. W. Swan, the well-known inventor, of 

Kewcastle-on-Tyne. The enterprise of Messrs. Siemens Bros, ft Co. 

has enabled me to try the experiment of exhibiting this light in my 

theatre. About 1,200 lights are used, and the power to generate a suf- 

ficient current for these is obtained from large steam-engines, giving 



THE SAVOY THEATRE 



97 



critics, with others distinctly or indistinctly connected 
with the stage, attended to observe and admire, and 

about 120 horse-power, placed on some open land near the theatre. The 
new light is not only used in the audience part of the theatre, but on 
the stage, for footlights, side and top lights, ftc, and (not of the least 
importance for the comfort of the pei*formers) in the dressing-rooms— in 
fact, in every part of the house. This is the first time that it has been 
attempted to light any public building entirely by electricity. What Is 
being done is an experiment, and may succeed, or fail. It is not possible, 
until the application of tiie accumulator or secondary battery— the re- 
serve store of electric power - becomes practicable, to guarantee abso- 
lutely against any breakdown of the electric light. To provide against 
such a contingency gas is laid on throughout the building, and the 
* pilot ' light of the central sun-burner will be always kept alight, eo that 
in case of accident the theatre can be flooded with gaslight in a few 
seconds. The greatest drawbacks to the enjoyment of theatrical per- 
formances are. undoubtedly, the foul air and heat which pervade all 
theatres. As everyone knows, each gas-burner connnmeA as much oxygen 
as many people, and causes great heat besides. The incandescent lamps 
consume no oxygen, and cause no perceptible heat. If the experiment 
of electric lighting succeeds, there can be no question of the enormous 
advantages to be gained in purity of air and coolness— advantages the 
value of which it is hardly possible to over-estimate. 

The decorations of this theatre are by Messrs. Collinson & Lock. 

I venture to think that, with some few exceptions, the interiors of 
most theatres hitherto built have been conceived with little, if any, 
artistic purpose, and generally executed with little completeness, and 
in a more or less garish manner. Without adopting either of the styles 
known as * Queen Anne * and ' Early English.* or entering upon the so- 
called * aesthetic ' manner, a result has now been produced which I feel 
sure will be appreciated by all persons of taste. Paintings of cherubim, 
muses, angels, and mythological deities have been discarded, and the 
ornament consists entirely of delicate plaster modelling, designed in the 
manner of the Italian Benaissance. The main colour-tones are white, 
pale yellow, and gold— gold used only for backgrounds or in large 
masses, and not— following what may be called, for want of a worse 
name, the Gingerbread school of decorative art — for gilding relief- work 
or mouldings. The back walls of the boxes and the corridors are in two 



L 



98 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



loud was the admiration expreased. On October 10, 
1881, tbe theatre opened with 'Patience,' transferred 

tones ol Venetian red. No painted act-drop is used, but a curtain of 
creamy satin, quUted. having a fringe at the bottom and a valance of 
embroidery of the character of Spanish work, keeps up the consistency 
of the colour scheme. This curtain is arranged to drape from the 
centre. The stalls are covered with blue plush of an inky hue, and the 
balcony seats are of stamped velvet of the same tint, while the curtains 
of the boxes are of yellowish silk, brocaded with a pattern of decorative 
flowers in broken colour. 

To turn to a very different subject. I believe a f ertUe source of annoy- 
ance to the public to be the demanding or expecting of fees and gratui- 
ties by attendants. This system will, therefore, be discountenanced- 
Programmes will be furnished and wraps and umbrellas taken charge of 
gratuitously. The attendants will be paid fair wages, and any attendant 
detected in accepting money from visitors will be instantly dismissed. 
1 trust that the public wfll co-operate with me to support this reform 
(which already works so well at the Gaiety Theatre) by not tempting the 
attendants by the offer of gratuities. The showing-in of visitors and 
selling programmes will, therefore, not be sublet to a contractor, who 
has to pay the manager a high rental, to recoup which he is obliged to 
extract by his employ^ aU he. can get out of the public; nor will the 
refreshment saloons be sublet, but they will be under the supervision of 
a salaried manager, and the most careful attention will be given to pro- 
curing everything of the very best quality. 

The theatre will be opened under my management on Monday next, 
October 10, and I have the satisfaction to be able to announce that the 
opening piece will be Messrs. W. S. Gilbert and Arthur SuUivan^s opera, 
FaXiwM, which, produced at the Opera Comique on April 28, is still 
running with a success beyond any precedent. 

The piece is mounted afresh with new scenery, costumes, and in- 
creased chorus. It is being again rehearsed under the personal direction 
of the author and composer, and on the opening night the opera will be 
conducted by the composer. 

I am, ladies and gentlemen, your obedient servant, 

B. D'OYLY CABTE. 
Beaufort Houbk, Stband: 
Qi^Uibtr 6, 18Q1. 



THE SAVOY THEATRE 



99 



from the Opera Comique, which was destined to enjoy 
a fresh lease of popularity. 

Details of Construction 

This new theatre has been erected for Mr. D*Oyly Carte from the 
designs and under the superintendence of Mr. C. J. PhippB, F.8.A., 
architect of the Gaiety, the Haymarket, the Princesses, and other theatres. 
It is situate on the west side of Beaufort Buildings, Htrand, and occupies 
a site absolutely isolated on all four sides, thus affording free and ex- 
peditious entrance and exit for all classes of the public. The entrances 
are thus distributed, and are arranged so as to utilise the peculiar levels 
of the site : For the stalls and dress circle, and for all personH coming 
in carriages, the entrances are from Somerset Street, just off the Thames 
Embankment. The pit is also entered here, and there is an entrance to 
the upper circle. The audience for both these latter parts can come 
direct from the Strand by a short flight of steps adjoining Beaufort 
House. In Beaufort Buildings also is an entrance to, and on a level 
with, the upper circle. The entrances before referred to, from the 
Embankment, are on a level with the dress circle, and a few stops lead 
down to the stalls and pit. The gallery is entered from Carting Lane, a 
street in a direct line from the Embankment to the Strand. The royal 
entrance is at the angle of Somerset Street and Carting Lane. The 
stage entrance is in Herbert's Passage, and the box office for booking 
seats during the day is situated close to the Strand at the angle of the 
Beaufort Buildings frontage. The theatre is entered from Somerset 
Street through a semicircular vestibule paved with black and white 
marble, in which are the offices for booking and obtaining seats in the 
evening. Doorways immediately opposite the entrances lead to the 
dress-circle corridor, out of which wide staircases will be found on both 
sides of the theatre leading to the stalls. From this vestibule are also 
means of communicating, by an ascending staircase, with the upper 
circle, and by pass-doors to the pit staircase. All the entrances, passages, 
and staircases are of fire-resisting material; the flights of stairs are 
supported at each end by solid brick walls, and each staircase has a 
hand-rail on either side. There is no part of the theatre that has not 
two means of both ingress and egress, and the stage is separated from 
the auditory by a solid brick wall taken up completely through the roof. 
Water laid on from the high-pressure mains is in several parts of the 

H 2 






too 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



The coup Sml^ indeed, of a Savoy scene is always 
amazingly brilliant without being dasszling, as hapi>ens 

thflfttre, and every possible means has been taken to ensure both comfort 
and safety to the aodienoe. On the floor below the Tsstibole is a large 
refreshment saloon for the pit, and contignoos to it a smoking room 
opening oot of the stalls corridor, with a separate boudoir loange for 
ladies. There are also refreshment saloons on the upper floors of the 
theatre for both the upper cirde and gallery, with all necessary retiring 
and eloak rooms. The auditory Is thus arranged: On either side of 
the stage opening (which is 80 feet wide and 82 feet high) are three 
private boxes on each of the three levels. These are divided by partitions 
and ornamental pillars, and are surmounted by an arch spanning the 
whole width of the proscenium, springing from a cornice on the level of 
the gallery front. These boxes are richly upholstered in hangings of 
gold-coloured brocaded silk. The orchestra is in front of the stage, and 
is of sufficient capacity for a full band of twenty-seven or more musicians. 
There are nine rows of stalls immediately adjoining the orchestra; seated 
to hold 160 persons in arm-chairs, with ample space allowed for passing 
between the several rows, and wide unimpeded gangways on either side 
of the entrance passages. Behind the stalls are six rows of pit seats, 
calculated to seat 260 persons, with a spacious open corridor behind for 
standing and promenading. Above the pit, but at sufficient height to 
allow of persons at the very back seeing the full height of the scenery, 
is the dress circle of six rows of seats, with arm-chairs for 160 persons. 
There are no pillars of any kind in the dress circle, so a clear, unob- 
structed view of the stage is obtained from every seat. Above the dress 
circle, but receding some 9 feet back from it, is the upper circle, seated 
to accommodate 160 persons in five rows. The amphitheatre and gallery 
recede 6 feet behind the upper circle, and will seat 400 ft> 600 persons 
in eight rows. The whole seating accommodation will be for 1,292 per- 
sons. In each tier the balcony front takes the form of a horseshoe, that 
being the best adapted for perfect sight of the stage. The ornamenta- 
tion of these several balcony fronts is Benaissanoe in character, and is 
elaborately moulded and enriched with the figures and foliage peculiar 
to the Italian phase of the style, and gilded. The ceiling over the 
auditory takes the form of an extended fan from the arch spanning the 
proscenium, and is divided into a series of geometric panels, richly 
modelled in Renaissance ornament in relief, of the same character as 



THE SAVOY THEATRE 



roi 



so often when the limelight is profusely used. As 
we have seen, the Savoy was one of the first theatres— 

the balcony fronts. Colour is sparingly used in the ceiling, the back- 
ground of the ornament only being painted a light gold colour. The 
p««cenmm arch is divided by ribs and cross-styles into a series of panels, 
and the ornament in these is gilded. Over the proscenium in the 
tympanum of the arch is a basso rditvo of figures and foliated oma- 
ment The walls of the auditory are hung with a rich embossed paper, 
in two tones of deep Venetian red. The seats are covered in peacock 
blue, plush being used for the stalls and stamped velvet for the dn»s 
circle. A pale-gold coloured satin curtain, with an embroidered valance, 

l^r n tu*" w ""' .**"*' ""^ P^*^^ ^^^^' T*>* "*•««» ''hich is laid 
with all the ktest improvements in mechanical contrivances, is 60 feet 
wide, by a depth from the float-light to the back wall of 62 feet. There 
IS a clear height above the stage of 56 feet for the working of the 
scenery and a sink below of 16 feet. Behind the stage, and occupying 
the whole w,ng of the building in Herbert's Passage, are the d««sing 
woms. The theatre is fitted with a complete system of gas-lighting, 
but this is only for use in case of emergency, the whole of the illumi- 
nating for all parts of the establishment being by means of electricity, 
ms has been undertaken by Messrs. Siemens ^ Co., and the lights 
•dopted are those introduced by Swan, of Newcastle, and known as the 
Swan incandescent hght, the power necessary to generate the electric 
current for so many lights being supplied by powerful steam-engines 
PU^ m a sq,arate buUding on the vacant Und adjoining the theatie. 
Tliese Swan lights are of a beautiful colour, and in no way impair the 
atmosphere of the theatre, and emit no heat. They are not of the 
piercing brightness of the electric arc lights as seen in our streets and 
elsewhere, and therefore not unpleasant to the eyes. This is the first 
instance of a pubUc building being lighted permanently in all its depart- 
ments by ttie electric light. The exterior facade of the theatre is in 
Somerset Street, facing the Thames Embankment, and both this and 
the Beaufort Buildmgs frontage are built of red brick, with Portland 
stone for all moulded parts, and are of the Italian style of architecture. 

p!r« '"'^^^I!' "^ ""u^*"^* ^'° '°«^* °P^° ^"^ ^o'ks are as follows: 

Patman A Fothenngham for the whole of the builder's work, including 

he sUge. Collinson A Lock have arranged the scheme of colour for 

the mtenor, and have executed the painting, papering, and gilding, and 



102 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



THE SAVOY THEATRE 



103 



if not the first — at which the electric light was scien- 
tifically and elaborately ' laid on/ not merely ' in front 
of the house/ but behind the scenes. No one who 
has not seen it can conceive how elaborate and compli- 
cated is the mechanism for the control of the lighting. 
It is admittedly an enormous gain, and possibly a 
saving in expense, for during the many years of its 
existence the rich colouring of the toiile has had to be 
renewed, I believe, only once — in fact, at this moment 
it has all the air of a new theatre. The interior 
is fresh and elegant, the decoration being in white and 
gold, and set off by crimson draperies. The brocade 
curtains of a rich mellow tint, which drop from the 
sides at the close of an act, 'cost a fortune,' as it is 
called, but have added prodigiously to the general 
effect.* 

have supplied the upholstery and carpets ; they have also executed the 
plaster ornamentation of the auditory, in conjunction with Jackson & 
Sons. Strode & Co. have done the whole of the gas arrangements. 
Wadman has manufactured the armchairs for dress circle and stalls. 
Burke & Co. have laid down the niarhle floor of the vestibule. C. Drake 
9t Go. have executed the concrete floors and staircases. Faraday & Son 
have made all the internal fittings in connection with the electric light- 
ing. Merry weather & Sons have supplied the fire hydrants and other 
such appliances. Clarke Si Co. have constructed the revolving iron 
shutters and blinds at entrances. Mr. J. E. Walker has been the archi- 
tect's clerk of works. 

' There have been many statements and rumours as to the enormous 

profits made by the pailners by these operas. One of the persons most 

nearly concerned in the venture has given me his views on this subject: 

I do not think any regular amount per annum could be reckoned, as, 

of course, such amounts must vary enormotuly according to the successes 



Another of the manager's most important reforms 
was the introduction of the queucy which English play- 

of the opera being played. Dnrinp^ the first three months of the run of 
even the most successful opera the receipts are usually almost entirely 
occupied in paying the current expenses, and the preliminary expenses 
of production. It is only during the second quarter, and possibly 
the third quarter, that money as a rule can be made ; and the fag end 
of any piece must always mean a considerable loss, however success- 
ful the piece. It may, however, certainly be said of the author and 
composer in question that not a single one of their joint works in 
London has been otherwise than sztccessftdt though the amount of success 
has of course varied. None of them have been financial losses ; all have 
been financial successes ; and this, of course, is a very rare thing with 
operas. 

' The current expenses of a Savoy Opera would be somewhere about 
130Z. or 1352. a night. The theatre, if perfectly full in every part, 
would hold about double this. Of course, the expenses I mention 
are without what I would call the 2^rclimvtary expenses, which, with 
such an opera as the present, amount to seven or eight thousand pounds ; 
and, therefore, even reckoning on the theatre being full, it is a long time 
before any money can be made with an opera. In fact, opera, I sup- 
pose, in the long nm is quite certain to ruin any manager or his backers; 
with the one exception, of course, of the scries of Gilbert and Sullivan 
operas, which, as I said before, have been an entire exception to the 
usual rule. The failure of an opera in London, when it has been a very 
expensive production, and when the period of rtthearsals is reckoned, 
and the period during which the theatre has to be kept open (or, at any 
rate, rent and many expenses paid) at a loss, would mean a loss anyway 
of from fifteen to twenty thousand pounds; whereas, of course, a 
manager would think himself very lucky if out of a successful opera 
he made seven or eight thousand pounds. I roughly reckon always that 
ONE ordinary opera failure would swallow up the results of iiibek 
ordinary successes. It is of course, therefore, obvious that the whole 
business must be an exceptionally risky one ; and, in fact, in the long 
run almost a certain loss. It is only where,. as with the Gilbert and 
Sullivan series, you con have a certain success each time, even though 
it may not always be an enormous financial success, that you can look 
on opera as at aU a safe experiment. 




I04 



THE SAVOY OPERA 






I I 



THE SAVOY THEATRE 



105 



goers have always seemed too sturdily independent to 
adopt. D'Oyly Carte, however, has actually succeeded in 
inducing hie patrons to submit to this custom, to enforce 
it on themselves, and the pittite may be seen every 
night falling decorously into line on the flight of steps 
that descends from the Strand into the Savoy. He 
was assured at first, with much shaking of heads, 
that ' they would never stand it.' This sensible arrange- 
ment has since been accepted in the case of most 
theatres in crowded thoroughfares such as the Strand, 
where the playgoers submit to be marshalled in line by 
the police, to the great convenience of the passers-by, 
no longer compelled to make a circuit into the road 
round the compact crowd. 

It may be imagined that the recruiting of the 

' I do not think the great or Dnusnal point about the series of Oilbert 
and Sallivan operas is so much the question of any immense profits 
Diade oat of them, as that it is (in my opinion) a unique fact that there 
ihoald be a series of operas none of tohich are failures. So far as 
enoTTDous profits are concerned, I have no doubt that a little farcica] 
comedy could entirely beat the record of a Oilbert and Sullivan opera, 
for the reason that the expenses are so entirely out of proportion. I do 
not know, of course, what has been made by Charley's Aunt^ for in- 
stance, but I should imagine it might probably be equal to what might 
be made out of eight or ten successful operas, because of the enormous 
diiference in the expenses of the production and the running ; but what 
is unique about our operas is that each one has been a success of some 
sort, and that is what has enabled them to be a permanent businees 
natter. I do not know of any other series of operas that have been. 
Of course, Italian opera is only kept going regularly by a subscription. 
Without that it would fall to the ground.' 



various travelling corps,' usually conducted at the 
Savoy itself, involves a good deal of thought, time, and 
trouble. There is a perpetual stream of candidates for 
the chorus or leading parts, and everyone receives a 
fair trial, exhibiting their gifts to Mr. Cellier, the con- 
ductor. Often 'blanks are drawn,' and, as may be 
imagined, not very often a prize. Many women — a 
distressed clergyman's daughter, a child of some family 
' reduced ' — have found a refuge at the Savoy. Some 
friend has promised to 'speak to D'Oyly Carte.' A 
regular register of applicants has been kept from the 
beginning, with the original notes, of a brief but signiti- 
cant kind ; and there are some mystic letters opposite 
each; such as 'N.G.,' *M.,' and *F.,' which we might 
expound as 'No good,' ' Middling,' and 'Fair ' ; 'Ancient 
German ' is not so intelligible.' 

* This matter of travelling compam'es has become quite a distinct 
business, and few can conceive the importance to which it has grown. 
Sunday being a free day, is usually selected as the travelling day, and 
some of the great Midland lines are quite in a bustle and ferment from 
the abundance of the theatrical s|)ecia)s. Through the great central 
stations long trains pass swiftly, Mr. So-and-So's Jim the Penman's, or 
Uncle Tom's Cabin's performers on board, with all the actors and 
actresses, scene-men, * properties,* and dresses. The Savoy Opera has be- 
come a very important commercial enterprise, involving the interests of 
a vast number of persons engaged either at the parent theatre or pro- 
menading the country. A single travelling company is usually found 
sufficient to engross all the energies of a manager; but here the 
interests of some seventy or eighty persons, who have to be moved about 
the country, become a very serious question. 

* These details are from an * At Home * in the World, December 4, 
1889. 



L 



io6 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



In these opening days of the new house the manager 
was assisted by a clever man, who had much of the neces- 
sary Btioviter in modo combined with efficiency in re — the 
genial Michael Gunn. He had long been the soul of 
theatrical enterprise in Dublin, and with the aid of his 
wife, erst Miss Sudlow, had established the Gaiety 
Theatre in that city, to which during a long course of 
years he has brought every shape of peripatetic talent. 
As a coadjutor to the manager he was invaluable, and at 
this time directed the numerous travelling companies 
which were carrying Gilbert and Sullivan ideas all over 
the land, and ' spreading the light ' generally. Every- 
body in the profession knows Michtiel Gunn.* 

It was fortunate for the public stock of harmless 
pleasure that this co-partnership was established. Nothing 
could have been happier than the fortuitous concurrence 
of such elements. Each was exactly what was to be 
desired for the combination. Gilbert brought his care- 
ful diligence, his long training and knowledge of the 



' On one occasion, during a visit to America, he was trying the voices 
of some candidates for the chorus; one of them sang in a sort of 
affected Italian-broken -English, which, as Grossmith says, he has 'found 
quite common among English foreign singers.* The stage manager in- 
terrupted. ' Look here,' lie said, ' that accent won't do for sailors or 
pirates. Give us a little less Mediterranean, and a little more White- 
ehapel.* Here Gunn turned and said, ' Of what nationality are you ? 
YoQ don't sound Italian.* The other suddenly dropped his Italian accent, 
and in Irish brogue said, *Shure, Mister Gunn, I'm from the same 
country as yourself.' 



r//E THREE PARTNERS toy 

stage, with an original method of his own, which was 
Ukely to attract the public ; Sullivan was the most 
popular of English composers, with a fertile, unex- 
pected vein of dramatic talent; while D'Oyly Carte, 
the manager, supplied knowledge of the public taste, 
joined with business habits. He had the proper 
managerial spirit of adventure, sparing nothing to pro- 
duce a good entertainment, with a shrewd delibera- 
tion which guarded him from serious risk. The fruit 
of this alliance was found in some fifteen or sixteen 
years of almost uninterrupted success, and, given such 
conditions, the same result may be always assured. 

Though the partners were three, the spirit of the 
undertaking was one, and their co-operation was one. 
This made the result totally different from what attends 
the commonly accepted form of procedure. There the 
story-teller fashions his story and takes it to the com- 
poser, who will 'set' it as he will set anything else; 
just as Swift, it was said, could ' write beautifuUv on a 
broomstick ' ; or it may be that the composer, in want 
of a story, and wishing ' to write something,' secures a 
libretto that he thinks will suit. The manager then 
arrives, and will ' mount ' it, just as he will mount any- 
thing that will suit his theatre, actors, and singers. 
Each, therefore, may be considered as working inde- 
pendently and in his own department. The great 
composers, such as Beethoven, Wagner, or Meyerbeer, 



io8 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



might, indeed, be said to have written their own 
librettos ; for they composed their woriis almost before 
the story was supplied — that is to say, they had some 
&Toiirite story in their minds which filled and inspired 
them, and which, as they dwelt on it, found expression 
in ' motives,' or a general strain of music. This they 
adapted to the words and verses. They saw the great 
ntoations before them, and felt in anticipation how they 
ahould be treated. They would tell their librettist what 
they wanted in such a place. Such was Meyerbeer*s 
method, who almost wrote or rewrote his opera in the 
theatre as it was being rehearsed. And so Gilbert, while 
giving due point to his lyrics and dialogues, wrote with 
a view to what his colleague would make of them, while 
the latter bore in mind that he was to accompany, as it 
were, and set ojff the pleasant conceits of his friend. 
Both had in. view the interests of their manager, the 
groupings, scenes, &c. — above all, that original form of 
chorus which should exhibit something new on each 
occasion. The strangest thing in this association is 
that Gilbert has frankly confessed that ' he has no ear 
for music. He is very fond of it, but he would hardly 
be conscious of a discord. Time and rhythm he 
knows.' ' 



' This suggests an emineDt maihematicuui and chemist whom I knew, 
who was utterly impervious to the sigmficance of mosical sounds. It 
wu thus that the mystic, impressive words, ' AfacfniZ2an*s Haqtuint^^ 



THE SAVOY ORCHESTRA 109 

The ensemble suggested by the terra ' Savoy Opera ' 
is really of a unique and unusual kind. There is the 
elegant theatre— ahnost perfect in its arrangement and 
sumptuous adornments— the scenery and dresses, on 
which literally nothing is spared ; there is a general 
magnificence and brilliancy, tempered, however, by good 
taste and restraint. The choruses are formed of re- 
fined and mostly pretty girls, drawn from the • lower 
middle classes,' and of a very difierent type from that 
found in the common opera houffe chorus. This lends 
a grace and charm to all that they do. The orchestra 
is full tod rich, and homogeneous from playing to- 
gether so many years under the same conductor. It 
might be said, indeed, that it is a little too full and 
strident for the size of the theatre. PiaimBimos might 
be tried occasionally with good effect. There is an ad- 
mirable and most competent manager, who shrinks from 
no outlay that he thinks necessary, and who has created 
quite a gigantic system, spread over the whole king- 
dom, for the purpose of developing and maturing a 
school of singers and actors, who are trained and 
practised, according to their degree, in the country, 

conveyed • no manner of an idea* to Cardinal Newman's mind. Once 
a tune played before the mathematician seemed to please, and he 
said it somehow suggested chUmde of lime. Yet he had mastered 
the science of music, and could actually • score ' a piece. Gilbert I 
fancy, with practice has learned the comparative value, and suiUMlitT 
to his words, of the different airs. 



no 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



to be gradually promoted to the London stage. His 
labours appear onobtrusive, and are felt rather than 
seen. 

Thns, what really distingolBhes the Savoy opera from 
the other lands of opera is the pervading influence of 
the author and the composer, which is exerted and felt 
in every department — in the scenery, dresses, singing, 
acting, and business. It is all ' Gilbert and Sullivan.' 
Here the writer can carry out his intentions and mean- 
ing 80 completely that he may be said to act the piece 
by deputy. The actors and actresses become his second 
self; every inflection, every movement is his. That 
curious half-earnest tone in which some grotesque senti- 
ment is gravely uttered, so that we are for a moment 
in doubt whether the speech is intended seriously, 
is his ; and the actors have caught the style perfectly. 
At home he has his model theatre, made to scale, and 
with little blocks to denote groups, &c. He devises 
all his combinations and entries. This gives a unity 
to the whole, and it is quite legitimate; for in most 
cases a writer sees before him the whole incident, 
as it is in action, to which his words are introductory, 
bat cannot infuse his own ideas into the actors who 
deliver his words. He, indeed, does not know how to 
do so. But he feels that his meaning has not been 
carried out. 



GILBERT'S METHODS 



III 



'It was in the " Princess," • said a writer in the World 
some thirteen years ago, • that he first displayed on the 
stage that ironically comic vein perceptible among the 
broader fun of the - Bab Ballads." The leading m'^otive 
of the ironical comedy must lie sought in the idea that 
it is much more comical to bring an apparently serious 
personage on the stage and to make him utter the most 
bizarre and extravagant sentiments than to produce him 
at once in the exaggerated " make-up " beloved of low 
comedians. That a comically made-up judge, with a great 
red nose and '• pantomime " wig and robes, should api)ear 
on the stage and do ridiculous things is only natural. 
. . . But it is dijBferent when the judge has nothing 
unnatural in his appearance, and yet utters the drollest 
sentiments. To the fun of the situation and language 
is added the important element of surprise. ... In the 
beginning Mr. Gilbert's new theory of fun met with but 
scant appreciation among those selected to interpret it. 
The reason of this difficulty is obvious. It had become 
almost a stage tradition that the actor was at once to 
take the audience into his confidence. If a low comedian, 
it was expected of him, it was supposed, by his peculiar 
audience; and his individuality, as evinced by well-known 
tricks and gestures, also went, as he thought, for a great 
deal. At least, they secured his " laughs. ' Mr. Gilbert 
found himself obliged to stem this tide of opinion as 



U2 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



best he might. For the purpoae of the ironical comedy 
it was, above aU things, necessary that the actor should 
appear unconscious that what he was saying or doing 
was funny. He was to play his part in good faith, and 
let the amusement of the audience arise from the hicon- 
gruity between his manner and appearance and his acts, 
words, and deeds. In " PygmaUon " Mrs. Kendal seized 
the idea perfectly, as did the young lady who played the 
Scotch lassie in " Engaged," and Miss Marion Terry when 
she ate the tarts in the same amusing play. It w, 
perhaps, not easy to utter the oddest lines without 
betraying some consciousness of their strangeness ; but 
the inventor of this method has succeeded in many cases 
in getting his intention fairly carried out. There is, 
and has been for some time past at least, no oppo- 
Bition to his view from the artists who represent his 

pieces.' 

Our author has candidly explained what are his 

methods of workmanship. No man could be more con- 
scientious or painstaking in providing what he intends 
shall be worthy of attention ; and it is astonishing to 
find what labour and even drudgery he bestows upon 
works the superficial might fancy were thrown off in 
the most airy and careless way. Thus we are told : 
' No brilliancy of dialogue, no skilful elaboration of 
character, will supply the want of a story, serious or 
comic, as the case may be. Convinced of this, Gilbert 



GILBERT'S METHODS 



'•3 



lets his story be moulded in the odd hours of the day or 
night, until it becomes coherent. Then the prosy part 
of the work commences. First of all he writes the plot 
out as if it were an anecdote. This covers a few quarto 
slips of copy, and is written very neatly, almost without 
correction, so perfectly are the main lines settled before 
anything is set down. The next proceeding is the more 
laborious one of expanding the anecdote to the length of 
an ordinary magazine article by the addition of incident 
and of summaries of conversations. This being carefully 
overhauled, corrected, and cut down to a skeleton, the 
work has taken its third form, and is ready to be broken 
up into acts ; and the scenes, entrances, and exits are 
arranged. Not till its fifth appearance in manuscript is 
the play illustrated by dialogue. The important scenes 
are first written, and then these brightly-coloured patches 
are gradually knitted together, as it were, by the shorter 
scenes. At this stage the work is ready for ^Ir. 
Sullivan's collaboration, and all begins over again. A 
song, on which Mr. Gilbert has expended some labour, 
may happen to be in a metre too nearly resembling one 
which Mr. Sullivan has previously '^ set," and must there- 
fore be rewritten. Again, the composer has his ideas 
as to the order of chorus, song, and duet, and wishes 
that at some juncture a sentimental air could be grafted 
on the comic stock. Mr. Sullivan is so sound a musician 
that he loves to introduce at least one serious air, such 

I 



,,4 THE SAVOY OPERA 

as the charming madrigal in the "PirateB of Penzance," 
which is here the great musical success of the piece, 
while in America its presence was resented as " out of 

place in a comic opera." ' 

Gilbert was once asked by an ' interviewer ' where 
he got his plots, and answered vivaciously : ' Plots ? 
good gracious ! where do they come from ? / don't 
know. A chance remark in conversation, a little acci- 
dental incident, a trifling object may suggest a train of 
thought which develops into a startling plot. Taking 
my own plots, for instance, the " Mikado " was sug- 
gested by a Japanese sword which hangs in my study ; 
the "Yeomen of the Guard" by even a more unlikely 
incident. I had twenty minutes one day to wait at 
Uxbridgc Station for a tram, and 1 saw the advertise- 
ment of the " Tower Fumkhing Company," representmg 
a number of beefeaters— why, goodness only knows. It 
gave me an idea, and I wrote the play originaUy as one 
of modern life in the Tower of London.' Everyone with 
experience of writing knows how true all this is. A trifle 
suggests something; instantly a whole train of ideas 
develops, or shows possibilities of development ; forms, 
colours, texture, present themselves. On the other hand, 
when a fully-formed plot or sequence of incidents is 
suggested or devised it often seems cold and lifeless, 
and without form or colour. 

The next point is to invent original characters. But 



GILBERT'S METHODS 



"S 



this is a very difiicult matter, whether one be writing for 
a stock company or writing irrespective of the cast. ' It 
is not always easier to write for a non-existent com- 
pany ; one has too free a hand. But with a stock com- 
pany it is so hard to make the characters seem original. 
Writing for the Savoy I had to keep the idiosyncrasies of 
Rutland Barringten, Bosina Brandram, and the others 
constantly before me. I used to invent a perfectly fresh 
character each time for George Grossmith ; but he always 
did it in his own way — most excellent in itself, crisp and 
smart, but " G. G." to the end. Consequently everyone 
said : " Why, Grossmith always has the same character " ; 
whereas, if difierent individuals had acted them, each 
would have been distinctive. It was no fault of Gros- 
smith*s, than whom a more amiable and zealous col- 
laborateur does not exist. It arose from the fact that 
his individuality was too strong to be concealed.' 

Gilbert once remarked to me that, however well 
conceived the character might be, he cculd not reckon 
with any certainty on its * coming out ' as he intended 
it. No amount of teaching will ensure that an actor 
shall take the author's view. On the other hand, the 
actor will often come to the writer *8 aid, and make a 
character out of a mere sketch or indication. 

'I write out the play as a story, just as though and 
as carefully as though it were to be published in that 
form. I then try to divide it into acts. I think two 

I 2 



1 



,,6 THE SAVOY OPERA 

acts the right nnmher for comic opera. At least, my 
experience— and that is thirty years old— teaches me so. 
Sometimes, of course, the original story does not fall 
readily into two acts, and so requires modification. I 
put it by for a fortnight or more, and then rewrite the 
whole thing without referring to the first copy. I find 
that I have omitted some good things that were in the 
first edition, and have introduced some other good things 
that were not m it. I compare the two, put them both 
aside, and write it out again. Sometimes I do this a 
dozen times ; indeed, the general public have no idea 
of the trouble it takes to produce a play that seems to 
run so smoothly and so naturally. One must work up 

to " a good curtain." ' 

When the piece is thus written and composed, Gilbert 
appears m quite another character, as a scene-painter 
or stage-carpenter. He plots out whole scenes, and 
models them so exactly that no scope is left for the 
imagination or the blundering of the workman. Before 
' H.M.S. Pinafore ' appeared the author went down to 
Portsmouth, was rowed about the harbour, viewed various 
ships, and finally pitched upon the quarter-deck of the 
* Victory ' for his scene. Having obtained permission, 
he sketched and modelled every detail, even to the 
stanchions. This matter of the scenery is a serious one. 
It must be pretty and attractive ; but not so cumbrous 
that, like delicate wine, it ' will not travel.' When a 



GILBERTS METHODS 



117 



comic opera is intended to be played by three .com- 
panies in England and four in the United States it 
must be endowed with scenery which will bear carry- 
ing from place to place, and will look well in any 
theatre. Gilbert also designs most of the costumes 
worn in his plays. This work was not necessary for 
the ladies* dresses in the ' Pirates of Penzance,' as they 
are strictly modern ; but when producing the piece in 
America there was no little difficulty in getting the 
dress of an English major-general. 

Play, scenery, and costumes being arranged, and 
actors and actresses regularly fitted with parts adapted 
to their various capacities, next comes the difficulty of 
stage management. Mr. Gilbert's views on this subject 
are as autocratic as those of M. Victorien Sardou 
or Mr. Dion Boucicault ; and by dint of insistence he 
has acquired as much influence over any company en- 
trusted with his play as even the last-named gentleman, 
who, in his triple character of manager, author, and actor, 
may not be said nay to by the most obdurate of low 
comedians. Mr. Gilbert holds that he is most vitally 
concerned ; for if the piece succeeds, the whole com- 
pany and establishment succeed ; but if it fails, it is 
' Gilbert's piece ' that has failed, and not its representa- 
tives. Hence he insists, except in the case of artists of 
high rank in their profession, that the characters shall be 
played according to his own idea. On the rank and file 




ii8 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



GILBERTS METHODS 



119 



he imposed his commands, and drills them with mafvel- 
lons patience. Not only^at the theatre at set rehearsals, 
but at his own house, he devotes hour after hour to 
' going through the part ' with dense but docile artists 
— * willing, yet slow, to learn.' 

Resuming his story, our author explains that 
* sometimes, but very rarely, the play is spoilt by the 
interpreters. They always do their best, but occasionally 
they fail to realise my intention. The fact is that for * 
comic opera many artists, especially tenors and sopranos, 
are necessarily engaged who are singers rather than 
actors ; and it is not to be expected that carefully/ written 
comedy dialogue will receive full justice at their hands. 
It is as though one called on the Haymarket company 
to perform an opera. Critics do not seem to realise this 
difiBculty, and frequently pronounce a scene to be dull 
because it is ineffectively acted by a ccmple of mere 
concert-singers. 

' I next sketch out quite roughly the dialogue, and then 
fill in the musical numbers as I feel inclined. I do not 
attempt to write them in order, but just as the humour 
takes me — one here, one there ; a sad one when I feel 
depressed, a bright one when I am in a happy mood. 
When at last all those of the first act are done it is sent 
to the composer to be set to music, with a copy of the 
rough sketch of the dialogue to show him how the 
different songs hang together. I generally like reading 



it over to the composer, so as to give him my idea of the 
rhythm, which, as a matter of course, he varies at his 
pleasure. There must be perfect good-fellowship between 
the writer and composer, as there is much give-and-take 
to be managed. Metres have to be changed by the 
writer, or tunes altered by the composer^ to fit in with 
some idea, some intention, of the other partner. For 
instance, the writer may have put a theme in one metre 
and the composer has a tune in his head which will 
just suit the theme but wiU not fit the scansion, and so 
the lyrics must be altered; each must try to make the 
other's part as easy as possible. There must be no 
jealousy, no bad feeling between the two. They must 
be on the best of terms; otherwise there will be no 
success. And I put down the popularity of the 
"Gondoliers," "lolanthe," "Mikado," and the other 
operas which Sir Arthur Sullivan and I did together 
chiefly to this fact. He was most kind in this respect.^ 

* Collaboration is an interesting topic, dramatic almost in its bearing, 
and its true principles are perhaps little understood. In the case of libret- 
tist and composer, the hackneyed or accepted method is for the first to 
supply a * book,' which the latter proceeds to set. A genuine composer, 
however, virtually writes his own play— that is to say, he * fancies* a 
subject like Tausi ; as he thinks over the garden scene, the scenes in 
the cathedra], peculiar tones of music visit him ; the whole cast of 
the strains fill his mind ; he feels how he would treat the situations. As 
he thinks of Margaret's desertion special tones and melodies fill his soul. 
This was certainly Meyerbeer's, Gounod's, and Wagner's method. The 
vulgar idea of «o-operation in literary work — say a novel— is that one 
writer shall 'do' the plot, the other the dialogue ; or that one shall do one 




120 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



Well, Tvhilst the composing is going on I complete i 
the dialogue and work up the entire stage manage- 
ment on a model stage. When the rehearsal comes. I 
have the business of each scene written down, and 
this inspires confidence in those one is teaching ; they 
know that I have a concrete scheme in my head, 
and generally watch its development with interest 
and curiosity. 

' As to rehearsals, there are in all three weeks for 
the artistes to study the music ; then a fortnight's re- 
hearsals without the music; finally, another three or 
four weeks' rehearsals in position and with the music. 
The principals are not wearied with rehearsals until 
the chorus are perfect in their music' ^ 

This is all interesting, and furnishes a very clear 
explanation of the Savoy methods. 

It has been said— foolishly, it seems to me — that 
genius is nothing but an unlimited capacity for taking 
pains; it might run that without taking pains genius 
will do little. Selection, rejection, arrangement, cumu- 
lation, contrast — these things are absolutely necessary 
to set off genius; but they entail serious labour and 
take time. Everything can be made the most of and 
set in the best light provided trouble be taken and 

scene, the oUier another. But real oo-operation signifies that every 
portion is done by both— that is, the sitaations are called over and 
settled, or amended ; the dialogue written by one is taken in hand by 
the other, altered and enriched, or rewritten. 



GILBERT'S METHODS 



\2\ 



labour given. Notwithstanding this long course of un- 
interrupted success, we find our author never relaxing — 
not, as so many would be tempted to do, ' dashing it off ' 
carelessly and depending on the immunity accorded to 
an old favourite. But this is not Gilbert's fashion.' I 
found our author lately getting ready a new oi)ern, 
laying down the keel, timbers, &c., in the most 
painstaking way. There was a new and stout book 
which was to be the receptacle for ideas, suggestions, 
experiments, sketches even. It was already full enough, 
having rhymeless stanzas later to be fashioned and 
polished. When the story had been * blocked out ' in 
the fashion described above, or settled with his coad- 
jutor, they would next fix the likeliest places for the 
m'Mxcal incidents, the duos, solos, &c. When these were 
accepted by the composer, the author would proceed at 
once to write the stanzas, without having touched the 
dialogue. These the composer would proceed to set, 
while the librettist got ready the second act in the 
same fashion. Thus the work weJit on and gradually 
grew. 

I should have thought that the fashioning the 
dialogue first would have been a source of inspiration 
for the lyrics ; but every literary workman has his ow n 
methods, and uses those that he finds most serviceable. 

* Some years ago there was an exhibition at the Aquarium of 
theatrical relics, memorials, * props.,' dc. Among the classes in the cata- 




122 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



8iillivan*8 music is mi generis. It has nothing in 
common with the sweet prettiness of the average French 
light opera; it is more robust and downright, as it 
were. The French viotifs seem to depend a good deal 
on their ingenious and somewhat luscious harmonies; 
the SuUivan airs are fresh and honest tunes that can be 
carried in the memory- His style, however, has changed 
a good deal with his successive operas, and to some 
eitent reflects the taste of the moment ; but it is always 
manly and straightforward. . Thus his early works had 
something of Oflenbach, whose exuberant vitality and ' 
variety is quite a different thing from the rather sickly 
sentiment of his successors. /H.M.8. Pinafore' has a 
good deal of the breezy tone of 'Madame Angot.' 

logne was a heading. • Mr. W. S. Onbert, hia SenUmenta/ It aeema 
that he WM aaked to contribate to the exhibition, which he declined, 
bat inatead he aent a charaoteriatie letter, foil of good aenae : • I 
have a atrong feeUng that, haying regard to the nature of hia oalHng. 
the actor is auffioiently glorified while he lives, and that it is unneoeasary 

to transfer that gloriacation to hia old clothes after his death A 

eoDecUon of the wigs of diatinguiahed chief jnaticea or the gaitera and 
ahovel.hata of famous arohbiahopa would not draw five pounda.' 
George ITenry Lewea hae given utterance to much the aame opinion : 
^Bednce the actor to hia intrinaic value, and then weigh him with 'the 
rivak whom he aurpaaaea in reputation and in fortune. Already he geta 
more fame than he deaervea, and we are caUed upon to weep that he 
geU no more 1 During hia reign the applause which followa him exceeds 
in intensity that of all other claimants for public approbation ; ao long 
aa he lives he is an object of strong sympathy and interest ; and when 
he dies he leaves behind him such influence upon his art as hia genius 
may have effected, and a monument to kindle the emulation of auooea- 
aora. Is not that enough ? ' 



SULLIVAN'S MUSIC 



>23 



* Patience ' is of quite a different genre from * Princess 
Ida,' being more of a ballad opera. The fashion in 
which this music is appreciated in the drawing-room is 
a tribute to its sterling merits, for we do not find 
detached songs Bung by tenors and sopranos so much 
as scenes and concerted pieces, which seem to bring 
back recollections of the pleasant humours of the per- 
formance. It is always enjoyable to go over the * score ' 
in this way, when we appear to have Barrington and 
Grossmith once more before us. And it must be said 
that the music bears admirably this transference to the 
piano. 

But perhaps the great merit — or greatest of ail his 
merits — is the admirable way in which the composer 
has set the words allotted to him. This is done in an 
ahnost perfect fashion. The average composer will 
think it enough if he reflect the sentiment or meaning 
of the situation ; this secured, he will develop his own 
ideas, using the words as a framework for his notes ; 
much as a milliner will consider the hum&n figure a 
' block ' on which she can fit her dress. But Sullivan 
looks on the ' lines ' as the air which he is to adorn and 
' set off ' ; he makes everything subser\nent to this. He 
puts himself in the place of the author. The two 
natures are so thoroughly consonant, from practice and 
habit, that they have come to have the same instincts 
and feelings. Gilbert knows the sort of music he has 




124 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



to expect, and as he \nriteB keeps this in view ; while 
Sullivan can eqnally anticipate the quaint points and 
sitnations he will have to treat. 

Our composer's music wears well. It does not seem 
to grow old-fashioned ; this is because it is genuine — ox 
rather, perhaps, because it is really ' good ' music.^ 

Though broad and often exuberant, there is nothing 
vulgar in Sullivan's work — a note so often struck in 
Offenbach's strains, which are occasionally canaille and 
reeking of the cafi chantanL In Sullivan's most * free 
and easy ' passages there is always a classical tone. It ' 
will have struck many, too, how original he is in his forms. 
In his songs there is nothing of the old insipid Balfian 
measures, the phrases of which balance each other so 
^mmetrically* What, for instance, could be more 
strikingly grotesque and novel than the odd, abrupt 
phrases of the Salvationist duet in * Buddigore,' which 
seems to hint at the spasmodic twists and turns of the 
sectary's nature ? 

A contrast to these sprightly runnings are the more 
solemn and pretentious efforts of the composer, such as 
the ' Martyr of Antioch,' * Ivanhoe,' and the popular 

' Rossini was asked what kind of music he liked best, and replied 
that he only knew of one kind of mnsic — viz. good masic. There is 
mach troth in this, as every musician will admit, for the merit of all 
music is quite independent of its forms, be they trivial or otherwise. 
That admirable mastro used also to add that he * liked all music, from 
Bach to O0en-bach.* 



SULLIVAN'S MUSIC 



125 



( 



' Golden Legend.' These are excellent, scholarly works, 
but they seem to lack inspiration, and are academical in 
style and treatment. It may be laid down that every 
trained musician can write his cantata or oratorio, just 
as every litterateur can write his novel or biography. It 
is the regular part of the mAiier. I have heard, indeed, 
of an eminent mathematician who could not ' distinguish 
an explosion from a symphony,' who actually learned 
the science, and could write fugues secundum artcm. 
Without inspiration these things are mere exercises. 
' Ivanhoe ' was certainly a ponderous work, more like a 
vast symphony protracted through several acts than an 
opera. It was based on a most artificial libretto, which 
could not have inspired the composer. His strength, it 
would seem, is not equal to works of tongue haleine. 1 
believe, indeed, that if he found a two-act story of a 
legitimate kind, written by a skilled hand specially for 
the music, he would produce a comic opera that would 
astonish the empire. 

In a Savoy opera there are two scenes for each piece 
—one for the first act, the other for the second. Mr. 
Craven is now usually * loaned ' by the Lyceum to supply 
some of the most beautiful of his designs. There being 
little or no changes to be effected, they are usually built 
up in a very permanent way, and the artist has free scope 
for his ingenuity. Craven was enabled to devise some 
beautiful atmospheric effects, for which he has a special 



A 



126 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



gift, by the a^gency not bo much of colour as of what 
are known as * mediums '—that is to say, the employ- 
ment of different lights. 

What, then, has been the secret of this great and 
Bustamed success? I believe it to be owing to some 
really unique and original methods devised by author 
and composer, and carried out in the most thorough 
and consistent fashion. It amounts, in feet, to what 
is almost an invention. Gilbert devised a system of 
investing ordinary colloquial phrases that seem almost 
trifling with a kind of latent ironical humour which is ' 
ordinarily thought too delicate and impalpable for the 
stage. To these utterances he gave an importance and 
contrast by curious grotesque surroundings; he added 
the intended emphasis and brought out their proper 
meaning by assiduous instruction of those to whom 
they were entrusted, so that he seemed, as it were, to 
say the things himself. On his part Sullivan contrived a 
really wonderful method of musical expression, perfectly 
appropriate to the sense, so as almost to follow the in- 
flections of the voice in conmion conversation. I venture 
to say that no one ever before so perfectly conveyed the 
meaning of a sentence in common talk by the agency 
of musical tones. As was before sliown, the object was 
not to find words to show off the music, but to supply 
music that should illustrate the words. 

It would seem that our composer, once in possession 



r 



\ 



THE SAVOY ORCHESTRA 



127 



of his story and the spirit of the situations, can write off 
his music in a very short space of time, first. ' scoring * 
the pieces for piano and voices, later adding the 
orchestral parts. He no doubt notes, as he goes along, 
the fitting instrumental effects, the introduction of 
particular instruments and passages, which he will later 
develop sectmdum artem. In writing a * grand opera ' a 
composer, of course, writes directly for his instruments, 
which are the essential mediums of expression ; but in a 
Savoy opera the words are the chief element, and the 
orchestration of less importance. Sometimes I have 
thought that the tone of the Savoy orchestra is 
rather loud and sustained. Greater effects could cer- 
tainly be produced if the general tone were kept sub- 
dued, and more delicacy of treatment were aimed at. At 
times one would think, indeed, that the instruments were 
too zealously carrying out the peers* invitation : 

Loudly let the trumpet bray t 

Tantantara t 
Gaily bang the sounding brasses ! 

Tring ! 
Blow the trumpets, bang the brasses ! 

Tantantara! ting! boom! 

No one can have an idea of what can be done in this 
direction who has not seen what conducting was in the 
old Paris Opera Comique days, when the exquisite 
accompaniments of Auber, Harold, Boildieu, and other 



128 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



masters were given with surpassing grace and delicacy, 
and on a comparatively small orchestra. In this country 
we have plenty of ' time*beaters/ as Yon Bnlow said, 
but conducting is a different thing altogether. 

The Savoy play- bill is a work of art, and worth 
preserving by the collector of such curios, and it 
is interesting to turn over the whole series from the 
beginning ; they call up in a very potent way the figures 
that have flitted across that pleasant scene, supplying 
enjoyment in their passage. As Elia has shown, a play- 
bDl is a very mystic talisman in this way. It would 
be interesting to trace the curious genesis and develop- 
ment of the play-bill in these modern days, from the old 
antediluvian long and fluttering strip of tissue, with its 
rich jet characters which came off on the kid glove and 
reposed before you on the cushidn of the dress circle, to 
the little sheet of note-paper whose faint characters can 
with difficulty be read.' 

The Savoy programmes of the last seven or eight years 
were in the form of elegant little oblong booklets or 
single cards. In the case of the earlier ones there were 



> I possess a long series covering a span of some five-and-twenty 
years, and giving the cast and characters of all the important plays at 
the leading theatres. Nothing is more striking than the decorative style 
of these bills, which every year seemed to grow more elaborate in their 
treatment. The forms, too, were singularly varied, and seemed to be 
dictated by the fashion and pressure of the time, and to have some 
significant connection with the social habits of the day. 



\ 



 



THE SAVOY PROGRAMXfR ,29 

attempts at colour printing, and presenting selected 
scenes and figures from the more successful of the operas. 
But it was for the ' Yeomen of the Guard,' I think, that 
Miss Alice Havers furnished a really elegant design- 
two quaint figures leaning on an altar, and delicately 
tinted, which was reproduced by a German firm in 
sympathetic fashion. This was found so acceptable that 
it has been retained, with some slight variation, as the 
standing form of bill. This, no doubt, is a trifling 
matter, but it contributes something to the sense of 
enjoyment : it gives pleasure to the eye, and is evidence 
of the general artistic feeling in other directions. 

Grossmith has related the regular course and incidents 
at the rehearsals at the Savoy. The music is always 
learned first— the choruses, finales, &c., are composed 
first in order, then the quartettes and trios, the songs 
last. Sometimes, owing to changes and rewriting, these 
are given out to the singers very late. Tlie song iii the 
second act of ' Princess Ida ' was given to Grossmith only 
a night or two before the iHirfornianco, and he found his 
chief difficulty not in learning the new tiuie, but in un- 
learning the old one. ' The gieatost interest is evinced 
by us all as the new vocal numbers arrive. Sir A. 
SuUivan will come suddenly, a batch of manuscript under 
his arm, and announce that there is something new. 
He plays over the new number— the vocal parts only are 
written. The conductor listens and watches, and after 

K 




,3o THE SAVOY OPERA 

hearing them played over a few times contrives to pick 
np all the harmonies, casual accompaniments, &c.' Sir 
Arthur is always strict in wishing that his music shall 
be sung exactly as he has written it. One of the leading 
performers was singing an ah: at a rehearsal, not exactly 
dividing the notes as they were written, and giving the 
general form, as it were. ' Bravo I ' said Sir Arthur, 
• that is really a very good air of yours. Now, if you 
have no objection, I will ask you to sing mine.' This is 

pleasant. 

Gilbert always listens carefully during these recitals, 
making mental notes for possible effects. At his fiome, 
as I have said, he has his little model stage, where the 
characters are represented by little bricks of various 
colours^ the chorus being distinguished from the lead- 
ing singers.' 

In his reminiscences Grossmith supplies many ' good 
stories ' about the chorus One, who assured his friends 
that he was the coming Sims Beeves, sent this telegram 
to the manager: 'Suffering from hoarseness, cannot 
appear to-night.' Another begged of Grossmith to let 
him come and sing his ' patter song ' for him. After 
the song Grossmith good-naturedly said, * I suppose you 
want me to recommend you to Mr. Carte for the chorus ? ' 
* Oh, no,' was the reply ; ' Mr. Carte has heard me and 

» No expense is spared to get the requisite accuracy, and I believe 
the little model of a ship for the late revival of Pinafore cost some 60?. 



THE CHORUS 



M' 



saya I am not good enough. So I thought you might ' 
recommend me to play your parts on tour.' This ' being 
tried' by Mr. D'Oyly Carte has become a popular 
resource. Innumerable persons are 'being tried,' or 
looking forward to being ' tried by D'Oyly Carte.' 

As I have stated, many a pleasing girl with a nice 
voice and of good parentage has found refuge at the 
Savoy. 

There is room for a large number, owing to the 
many travelling Savoy companies wandering over the 
kingdom. The manager is always on the watch for 
anyone that at all 'stands out' in the background, 
and promotion follows to a small part, or perhaps to 
London. 

Most of the tenors— notably Mr. Pounds— have come 
from the ranks in this fashion. Some of these are * born 
gentlemen,' as it is called, and at this moment the two 
principal tenors belong to that category. That pleasing 
and popular tenorino George Power was the son of Sir 
John Power, and associated with the early glories of the 
' Sorcerer ' and • Pirates.' Manners, too, was of gentle 
birth. But the impartial manager will 



Spurn not the nobly born 

With love affected, 
Nor treat with \irtuou8 scorn 

The well-connected. 
High rank involves no shame. 



K 2 



132 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



The musical rehearflalB, Qrossmith tells ns, are 
* child's play in comparison with the stage rehearsals. 
Mr. Gilbert is a perfect autocrat, insisting that his 
words shall be delivered, even to an inflection of the 
voice, as he dictates. He will stand on the stage beside 
the actor or actress, and repeat the words, with appro- 
priate action, over and over agam until they are delivered 
as he desires. In some instances, of course, he allows a 
little licence, but a very little.' 

Grossmith then describes a typical scene. Say Mr. 
Snooks has to utter some such sentence as this : ' The ' 
king is in the counting-house.' This is his wlxoU part, 
and he naturally wishes to make it go as far as possible. 
He accordingly enters with a grotesque, slow walk 
which he has carefully practised. He is instantly 
checked by the author. ' Please don't enter Uke that, Mr. 
Snooks. We don't want any comic-man business here.' 
• I beg pardon, sir,' poor Snooks replies, * I thought you 
meant the part to be funny.' ' Yes, so I do, but I don't 
want you to teU the audience you're the funny man. 
They'll find it out, if you are, quickly enough.' Snooks 
tries again, entering with smart rapidity. ' No, no, don't 
hurry in that way. Enter like this.' And Gilbert 
showing him the way, the thing is got right at last. He 
then repeats his Une, ' The king is in the counting- 
house,' laying the accent on }ume. This has to be gone 
over again and again, but without result. The luckless 



REHEARSALS 



133 



player will make it )iou%t. At last the author gives it 
up in despair, and announces that as it would be impos- 
sible to cut out the line altogether, which he would gladly 
do, he would be obliged reluctantly to allot the character 
to someone else. 'Do think a moment,' ho says, 
* before you speak now.* The wretched man endeavours 
to think, and then, quite desperate, almost shouts, ' The 
king is in the counting-HOUSE.' * We won't bother alx)ut 
it any more,' says Gill^ert, ' get on with the next — Gros- 
smith — Where's Grossmith ? ' However, at the end of 
the rehearsal our author good-naturedly accosts the 
despairing Snooks, and comforts him. 'Don*t worry 
yourself about that. Go home and think it over. It will 
be all right to-morrow.^' On the morrow, however, it 
is much the same, but by dint of incesBant repeating, 
like Smike, ' Who calls so loud ? ' the proper emphasis 
is at last secured. 

So conscientious are our authors in preparing their 
effects that on the rehearsals of the last piece a sort of 
stage or scaffold was raised in the stalls to enable them 
to have the correct * audience view ' of all that was doing. 
At the final full-dress rehearsal the night before the 
performance, though the theatre was filled, the first 
three rows of the stalls were railed off, so as to allow 
composer and writer a free range to study the effects. 

The gathering of peers in ' lolanthe ' was one of 
the most striking exhibitions we have had on the stage, 



134 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



REHEARSALS 



'35 



owing to the rich gala robes nnd the qnnint, old-fashioned 
air of the fip^nres. Here we have one of those anusnal 
and original ideas of Gilbert's which would not occur 
to less practical minds. There is a curious chord 
toachcd, something verging on the solemn even, in this 
evoking of the past. TMien these old costumes are 
brought before us, minutely accurate in every detail, a 
procession of ghosts seems to pass before us. We have 
much the same feeling as we turn over the pictures in 
* Pickwick • In his * Ages Ago ' and in ' Buddigore ' 
there is the same effective element. 

On this occasion strict old-fashioned shaving was ic 
rigveuvj and every peer was to be bald a-top, and display 
little or no hair save the correct * mimon-chop * whisker. 
It would have * arrided ' Scarron himself to learn that 
the general order for shaving excited strong resistance 
in the chorus. It verged on a strike. The excuses 
were amusing. One was a traveller in the day-time, and 
though a peer by night, he would lose custom by appear- 
ing so young. Another was a * spirit leveller,' and it was 
unusual in his calling to be without moustaches. A 
third was paying his addresses to a young lady who 
would be sure to object. All, however, yielded, save one, 
. who actually ' resigned.' In the ' Mikado ' there was also 
a general Japanese shaving, likewise in ' Buddigore.' 

When this latter piece was being prepared, so 
conscientious was the presentation that the pictures of 



the ancestors were all drawn from individual members, 
so that the likenesses should l)e recognised. I doubt, 
however, if this were noticed, for it is almost a prin- 
ciple of scenic representations that de minimU non curat 
andientia. For scenic effect it is enough to indicate. 
All, however, had to repair to the photographer's.* 

One of the many Josephines who figured in the 
early performances of the * Pinafore,' Grossmith relates, 
' objected to standing anywhere but in the centre of the 
stage,' assuring Mr. Gilbert that she was accustomed 
to occupy that position and no other. Mr. Gilbert 
said, most persuasively, ' Oh, but this is not Italian 
opera; this is only a low burlesque of the worst pos- 
sible kind.' 'He says this sort of thing in such a 
quiet and serious way that one scarcely knows whether 
he is joking or not.' 

On another occasion, he called out from the middle 
of the stalls— his favourite position at rehearsal : ' There 
is a gentleman in the left group not holding his fan 

* In this eonnection an ftmnsing incident occurred. The manager* 
meeting a member of the chorus, asked had he been photographed. ' I 
go to-morrow/ was the reply ; * you see, sir, I have shaved.' Meeting 
him again, the manager noticed the moustache, and asked had he been 
to the photographer's, and was told that he had been thrrc yesterday. 
A little mystified, he thought he had made a mistake. At the first dress 
rehearsal the actor was there without moustache ; but meeting him the 
next day, he had one I The actor explained that he had to stng at 
concerts, that without a moustache the effect would be lost, so he had 
contrived a false one, which did very well. 




136 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



correctly/ The stage manager appeared, and ex- 
plained : ' There is one gentleman who is absent 
through illness.' * Ah ! ' said the author, as gravely as 
if he were his own pirate captain, ' that is not the 
gentleman I am referring to/ 

And when Grossmith and Miss Jessie Bond were re- 
hearsing the * Mikado,' the lady was to give him a push, 
and he was to roll completely over. ' Would you mind 
omitting that ? ' Gilbert asked, with much politeness. 
' Certainly, if you wish it,' said the other ; * but I get 
an enormous laugh by it/ * So you would if you sat 
down on a pork pie,' said the other/ 

One of the costly burdens laid upon managers, of 
which the light-hearted audience takes little thought, is 
the providing of substitutes for the leading performers, 
in case sickness should hinder the appearance of 
the principal personage. In the case of actors and 
actresses the contingency is remote enough, and there is 
usually sufiBcient time to find a remjda^nnt, for the 
performer, though suffering, can struggle through his 
part for a night or two. But in the case of a singer the 
interruption is usually of a sudden kind. A cold may at 
once deprive him of his voice. The 'understudy,' as 
he is called, is usually one of the smallejr characters, 
whose place, not very important, can be supplied at a 

' Swift, a great authority, however, declares that the finest pieces of 
wit will never prodace such intense enjoyment or appreciation as the 
simple results of slyly drawing away a chair when a person is about to 
sit down. 



THE UNDERSTUDY 



137 



\ 



i 



short notice. He or she thus often gains a favourable 
opportunity of distinction. There must be something 
grotesquely humorous in the situation, both parties 
jealously watching each other, the performer naturally 
being determined, if he can help it, to furnish no oppor- 
tunity for a possible rival; the understudy feverishly taking 
stock of any symptom of failure in his principal. When 
Grossmith was playing in the 'Sorcerer' one of these 
' deputies ' was specially retained to supply his place in 
case of accidents. ' During the first week,' the actor 
tells us, ' he used to come to me each night and ask how I 
was. On my replying that I was all right, never better, it 
appeared to me that he departed with a disappointed look. 
His kind inquiries were repeated, as I thoiight, with 
extra anxiety ; but still I kept well, and showed no signs 
of fatigue. Then he began to insist that I was not 
looking well, and I replied that, looks or no looks, I was 
perfectly well. Finally, he came to me with a pill which 
he was certain would ** do " for me.' This is an amusing 
situation, yet natural withal, akin to that of the 
physician who is forced to bewail an unhealthy season. 
In fact, the too healthy Grossmith was destined to play 
his character two hundred nights without a break, and 
nearly zevcn. hundred of ' Pinafore.' But in the third 
week of the ' Pii-ates ' Grossmith's father died, and the 
longed-for opportunity came. The substitute, at almost 
a moment's notice, had to assume the major-generars 
part, and did it remarkably well under the circumstances. 



t38 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



MISS FORTES CUE 



'39 



Foremost among the attractive girls who have been 
enlisted in the chorus, there was one whose refined fea- 
tures and sympathetic grace began early to distinguish 
her from her companions. This was * Miss Portescue,' 
as she was called. The audience could note a curious 
earnestness and eagerness to do her duty in the best 
way ; there was never any perfunctory execution of her 
duties ; she seemed to throw herself into the part, small 
as it was. Miss Fortescue had many friends, though 
but a simple chorus maiden, But even on the stage it 
is always the performer that raises the office, not the ' 
office the performer. No stage is so strictly regulated as 
that of the Savoy. No danglers are tolerated behind 
the scenes. It is like a family. There is Uterally ' no 
admission except on business.' 

An admirer presently appeared, a youth of high 
degree— the son of a well-known peer— who was capti- 
vated by the charms of the young chorus-singer. The 
noble family, as may be imagined, were opposed to this 
alliance, as they wished for something more suitable and 
of corresponding rank. There was something, too, almost 
grotesque in the shock given to their known religious 
prejudices by this alUance with a stage-player— the Earl 
belonging to the ' unco guid.' It was much to his credit 
that, after a short resistance to his son's somewhat 
hasty partiality, he gave way, and cordially and honour- 
ably received the young man's choice. Had the Earl, 



however, had the chance of seeing a little piece written 
by Andrew Halliday (which was hijrhly unlikely) — 
the story turned on a similar alliance— he could not 
have more completely availed himself of the shrewd 
recipe given by the lord in that drama— which was not 
to oppose, but to encourage, the folly, and leave the rest 
to the youth. In time the fickle young man grew tired of 
his passion, became ' uncertain, coy, and hard to please,' 
and after some painful episodes the affair was broken off.' 

Much indignation was felt for the wanton fashion in 
which the poor girl had been treated. But her friends 
stood by her gallantly. Mr. Gilbert notably championed 
her cause ; and when an action at law was proposed, for 
the purpose of punishing the swain, he took a zealous 
share in all the discussions, and finally succeeded in ob- 
taining a very substantial pecuniary amende from the 
family — 10,0002. in short. This sum could hardly be held 
to indemnify her for the loss of the glittering position 
which had been promised to her ; but no one wished to 
gratify the public taste for a came cfdcbre, or a public 
representation of the ' Trial by Jury.' 

Having always had aspirations for the regular 
drama, she determined to seize the opportunity for de- 
voting herself entirely to acting. She later formed a 

* I was at the theatre one night, seated in the box next to theirs, just 
as the bnsiness had reached this distressing stage. It was easy to see 
what was in his thoaghts. 



140 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



'lOLANTHE' 



141 



company of her own, in which she played the varioas 
important heroines. I have seen her perform the some- 
what antiquated part of Julia in the ' Hunchback ' with 
much judicious effect. She has thrown her whole 
energies into her calling. Such is this little romance 
of the Savoy. 

The original group^ consisting of Grossmitb, Bar- 
rington, Jessie Bond, and Durward Lely» had grown to 
be completely associated with the Savoy conceptions. 
They were to the manner born. The public grew accus- 
tomed to them, and came to know their ways by heart. ' 
No tenor could have been better suited to the office or more 
acceptable to the audience than Lely. He sang his songs 
with a pleasing and melodious voice, yet without any 
of the effusiveness of the operatic tenor. He was the 
character first; he harmonised admirably with his 
companions. In the ' Mikado ' he was particularly suited. 
Later, however, he chose to sever his connection with the 
theatre and seek a more brilliant fortune on the regular 
stage. He has lost his regular, sympathetic audience, 
and has joined the ranks of the innumerable singers 
who can enjoy but fitful and precarious engage- 
ments. Another singer took his place— Gourtice Pounds. 
He came from one of the travelling companies of the 
Savoy, and had a good voice, though he was somewhat 
lacking in refinement. He, too, after some years departed 
for newer and broader musical pastures. 



r 



Having thus for a short span lifted a corner of the 
curtain, we shall now return to the regularcoursc of events. 
A new opera had been got ready, of a slightly different 
pattern. Gilbert has a penchant for the fairy business, 
and returns to it when he can. He seems at home in 
fairyland, though it may be doubted if such subjects and 
such topics are now * up to date,* as it is called. Audiences 
are hardly so confiding as they were in the days of the 
* Palace of Truth.' I fancy, however, that ' Creatures of 
Impulse,' which has enjoyed long popularity, could be 
fitted to operatic music with great success. The new 
venture was 

Produced at the Savoy Theatre, Saturday, November 25, 1B82, 
under the management of Mr. i?. D'Oyly Carte. 

lOLANTHE 

OR 

THE PEER AND THE PERI 

Dramatis persottft 



The Lord Chancellor 

Earl of Mountararat 

Earl Tolloller .... 

Private Willib (of tlie Grenadier Guards) 

Strephon (an Arcadian Sliephcrd) . 

Queen of the Fairies 

I0L.1NTHE (a Fairy, Strephon's Mother) 

Cblia 

(Fairies) 



Mn. George (troksmitii 

]Mr. Rl-TLANI) BaRRINOTON 

Mr. Dcuwari) Lf.ly 
Mr. Ciiarleh Manweiih 
Mr. R. Temple 
Miss Alke Barnett 
MiRs Jehhie Ronii 
{ Miss Fortescie 
\ MiRB Julia Gwynne 
I Miss Stril Gret 



Leiia 
Fleta 
Phyllis (an Arcadian Shepherdess and 

Ward in Chancery) .... Miss Leonora Braham 
Chorus of Dukes, Marquises, Earts, Viscounts, Barons, ajid Fairies 



143 THE SAVOY OPERA 

AOT L— An Aroadlan LoadflOftpe 

ACT II.— Palace Yard, WeBtmlnBter 

DATE-BETWEEN 1700 AND 1883 

B<»neT7 b; Ub. H. Eudkk. CoBtumea b; Hiss Fuuieh, UsBSBa. Em 
k Boics, Mkhkiis. Fhamk Siutii & Co., Mbmm. E. Mobbb A Sox, 
U, Allu, knit HtDutB AoaDBTi! %t CtB. DftoccB arnuiBMl by lil>. J. 
D'&Diuti. Psnaqnier, Mb. Oi-abuoh. 

Of all the images left by this piece on the memory, 
that of the wiry, grotesque, sprite-like figure of Groe- 
Bmitb as the Lord Chancellor, frisking about in bis 
gorgeous black and gold robe, is the moat piquant and 
eilectiTe. Who wilt forget his quaint dance and original 
antics, in which there was nothing vulgar or too extrava- 
gant ? This functionary wishes to marry Phyllis, a ward 
of his court, and bewails the embarrassment of his 
position, which is akin to that of Pooh-Bah in the 
'Uikado.' Lord Tolloller says : 

My lord, I desire, on the part of this HouBe, to express its 
Bincere syinpHthy with your lordship's most painful position. 

LoBD Chan. I thank your lordships. The feelings of a 
Lord CliitnwUor who ia in lo\e wilh a ward of court are not 
to be envied. What is hU position ? Can he give his own 
consent to his own jnarrioge with his own word ? Can he 
marrj' his own ward without his own consent? And if he 
marries his own ward withoat his own consent, can he com- 
mit himself for contempt of his own court ? And if he 
commit himself for contempt of his own court, can he appear 
by counsel before himself, to move for arrest of his own )udg- 



ment 7 Ah, my lords, it is indeed painful to have. to sit upon 
a woolsack which is stuffed with such thoroa as these ! 

This is a favourite topic of our author. One of the 
wittiest songs in the whole Gilbertian n'^wrtoirc is based 
on the humorous notion that rank becomes a dis- 



ability. As we thuik of ' Blue Blood ' and its Balfuui 
air a smile comes involuntarily to the lipa. As verses 
the strophes are admirable : 

Chorus 

Nay, do not shrink from us — wc will not hurt yon 

The peerage is not destitute of virtue. 



,„ THE SAVOY OPERA 

Ballad— Lord Tollollbs 
Rpum not the nobly born 

With love affected, 
Nor trrat with virtnoos Bcorn 

The vell-conneoted. 
High rank involves no shame — 
We boost an ei^ual claim 
With him of bumble name 

To be respected I 
Bine blood r Bine blood I 

When \-irtuou8 love is sought 

Thy power is naught, 
Though dating from the flood, 
Blue blood ! 
Chorus. Blue Hood I Bine blood 1 Ac. 

Bpare ub the bitter pain 

Of Btem denials. 
Nor with lowborn disdain 

Augment our trials: 
Hearts jiist <a pure and fair 
May beat in Bclgrave Square 
At in the lowly air 

0/ Seven Dials ! 
Blue blood ! Blue booil ! 

Of what avail art thou 

To serve us now ? 
Though dating from the flood, 
Blue blood ! 

Chobus. Blue blood 1 Blue blood ! Ac. 

In this piece Gilbert has laid hands on a prime jeat 
in the Pickwick trial and developed it : 



Streph. No evidence I You have my word for it. I tell 
you that she bade me take my love, 



(46 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



LoBD Chan. Ah t bat, m; good sir, yon muBtn't tell as 
what she told yon — it's not evidence. Now, on afGd^Tit 
from a thnnderBtonn, or a few wotds cm oath from a heavy 
shower, would meet with all the attention tfaey deserve. 

Hif! lordship is thus hnmorouBly described when on 
the bench : 

His lordship is constitutionally as blithe as a bird — he 
trills upon the bench like a thing of song and gUdness. His 
■erisa of jndgments in F sharp, given andania in rix-eigbt 
time, are among the moet remarkable effects ever produced in 
a Coart of Chancery. He is, perhaps, the only living inBtunce 
of ajndge whose decrees have received the hononrof a double 

Mr. Oilbert occasionally elaborafes a conceit in a 
rather minate and ingenious way. Here we have Strephon, 
who is ' halt a fairy ' — that is, ' a fairy down to the waist, 
but his legs ore mortal.' He is also ' inclined to be 
stoat,* but the queen says, < I see no objection to stont- 
nesB, inmoAcraiwn ' — a tme Gilbertian tonch. The hint 
of the half fairy ie worked ont with ingennity : 

LbOiA. Year fuiyhood doesn't seem to have done yon much 
good. 

Stbefh. Much good I It's the curse of my existence I 
What's the use of being half a fairy ? My body can oreep 
Uirongh a keyhole, but what's the good of that when my legs 
are left kicking behind ? I can make myself invisible down 
to the waist, but that's of no use when my legs remain ex- 
posed to view. My brain is a fairy brain, but from the waist 
downwards I'm a gibbering idiot. Hy upper half isimmortal, 
bat my lower half gro^ older every day, and some day or 



other must die of old age. What's to become of my upper 
half when I've buried my lower half I really don't know. 



QOBCH. I see your diflBculty, but with a fairy bram you 
should seek an intellectual sphere of action. Let me eee. 



J 



I4S 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



I've a borough or two ftt my disposal. Would yon lik» to gft 

JDto Parliament ? 

loL. A fiiiry member I That wonW bo ilelightful I 
Streph. I'm afraid I ahould do no good there. You sec, 

dwn to the waist I'm a Tory of the most determined descrip- 



tion, but my legs are a oonple of confounded Bttdicals, and 
on a division they'd be sure to t^e me into the wrong lobby. 
Yoa see, they're two to one, which is a strong working 
majority. 

QoEEN. Don't let that distress you ; you shall be returned 
as a Liberal-ConservatiTe, and your legs shall be our peculiar 
cue. 



Stbei'h. (&oioinj7), I see your Miijesty does not do things 
by halves. 

Queen, No, we are fairies down to the feet. 



Tliis ie somewhat oi-tificinl, but it is amusing. Fiirtlier 
ou it recurs again : 



I 



150 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



loi*. No matter! The Lord Chancellor has no power 
over you. Bemember you are half a fairy. You can defy 
him— down to the waist. 

Stbbph. Yes, but from the waist downwards he can com- 
mit me to prison for years I Of what avail is it that my 
body is free, if my legs are working out seven years* penal 
servitude ? 

Pro<2ttce<2 ai ikt Savoy Theatre, <m Saturday, January 6, 
1884, under the management of Mr. B. D'Oyly Carte. 

PRINCESS IDA 

CASTLE ADAMANT 

S)camatf9 pecdona^ 

KXXG HiLDKllRAKD MlU RUTLAND BABltlNOTON 

HttABioN (his Son) Mb. Biucy 



I {HUarion's Friends) 



{his Sons) 



I Mk. Durwaiu) Lkly 
I Mr. Chableb Rtlet 
Mr. Oeorob Grossiiith 
Mb. R. Tbiiflb 
Mb. Wabwick Gbbt 
Mb. Lugo 
MiBB Leonoba Bbahau 

M188 Bbandram 
M1B8 Katk Chard 
M18B Jkssib Bond 
M188 Stuil Grey 
M188 Hkathcotb 
j^j^ ) . Misfl Lillian Garr 

Soldiers, Courtiers, • Oirl Graduates,' * DaugJUers 0/ the Plough,' dc. 

AOT I.— Pavilion in King Hlldebrand's Palace 

ACT IL— Gardens of Oastle Adamant 

AOT m.— Oourtjard of Castle Adamant 



Ctbil 
Flobian 
Kcco Gaua. 
Abac 
Gubon 
sctnthius 
PBINCB88 Ida (Qama's Daughter) % 
Ladt Blakcbe {Professor 0/ Abstract 
Science) ...» • • 
Lai>y Psyche {Professor of Humanities) . 
Melissa {Lady Blanclies DauglUer) 
8a< 
CiiLOB i {Girl Graduates) 



I (Gi^ 






'PRINCESS IDA' 



\ 



? 



«5' 



' PrincoRS Ida ' vas perhaps the least interesting of 
the series. It seemed too poetical, and was, in fact, a 
sort of adaptation of Tennyson's poem, the ' Princess.' ' 
It also might be considered one of the ' Fairy Comedies ' 
set to music. Now, as I have said, the ' Palace of Truth ' 
and the other pieces of its class had a popularity 
that was a little perplexing ; for it seemed phenomenal 
almost that the delicate conceits of poetry, with decla- 
mations in blank verse, should have been so acceptable 
to mixed audiences who were both highly fashionable 
and highly vulgar. The same puzzle was offered by the 
extravagant cmze for Mr. Bider Haggard*8 fictions, ' She * 
and ' King Solomon's Mines.* The composer eagerly 
seized the opportunity for music of the more regular 
operatic pattern. Everyone listened with pleasure to 
these elaborate strains, and to the themes which were 
worked out and worked up in masterly fashion. It 
was, however, a new departure, and this setting was 
scarcely suited to the Gilbertian conceits, which it almost 
overpowered. Here is a fair specimen of these three acts 
of smooth verse : 

Enter King Hildebbamd, with Cyril 

HiLD. See you no sign of Gama ? 

FiiOB. None, my liege 1 

* Our aathor had, in fact, adapted it himself, the piece haying already 
been presented to the public many years before, at the Olympic, as a 
poetical drama. 



152 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



HiLDBBBAND 

It's very odd indeed. If Gama £ul 

To put in an appearance at our Court 

Before the sun has set in yonder west, 

And fail to bring the Princess Ida here. 

To whom oar son Ililarion was betrothed 

At the extremely early age of one. 

There's war between King Oama and ourselves t 

{AMt to Cyril.) Oh, Cyril, how I dread this interview ! 

It's twenty years since he and I have met. 

He was a twisted monster — all awry — 

As though Dame Nature, angry with her work. 

Had crumpled it in fitful petulance ! 

Grossmith was here not very well suited, and his King 
Gama seemed somewhat after the pattern of monarcbs 
in borlesqae. The piece was singularly fortunate in the 
group of the three young nobles, performed by Durward 
Lely, Bracy, and Byley . At the present moment it would 
be difScuIt to find for a single piece three young men of 
graceful mien and good figure, with tuneful, cultivated 
tenor voices, such as this trio possessed. As they scaled 
the wall of the Girton of fairyland, they sang : 

We've learnt that prickly cactus 
Has the power to attract us 

When we fall. 
All. When we fall t 

Flobun 
That bull-dogs feed on throttles — 
That we don't like broken bottles 

On a wall. 
All. On a wall ! 



II . 



k 



I 

1 



'PRINCESS 7DA' 153 

HiLDEBBAND 

That spring-guns breathe defiance, 
And that burglary's a science 

After ail. 
All. . After all ! 

There is little inspiration in such a situation (it is 
hard to escape the Gilbcrtian metre), and it shows how 
quaintly our author can deal with such a subject. We 
like the notion of ' Daughters of the Plough * figuring 
in the castle, who attend and serve the al fresco repast 
to this cheerful strain : 

Merrily ring the luncheon bell ! 
Here, in meadow of Asphodel, 
Feast we body and mind as well ; 
So merrily ring the luncheon bell ! 

On which their preceptress sings : 

Hunger, I beg to state. 
Is highly indelicate. 

When the three ' strong men ' are getting ready for 
battle they intone this strain : 

Song — Abac 

We are warriors three. 

Sons of Gama, Rex ; 
Like most sons are we. 

Masculine in sex. 

All Three 

Yes, yes, 
Masculine in sex. 



r 



»S4 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



CHANGE IN COMfC OPERA 



ABAC 

This helmet, I suppose, 

Was meant to ward off blows ; 

It's very hot, 

And j^eighs a lot, 
As many a guardsman knows, 
So off that helmet goes. 

The Thrbb Kniohtb 

Yes, yes, 
So off that helmet goes I 

[Giving their helmets to attendants. 

• • i • • 

Abac 
These things I treat the same 

[Indicating leg-pieces, 
(I quite forget their name). 

They turn one's legs 

To cribbage pegs — 
Their aid I thus disclaim, 
Though I forget their name. 

All Thbee 

Yes, yes. 
Though we forget their name, 
Their aid we thus disclaim I 
They remove thmr leg-pieces and wear close-fitting shape suits. 

It will be noted that * Princess Ida ' is the only one of the 
series that is cast in the form of three acts— a shape 
\?hich was not altogether to its advantage. It is curious, 
by the way, to note the gradual change that has been made 
daring the past fifteen or sixteen years or so in the form 






.« 



and measure of the comic opera. In transla 

the comic opera of the French pattern, thr 

was de rir/ueiirf and the piece was always laid oul 

form. Three dramatic situations or exhibitions 

necessary for the development. The first wa 

ductory ; the second the crisis or complication ; tl 

the extrication or winding-up. This seemed 

enough ; but the form and pressure of the time 

dispense with all superfluity, required that the 

should ' come to the point at once* — to the ' 'os 

fact — and reach the development by the close 

first act, while the second should contain the si 

Both systems have their merits, but it must be sti 

the older form now seems a little tedious and prol 

and that there is not enough ' stuff ' to cover the < 

This question of acts and scenes offers an inte 

subject of speculation, and, like the division of ( 

into chapters, is a point not of form but of sub 

A chapter should be a complete portion of the 

and represent an episode. Our plays are now invi 

cast in the form of three acts — or scones, rather — w 

formerly nothing under five would be tolerated. 

there is a loss of interest by the more rapid develo] 

as the gradual progress of the five acts fosters a 

acquaintance and familiarity with the characters. 

elaborate nature of the set scenes now in f 

has virtually abolished the succession of scenes in 



156 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



THE 'MIKADO' 



»57 



as it has become impossible to change a scene as a cloth 
or *• flats ' used to be changed. 

GObert has been the chief agent in efifecting this 
alteration, and has really educated his audience into 
contentment with two scenes and no more. 

If there was found a slight failure of attraction in the 
last two operas, the authors were now to rally their 
energies with extraordinary success, and, reverting to 
their proper methods, to eclipse in brilliancy all previous 
efforts. This grand success was 

Produced at the Savoy Theatre^ on Saturday^ March 14, 
1885, under the management 0/ Mr. R, D'Oyly Carte, 

THE MIKADO 

OB 

THE TOWN OF TITIPU 

S>tatnati6 personam 



The BIiKAix) of Japan 

Nakki-Poo {his Son,disguised as a wandering 
minstrelt and in love with Turn- Yum) . 
Ko-Ko {Lord High Executioner of Titipu) . 
Pooh-Bah {Lord High Everything Ehe) 

Go-To 

PxsH-TuBH {a noble Lord) . . . . 

Yum- Yum 

Prxn-Siso {three Sisters—Wards of Ko-Ko) 

PKEP-BO i 

Katisua {an elderly Lady, in love^ with 
Nanki-Poo) 



Mr. B. Teuple 

Mr. J. 0. B0BBRT6ON 
Mb. Gsorok Grossuith 
Mb. BtTTiAND Baruinoton 
BIb. B. CuumKos 
Mb. Budoi.ph Lewis 

/MIB8 GKRATiDINE UlMAB 

JMisB A. Cole 
I Miss Sybil Gbet 

M1B8 B08INA Brandbau 



^ 



•^ 



AOT I.— Courtyard of Ko-Ko's Official Besidcnce 

ACT H.— Ko-Ko'b Garden 

Both scenes painted by Mb. Hawes Craven 

tStage Manager Mr. W. H. SKVMorR 

Every evening at 7.30, the entirely new and original oporetta en- 
titled 

MBS. JABBAMIE'S GENIE 

Words by Fbank Despbez. Music by Alfred A FRAN901A Cellier 
(Kos. 1 and 2 by FRAN901R Cellier. Nos. 8, 4, and 5 by ALpREn Cellikr) 

M0RTAL8 

Mr. Harrington .Jarramie {a retired Vpliol- 

sterer) .... 
Ernest Pepperton 



f Mr. 
I Mr. 



Smithers {Butler) 
'^1 {Railway Carmen) 

Mrs. Harrington Jarramie . 
Daphne {her Daughter) . 
Nixon {Parlour-maid) . 

Immortal 
Bbn-Zoh-Leen {the Slave of the Lamp) . 

BOElOi.—- Moming-roomy Mr. Jarramie*6 House, 

Harley Street, Ijondon 



Mr. Wallace Brownlow 

Mr. J. WiLllRARAM 

Mr. Charles Gilrert 
Mr. Lr.RRETON 
Metcalfe 
Miss M. Christo 
Miss B. Hbrve7 
Mifis M. Bus8ell 



Mr. John Wilkinson 



Chorus of Scliool-girlSt Nobles , Guards^ and Coolies 



The * Mikado ' is certainly the most popular and best 
known of all these entertainments. This piece and 
* Pinafore * are, perhaps, the only ones that have found 
their way to foreign countries. 

I myself have seen at an obscure Dutch town wall- 
posters, printed in the vernacular, and announcing ' Het 
Mikado, van Gilbert— Sullivan.' One of Mr. D'Oyly 



158 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



Carte's travelling companies took it to Berlin and to 
brilliant Vienna, where dance tunes and Strauss have 
tbeit home, and where dt caused unbounded enjoyment. 
The Japanese ' basineaa ' naturally offered excellent 
opportunities (or scenery and decoratioo, contrasting in 



a striking way with what hod hitherto been attempted. 
The brilliancy and glitter of the colours, with the rich- 
ness ofthe materials employed for the dresses, were really 
exceptional. The gold brocade dresses of the Mikado 
and his Lord High Executioner might have been worn by 
Japanese dignitaries of corresponding rank, and cost an 



THE 'MIKADO' ,59 

enormous sum. It was reported, indeed, that Japanese 
fonctionaries had been called into councU and had given 
grave advice on the 
scenic arrangements. 
The central hu- 
morous idea of the 
piece turned upon 
the situation of 
'Pooh-Bah,' a part 
discharged with in- 
finite grotesqueness 
by the ever-facetious 
Barrington. The 
Lord High Every- 
thing Else explains 
that when oil the 
great ofGcers of state 
had resigned in a 
body because they 
were too proud to 

serve under an • ex- ' 

tailor,' he accepted 
all their posts at 

once. This led to "n^ o. n„o>.s,-iTn ab ko-k^ 

some embarrassment, as when the Lord High Execu- 
tioner consults him about his approaching marriage 
and the sums of money he ought to lay out : 



,fo THE SAVOY OPERA 

Poon. In TFliich of my capacities? Aa Firat Lord of the 
Traauiy, Lord Chamberlain, Attorney-General, CbanceUor 
of the Exobeiner, Privy Pnrse, or Private Secretary ? 

Ko. Suppose we say 
M Private Beoretary ? 

Pooh. Speaking an 
your Private Secretary, I 
Bhoold Bay that aB the 
ci^ will have to pay for 
it, don't stint yownelf,do 
itmell. 

Ko. Exactly—ae the 
dty will have to pay tor 
it. That is yoor advice ? 
Pooh. Ab Private Se- 
cretary. Of course you 
will understand that as 
Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer I am bound to 
aee that due economy ifl 
observed. 

Ko. Oh, but you said 
juBt now, 'Don't etint 
yourself, do it well.' 

PooH. Ah Private Se- 
cretary. 

Ko. And now you say 
that due economy must 
be observed. 

Pooh. As Chancellor 
MM BMBDBAM AB itATiBHi of tfao ExchequeT. 

Thia jest tickled ihe pnblic hugely. 
Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner, wna performed 



THE ^MIKADO' i6i 

by Groasmith, bat thongh he bad less to dn than usual, 
he made a great deal of the part. His Bong on the 



finding a victim for his office was an immeuBe succens, 
and ingeniously adapted to current society topics : 

Ab some day it may happen that a victim must be found 

I've got a little list — I've got a little list 

Of social ofTendets wlio might well be underground, 



l6) 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



And vrho never would be missed — who never wonld be 

missed. 
There's the pestilential oaisances who write for antograpbs — 
All people who hare flabby 

bands and inritating 

laughs — 
All obildren nho are up 

in dates, and floor yon 

with them flat — 
All persone who in shahuig 

hands shftke hands with 

yon like that — 
And all third persons who 

on spoiling tite-i-iSUt 

insist — 
They'd none of 'em be 

missed — they'd none of 



The Mikado, pleas- 
antly given by Temple, 
cbaiterB with his officials 
over their impending 
execation and the man- 
ner of it. 

Hit. a. nUFLB U THE KnUM ,, „ 

MiK. Yes. Something 
lingering, with boiling oil in it, I fancy. Something of 
that sort, I think boiling oil oecars in it, but I'm not 
sore. I know it's something humorous, but lingering, with 
either boiling oil or melted lead. Come, come, don't fret— 
I'm not a bit angry. 



i64 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



Eo. (in ahjeci terror). If your Majesty will accept our 
Msorance, we had no idea 

Mm. Of cooise yon hadn*t. . That's the pathetic part of 
it. Unfortonately tiie fool of an Act says, ' compassing the 
death of the heir apparent.' There's not a word about a 
TQistake, or not knowing, or having no notion. There should 
be, of course, but there isn't. That's the slovenly way in 
which these Acts are drawn. However, cheer up, it'll be all 
right. rU have it altered next session. 

Eo. What's the good of that ? 

MoL Now let's see— will after luncheon suit you ? Oan 
you wait till then ? 

Ko., PiTTi, and Pooh. Oh yes-— we can wait till then I 

HiK. Then we'll make it after luncheon. . I'm really very 
sorry for you all, but it's an unjust world, and virtue is 
triumphant only in theatrical performances.' 

As the ' Mikado ' is perhaps the chef d'cRuxre of the 
author/ and is best known and appreciated both at home 
and abroad, I may venture to quote the official judg- 
ment of a very competent critic and skilled musician, my 
friend Mr. Beatty-Eingston. 

* The " Mikado ' * proved to be an extravaganza of the old 
Savoy type — a fabric in which familiar material has been 

 Onoe passing throagh a small Dutch town I saw on a dead wall a 
tattered, flattering poster, on which I read that *Het Mikado^ van 
Gilbert— Sullivan' was to be performed. In December 1803 the Mikado 
was revived at the Unter den Linden Theatre, Berlin, when to the com- 
poser's annoyance it was announced that a female performer, Fran von 
Palmay, would take the part of Nanki-Poo. The composer was much 
distressed at this travesty of his work, and made vigorous protest ; but 
without avail. The lady duly appeared. Utopia was also to be per- 
formed in the same city, at the Friedrich-Wilhelm Btadtische Theatre. 



T//E 'MIKADO' 



165 



cleverly worked up into a dainty Japanese pattern. 
Anachronisms, surprises, incongruities — unsparing ex- 
posure of human weaknesses and follies— things grave 
and even horrible invested with a ridiculous aspect — all 
the motives prompting our actions traced back to inex- 
haustible sources of selfishness and cowardice— a strange, 
uncanny frivolity indicated in each individual delineation 
of character, as though the author were bent upon 
subtly hinting to the audience that every one of hig 
dramatis persons is more or less intellectually deranged ; 
these are the leading characteristics exhibited by Mr. 
Gilbert's latest operatic libretto in common with its 
predecessors. Mr. Gilbert is a past-master in the 
craft of getting his puppets into and out of scrapes 
with an agreeable recklessness as to the ethics of 
their modus operandi. The executioner, commanded to 
do the duties of his office, which he has fraudulently 
suflFered to fall into abeyance, instantly looks about 
him for some innocent victim, and bribes such an one 
with his own betrothed bride to perish in his stead. 
The cumulative official, a very nonpareil of infamy, 
expresses his pride in his ancestry by the basest venality. 
This view is really rendered imperative by the cir- 
cumstance that their dearest personal interests are, 
throughout the plot, made dependent upon the inflic- 
tion of a violent death upon one or other of them. 
Decapitation, disembowelment, immersion in boiling 



i66 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



THE 'MIKADO' 



167 



oil or molten lead are the eventaalities upon which 
their attention (and that of the audience) is kept fixed 
with gruesome persistence. Mr. Gilbert has done his 
self-appointed work with surpassing ability and inimi- 
table tenre. The text of the '' Mikado '* sparkles with 
countless gems of wit — brilliants of the finest water — 
and its author's rhyming and rhythmic gifts have 
never been more splendidly displayed than in some 
of the verses assigned to Ko-Ko, Pooh-Bah, Yum-Yum, 
and the Mikado himself.. As for the dialogue, it is 
positively so full of points and hits as to keep the 
wits of the audience constantly on the strain, scarcely 
ever affording to it an instant's repose or even respite from 
a rapid succession of smart and pungent incitements to 
mirth. In his case, supply has created demand ; and it 
is he who has formed public taste in a particular direction, 
as it is only given to geniuses to do. Whether or not 
that direction be a salutary one is perhaps not very 
much to the purpose. He has unquestionably succeeded 
in imbuing society with his own quaint, scornful, in- 
verted philosophy ; and has thereby established a solid . 
claim to rank amongst the foremost of those latter-day 
Englishmen who have exercised a distinct psychical in- 
fluence upon their contemporaries. 

VSuUivan is every whit as genuine a humorist as 
Gilbert, with this difference, that the amari aliquid never 
crops up in his compositions. They are always genial, 



k 

I 



graceful, and, above all, beautiful ; never more so than in 
the score of the " Mikado." They twinkle with kindly, 
sly fun ; nothing in them ever grates harshly upon the 
ear ; they are exquisitely congruous to the sentiments or 
situations which they profess to musically depict or re- 
flect What a graphic and fertile melodist is Sullivan ! 
What an accomplished orchestrator ! How complete are 
his knowledge and mastery of instrumental resources ! 
Of what other composer of our time can it with truth 
be said that he is inexhaustible alike in invention 
and contrivance? This is the ninth of his operas, 
written in conjunction with Gilbert ; and I, for my part, 
should be greatly embarrassed to award the palm to any 
one of them in particular, so excellent are they all. The 
best proof, indeed, of the equality of their merits is the 
fact that no two musicians are agreed as to which is 
really the best of them. Beyond a doubt the " Mikado " 
is as good as any of its forerunners. It contains half-a- 
dozen numbers, each of which is sufiiciently attractive to 
ensure the opera's popularity ; musical jewels of great 
price, all aglow with the lustre of a pure and luminous 
genius. Amongst these is a madrigal of extraordinary 
beauty, written in the fine old scholarly English fashion 
that comes to Sullivan as easily nowadays as it came of 
yore to Wilbye and Battishill. " Hearts do not break/' a 
contralto song, which elicited a storm of applause from 
as critical an audience as could well be assembled within 



J 



i68 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



the walls of a London theatre, is Handelian in its 
breadth, and Scbnmaiiuesque m its passionate force. 
The duet between Yum- Yum and Nanki-Poo, " Were I 
not to Ko-Eo plighted *' (act i.), is simply charming. 
There is no prettier number in the opera than this; 
bat the great success of the evening — as far as reite- 
rate and rapturous recalls were concerned, at least — was 
the trio and chorus, '' Three little maids from school " 
(act i.), which the first-nighters insisted upon hearing 
three times, and would gladly have listened to a fourth, 
had not their request been steadfastly declined. Nothing 
fresher, gayer, or more captivating has ever bid for 
pubUc favour than this delightful composition.' 

This is a fair and judicious estimate, more than 
justified by the later popularity of the piece. It is ex- 
traordinary that a work which has been cordially appre- 
ciated in foreign countries should have never had a 
trial in France — an exclusion which, however, has ex- 
tended to almost every English work of reputation. It 
is hardly invidious to impute this to an unworthy feeling 
of jealousy, or at least dislike. On some points our 
' lively neighbours ' show themselves to be ' the spoiled 
child ' of Europe. 



'RUDDIGORE' 



169 



I 



f 



li 



9 

4 



An entirely original eupcmatural opera, in two acUt firet prO' 
dueed at the Savoy Theatre, hy Mr, B, D'Oyly Carte, on 
Saiurdayy Janiiary 22, 1687. 

RUDDIGORE 

S>tamatfB peteonie 



MORTALS 

BoBiM OakappziB (a Yotmg Farmer) 
RiCRABD DauvtiiEbs (fcu Foiter-hrother — a 

Man-o^ 'tear* S'f nan) . . . . 
Sm Dbspard Muroatbotd (of Buddigore—a 

Wicked Baronet) 

Old Adam Goodheart {Bobin's Faithful 

8en>ant) i 

Rose Matbud (a Village Maiden) 

Mad Masoabet 

Dame Hannah {Bo8e*s Aunt) 

-. I {ProfeeeUmal Bridesmaids) . 

GHOSTS 



Mr. Oeoroe OROfismTB 



Mr. Durwaro Lelt 



Mr. Rutland Barrinoton 



I 



Mr. Rudolph Lewis 
Mi88 Leonora Braham 
Mi6B Jessie Bond 
Miss Rosina Brandbam 
Mns Josephine Findlat 
Miss Lindsay 



Mb. Price 
Mb. Charles 
Mr. Trevor 
Mr. Burbank 
Mb. Tueb 
Mb. Wilbrahau 
Mr. Cox 



Sir Rupert Mubgatbotd (the First Baronet) 
Bib Jaspeb Muboatboyd (Ote Third Baronet) 
Snt Lionel Muboatboyd {the Sixth Baronet) 
Sib Combad Muboatboyd {the Twelfth Baronet) . 
Sib Desmond Muboatboyd {the Sixteenth Baronet) 
8iB GiLBEBT Mxtboatboyd {the Eighteenth Baronet) 
Sib Mebyyn Muboatboyd {the Twentieth Baronet) 

AND 

Sib Roderic Muboatboyd {the Twenty-first 

Baronet) Mb. Richabd Temple 

Chorus of Officers, Ancestors^ and Professional Bridesmaids 

ACT I.— The Fishing Village of Bederring, in Ck>mwall 
AOT H.—Fioture Gallery in Buddigore OaeUe 
TIME.-EARLY IN THE PRESENT CENTURY 



I70 THE SAVOY OPERA 

After a nearl; two yeore* eucceasful ran, during which 
time the ' Mikado ' was chanted eveiywhere aod danced 
to in every ballroom, it became time to provide it with a 
snccessor. Thie waa a difficulty, for, as it has often been 
ehowD, the succesefol man is really his own, and his 
chief dangerona competitor. The new opera was the 
only one of the series that was destined to be ill- 
appreciated by the public ; yet it seemed to me hod 
extraordinary merit both in story and music. This was 
' Buddigore,' ' a very original and striking thing, affecting 
OB with somewhat of the same emotiona as did ' Les 
Cloches de Comeville.' A scene or two was saggeated by 
on old piece of the author's written for the German 
Reeds, and called ' Agca Ago.' There was a tone of 
' Honk ' Lewis. The combination of the ghostly element 
with ordinary hfe was happily contrived. Bnt it is the 
picturesque figures and quaint costames that linger in 
the memory. These were really unfamiliar and treated 
in an original way. The story was in harmony, and in- 
spired the composer with some impressive, solid muaic. 
The figure of Sir Bupert Murgatroyd, with his cap and 

' With ftn odd orotahetlneu, olten exhibited by the public, much 
nnEOMning objection wh taken to the title. This, owing to ft printer'! 
mistake, had been annoiuioed aa RuAiy^on. A Iriend wrote gravely to 
lemonitrate againat aaoh a title aa ' Bloodjgore.' 'When the press 
sfaaddersd with conTolsivB horror {as it did) at the detestable title, I 
•ndeaTonred to induce mj eoUa&ora(«ttr to consent to the title being 
changed to " Kensington Qore— or Bobin and Biehard vere two pretty 
men," a* being more idyllic— but SolUvan wouldn't consent'— Qiubki. 



' RUDDIGORE ' 



tassel and long braided frock, the flowing cloak of the 
period, waa all striking enough. The picture gallery at 
Kuddigore Castle, with the long jierspective of family 
full-length portraits stretchmg away, was most effective 



and poetical. These portraits were strictly and accu- 
rately copied from the members of the chorus they 
represented ; and it was an ingenious and striking effect 
when the li^^ng figures, having taken the places of the 
counterfeit presentmenta, descended aolemnly from their 



171 THE SAVOY OPERA 

frftmes. Tlie music of this scene was really appropriate, 
and a picturesque effect was produced by the assemblage 
of all the diSFerent uniforms of the English army, new 
and old ; these strange, old-fashioned equipments, 
defiling before us, left a curious ghostly feeUng. The 
following conceit, though a little ' wire-drawn,' is worked 
oat with much elaborate ingenuity : 



Bob. Beally I don't know what you'd have. I've only 
been a bad baronet a week, and I've committed a crime 
ponctually every day. . . . {_MtU}ATaittatifia\hj). On Wednes- 
day I forged a will. 

Sib Bod. Whose will? 

Bob. My own. 

Sib Bod. My good sir, yon can't forge you own will ! 

Bob. Can't I tbongh 1 I Uke that \ \ i\A\ Bemdes, if a 
man can't forge his own will, whose will can he forge ? 

iBT Obost. There's something in that. 

2kd Ghost. Yes, it seems reasonable. 

Sbd Ghost. At first sight it does. 

4th Qhobt. Fallacy nomewhere, I &ncy I 

Bob. a man can do what he likes with his own ? 

Sot Bod. I snppoee he can. 

Bob. Well, then, he can forge his own will, stoopid I On 
Thursday I shot a fox. 

1st Gbobt. Hear, hear I 

Sib Bod. That's better (lufffrenififj^ftoste). Pass the fox, 
I think? (They (M«ni.) Yea, pass the fox. Friday? 

Bob. On Friday I forged a cheque. 

Sib Bod. Whose cheque ? 

Bob. Old Adam's. 

Sib Bod. But Old Adam hasn't a banker. 



'RUDDIGORE' 



'73 



Bob. I didn't say I forged his banker— I said I forged 
his cheque. On Saturday I disinherited my only eon. 

Sib Bod. But you haven't got a son. 

Bob. No — not yet. I disinherited him in advance, to 
save time. You see, by this arrangement he'll be bom 
ready disinherited. 

I have always thought the Salvationist duet be- 
tween Sir Despard and Mad Margaret one of the most 



MR. UU.I, UIBl IIIUIL^M, AND 

diverting and really original of grotesque conceptinna. 
Writer, composer, and singers furnished each an incom- 
parable fund of quaintness. The music was as strange 
as the words, and the performers, again, were quite a? 
good as words and music. 

Dks. I once was a very abandoned person — 
Mab, Making the most of evil cbancea. 
Dbs. Nobody could conceive a worse 'un — 



174 THE SAVOY OPERA 

Mas. Etch in all tbe old romanccB. 
Des. I blnsh for my wild extravagances, 

Bnt be BO kind 

To bear in mind, 
Mar. We were the victims of circnmstftoces I (Dance.) 
That it OIK of our blameUss dances. 

Uab. I was an exceediDgly odd yonng lady^ 
DiB. Suffering much from spleen and vapoura. 
Mab. ClergTmen thought my conduct ehady— 
Dbs. She didn't spend much upon linendrapers. 
Uab. It certainly entertained the gapers. 

My ways were strange 

Beyond all range — 
Des. And paragraphs got into all the papers. (Dance.) 
We only cut respectable capers. 

Des. I've given op all my wild prooeedings. 
Mab. My taste for & wandering life is waning. 
Now I'm a dab at penny readings. 
They are not remukahly entertaining. 
A moderate livelihood we're gaining. 
In fact, we role 
A National School. 
The duties are dnil, but I'm not complaining. 

(Vance.) 
This tort of thing takes a deal of training I 

Who will forget the extraordinary oddity and abrupt- 
ness of the break for the dance, followed by the strange 
exclamation, as if in reverie : 

This sort of thing takes a deal of training 7 

We could have heard that ditty — after its second 



Des. 
Mab. 



Mab. 



DB9. 



'RUDDIGORE^ 



'?S 



encore — repeated again and again. We should wish to 
hear it now, but there is little likelihood of its being 
revived. 

Sir Roderic's talk with the picture-ghosts exhibits 
our author's ingenious conceits and playinge with words 
at their best. 



■MS BOND UIHB BRANntAV »ni. I1ARnTX<ITnN MR. lunnntoTOK 

The absurdity or ' btinality ' of the operatic chorus 
offering their unmeaning greetings is thus hnppily 
satirised : 

Bbidesuaids 
Hail the bridefrroom —bail the bride ! 
Let the nuptial knot be tied : 



176 



THE SAVOY OPERA 

InfairphrMes 
Hymn their praises, 
Hail the bridegroom— haU the bride I 

Welcome, gentry, 

For your entry 
Bets our tender hearts a-beating. 

Men of station, 

Admiration 
Prompts this unaffected greeting. 

Hearty greeting offer we ! 

The odd conceits of the following meditation often 



recnr: 



Again 



Glieerily carols the lark 

Over the cot. 
Merrily whistles the clerk 
Scratching a blot. 
But the l«^k 
And the clerk, 
I remarkf 
Comfort me not 1 

Over the ripening peach 

Buzzes the bee. 
Splash on the billowy beach 
Tumbles the sea. 
But the peach 
And the beach 
They are each 
Nothing to me ! 

Maidens, greet her, 
Kindly treat her, 
Tou may all be brides some day. 



RUDDIGORE 



177 



And this warning — to a droll rhyme : 

innocents, listen in time, 
Avoid an existence of crime 
Or you'll be as ugly as Fm. 



And: 



Agricultural employment 
Is to me a keen enjoyment. 



And there are some other qaaint strokes, ingeniousi 
too, in their rhyme and reason : 

I abandon propriety, 
Visit the haunts of Bohemian society, t 

Waxworks and other resorts of impiety. 

Placed by the moralist under a ban. . . . 

wretched the debtor who's signing a deed, 

And wretched the letter that no one can read ; 

But very much better, their lot it must be 

Than that of the person I'm making this verse on, 

Whose head there*s a curse on — alluding to me. . . . 

Mad, I? 

Yes, very. 
But why ! 

Mystery! . . . 

He's in easy circumstances ; 
Young and lusty, 
True and trusty. 

There are other instances of the special humour to 
which our author is so partial : 

N 



THE 



179 



Hak. N.iy, <Uar one, f my pitying 

need of prim fonnaUiy. He il,eir natln, 

Rose. Hush, de»r an pocket-combe 

Hong in a pl&ted diah-co painfnl theme 
door, with nought thftt I 
of baby-linen and a boo 

ftlways regarded that wor  little impcr- 

iciouB of the 



Tliis hallowed voinme (j mi, but the 

posed, if I may beUeye tfc 

thui the wife of a Lord 

guide and monitor. By i 'b 'be book ol 

test the moral worth of a '" «'«"«'''. "i"! 

bites bis bread, or eats p .. 

1 . . 1 i_ 1. ? "'* MBump- 

lost cmture, and be wh< 



i8o 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



I must confess, too, that the pomt of the following 
is not intelligible — to me, at least : 

Rob. Soho f pretty one— in my power at last, eh ? Know 
ye Dot that I have those within my call who, at my lightest 
bidding, would inunure ye in an uncomfortable dungeon? 
[CMing.) What ho I within there I 

BiCH. Hold — we are prepared for this {producing a Union 
Jack). Here is a flag that none dare defy (all kneel), and 
while this glorious rag floats over Rose Maybud's head, the 
man does not live who would dare to lay unlicensed hand 
upon her ! 

Bob. Foiled — and by a Union Jack! But a time will 
come, and then 

It was in ' Buddigore/ too, that a burlesque allusion 
produced a storm of indignation in our neighbours across 
the Channel. This was really intended to ridicule the 
Chauvinist boastings of the old days, but the French took 
it Uterally, and insisted that it was an actual affront.' 

After ' Buddigore ' had run its rather short course it 
became known that the Savoy troupe was to * shed ' yet 
another of its leading members. The loss of Grossmith 
was impending ; but it was now learned that Barrington, 
the inimitable Fooh-Bah, had seceded. Once the two props 
of the house had gone, the same spirit was to affect the 
principals themselves. Durward Lely, that finished tenor, 
was soon to depart ; his successor, Courtice Pounds, was 

' Some thirty French officers actually engaged to call the author to 
account. 






i) 



SECESS/ONS 



i8i 



to follow. Jessie Bond, after a long service, was to 
go also. This seems to be of the essence of such 
associations. 

After some years of this agreeable service, and 
crowded, applauding houses every night, the generic 
tenor begins to think, almost as a matter of course, that 
he was made for better things, or at least for a better 
salary. This he usually demands, and on demur resigns 
his pleasant, easy post. Friends assure him that with 
his reputation he is ' worth double,' and will get double. 
Too late he finds out that nothing can make up for the 
steady permanence of his former situation : he discovers 
to his surprise that most of his reputation is owing to 
the very theatre itself, and to the works in which he 
has figured. Too late he finds the precariousness and 
uncertainty of all things outside that favoured temple, 
where, in the words of the facetious song, * He never will 
be missed — he never will be missed.' Beturn is im- 
possible, as his place is filled without difficulty. 

There was one exception, however — that of Barrington, 
who at this time was seized with a hunger for manage- 
ment. A friendly financier offered to back his enter- 
prise, and with the genial goodwill of his late associates, 
and universal good wishes, the pleasant Corcoran, Dr. 
Daly, &c., embarked on management at the St. James's 
Theatre. Gilbert furnished him with a comedy, 
* Brantinghame Hall,' and also with a new actress, Julia 



1 83 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



NeUson, of whom he had a high opinion, which on this 
occasion I fancied she scarcely justified. It must be said 
that his judgment in these matters is far-seeing and goes 
deep, and the lady, as we know, has turned out a very 
striking and sympathetic performer. ' Brantinghame 
Hall,' however, was not acceptable, though the author had 
great faith in the piece ; and it must be confessed that it 
somewhat lacked coherence.^ Barrington made some 
other experiments, which were rather disastrous, and at 
last was glad to resign the ill-fated venture and return 
to his old house, where he was at home, and where he 
wa€ received with open arms by manageiment and 
audience. With these old friends he has wisely con- 
tinned ever since. 

^ ' Miss Neilson,' wrote the author to me on the day after the per- 
formance, ' was absolutely paralysed with nervousness last night. In a 
few days she will do herself justice. It was a tremendous ordeal for a 
young girl who has only walked a stage eight times in her life, and who 
never played an original part before.' Our author then explained his 
purpose in the piece. ' The viUain might easily and eflfectively have 
been baflOed by the arrival of the parson, as you suggest ; but I didn't 
want the villain to be an " out-and-outer," but rather a man led to the 
conmiission of unworthy deeds through overmastering passion — rather a 
good fellow than otherwise ; at aU events, a man with good and generous 
impulses, which occasionally assert themselves. This is hinted at 
when he arrives at Brantinghame prepared to deal loyally with Lord 
Sazondham.' 



THE 'YEOMEN OF THE GUARIV 



183 



«« 



^ 



} 



Produced at the Savoy TJiralre, under the management of Mr. 7?. 
D'Oyly Carte, on Wednesdxiy, October 3, 1888. 

THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD 

OR 

THE MEKRYMAN AND HIS MAID 

S)ramatfs personam 

Sib Richard Cholmoxpklet {Lieutenaiit of the 

Tower) Mn. W. BnowsTiOw 

CoLONKL Fairfax {under sentence of death) . Mi». Courtick PoixnR 
Sergeant Mertll (0/ //t« Yeomen of the Gnard) Mr. Richari» Tkmpi.f 
Leonard Mrrtll (hU SoJt) ... . . Mr. W. R. ShirfiRt 
Jack Point (a Strolling Jester) . . Mr. Georoe Grosvmith 

Wilfred Shadbolt (Head Gaoler and Assistant 

Tortnentor) Mr. W. H. Denny 



»t 



11 



The Headsman 

First Yeoman 

Second 

Third 

Fourth „ 

First Citizen 

Second „ 

Elsie Matnard {a Strolling Singer) 



. Mr. Ricfiardr 

. Mr. WlLRR.VHAM 

. Mr. Metcat<f 

. Mr. Mrrton 

. Mr. Rui>olf Lp.ww 

. Mr. Redmond 

. Mr. Botd 

. Misa Geralt>ine Ulsiar 



Ph(Erb Meryll {Sergeant MerylVs Daugliter) . Miss Jrrsie Bond 
Dame Carrutherr {Housekeeper to the Tower) . Misa Rorina Brakdram 
Kate {her Niece) Miss Rose Hervey 

Chorus of Yeotncn of the Guard, Gentlemen, Citizens, itc. 

SCENE.— Tower Green 

DATE.-SIXTEENTH CENTURY 

In this piece, the 'Yeomen of the Guard,' our 
author adopted quite a new method ; there was a pleas- 
ing, interesting episode, treated with sincerity and 



iS4 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



serioasly, ibongh set off with a fringe, as it were, of 
livel; conceits. The picturesque locality of the Tower 
all but inspired the story. There woe a prisoner of 



state, one Colonel Fairftut, sentenced to be executed; 
there was the gaoler and his daughter, the lieutenant, 
a ' strolling jester,' and, of course, ready to hand a 
picturesque chorus, the ' Beefeaters.' The tale is 



THE 'YEOMEN OF THE GUARD' 18$ 

simple and unassuming, and something in the vein of 
6. F. B. Jamee or Aiosworth. The prisoner, taking the 



place of the sergeant's son, is enrolled in the guard as a 
recruit ; the gaoler is in love with Fhcebe and is ' flouted ' 



i86 THE SAVOY OPERA 

by her; there is a prison mnrriage, too, before the exocn- 
tion,and at the end all are made happy. The composer, 
too, was fortonate in heiug famished with auch a story 
to set. It supplied him with some stately, well-colonred 
ideas; he evidently was inspired by the pictaresque 



■-«.... e.-,, 



•Alt, 



hxaU ; his strains reflect the inflnence of the grim old 

precinct : 

Te towers of Julius I London's lasting ahame I 
By many a foal and midnight mnrder fed. 

At the same time it was felt that here was a depar- 
tnre from the stricter traditions of the Savoy. 

Grossmith was allotted a carious part, a sort of 



THE 'YEOMEN OF THE CUAUD' 



187 



mediiBval jester called Jack Point. It was Bomcwhat 
artificial in its cast, bnt he mndc a very pi(jiiant 
character of it. To him was allotted the beantiful air, 
' I have a song to sing ! ' with drone accompaniment, 
one of the most charming of 
Snllivan's efforts. It made £>-' 
a deep impression, and chimes 
in oar ears at this very mo- 
ment. 

It is thus that composers 
80 often really make the public 
a present of something that 
they can take home with them 
and put by, and which can be 
used and renewed again and 
again to recreate themselves 
with on occasion. 

The fooling of this fool is 
a little archaic, though no 
doubt it was intended as a 

satire on the salaried quips of these gentry. The lieu- 
tenant asks him : 

And how came yon to leave your last employ ? 

Point. \Vby, sir, it was in this wise. My lord was the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, and it was considered that one of 
my jokes was nnsuited to bis (irace's family circle. In truth 
I ventured to ask a poor riddle, sir -\Mierein lay tlie dif- 
ference between bis Grace and poor Jack Point? His 



t88 THE SAVOY OPERA 

Gnce waa pleased (o give it np, bit. And therenpoQ I told 
him that vheieas his Grace was paid 10,0001. a j'ear for 
being good, poor Jack Point was good — for Dothing. 'Twas 
bntaharmleesjeBt, but it offended his Oraoe, who whipped me 
tod set me in the stocks for a sonrril rogae, and to we parted. 
I had as lief not take post again with the dignified clergy. 

LiBiTT. Can yon give me an example ? Say that I had sat 
me down hurriedly on something shup ? 



Point. Sir, I should say that yon had Bat down on the 
spar of the moment. 

Lieut. Humph. I don't think mnoh of that. Is that 
the beet you ean do ? 

Ponrr. It has always been much admired, dr, but we will 
try again. 

LiBUT. Well then, I am at dinner, and the joint of meat 
is but half cooked. 

Point. Why then, sir, I should say— tiiat what is under- 
done cannot be helped. 



THE 'YEOMEN OF THE GUARD' 189 

LiEDT. I see. I think that manner of thing would be 
somewhat irritating. 



IQO THE SAVOY OPERA 

PoiMT. At first, sir, perhaps ; but use is everytbing, and 
you would come in time to like it. 

Lieut. We will suppose that I caught you kissing the 
kitchen wench nnder my very nose. 

Point. Under htr very nose, good sir— not under yours t 
Tliai is where I would kiss bei. Do you take me ? Oh, sir, 
a pretty wit— a pretty, pretty wit I 



Lieut. The maiden comes. Folh>w me, friend, and we 
will discuss this matter at length in my library. 

He afterwarda singe with pleasant humour of the 
hard lot of the ' private buffoon ' who is checked by the. 
dullards at every turn. 



THE 'YEOMEN OF THE GUARD ,q, 

Among the performers was found a new recrail, who 
bad long served under the Bancrofts at the old Totten- 
ham Court Road Theatre, and who has the art of im- 



parting to even minor characters a sort of individuality. 
This was Denny. He has a dry, self-contained, reserved 
humour, which was shown effectually in the part of the 
Tower gaoler. He has since tuken his place as one 



192 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



THE 'GONDOLIERS' 



193 



of the props of the house. He is, however, some- 
what borne in his gifts, and, though a sound and con- 
scientious performer, has but a limited range. 

Ferformed at the Savoy Theatre, under the management of Mr, 
B, D'Oyly Carter on Saturday, December 7, 1889, an entirely 
originai comio opera, in two aot$. 

THE GONDOLIERS 

om 
THE KINO OF BARATABU 

Dramatis petsonas 

The Duke of Pulza-Tobo (a Orandee of 

Spain) Mb. Fbamk Wtatt 

Luiz {hie Attendant) .... Mb. Bbowklow 
Dov Alhuuiba del Bousbo {the Grand In- 

quisitor) Mil. Dbnkt 

Mabco Palmibkx \ /Mr. Coubtice Pouhdb 

Oiubbppb Palkibbi 

Abtonio 

Fbincesco 

GlOBOIO 

AamiBAUB 

Ottavio 

The Dtjchess or Plaza-Tobo 

Gabilda {her Daughter) 

GlANETTA 

Tessa 

Fiaxbtta y {Contadine) 

VinoBiA 

GZULU 



>- {Venetian Gondoliers) ^ 



Mb. Rutland Babbimotox 
Mb. Metcalf 
Mb. Bosk 
Mb. db Pleimie 
Mb. Wilbbamam 
\Mb. C. Gilbbbt 
Miss Bosina Bbamdbau 
Miss Decima Moobb 

fMx88 Gbbaldinb Ulmab 
Miha Jk881B Bond 
Miss Lawbence 
Miss CSole 
Miss Phyllis 
Miss Beunabd 



Inez {the King^s Fo8ter-7not)ter) 

Chortle of Gondoliers and Contadine, Men-at-arms, Heralds, 

and Pages 

AOT I,— The Piaaetta, Venice 

AOT H.— Pavilion in the Palace of Barataria 



II 



The ' Gondoliers,' for sparkle, show, brilliant dresses, 
and lively music, was one of the most attractive' of the 
series. The tunes were taking— the composer sought to 
impart a kind of local colour — the measures were half 
Italian or Spanish, with the usual fandangoes, boleros, &c. 
For a practised musician this is easy enough, and is, 
indeed, a sort of common form. The story was ingeniously 
compounded, though the idea is suggested that it was 
put together a little capriciously. When the public 
came to welcome the new opera it knew that one of its 
oldest favourites would be no longer there to entertain 
them. George Grossmith, the enjoyable ' Gee-Gee,' had 
departed. This was a serious loss. A Savoy opera 
without this grotesque, mercurial, central figure was 
almost inconceivable. There was no substitute to be 
found. He stood out quite brilliantly from the back- 
ground. To this hour it may be doubted if the Savoy 
opera is the same thing that it was in those days. 

He was led to take this step by the reflection that 
for some years he had been losing money by his en- 
gagement, possibly to the amount of one or two hundred 
a week. His salary of 401. or 501. was handsome, and 
about as much as the manager of a costly theatre could 
afford; 2,0002. a year is no bad allowance. But he 
had long felt that there was a great field open to his 
talents in the entertainment direction. He had already 
made his mark in this way, and after his performance 





194 THE SAVOY OPERA 

at the SaToy used to repair to fashionable entertain- 
ments, where he gave his songs and recitations. Golden 
prAfits opened before him; apd with snch profit all 
bat a certainty, it woald hare been foUy to rsBisf, and 
so he took this important step. The snccesa, as he has 
assnred me, has exceeded his most sanguine expecta- 
tions.' 

This shows how Utopian — in these days at least — is 
the notion of a good all-round company whose chief 
members are of equal merit. Philosophers tell as that 
snch is the ideal system to be foand at the Theatre 
Fran^ais. Bat it is no sooner oonstitnted than it mast 
diseolve, for the very reason that influenced Ctrossmith — 
viz. every member of conspicaous merit is playing at a 
loss, and feels that he coold make three or four times ' 
as mach. For this compelling reason the Fran9ai8 is 
gradually soedding its leading members ; witness Sarah 
Bernhardt, Coqaelin, and others. 

The Bavoy corps has daring fourteen or fifteen years 
seen other changes. Save, perhaps, Barrington and Miss 
Braodrsm, nearly all the original prominent members 
have gone — Orossmith, Dnrward Leiy, George Power, 

 still, U i( to proTS thkt neither pelt nor the eoropftratlTe gain of th« 
plfttlonn will make np lor the slitleriiig Bttnotion ol the loene, there 
hftve lately bean mmoiinoffaiiretDm to the domftln ot his old trininphB. 
It has been stated in Tsriooi jonmkU that in eaae of a TeriTal of the 
UOiaio or the Ytonurt of tht Ouord— indistinotlj ehadorred torth— 
oar friend would reanne hU old character. 



THE 'aONnOUERS' 



'95 



Jessie Bond, the Temples, and many more. The present 
members now carry on the traditions, but do not origi- 
nate. Denny, it would 
appear, is held out as a 
sort of successor to Gros- 
smith, but is unequal, 
and has not the magic 
touch. 

The ' Gondoliers ' in- 
troduced quite an array 
of new talent, with a large 
number of characters. 
The management seemed 
to have thought that 
' fresh blood ' wae want- 
ing for the enterprise, 
and the recent loss of 
Grossmith warned them 
that they could not rely 
on the permanent stay 
of old favourites. We 
found on this occasion 
several new performers 
who had served in the 
ranks of the Saroy 

country corps. We had the versatile Frank Wyatt, 
who could not only sing but ' danced like an angel ' ; 



196 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



rather, like Mr. Fezziwig in the story, he could ' cut so 
deftly that he seemed to wink with his legs.' There was 
also another agreeable, well-taught singer, Brownlow — 
more baritone than tenor. Among the ladies there was 
a new candidate for Savoy favour — Miss Decima Moore, 
a piquant actress with a sweet and flexible voice, who 
was cordially welcomed.^ Miss Geraldine Ulmar was the 
titular prima donna. 

In this piece the author has very happily touched off 
the conventional operatic notion of gondoliers, and those 
scraps of accepted Italian which the tourist brings back 
with him : 

Giu. and Mar. {fhdr arrM full of flowers.) ciel ! 

OmLS. Buon' giomo, cavalieri I 

6iu. and Mab. {deprecatingly). Siamo gondolieri. 

(to FiA. and Vit). Bignorina, io t' amo ! 
Girls, {dcprecatingly). Gontadine siamo. 
Giu. and Mar. Bignorine ! 
Girls (deprecatingly), Gontadine I 

{curtseying to Giu. and Mar.) Cavalieri. 
Giu. and Mar. {deprecatingly)* Gondolieri ! 

Poveri gondolieri ! 
Chorus. Buon* giomo, signorine, Ac. 

Duet — Marco and Giuseppe 

We're called gondolieri^ 
But that's a vagary. 
It's quite honorary 

The trade that we ply. 

* Miss Moore came from the Brixton Conservatoire, where she wm a 
promising singer, and, like Miss McPherson, made her first appearance on 



THE 'GONDOUERS' I97 

For gallantry noted 

Since we were short-coated 

To ladies devoted, 

My brother and I. 

The conventional dance, too, of the sprightly children 
of the South is capitally symbolised in these lints, which 
the composer set to music artfully compounded of the 
usual hackneyed foims : 

Wo will dance a cachucba, fandango, bolero, 
Old Xeres we'll drink— Manzanilla, Montero— 
For wine, when it runs in abundance, enhances 
The reckless delight of that wildest' of dances ! 
To the pretty pitter-pitter-patter. 
And the clitter-clitter-clitter-clatter— 
Glitter— clitter— clatter, 
Fitter — pitter-patter — 
We will dance a cachucha, fiandango, bolero. 

Sometimes our author falls into a mood of moralising, 
and these lines have a pleasant philosophy, carried off 
by a faint soup^on of banter : 

Try we lifelong, we can never 

Straighten out life's tangled skein, 
Why should we, in vain endeavour. 
Guess and guess and guess again ? 
Life's a pudding full of plums, 
Gare*s a canker that benumbs. 

any stage on this occasion. 8he had been engaged to figure in Mr. Bumand's 
adaptation, Miss Decinia, which had been a bizarre combination. 



19* THE SAVOY OPERA 

Wherefore vute our elocution 
On impossible solntion ? 
irtft'i a pleagant inttUution, 

Let OB liske it as it comes I 

This was set in the form of one of those taking, well- 
harmoniBedconcertedqiuntetteBwhichare found scattered 



through these operas, often iinaccompauied. They were 
alwayfi listened to with an almost breathless attention, 
and at tlie close a burst of tomnltaous applause en- 
forced their repetition. 



T//E 'GONDOLIERS' 199 

One of the Utopian schemes of the grotesque duke 
was the establishing of a general equality ; thus antici- 
pating a little what was to be the subject of a regular 
opera: 

The earl, the marquis, and the dook, 
The groom, the butler, and the cook. 
The aristocrat who banks with Coutts, 
The aristocrat who cleans the boots, 
The noble lord who rules the State, 
The noble lord who scrubs the giate. 
The Lord High Bishop orthodox, 
The Lord High Vagabond in the stocks — 
Sing high, sing low, 
Wherever they go. 
They all shall equal be ! 

And in a most amusing duet the duke and duchess play 
upon the theme with wonderful variety : 



DCCH. 


When Virtue would quash her. 




I take and whitewosli her. 




And launch her in first-tate society- 


Duke. 


First-rate society ! 


DUCH 










Their fit and their finishing touches- 


Duke. 




DUOH. 


A sum in addition 




They pay for permission 




To say that they make for the duchEss 


Ddkb 


They make for the dncheesl 



«» THE SAVOY OPERA 

DucH. At middle-class party 
I play at ioarii- - 

And I'm by no means a beginner — 
Does (sirjnijicanily). Sbe's not a beginner. 
DucH. To one of my station 
The remuneration — 

Five guineas a night and my dinner — 
Duke. And wine with bei dinner. 

DucH. I vrite letters blatant 
On tsedioines patent— 

And use any other yon mustn't— 
Duke. Believe me, you mustn't — 

DucH. And voir my compleiion 
Derives its perfection 

From somebody's soap— which it doesn't — 
DtiKB {t^nificanthj). It certainly doesn't ! 

Denny's song had one of those quaintly original 
retrains of nhich Gilbert has the secret : 

I stole the prince, and I brought him here. 

And left him, gaily prattling, 
With a highly respectable gondolier, 
Who promised the royal babo to rear. 
And teach htm the trade of a timoneer 
T\'ith Ills own beloved bratling. 

Both of the babes were strong and stout. 

And, considering all things, clever. 
0/ Oxat there is no manner of doubt — 

Ifo probable, possible skadovi of doubt — 
A'o possible doubt whatever. 

In the ' Gondoliers ' there is a trite familiar process, 
treated in a humorous way. Giaeeppe and Marco select 



«n THE SAVOY OPERA 

their 'giils' by the aid of 'Blindman'fl Buff,' to this 
variation of the nnrser; lines : 

My papa he keeps three horses, 
Black, and white, and dapple grey, sir ; 

Turn three times, then take your conraefl, 
Catch whichever girl you may, sir I 

Then follow these quaint rhymes : 

GlANBTTA 

Thank you, gallaot gof\dolierx : 

In a set and formal measure 
It is scarcely necessary 

To express our pride and pleasure. 

Each of UB to prove a treasure, 
Conjvgal aitd monetary. 

Gladly will devote our leisure. 
Gay and gallant gondolieri. 

La, la, la, la, la I Ac. 

Tbbba 
Gay and gallant gondolieri. 

Take us both and hold us tightly. 
You have luck extraordinaty ; 

We might both have been unsightly 1 

If we judge your conduct rightly, 
'Twaa a choice involuntary ; 

Still, we thank you most politely. 
Gay and gallant gondolieri 1 

La, la, la, la, la I kt. 

The two kings declare that ' it is a very pleasant 
existence,' everybody being so kind and considerate. 



THE 'GONDOLIERS' 



203 



' You don't find them wanting to do this, or wanting to 
do that, or saying, " It's my turn now." ' The notion of 
the duke making himself into a company, as the ' Duke 
of Plaza- Toro, Limited,' is a pleasant fancy. His speech 
to his Bonti-in-law is droll thronghont : 

Dosz. I ai9 now about to address myself to the gentle- 
man whom my daughter married ; the other may allow his 



attention to wander if be likes, for what I am about to say 
does not concern him. Sir, you will find in this young lady 
a combination of excellences which yon would search for in 
vain in any young lady who had not the good fortune to be 
my daughter. There is some littie doubt as to which of you 
is the gentleman I am addressing, and which is the gentle- 
man who is allowing bis attention to wander; but when that 



304 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



doubt is solved, I shall say (still addressing the attentiTe 
gentleman), ' Take her, and may she make you happier than 
lier mother has made me.* 

With the ' Gondoliers ' returned to the Savoy fold 
that prime, indeed all but necessary favourite, Butland 
Barrington. His peculiar style — so free and unctuous, 
yet judiciously reserved — has done much for the Savoy 
opera ; indeed it might probably be said that without 
such interpreters as he and Grossmith the great success 
would prol^ably not have been attained. His personality 
is so raai'ked that, though his methods are nearly always 
the same, there is never left the impression of monotony 
or sameness. We listen with all the pleasure of novelty 
to his eflforts, and rarely fail to be recreated. Here 
is the * note ' of an artist. His unfortunate venture at 
the St. Jame;*s Theatre had not damped his spirit ; and 
his friends and admirers were unfeignedly glad to see him 
back in his old haunts. 

In this opera— the last presented of the series— it 
was curious to note how largely the scale of treatment 
had developed compared with the early and modest 
pretensions of the ' Trial by Jury ' and the * Sorcerer.' 
Then the whole burden was really on the shoulders 
of a quartette or quintette, supported by an occasional 
chorus, who recited their pleasant 'lilting' tunes and 
ballads in an articulate fashion that brought out the 
sense of every line. But now, after nearly a score of 



* 



DISSOLUTION OF THE PARTNERSHIP 205 

years, what a change ! Here wc had almost a grand 
opera, with close on fifteen prominent, well-marked 
characters, with an array of choristers, rich accompani- 
ments, recitations and finales, all worked up according to 
the approved canons. The composer's methods, too, have 
enlarged with the canvas on which he worked. His 
accompaniments are elaborate and flowing, and he has 
clearly aimed at general musical treatment of the story 
itself. It' may be thought, indeed, that the Savoy opera 
has now all but outgrown its habitation, and will hardly 
admit of further expansion. 

While the ' Gondoliers ' was pursuing its prosperous 
course and supplying enjoyment for thousands all over the 
kingdom, its admirers were seriously disturbed at learning 
that a little rift had appeared in the lute, and that 
owing to a sudden estrangement the pleasant partner- 
ship had come to an end. At this news there was some- 
thing like consternation. It unfortunately proved to be 
true. A difference had arisen between the manager and 
one of the partners, into which the other was presently 
drawn. The discussion became so acute that a complete 
breach followed ; and it was understood that the agree- 
able, mirth-giving alliance which for so many years had 
increased the public stock of harmless pleasure was dis- 
solved. For a time it was hoped that a reconciliation 
would be effected, but the matter was too serious to be 
compromised. As month after month went by without 



306 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



signs of the breach being healed, andiences had to accept 
as best they could so unfortunate a state of things. We 
need not here discuss the causes of the quarrel, con- 
cerning which many rumours were afloat ; but the fans 
ei origo must have been serious, as the sacrifice involved 
was enormous, and to some extent irreparable. A 
great venture of this sort may not be inteiTupted or 
dislocated without permanent damage. It suggests the 
case of some too hasty resignation of office, the effects 
of which cannot be undone. 

The partnership being thus dissolved, each of the 
partners sought out new assistants with whom to seek 
afresh the favour of the public. The intimate and 
even indissoluble character of the connection between 
the writer and the composer was shown in a very 
striking way during the period of the misunderstand- 
ing which separated them for a time. Each chose 
another coadjutor, and with the same result. Gilbert 
wrote one of his most amusing pieces, the ' Mounte- 
banks/ which was duly set to music by Collier, while 
Sullivan was supplied by Mr. Grundy with a play 
caUed 'Haddon Hall.' Of course a certain amount 
of success attended these productions, owing to the 
traditional popularity of the authors and the hand- 
some style m which they were brought forward, but 
it was felt that the result was rather a specimen of 
the regular conventional opera— a libretto set to music 



'H ADDON HALL' 



207 



— than the favourite Savoy partnership, in which the 
share of each was equally prominent. ' Haddon Hall ' 
had rather an old-fashioned Harrison Ainsworth tone. 
There were Cavaliers and Roundheads, concealments 
and pursuits, pert waiting-maids, and the rest. Denny 
was an impossible Scot, who danced the dances of 
his country, and furnished the composer with con- 
trapuntal opportunities based on Caledonian modes, 
which he worked with his usual skill. It was curious 
that with each of these productions there were to l>e 
associated some exceptional incidents — one of a rather 
pathetic kind. 

Though there was an attempt to reproduce the old 
Savoy patterns, there was a marked contrast between 
the new lyrics and those Savoy audiences had grown 
accustomed to ; witness — 



Now isn*t that beautiful, isn't that nice ? 

When I tell you the article's German, 
Youll know it could only be sold at the price 

Through a grand international firman. 
A still greater bargain 1 an article French : 

When I say it's of French manufacture, 
I mean that, if worn by a beautiful wench, 

A heart it is certain to fracture. 
But here is the price— only tuppence — pure gold : 

When I mention the article's Yankee, 
TTeU, nobody then will require to be told 

That there can't be the least hanky-panky I 



'HADDON HALL' 109 

The composer must have felt strangely aa he pro- 
ceeded to set the last two lines. 80 vith the Scotch 



My name it ia McCrankie, 
I am lean, an' lang, an' lanky, 
I'm a Moody and a Sankey 

Wound npo' a Scottish reel t 
Pedantic an' ptincteelioug. 
Severe an' saperceelioas, 
Freceese and atrabeelious — 

Bnt meanin' vera weel. 

I don't object tae weesky, 
Bat I say a' songs are risky, 
Ad' I think a' dances frisky, 

An' I've put the fuitUchta oot t 
I am the maist dogmatical, 
Three-oomered, autocratical, 
Funereal, fanatical, 

O' a' the cranks aboot t 

One incident associated with 'Iladdon Hall' woe 
Bomewbat in the nature of nn oddit.v, or dransatic 
'cario.' Mr. fioulding, an indnstrious dramatist, had, 
it seems, written a piece on this subject, in good old 
legitimate blank verse, and with a sincerity and earnest- 
DesB worthy of Sheridan Eiiowles himself. He com- 
plained, I believe, that he had been anticipated in the 
production. Mr. D'Oyly Carte very handsomely gave 
ear to these remonstrances, and with much liberality 
actually consented to place his theatre at the dispOBal 



t. 



2IO 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



of the disappoiuted author for a morning performance. 
It oddly happened that the order of the scenes, &c., in 
the opera fitted very fairly with some of the scenes in 
the play. There was the grand, dazzling interior of 
the HaU, which was available, together with the hand- 
some dresses. The whole passed off very well indeed, 
and was ctudous to follow. It seemed a sort of antique 
survival ; and yet not unwelcome was the old declaimed 
blank verse, for so long unfamiliar. The audience 
was good-natured, and we may presume the author 
was content. The performance was certainly unique. 

Another odd and rather surprising incident occurred 
during this interval. Gilbert had bethought himself of his 
old adaptation, ' A Wedding March,' which, it occurred 
to him, offered opportunities for being arranged as a 
comic opera. He set to work, fitted it out with verses 
for solos and chorus, leaving the main portion pretty 
much as it was. The extraordinary success in the old 
days of this very ' rollicking ' piece suggested to him that 
in this new shape it nught be even more attractive. But 
who would do the music ? There was but a slender list 
of composers of this gtnre. Gellier, the author of 
the popular ' Dorothy ' ; Edward Solomon, a musician 
of much facility and variety, but who seems to have 
generally missed winning the public ear, were available, 
but were not thought of by om* author. He had selected 
his coadjutor, and^appliedfor aid-*the reader will scarcely 



GROSSMITH AS A COMPOSER 



211 



guess to whom — to Grossraith. No one, I believe, was 
more surprised than the pleasant ' Gee-Gee ' himself at 
the application ; but he was at the same time not a little 
flattered, and if at all distrustful of his own powers for 
such a task, he was reassured by the author, who had 
every confidence that he was suited to the task and that 
the work was safe in his hands. In truth Grossmith 
has a pleasant gift of composition, attested by his in- 
numerable songs, which are spirited and dramatic. 
Indeed, that delightful little parody of a light opera, the 
' Gay Markecy which exhibits all the conventional absur- 
dities of such things, is not only comic to a degree, 
but has some capital music. 

I recall the night when, before a crowded house, 
gathered to see this new exhibition of the favourite's 
powers, he gaily stepped into the orchestra to conduct 
the performance. There was a roguish smile on his 
expressive face as he gi-avely went through the profes- 
sional methods, tapping the desk for attention, &c. It 
was really a wonderful thing under the conditions — of 
course, with a strong flavour of imitation of his prede- 
cessors. The orchestration was a little weak, if not 
thin, but on the whole it was a surprising t4)ur dc force, 
and ' passed ' very well. The worst was, the libretto 
seemed a little superannuated, and, though once enjoying 
brilliant success and drawing all the town, seemed now 
to belong to a bygone era. 

p 2 



212 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



Gilbert was also busy preparing a new opera of the 

favourite pattern — the ' Mountebanks.* The music was 

to be furnished by Cellier, one of the two brothers, 

Alfred and Franfois, who conducted the orchestra at the 

* Savoy.' By this time the bright sparkling methods of 

the Savoy music had become familiar, and any deft, 

skilful musician could find cunning enough to copy or 

adapt the original tuneful devices. But apart from this 

almost unavoidable imitation of the popular style, the 

'Mountebanks' proved to be a sound and musicianly 

piece, which was heard with a great deal of pleasure. It 

enjoyed much popularity and ran for a considerable 

time. It introduced for the first time a clever young 

singer, Ai'da Jenom*e, who created a quaint character 

founded on a Gilbertian conceit — the adaptation of ' the 

penny-in-the-slot ' mechanism to the human figure. 

The versatile Collier — whose ' Dorothy ' had some 
delightful * numbers ' — understood enough of Gilbert's 
methods to execute his task in a fairly satisfactory 
manner. But when he had nearly accomplished his 
task a mortal sickness with which he had been strug- 
gling became a serious interruption. Nothing could be 
more forbearing than the indulgence extended. Great 
interests were at stake; heavy engagements, pecu- 
niary and other, were involved; but there was no 
l^ressure exerted beyond an appeal to do what he 
reftsonably could. On his side the dying composer 



DEA TH OF ALFRED CELLIER 



213 



made heroic exertions to complete his task, compelled, 
as he was, every now and again to lay it aside. But he 
persevered, and had all but completed his work when 
the pen fell from his hand. There was something 
really fine in this story of self-sacrifice. Yet the music is 
sparkling and tuneful, and though somewhat lacking 
in inspiration, as might be expected, would never be 
supposed to have been engendered on a death1)ed.' 



* This unobtrasive man had done a great deal of work in his time, 
and contribated moch to the recreation of the pnblic. ' Alfred 
Gellier, although of French extraction, was bom at HackncT on Dccem* 
ber 1, 1844, and, like Sir Arthur Sallivan, was originally a choir-boy at 
the Chapel Boyal ander the llcv. Thomas Holmore. After his voict 
failed he studied the organ, and as a lad of eighteen was appointed 
organist at All Saints*, filackheath. He then went to Delfast, bat in 
1868 he returned, as organist of St. A]ban*8, Holborn, to London, where, 
except as to four years as conductor at the Prince's Theatre, Manchester, 
and certain Toyages to Australia and elsewhere, taken for purposes 
of health, he has since chiefly resided. For three years from 1877 he 
conducted the Gilbert and Sulliyan operas at the Opera Comiquc. and in 
1878-9 he was joint conductor with Sir Arthur Sullivan of the Prome- 
nade Concerts at Covent Garden. The earliest of his light operas, ChoLvity 
beffins at Home, was produced at the old Gallery of Illustration as far 
back as 1870, but four years later his Sultan of if oc/ta— originally 
produced at Manchester, and in 1876 given at the St. James's Theatre, 
London— brought him prominently into public notice. The Tower of 
London followed in 1875, and Nell Gwynne in 1876. The libretto of 
the last-named opera was afterwards reset by a French composer, and a 
good deal of the original music was, we believe, used up for Dorothy^ 
which, produced in 1886 at the Gaiety, was afterwards transferred to 
the Prince of Wales's and the Lyric, and enjoyed a long and lucrative 
run. Among his other operas or operettas may be mentioned the Spectrg 
Knight (written in collaboration with the late Mr. Albery for Mr. D'Oyly 
Carte), Dora's Dreamt After All, the Carp, and Doris, He has likewise 



214 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



Produced at the Lyric Theatre^ London, under the managetnent 
of Mr. Horace Sedger, on Monday, January 4, 1892. 

THE MOUNTEBANKS 

DramattB personie 

Amoflmro AiraxoATo {Captain of the TamorraS'^a 8eer»t Society). 

- „ I (Members of his Band). 

Lcioi Spaohktti J * ' ' 

ALFitBi>o (a Young Peasant, loved by Ultkicb, but in love with Tkrcsa). 

Pdetro {Proprietor of a Troupe of Mountebanks). 

Bartolo {his Clown). 

Elyiko m Pasta {an Innkeeper). 

RiBOTTo {one of the Tamorras—just married to Minertra). 

Bkppo. 

Tbbesa {a Village Beauty, loved by Alfrrim}, and in love loith herself), 

Ultrice {in love with, and detested by Alfredo). 

NiTA (a Dancing Oirl). 

MnnsiTBA (BisoTTO^R Bride). 

Tamorras, Monks, ViUage Oirls, de. 

ACT L— Exterior of Elvino*8 Inn, on a pictur- 

eaqtie Sicilian pass. Morning .... Mr. Btan 

AOT II.— ISxterior of a Dominican Monasteiy. 

Moonlight Mr. Btan 

DATE-EARLY IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 
The open prodaeed under the musical direction of Mr. Itan Carttx. 



composed works of higher pretension, among them heing a Symphonic 
Saite for orchestra, and the cantata Gray's Elegy, written for and pro- 
duced at the Leeds Festival in 1893. He was a bom melodist, and 
although some of his works may lack dramatic grip on the one hand, 
and the vis comiea on the other, yet his tuneful and refined style was 
always welcome alike to musicians and to the general public* 



r//E 'MOUNTEBANKS;' 



215 



Notliing could l>e l)ettcr than the opening, which is 
brisk and sprightly, and introduces us to the business of 
the scene in a very effective fashion : 

Chorus of Tamobbas 

We are members of a secret society, 

Working by the moon's uncertain digc ; 
Our motto is ' Revenge without Anxiety '-- 

That is, without unnecessary risk ; 
We pass our nights on damp straw and squalid hay 

When trade is not particularly brisk ; 
But now and then we take a little holiday, 

And spend our honest earnings in a frisk. 

Solo — Giorgio 

Five hundred years ago, 

Our ancestor's next-door neighbour 

Had a mother whose brother, 

By some means or other. 
Incurred three months' hard labour. 

This wrongful sentence, though 
On his head he contrived to do it, 

As it tarnished our scutcheon, 

Which ne'er had a touch on, 
We swore mankind should rue it \ 

Ell. Bless my heart, what are you all doing here ? How 
comes it that you have ventured in so large a body so near to 
the confines of civilisation ? And by daylight, too ! It seems 

rash. 

Qio. Elvino, we are here under circumstances of a ro- 
mantic and sentimental description. We are all going to be 
married 1 



ii6 TIJE SAVOY OPERA 

El. What, aU of you? 

Lui. One eadi day doling the next three weeks. What 
do yoo Bay to that ? 



'^""V'G""""*'^"''' 



El. Why, that it strikes at the root of your existence as 
a seoiet society, that's all. And who is to be the first? 

Gio. The first is Bisotto, who went down to (he village 
this morning, disguised as a stockbroker, to be married to 
Minestra. . , . 



HR, HUUIT IIOHKHOUBB All T 



IN THE 'yotNTEBUiKS' 



»8 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



Abb. Good. We hsre a vendetta against all tnTeUing 
EngliBhmen. Th« relation of our ancestor's neighbonr vaa 
arrested by a tr«Tellhig Englishman. Well ? 

Qio. No — very bad. The cowardly ruffian was armed. 



Arb. That's so like these Englishmen. This growing 
habit of carrying revolvers is the curse of oar profession. 
Anjrthing else ? 

Lui. Only an old market-woman on a mole. 

Arb. Well, we have a vendetta ag^st all old market- 
women on a mole. The principal evidence against the rela- 



THE 'MOUNTEBANKS' 219 

tion of onr ancestor's neighbour was an old market-woman 
on a mule. Did yon arrest her 7 

Lui. We were about to do so, but she passed us in silent 
contempt. 

Arb. Humph 1 This growing habit of passing us in 
silent contempt strikes at the veiy root of our little earnings. 
Of coarse you could do nothing ? 



The change into clockwork figures fnmiBheB the 
author with many quips and conceits : 

Pre. Why, the duke and duchess want to buy the figures, 
and the figuree are missing. What's to be done ? Why, it's 



2W) THE SAVOY OPERA 

obvious. Yon and Bartolo ^rese and make up ss tlie two 
figures. When dressed, you drink & few drops of the potion, 
diluted with wine (latimg (/w cork and tkmlderuuf). It's— 
it's not at all nasty -and you will not only look like the two 
figures, bnt you'll actually bf. the two fignros clockwork and 
aU! 



Ni. Whew! (whistlet). 

Bak, What I I become a doll— a dandled doll ? A mere 
conglomerate of whiitzing wheels, salad of springs and hotch- 
potch of escapements? Exchange nil the beautiful things 
I've got iiisido here for a handful of common clockwork? 



TffE 'MOUNTEBANKS' 121 

It's a large order. Perish tlic thought and he who uttered 
it I . . . We are quite common clockwork, I believe ? 

Ni. Mere Geneva. The cheapest thing in the trade. 

Bar. 80 I was given to understand. 

Ni. It might have been worse. We might have been 
Waterbnry, with interchangeable insides. 

Bab. Tliat's true. But when 1 remember the delicately- 
beautiful apparatus with which I was filled from head to 
foot, and which never, never ticked— when I contemplate the 
exquisite adjustment of means to end, which never, never 
wanted oiling— I am shocked to think that I am reduced to a 
mere mechanical complication of arbora, pnllets, wheels, 
mainsprings, and escapements t 

Ni. What's wrong now ? 

Bar. I — c'ck— c'ck — I am not conversant with clockwork; 
but do you feel, from time to time, a kind of jerkiness Ibat 
catches you just fierc ? 

Ni- No; I work as smooth as butter. The continued 
ticking is tiresome ; bat it's only for an hour. 

Bab. The ticking is aimply maddening. C'ck I c'ck! 
There it is again t 

Mr. D'Oyly Curte, on his side, made a gnllant attoiiijit 
to carry on the traditions of the ' Savoy.' In June 1891 
Uiere was presented a new opera, the words Bupplicd 
by Dance, the music by Solomon. This was the ' Naiitch . 
Girl,' a rather brilliant spectacular effect, but of the 
usual comic opera pattern, familiar enouf-h ut otlier 
theatres. It introduced a very agreeable vanialme. Miss 
Snyders, a siiigor of much grace and finish. There is 
Bomethiitg remarkable in the fertility with which the 



222 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



MR, BARRIE AS A PLAYWRIGHT 



United States have furnished quite a number of these 
pleasing and acceptable songsters, some of whom, like 
Miss Griswold, have even become leading singers in 
the Grand Opera at Paris — ^a situation so very difficult 
to attain when we consider how difficile and jealously 
exclusive are our neighbours. In spite of the com- 
parative rudeness and provinciality of the American 
stage, these performers have an elegance and flexibility 
that is often lacking in the English singer. The secret 
may be that they nearly always have their training in 
foreign schools. In spite, however, of a magnificent 
setting, this opera was only destined to prove that 
there is an essential difference between the con- 
ventional ' opera of commerce ' and the legitimate Savoy 
opera. 

The manager also revived the ' Vicar of Bray,' the 
music of which, by Solomon, was recast. Later, he 
made a bolder venture with an opera written by a new 
and scarcely known musician, Ernest Ford. But he 
relied on his libretto, written for him by a professor 
of the so-called 'new humour,' Mr. Barrie, who is 
acclaimed by his countrymen as one of the prime wits of 
the day. This piece was ' Jane Annie/ 

It is always interesting to speculate on the founda- 
tions of amusement, to ascertain what is really the 
genuine article, and ' see that we get it.' And as this 
little work is intended to be a sort of record of a particular 



223 



form of humour thai has long recreated the public, we 
will pause here for a moment to consider the claims of 
yet another method which was put forward as a sub- 
stitute. 

This new humour, or ' fun,' it seems to me, is but 
of a *poorish' kind — Carlyle's word — and is, perhaps, 
founded on the free-and-easy famiUarities used in irre- 
sponsible talk,jDr perhaps on an imitation of the jests 
in American newspapers. Such as it is, it is certainly 
not robust enough for the stage. Mr. Barrie is the 
author of many admirable stories and sketches of Scottish 
life and character, which have well deserved their great 
success. They are most racy and vigorous, llierc he 
was on his own ground, and might claim to be considered 
the best Scottish writer of the day. But this sort of 
native humour scarcely fits a writer for the delineation 
of English social peculiarities. He had previously written 
for Mr. Toole a piece for the stage, well-known as ' Walker, 
London,* the extraordinary success of which seems to be 
unaccountable. I can only say that though most catholic 
and receptive in all that concerns ' fun,' on the stage and 
elsewhere, I sat through this piece to the end, listening 
in amazement and bewilderment to the jests — statements, 
rather — of the characters. I have asked the opinion of 
sagacious critics, and most of them agreed with me that 
so far fi'om seeing anything funny in it, they could not 
understand what was intended. It seemed to suggest 



224 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



the Bimpering quips of some gentle curate sorroanded 
by a bevy of admiring ladies, and who might be heard 
twittering, and saying of his schoolgirls, 'Mary Jane 
ill a nice, good little girl, but she wants britiging out " ; 
or, ' Thank you, I will have another cup, if I am not 
committing an excess.'^ 

There are, of course, persons to whom the mere ap- 
pearance of Mr. Toole on a houseboat is in itself an 
exquisite jest, and a young university man in flannels 
becomes a huge joke. There are many for whom the 
production of a familiar object, such as a houseboat or a 
hansom cab on the stage, gives intense delight. 

Now, it may be repeated that there can be no question 
as to Mr. Barrie's talents and even genius. I am only 
noting a bewildering puzzle. But in this department it 
must be said he has little notion of what true humour 
is, and he here certainly supports the oft-repeated jest 
as to the surgical operation, which has been so often 
associated with his countrymen. 

* Or perhaps, as another homorist sings in the Mountebanks : 

Though I'm a baffoon, recollect 

I command your respect! 

I cannot for money 

Be vulgarly funny, 

My object's to fnake you reflect t 

True humour's a matter in which 
I'm exceedingly rich. 

It ought to delight you, 

Although, at first sight, you 
May not recognise it as sick. 



' 



'JANE ANNIE' 



12$ 



If ' Walker, London * seemed flat and stale — though 
Mr. Toole did not find it * unprofitable ' — the piece ' Jane 
Annie,' contributed to the Savoy during the interregnum, 
was a more perplexing phenomenon still. Through the 
whole piece it was hard to see ' where the joke came 
in,' or what the writer intended, unless we accept the 
theory of the pet curate before alluded to. That this is 
no exaggeration will be seen presently. 

Produced at the Savoy Theatre^ London, under the management 
of Mr. B. D'Oyly Carte, on Saturday, May 18, 1808. 

JANE ANNIE 

on 
THE GOOD CONDUCT PRIZE 

Written by J. M. Barrib and A. Conan Dotle 
Musio by Ebnest Fobd (with Explanatory Notes down the 

margin by * Caddie ') 

9tamatis personam 



A Pboctor 

Tou (a Press Student) 

Jack (a Warrior) 

Caddie (a Page) . 

Mi88 Sncs (a Schoolmistress) 

Jams Ankib (a Good Oirl) . 

Bab (a Bad Oirl) 

MlIiLT\ 

Maod 



Mr. Butlamd Barrihotom 
J Mr. Lawrencs Gridlbt 
I Mr. Walter Passmore 
Mr. Charles Eennimohax 
Mr. Scott Fibub 
Master Harrt Bignold 
Miss Bobina Braitoram 
Miss Dorothy Vane 
Miss Decima Moore 
Miss Florence Perrt 
Miss Emmie Owbm 
Miss Jose Shaldebs 
Miss Mat Bell 



One Night tiajpses between the Acts 



-296 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



A page boj called ' Caddie ' introdnced a name pre- 
Bomabl; highly comic, ae it is borrowed from the game of 
golf — a notion that seems to convolae all good Bcots. 
This tad ie made very precocionB, aesuming manly airs, 
&c. Dickens, it will be recollected, had the name 
character in Martin Ghnzzlewit, who talks in exabtly the 
same way. By way of adding to the ' fun ' the com> 
ments of this yoath on the incidents of the piece are 
supplied in the margin. The 
yomig ladies talk in this fosbion : 

All. a man I 

BosB. At last I 

MuiiiT. Bald. 

RoEB. The wretch! 

MiLLT. He baa two other men 
with him. 

Mbo. Two 1 Girls, let tu go 
and do our hair this instant. 

And again : 

Meo. What is Bab doing aH 
this time? 

MiLiiT. She has her eax at the 
lau KOTT ruae *in> kevhole. 

NUTEB «wHOLD 'maud. Dear girl I 

UiLLT. She sbakee her fist at the keyhole. 
All. Why? 
UiLLT. I don't know. 

(Bab comet upstairs.) 
noflp.. Bab, vhj did you shake your fist at the keyhole ? 
Bab. Seeautc it is stuffed with paper. 



'JANE ANNIE' 137 

The page boy here comments, ' If I had been Bab I 
would have had the paper out in a jiffy.' 

Bab. That little aneak Jane Annie is not here ? 

MiLLY. She baa gone upstairs to bed. 

Bab. You are sure? 

Rose. I'll make sure. {Buns upstairs and looks through 
keyhole.) it's all right, girls I lean tee her curling her eye- 
tashei with a hairpin. 



This seems laboured enough, and trifling too. Later 
someone is found ' fondling ' boots I 

Then the boy: 'Tom has wrote another play since 
then for the Independent Theatre. It is about a baby 
that was tired of life and committed suicide.' 



238 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



^Kcn. Bnt I ran also n noveUet — at least I've — Fve bought 
a pound of tervion paper, Hftw t 

ToH. Well, I am also a dramatist. Why, I have a com- 
pleted play in my pocket. 

Jack. And a very good place for it too. Hsv ! 

Tom. What is more, it has a strong literary fiavonr. 

Jack. Don't be a&aid of that. They'll Imook it oat in 
rehearsal. Haw I - 



Tou. Nonsense. It's most original also. 
. Jack. That'll damn it. 

To«. Originality damn a play ! Why ? 

Jack. Because ours are a healthy-minded public, sir, and 
they won't stand it. Haw I 

Tou. It's an Ibsenite play. 

Jack. Then why not prodnc« it at the Independent 
Theatre? 



'JANE ANNIE' 



329 



Tom. I did. 

Jack. Well? 

Tom. And it promised to be a great eaccesn ; but, imfor- 
ttmately, jost when the leading man had to say, ' WJiat a 
noble apartment is this,' the nail came 
out, and the aparirMnt fell into the 
fireplace. 

What can be the point of the 
nail coming out and ' the apart- 
ment fell into the fireplace ' ? 
Withering satire on the luckless 
Ibsen, no doubt. Bat what is this 
to what follows ? — 

Jane A. {kypnotiting kim). Yon 
are my lover I 

Jack. Darling I Hawt 
(^e goes to boat.) 

Jane A. I took that hole in two ! 

(Jane Annie joins the others in boat. 

All wave handkerchiefs.) 

Paoo. Hyp-hyp-hyp- 

Chosus. -notise I ^j 

liiss S. Another! ^ 

Chobub. Hyp-hyp-hyp-notise I 

Pboc. One more I 

Chobub. Hyp-hyp-hyp-notise I 

Ab I said before, Mr. Barrie is a clever man, and in 
his own department a genuine humoriBt ; but it Btill 
remains an astonishing perplexing phenomenon how such 
(hingB as these could be conceived, acted, or printed. 



330 



THE SAVOY OP EH A 



Such was this attempt at carrying on the humorous 
Savoy methods : with the result of showing what a start- 
ling contrast there was between the original and the 
attempted imitations. On the first night all true Cale- 
donians were convulsed with enjoyment, and roars of 
laughter were heard at certain golf terms—* liiblick,' 
'driver,' 'putter,' &c.— the mere mention of each being 
equivalent to a distinct witticism. 

Towards the close of last year it became known that 
there were signs of a rapprochement between the estranged 
Savoy authors ; at this news there was general unfeigned 
satisfaction. Once more audiences were to be recreated 
with the old form of entertainment of which the tra- 
dition only might have been left. As it was, two 
years seemed a dangerously long interval; for In the 
stress and hurry of our time a capricious public is apt 
to forget its favourites and run after some new toy. 
Happily, however, nothing had appeared to distract it 
from what it had lost. It was presently known that a 
reconciliation had been signed and sealed, and that the 
authors were once more busy together, contriving an 
entertainment of the old pattern . The preparations went 
forward with the old animation and the old enterprise, 

The prima donna on this occasion was a new 
American singer — one of the many who have figured at 
the Savoy opera, a person of graceful and • prepossessing 
exterior,' as the papers have it— Miss Nancy Mcintosh. 



Af/SS NANCY MCINTOSH 



231 



This lady proved to have a sympathetic though not very 
powerful voice. And she also has what has been happily 
described as ' that dainty finish of appearance ' which 
seems to belong to most American girls.' 

Mr. Gilbert has described to me the happy chance 
that led to this engagement. One of the most trouble- 
some incidents connected with Savoy opera is the finding 
of the ' light soprano ' who will be exactly suited to the 
scene. The well-trained, assured singer, practised in all 
the hackneyed existing devices, will not do. There must 
be ^ special freshness and grace, with even the refine- 
ment of inexperience. Earnestness, docility, sympathy, 
with sweetness and brilliancy of voice — such are the 
essential elements. The new singer was one of Mr. 
Henschel's pupils, and had already appeared at the 
Saturday Popular Concerts. At a dinner-party at this 
Maestro's — given, perhaps, not without a certain inten- 
tion — Gilbert was struck with her singing, and move per- 
haps with her general style. After an interval she met 

* On the eve of the performance she Bpoke of herself io a visitor in 
this chatty strain : — * Until something like a month ago I had never 
stepped on to a stage in my life ; but I have taken very kindly to the 
boards/ she added, smiling, * and, so far from being a weariness, each 
rehearsal was a pleasant experience. Bat that, I mast confers, was 
greatly owing to Mr. Gilbert, who is the most delightfol and painstaking 
stage-manager possible. I never knew so patient a man. After you 
have done a thing wrong twenty times, he will put you right the twenty- 
first as amiably as if he were telling you quite a new thing. I became 
word-perfect in a day and a half, thirty-six hours— of course, before I 
had even seen the score.* 



' 



JJi 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



him again^ when he suggestied that she should make a 
trial on the stage before his colleague. Shis confessed 
later that this was a nerrous probation enough, singing 
on the empty stage, the first time she had ever trod one, 
and with so much depending on it. The result was 
satisfactory, and she was engaged. 

Once more the 'precincts' of the old Savoy were 
in possession of writer and composer, now working 
together to secure the best results for their efforts. The 
carious fraternity of interviewers, or ' snappers- up ' of 
gossip, were furnishing suet information as they could' 
extract, and everybody followed with intense interest the 
stages of preparation. 

A characteristic and unusual scene was the public 
rehearsal, which took place on the night before the per- 
formance, in presence of an enormous audience. It was 
a curious spectacle, the theatre being crowded by all 
sorts and conditions of persons — artists busy with their 
pencils, critics, and the many friends and acquaintances 
of the management. The two or three front rows of the 
stalls were vacant, and jealously guarded ; and here the 
author and composer appeared fitfuUy, wishing to note 
the effect from this coign of vantage. The piece went 
with extraordinary smoothness. Once or twice the author 
or the composer interposed with a suggestion ; but in a 
general way the performance was identical with the 
performance that was to be exhibited. At the termination 



THE PUBUC REHEARSAL 



^33 



Gilbert, addressing the company, expressed the great 
pleasure with which he worked once more in association 
with the Savoy company, declaring his conviction that 
every part, even the smallest, would be played * as well 
as it deserved, if not better.' He added his keen ap- 
preciation of the work done by Mr. Charles Harris, in 
his capacity of stage-manager; concerning which one 
may remark that 'Praise from Sir Hubert Stanley is 
praise indeed,' for Gilbert is himself one of the ftiost cxi- 
geant of stage-managers. Three hearty cheers were given 
by the company for Mr. Gilbert, and then Sir Arthur 
Sullivan said ditto to Mr. Gilbert in a few graceful words, 

This was an unusual scene, all the performers being 
drawn up in line to listen to the author and to the 
composer, who spoke from their stalls. 

One of the most surprising and interesting features 
of this rehearsal was the perfect self-possession of the 
heroine, who went through all the complicated passages 
of her role as though perfectly familiar with the boards. 
After a long experience of the stage, I may say that I 
have never seen anything that approached this tour de 
force. Her voice was found to be flexible and pleasing, 
though perhaps scarcely strong enough for so high and 
difficult a part. In the grand finales and concerted 
pieces which close the acts, there is need of a strong 
and powerful organ to * top ' the rest. The more effective 
portion of her ' register,' as it is called, is lower down. 



234 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



This might be considered one of the little romances 
associated with the Savoy. As the young American 
moved throngh her part in her graceful dress, she won 
all sympathies, which she was destined to retain during 
the long ' run.' 

The piece is written in the best ' Gilbertian ' manner, 
being a sort of fairy-tale brought up to date, full of 
sparkling jests and allusions. 

' There are the two wise men who have hitherto ruled 
the King, both of them in love with Princess Zara, who 
is secretly engaged to a young soldier. The monarch 
sighs after Lady Sophy, the duenna, who would wed him 
but for the awful tales told by him, under compulsion, 
of himself in '' The Palace Peeper." There is the artful 
Mr. Gold bury, who has succeeded in forming the whole 
country into a limited liability company, and thereby 
"put out of joint '' the noses of the two wise men and 
their ally, the Public Exploder. We have also the 
tremendous effect of the sudden imposition on a semi- 
barbaric nation of English customs and laws. These 
are factors enough, with the aid of Mr. Gilbert's topsy- 
turvy logic, to lead to some wonderful and diverting 
complications. 

* Immense prosperity comes to the country ; therefore 
a plot is made by the discontented wise men, of whose 
love affairs nothing is heard after the first act, with the 
Public Exploder to persuade the people '' that what they 



'UTOPIA {LIMITEDY 



235 



supposed to be happiness was really unsi)eakablc misery " 
by swearing an aflSdavit to that effect. However, it 
was carried out, the people were convinced, rebelled 
against the King, and ordered him to send away his new 
advisers. Then came the dcnoimcnU The people were 
discontented with their prosperity ; they wanted some- 
thing else. Then the heroine said, "Why, I had for- 
gotten the most important, the most vital, the most 
essential element of all—Government by party ! '" 

One can readily pick out dozens of purely Gilbertinn 
turns : ' His Majesty, in his despotic acquiescence with 
the emphatic wish of his people ' ; ' As there is not a 
civilised king who is sufficiently single to realise my 
ideal of abstract respectability '—is not 'sufficiently 
single ' a happy touch ? ' Why, the fact is that in the 
cartoons of a comic paper the size of your nose varies in- 
versely as the square of your popularity.' * " Oh, yes! " 
is but another and a neater form of " no." ' There is the 
quaint speech of Zara in reference to bad singing : * Who 
thinks slightingly of the cocoa-nut because it is husky ? ' 
Nor is it only in witty phrases and brilliant comic 
songs that the author has been successful. His treat- 
ment of the two younger sisters, who are trained as 
models of propriety and exhibited, is very funny, and 
every one of their scenes caused hearty laughter, to 
which the demure acting of Miss Emmie Owen and 
Miss Florence Perry greatly contributed. Moreover, the 




236 THE SAVOY OPERA /^ 

Life Guards were very drolly handled, and most of the 
scenes between Bcaphio and Phantis were exceedingly 
funny and very well played by Messrs. Denny and Le Hay. 

Firwt performed at the Savoy Theatre^ London, under the manage- 
ment of Mr. D'Oyly Carte, on Saiurday, October 7, 1998. 

UTOPIA (LIMITED) / 

OB 

THE FLOWEBS OF PBOGBESS 

i 

Z)ramatf0 petsonie 

Eno PAB4XOUNT THE F1B8T (King of 

Utopia) .... 1 . Mr. Rutland Bhuungtoi? 
ScAPBio 1 {Judges of the Utopian Supreme f Mb. W. H. Demmt 
Phamtibj Court) 1 Mb. John Lb Hat 

Tababa {ihe Public Exploder) . Mb. Wai;tbb Pabsmobb 

Galtkz [the Utopian Vice-CJuunberlain) . Mb. Bowdbn Habwxll 

IMPORTED FLOWERS OF PROGRESS 

LoBD DBA3IALEI0H (a BrUish Lord Cham- 

berlain) Mb. Scott Rubsbll 

Gaftain Fttzbattlbaxs {First Life Guards) BiB. Chablbs Eenninohah 
Carain Sib Edwabd Cobcoban, K.C3. {of 

the Boydl Navy) Mb. Lawbence Gbzdlet 

Hb. Goldbubt (a Company Promoter) . BIB. Scott Fkhb 

{afterwards Comptroller of the Utopian Household) 

Sib Bailbt Babbb, Q.C, M.P. . . Mb. Enbb Blackmobb 

Mb. Bltohinoton {of the County Counc%[) . Mb. Hebbbbt Ralland 

Tra PBINCE8S Zaba {Eldest Daughter of 

King Paramount) .... Miss Nanct McIntosh 
Thb Pbincesb Nebata l {her Younger f Miss Ehhib Owen 
Thb Pkdicesb Kaltba J Sisters) I Miss Flobbncb Pebbt 

Thb Ladt Soprt {their English Oouver- 

nante) Miss Rosina Bbakdbam 

Salata ^ fMiss EoiTH Johnston 

Mbibmb I {Utopian Maidens) • A Miss BiAY Bbll 

Phtlla J I Miss Florence Easton 



< UTOPIA {UMJTEDy 



237 



AOT L— A Utopian Palm Qxove 
AOT II.— Throne Boom In King 
FaramoonVs Palace 



1 



Mb. Hawes Craven 

(by permission of 
Mr. Henrt Ibtino) 



Stage Director 
Musical Director 



Mb. Chables Habbu 
Mb. FBAN9018 Cblueb 



Stage Manager. Mb. W. H. Sbtmour. The Dances arranged by Mb. 
John D'Auban. The Utopian Dresses designed by Mb. Pebct Andeb- 
SON. and executed by Miss Fmheb. Mdme. Auouste, and Mdme. Lkon. 
U^Lns by MESSES. Fibmin A Sons, also by Mb. B. J. Simmons and 
Messbs. Anoel & Sons. The Presentations by Mpme. ^abel Bizet- 
MicHAU. The Court Dresses by Messbs. Russell A Allen. The Judges 
^ by MESSBS. EDE A Son. The Ladies' Jewels by The Par«ian 
DUMOND Company. The Wigs by Mr. Clabkson. The Properties by 
Mb. Skelly. Stage Machinist, Mr. P. White. 

The Opera produced under the soU direction of the AtUhor 

and Composer. ' 

It was iiMteed surpriBing. when one considers the 
sustained drain upon the author's invention, what a 
variety of effective quips and situations were here. 
The notion of a Utopian kingdom was in itself a 
stimulant to the fancy. The Utopian king is buoyant 
and eccentric enough ; the other characters, numerous 
as they are, are all distmctly marked and quaintly 
exuberant. Nothing is better than the rough bluntness 
of the soldiers, with their intrusive ' First Life Guards ' : 

I'm the eldest daughter of your king. 

Tboofebs 
And we are her escort— ftrit Life Ovards I 
On the Boyal yaoht, 
When the waves were white, 



338 THE SAVOY OPERA 

Id a helmet hot 

And tonic tight, 
And onr great big boots, 
We defied the etomi : 
For we're not reomite, 
And his uniform 
A weil-drilled trooper ne'er discarda — , 

And we are her escort — First Life Quardi t ' 

Zasa 
These gentleman I present to yoa, ' 

The pride and boast of their barrack-yards ; 
They've taken such care of me I 

Tboofbbb 
For we are her escort — Firti Life Quardt I 

Full Chords 
Enigbtsbridge nnrsemaida— serving bines — 
Stars of proud Belgravian airies ; 
At stem duty's call yon leave them. 
Though yon know how that must grieve them ! 
Zaba 
Tantantarara-rara-rara 1 

Captain Fitzbattleaxb 
Trumpet-call of PrinceBS Zara t 

CUOBCB 

That's tnimp-oall, and they're all trump c:ird8 — 
They are her escort — First Life Guards t 

Here the masic exactly conTeyed the soldierly blunt- 
ness of the corps, which though labelled ' CboruB ' had 
a distinct individuality, as though they were characters 



MR. BQTLUH) BUWIKOTOH 1 



] u ' DToru (uumni) ' 



240 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



in the drama. These rhymes are quaint and . in- 
genious: 

make way for the Wise Men I 
They are prizemen — 
Double-first in the world's university t 
For though lovely this island, 
(Which is my land,) 
She has no one to match them in her dty. 
They're the pride of Utopia — 
Cornucopia 
Is each in his mental fertility. 
they never make blunder, 
And no wonder, 
For they're triumphs of infallibility I 

One of the most diverting passages was the humorous 
presentment of the tenor, found in every opera, who has 
to carry on tender love-making to the heroine and at 
tiie same time look carefully to his ' C in alt ' — a matter 
of arduous physical exertion. The singer no less happily 
carried out the idea than did the author and composer : 

BbCIT— FiTZBATTLEAXB 

Oh Zara, my beloved one, bear with me ! 

Ah do not laugh at my attempted 1 

Repent not, mocking maid, thy girlhood's choice — 

The fervour of my love affects my voice I 

A tenor, all singers above, 

(This doesn't admit of a question), 

Should keep himself quiet, 

Attend to his diet 
And carefully nurse his digestion 



« UTOPIA {LIMITED) ' 



241 



But when he is madly in love 

It*8 certain to tell on his singing — 
You can't do chromatics 
With proper emphatics 
When angnish yonr bosom is wringing ! 
When distracted with worries in plenty. 
And his pulse is a hundred and twenty, 
And his fluttering bosom the slave of mistrust is, 
A tenor can't do. himself justice. 

New ob8erve'^{8ings a high note), 
Tou see, I canH do myself justice ! 

One of the characters, carrying out the precedent of 
the ' Lord High Executioner ' in the ' Mikado/ is dubbe^ 
'Lord High Exploder'; but the humour is somewhat 
mechanical. Gilbert has a curious partiality for such 
forms as this : 

Oal. My Lord, I'm surprised at you. Are you not aware 
that his Majesty, in his despotic acquiescence with the 
emphatic wish of his people, has ordered that the Utopian 
language shall be banished from his court, and that all com- 
mtmications shall henceforward be made in the English 
tongue? 

Tarara. Yes, I'm perfectly aware of it, although — {sud- 
denly presenting an explosive ' cracker '). Stop — allow me. 

Gal. {puUs it). Now, what's that for ? 

Tababa. Why, I've recently been appointed Public Ex- 
ploder to his Majesty, and as I'm constitutionally nervous, I 
must accustom myself by degrees to the startling nature of 
my duties. Thank you. 

The effect of such sallies on the audience — they are 
generally received with a puzzled expression — would be 

B 



ifr 



i! 



' n ii 



242 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



'UTOPIA {LIMlTEDy 



243 



a test of tlieir value. Sometimee, too, we find an in- 
equality in the humour, as in this passage : 

Ladt Sopht. Actuated by this humane motive, and 
happening to possess respectability enough for six, I con- 
sented to confer respectabiUty enough for four upon your 
two younger daughters— but although, alas ! I have only 
respectability enough for two left, there is still, as I gather 
from the public press of this country, a considerable balance 
in my favour. 

Or again: 

Zaba. But perhaps the most beneficent change of kll 
has been effected by Mr. Ooldbuty, who, discarding the ex- 
ploded theory that some strange magic lies hidden in the number 
seven, has iapplied the limited liability principle to individuals, 
and every man, woman, and child is now a company limited, 
with liability restricted to the amount of his declared capital ! 
There is not a christened baby in Utopia who has not already 
issued his little prospectus ( 

This seems rather too involved, if not laboured, for 
the stage, and at least must 'go over the heads' of 
audiences. The old Beaphio's description of his love is 
excellent : ' When I love it will be with the accnmulated 
fervour of sixty-six years.* This is witty from the 
suggestion that age and experience— usually thought to 
be disabilities in love affairs — are pat forward a9 
recommendations. His friend's ardour is amusing, too : 
* Though but fifty-five, I am an old campaigner in the 
battlefields of love.' 



Gilbert's wit is not the wit of things or characters ; 
it might be called the wit of phrases and words. He is 
almost the first to invent methods in which the very form 
of a sentence becomes effective. There was something 
new and ingenious in this notion. In the same spirit 
he will use some familiar colloquialism with earnestness 
as the natural reply to something exciting or tragic. 
This is totally different from the ' mock heroic ' of 
burlesque. I have shown that our author objects to the 
compliment of there being anything ' Gilbertian * in his 
humour. He probably might say that there is but one 
humour. But the distinction made, I think, meets his 



case. 



I 



The old notion of the ' Duke of Plaza-Toro, Limited ' 
is here developed : 

Phan. (breathless). He's right — we are helpless ! He's 
no longer a human being — he's a corporation, and so long as 
he confines himself to his articles of association we can't 
touch him 1 What are we to do ? 

ScA. Do? Raise a revolution, repeal the Act of sixty- 
two, reconvert him into an individual, and insist on his im- 
mediate explosion I 

• Our humourist once declared Wychcriey's Country Girl to bo 
* preposterous rubbish.' This judgment I give up as incomprehensible, 
save, perhaps, on the ground that the humour has nothing verbal. Any 
one who has seen the Countrjf Girl acted with spirit, must have seen 
a bit of real life and genuine character that will never leave his 
memory. Though it is ten years since I saw it, I seem to have known 
Moody and his ward in the flesh. 



244 THE SAVOY OPERA 

There are some piquant rhymes, ivitness : 

I'll row and fish, 

And gallop, soon — 

No longer be a prim one — 
And when I wish 
To ham a tune, 

It nttdrCt be a hymn one ? 

The author occasionally drops into a sort of political 
satire, which was also a well-known weakness of Dickens ; 
bat it is scarcely in harmony with the light banter of 
the rest, such as Zara's recipe : 

Zaba. Government by party ! Introduce that great and 
glorioos element — at once the bulwark and foundation of 
England's greatness — and all will be well! No political 
measures will endure, because one party will assuredly undo 
all that the other party has done ; inexperienced civilians will 
govern your army and your navy ; no social reforms will be 
attempted, because out of vice, squalor, and drunkenness no 
political capital is to be made ; and while grouse is to be shot, 
and foxes worried to death, the legislative action of the country 
will be at a standstill. Then there will be sickness in plenty 
endless lawsuits, crowded jails, interminable confusion in the 
army and navy, and, in short, general and unexampled pro- 
sperity! 

When the king asks if the drawing-room arrange- 
ments are all correct — *We take your word for it that 
this is all right. Tou are not making fun of us ? This 
is in accordance with the practice at the Court of St. 
James's ? ' the Lord Chamberlain happily replies, ' Well, 



UTOPIA {UMITEOy 



245 



i 



it is in accordance with the practice at the Court of St. 
James's HaU '—a hit that causes a general roar. * Oh ! 
It seems odd,' says his Majesty, taking his seat ; • but 
never mind.' And then foUows a capital topical song 
legitimately suggested by the situation : 

Kino 
Our Peerage we've remodelled on an intellectual basis, 
Which certainly is rough on our hereditary races— 

Chobus 
TTe are going to remodel it in England. 

King 
The brewers and the cotton lords no longer seek admission, 
And literary merit meets with proper recognition— 

Chobus 
As literary merit does in England. 

Who knows but we may count among our intellectual 

chickens 
Like you, an Earl of Thackeray and p'r^aps a Duke of 

DickenS"" 
Lord Fildes » and Viscount Millais (when they come) we'll 

welcome sweetly — 

Chobus 

In short, this happy country has been Anglicised completely ! 

The opera was equipped with no less than three 
tenors— Kenmgham, Scott-Fishe, and Scott-RusselL 

> Mr. Fades, thus selected from his brethren, ought to be gratified at 
his pablio compliment. 






246 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



The former, somewhat ' rohustioas ' in tone, discharged 
his character with good effect. Scott-Fishe was more 
of the baritone, and had two effective songs, one in 
praise of the English girl, ' married,' as it shonld be, to 
an effective and sportive air : 

SoHG — Mr. 60LDBUBY 

A wonderful joy our eyes to bless, 
In her magnificent comeliness, ' 

Is an English girl of eleven stone two, 
And fire foot ten in her dancing shoe ! 
She follows the hounds, and on she pounds— 

The ' field ' tails off and the muffs diminish — 
Over the hedges and brooks she bounds 
Straight as a crow, from find to finish. 

At cricket, her kin will lose or win—- 

She and her maids, on grass and clover, 
Eleven maids out — eleven maids in — 
And perhaps an occasional ' maiden over ' I 
60 search the world and search the sea, 
Then come you home and sing with me 
There's no such gold and no such pearl 
As a bright and beautiful English girl ! 

This is a pleasing sketch, and may be read with 
interest. Not less effective was the humorous financial 
song, declaimed with much spirit. 

For brilliancy and all but dazzling show the piece 
surpassed all that had been hitherto attempted at the 
theatre. The dresses, lights, and general glitter were 



UTOPIA (LTMITEDY 



247 



really extraordinary. The gorgeous 'drawing-room 
scene,' with its vast parquet floor, the ' surprise ' of the 
Christy Minstrel performance, the glittering processions 
—all these were set forth in the richest and most costly 

style. 

The most interesting incident of the opening night 
was the appearance at the triumphant close of the two 
authors, hand in hand : whose reconciliation was heartily 
acclaimed. Since that night the piece has been foUowed 
by vast audiences, and has had an even more prosperous 
course than any of its predecessors. 

Such is a review of this pleasant contribution to the 
public stock of harmless pleasure. Our authors have 
certainly increased the gaiety of the nation. Our Offen- 
bach and Meilhac have furnished us with a standing 
entertainment, aU ' withm the Umits of becoming mirth.' 

These merry men 
Have joined their wits to make the general sport. 
With nimble stroke shoot back the flying ball. 
Nor let it touch the earth. 

NOTE 

It may be mentioned here that the ' Bab ' Ballads, 
so often quoted and alluded to, owe their title to a sort 
of child's pet name given to the author, possibly an 



' / 




348 



THE SAVOY OPERA 



abbreviatioD of 'Bab;.' Casting about for a soitabte 
noJH At pUme, this oceoired to him, and he adopted it, 
just as Dickens recalled the old childish name ' Moses,' . 
which became ' Boses,' and finally ' Boz.' 



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Hr OMAHT AbLBlT. 

niiirtia. -- 

■abjlMi 
Btraofi UotIm. 
BMbratBf Hand. 

In all Sliadit. lua «■»• ••utw 

Damaroaq'! DanXbter. J Blaod Rojal. 
Th« DaoliHa of Powyuand. 
Ivan Qraan ■aitarpttM, I B«allT>a^ 
Br ■Dwirr ■.. ahrold. 



tb« DtTll'i DIa. 



Th* KaiMr «1 11 



la lUarair Cbalr I rromWhaaaBoaraa 

Br FRANK BAKKBTT. 
Tba WMun af Ih* Iron BraMlau. 

'>nRri.B."-Vaihtl aad BiUiar. 

— — TAJ. HIITIt. 

B* Colla'i Rrbour. 

MonR* or Thitima. 

ThlaBonDfYBlean. Thi BsaniT Sldt, 
Osldan BattaiSr. I Tan Saan'Taaast 
liadr-MoB«7 Nartlbof, 
With Harp and Crown. 
•Twaa la frafaldar-| Bay. 
n* Chaplain oftb* PiMt. 

Br WAI.TKIi DUVAKIT. 
Ill flotta and CondlUDni pt Ion. 
fh* Oap*alnB' Baoo. I Ban Panloa. 
Ml In a Oardan Pair | Tha [TorrCaU. 
Tha Warid Want Tarj Wall Than. 
Par Palth and Fraadsm. J labal Oai 
I>orothr PorWar. '■  " 



•thr P< 
ia Jad 



B. I labal OBMn. 

It HdIv Boao. 

, —■moraf «f Ljao. 

OfalldraaorolbasB, mh. 
Ball of BL Panl-a. St. Katharlaa'* bP 
to CaU Bar BIna. I tha Tomi. 
yarbana Camallla Btaahanollt. 

Br ROBERT BlrVIIArrAN. 
Tba Shadow of tha Iword, | BMt. 
Jt Child ot Hatan. [ Hair at Llnna. 
Tha BarlTrdoia of ■adallna. 
Cod and lh« Ban. I Tba Haw Sbelard. 



BOOK6 PUBUSHEO BY 



as. MANVILI.K VBNIV, 

Br rBRCr viTxasBALih 

Br R. ■. FR.tIfOII.t.«II. 

IM ftUl «»••«, j KHM of lUd 
nvftbrMrBABTU VRBRB. 

fMamamt B»n. 

m». nAMHRTT^Th«OKpal «lrli. 

fAOL UAUI.OT^Thi lad Bhirta. 

Bt OnABLBS UIBBON. 

RoUb Otu. I Tba Ooldan Ihall. 

1mm ft Drwtn. [or HUh O^ra*. 
Th* nmr or tk* rsnrt. 

■» B. GfcAM' 

Tta !«•*-   - 



_Br K.y .jR« mnn a w. 
>iVf1 



_T MXnKBY nBinvDT. 

thaDBTiof kliTultr- 

Br THOBIAS VABBV 
Undw tlM flnuwoo' Vh- 

Br BRBT 

& WaU ot th* Ptftlu, 

 Waid or tiM OoKoH Hw. 

 tankB *t OlMii BprlBgh 

CH— ot Btubottlo'o Cltonri ann. 
A f M W tf * or jMk Rualla-i. 

Br JSIilAN BAWTHORHB, 
- — ■■- \nnMt, 



&»tM PolBtfaUr^ Mm 
tko Bnootn or 111* CwBOCik, 

Rt Ht A. iiBi.n*.— ifu do Biton. 

I, KBIIDKRMIK^UKtta Poll. 
Bt nn. HOKiaBBVORB. 

Br Mn. Al^BBS mmT. 



.JO Woulii|ar_ 

Br B. Ltrr I.INTON. 

PbMoIk lonbiJI. I Ion*. 
DBdorwkloliLofdT Putoa 0«N«. 
"*' I«TOl" ^ ^ J t^lniU — 



H. W. I.IICr.-OldMD tinoo, 
• JUSTIN HcCARXIIV. 

Ir luuB. I DoDBa Qvlioth 
— -- ' --'d •TAtboai, 



n« Warid Wall Ual. 
Rr H. W. I.licr.-C.„ 
BrJVSTlN DtcCAM 
Ihfr lUUB. |~ 

Ltaln loabtoid. 
naalliaBtbtapa. I 

IlM «atoTdal(1*U 

MrlDanr^ DaaAtaMBatlHuioDat 
Boar Lmtj Wodiuii. | TIm DMator. 
. no Ooo** a(  laaaan. 

Br «BORGB HAODSnAUt. 

Br AOHBS iiAcnvmaAj. 

Oaakor Oonalaa. 

Br BKUTBAM MITFORD. 
Iho an-laaair. 1 Tba KiaTi A>i*<al. 

Ika LbA of eoraid Md<*>*r  



rn* ■■iCOAMU.TtUC) NOTS 

Rr R. oiiBiSrie n 

ih-a Itanaaaaat J Tal I 
ooavh'i Oa«L I RMUt 
leala or FIra. I A ■•■ 
lid Slutt'a Haro. ] T1«' 
iTthaOaUaftkaSM. 



RrnVRRAT R mbBM 
naMaheM*Blbla. | raalJoMa*! 
Ona Trarillar Bal MM . 
RtHDMB vri8RBT^"Ball 
Rr Ct. OBIVBT^-A Vatfd S: 



., .[■CMARR PRVVB. 

■IH ifuvall-i ftfltaUana. 



Tba DonUi Barrla^a. 

Lore Ml Uttia, Lot* ■* Loa^ 

Thi CioUter Mi Um Bearlb. 



CKATTO It WtNDUe, 314, PICCADILLY. 



Foal Bva, DMMraiM dc 



CHATTO & W1N0U8. ftl4. PICOAOlLLV. 



BOOKB PUBLISHED BY 






m W llBlitar. 

mO«T. tt VRANVB* OOI.t.IKfl. 

B«Mt Ann PX*- I IraRMntgrclUB. 
m« MMBlAt (d lililntAt. 
FVht with hirtu*. 1 VIIIb<i OMitiT. 
< twMlBnJTMKtr. I ToaPlarnaTftlH. 
BlaihnnlUi nnd >aholar. | Pmncoa. 

■r WILKIB VOI.K.IIVH. 
■rmaJBl*. 1 Kr MlM«UaalM. 

After DHk £7" 'SJ*""*** 

ABlonlnm. t BulL Mu an* Wir*. 



Kj PBRGV FlTXnBKALB, 

BiDk Dobbk. I PaU7. 

lanrraMottra. I Ffttml Iu», 

n* BHaBd Mr*. TlllstMO. 

■HtBtr-llv* Bnwka Itmt, 

Thi LUT of SnotsiM. 

Bt ■*- BITXQBBALD u>d othn. 

■traa<« (Mrats. 

ALRAIIV DS B0I«01.AH41JE. 

PlUbf IiBcr*. > 

itr M. B. FnAr<iriLfM>if. 

Olrmplk. I Qbmo C«pb«tBa. 

As* hi On*. tlBf or Kninrat 

A Rial OoMB. iKaaiKagu at J^w. 
Br IIiIhVI.B VHBDlt JBKJK. 
■ah'i arollMr't WUt, I Lkmm eirl. 
Prd. br Sir BAHTl^B VBBKIS. 
PudarawtSari. 
■■AIM rhl«WBIjI..-OB*af T«o. 

Bt BDWAKD GABBBTT. 
flM Cud Sir)*. 

Br Ull.BBRT GAUJL. 
1 ttntaM VuiHUrlpi. 

BrVtlAHIjKk QIBBON. 
Sahta Or*;. " " " " 

Fm ^ek ot Ooll. 



Worid luT 
iBUnuill _ 
mUM Kia^ 

Ib PutBIM St«M. 

QatMi «( BMdaw. 
I HiarC'i ProbKn. 
n* Dud Htsrl. 



Th* 0«lil«a Uafl. 
or Hlfta IMrM. 
Vm4 Md MnMh 
UrlBtf* Drwo. 
A Hud IboL 
BMutt DalUbb 
BlMd-Bonari 



Tha Wliard at Ita* BoontalB. 

Br BBNBST OLANVILI.B. 
The Lait Halrao. I^Th* roMlekar. 

Br UBNBV aUKriLi^. 

A a«Ua WaBuu. I Hlkaaar. 

Br dBGII. OBIWITII. 
CarlBtbiB BarailaD. 

Br JOlin UABBBBTBn. 
BraMMt BU0B._J OoBBtrr Lock. 

Br AlfBRBW 1IA1.LIDAV. 
Irarr-Dar PaMit. 

Br I'Btir BVBFirs babdv. 
PMlWrBtardtaortflaa, 

Br TnonAB iiabbv. 
Oadw tka OraaBVoad Craa. 
Br '• BBBWICK UAKWOOV. 
Ihi TtaUi BarU 

Mr JDLlAIf HAWmORIVK. 
SarUi. I ■ibaMlaB UtoBia. 

lUlaa OaiBtta. DniL 



nai OadatBib I Lava— er a Waa 

Darll Peladaitart DImppaalmaca. 
Iha Bpa«tn of tha OMBan. 

Br Mr ARTHUB HBLPS. 

Br HBPiRT DRRnAI*. 
A Laadlnd L«dr< 

Br nBADOIT HILL. 
iaiBbra Uia DalaatlTa. 
Br JOHN ■lllil^-TrMMB-FlloB*, 

Br n>ik CASHBii aoav. 



B06Kft PUftU8HeD aV'CHATTO k WiNDuS. 



y 

Ay C JU FIRJ&IM. 
Br JBDOAJB A* P^B. 

By Mn.€ii9tFBBlX PBABB. 

Tk« BomuMt of ft Stattoa. 
Tk« loid or OMstMt Idrlaa. 
By B. C PB1€;B« 

JTfctfr • 
■hml.1 I 



By MICBLABD PB¥€B. 

I Ml 



- Jasmin MBMMt.„ __ 
By CMJkmMAM BBABB. 
II to ■«nr Tm Late to H«bC . 
OtefBto^ohnsCoBt. | DMhtoHarrlatft. 
P«t TMntff la Hto PlaM. 
Un U% Uttit, htfw itUiii. 
TIM eifllttor and tiM HMftt. , 
Tht OMffM of Tno Uvo. I TIm JUt. 
~ Mtttealiy of a TUift 

flilo fSiBtattoa. 1 Vo«l Flay. 
•rla/Holi. I Haf* ~ 



ti Tofrt . 
Thi Waad 



MaBolMaH aadDoa M ofctot. 

iMdi 



ttarloo of Hob aa« oUmt lalnala. 
M WoBBtftoa. I A BaHttolU 
ailflltli Oaani. Headlaaa. 
A Vortloat ImmL | A WomaB,-Hatoii. 

By Mm. J. H. B1BDBI<1«« 
Vilrd tUrtM. I ralfff Water. 
Bmt Hatter^t Dartlag. 
VrlMt «f WalM*s OavdoB Party* 
tho UalBliablMd Hoaaa. 
na Hyttory la Palaao Oaidoai. 

TIM Baal Onna. . 1 ">• 'WSt 
Br AiVIKIjlB BIVBtf. 
tra Dtrtnft. 

By P. %V. BOBIlVaON. 
VoRMB aia Btraa^a. 
Ttaa HaadB af Jaitlct. 

By JAMBi* li UNCI MAN. 
fklypera and Shalibaeki. 
0raM Balmaltfa's SwMthoart. 
lohaolB and Boholan. 

By %¥• (^I.AKK BIJft41£A.i« 
Kaand tha ftallay PIra. 
Ob Um Folc'da Head. 
IB tha Hlddlo Vateh. 
A Vayado ta tha Capo. 
A Book for tha Hamaioclu 
Tha Myiury af tho *«OooaB htar.** 
Tho Ramaaoo of ioaay Hariova. 
Ab Oooaa Tradody. 
By Bhipiaato Laalso. 
Afono oa a WIdo WIdo Boa. 

«BOBC3B AVOVflTi;* IIAA.A. 
eaoUdht BBd Dayll^t. 

^By JOHN mA iJNBBBA. 
•ay VatoroiaB. | Twa Droamora. 
Tbo Uaa la tho Path. 
ByKATIIABINB AAUNBRKm. 
JaaBflorrrwoathor. I Hoart Salvad*. 
Tho HIdh BlUs. I flobaotlaa. 
Baitfarot aad Bllsaboth. 

By OBOMOK K. HMnH, 
■odaao aad Vaiteboado, 
Tho HiBd 0* BoOor 
Bary JaBo*o Boaiolnk 
■ary Jaao Barrlod. 



TalaoofTa^av. | 
Oiuao. 



TlaUolop*! 
loph. I 



Dvaaiaa of Uih 



By Twa VIvai 



Two-SatLUNa NoviLo-<o<if<iiirr</. ~ 

By ABTnUB MKBVCIiL«l« 
A Batoh IB tho Dirk. 

By nAWL.fC¥ BBIABT. 
Vlthoat Lovo or Ueoaco. 

By T. W. MPBfOBT. 
Tho Byotorloo of Hofoa Dyke. 
Tho eo ld i Boap. | By DoTloao Wayib 
Baodartakod. Ao. | Book ^ UtO. 
Tho Laadwator Tradody. 
BBftfo*o Boaiaaoo. 

By B. A. MTBBBBAliB. 
Tho Atthaa RalfO. 

By ft. f^BVIM MTBFBNiMtN. 
Baw Arahlaa BIjpita. | Prinoo Otto. 

. BV BBBTliA TUOnAH4 
Offooolda. I Prood Mai tlo. | Vf olla-player. 
B^ WAI^TBB Tffl«»MNBi;if%. 
Talos for MariB0t.i01d Btortoo Ro-told^ 
T. ADOLiPIIVH TBOiiAiOPlC. 
DlaiBOBd Oat Dtamond. 
By P. BL.BANUK TBOULOPK. 
LiBO Bhipo apaa tho Boa. 
Abbo Pamaia. I Mabol'o Pradroto. 

By ANTUONir TBOL.I«OPK. < 
Praa ProhmaaB. I Boot la tho Darlu 
BaHon Fay. 1 4ohii Oaldldato. 

Way Wo Uvo Bow. | Laad-Loadaoro. 
Tho Amorloaa Boaator. 
Br. Boarboroadh*o Pamlly. i \ 

Tho OaldOB Lloa of Oraapora. '' '' 

By J. T. TBOfrBRiBOB. 
PamoU'S Pally. 

By f FAN TVRGRNrBPF, Jre. 
Btorlofl fraai Porolda Bovollita. 
By IVIARK VUAIN. 
A Ploasaro Trip oa tho Contfnont. 
Tho Glided Ado. | Huokleberry Plitn. 
Bark Twala*o Bkotehes. 
Tom Sawyer. I k Tramp Abrand. 

Tho Btolen BHilto Blophaat. 
Life on tho BIselottppl. 
Tho Prlaeo aad the Paoper. 
A Yankee at the Court oi Kind Xrth'ir. 

Hj €. C FBA»BK.T%'TLif£K. 
BlBtroao Jadlth. 

By HARAH TYTM 



Bobleese Oblldo. 
DUsppearrd. 
Huduenot Family. 
Blackhall Ohoot*. 



Tho Brldo*t Paao. 

Bnrled DIamondo. 

BalatBando'oClty. 

Lady Boll. 

What Bho Oamo Throodh. 

Boaaty and tho Boaot. 

CltoyoBBO JaqnoilBO. 

9ly AAROfH WAT0ON nnd 
iiln^tilAff WABMBBfff ANN. 

Th^ Barqvio of Carabao. 

By WiljIilAIfl WB8TAA.A.. 

Traot-Voooy. 

Br mr«i. F. II. WIlililARtSON. 

A Child Widow. 

By J. tl. IVINTBB. 

Cavalry Ufo. I Redtmeatal Ltdoado. 
By n. P. WrOOD. 

The Paoeoador fipon Baotlaad Taid. 

Tha Badllohmaa of tho Bao Cain. 
Rt l««dy WOOB.-8ablaa. 

CRI^iA PARKBR WUOI«l«KV. 

Bachol Armttrond; or. Love ft Theology 
By BBM&NO YATKo*. 

The Poriora Bopo. | Laad at Uat. 

Oatuvay. 






 



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