The librettos printed for American productions of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas
provide a special challenge and interest for collectors. First, they document the
tremendous popularity of the operas, and record many of the specific productions for
which the librettos were used. Secondly, many contain variant lyrics and text not found
in the British librettos. It was Gilbert's custom to make important textual changes up
until the last minute, and to revise his operas during the few days following the London
premiers. Early American librettos therefore may contain prepublication material, as well
as deleted material, since his corrections were delayed in the trip across the Atlantic.
Finally, it is of interest to note the Americanisation which crept into some of the
librettos, as well as illustrations, advertisements and other material which provide insights
into American productions and social history.
The following listing for collectors is not a bibliography, but represents an
overview of the variant nineteenth century American libretto editions. To simplify the
complexities involved in preparing this list, a number of ground rules have been used. I
have excluded parody or foreign language librettos; those printed in vocal scores; librettos
printed in collected editions; and Chappell librettos distributed by an American agent. In other words, the editions described are meant to be the librettos printed to be sold or
given to audiences at performances. Undated librettos which typographically had the
"look" of the twentieth century were, with few exceptions, eliminated. The order of the
list is arbitrarily based on importance of the production for which the libretto was
published, with precedence given to the first major production. Librettos for regional
professional or amateur productions are secondarily listed. Libretto sizes are
approximately 7.5 x 5 inches, unless otherwise noted. Cast lists are noted, when present.
The popularity of the operas, together with long runs and multiple productions,
necessitated reprinting of librettos with variant features. In many cases, the libretto price, address of publisher, or specific advertisements are clues to the earlier editions.
While I have noted the variant lyrics and text, which provide some of the most
interesting aspects of these librettos, I have chosen not to reproduce them if they are
printed elsewhere. The reader is directed to the references provided for details.
Finally, I recognize that this listing is unlikely to be complete. The data were
obtained from my own and others' collections, and I acknowledge with gratitude the help,
patience and good will of Fredric Woodbridge Wilson (formerly of The Pierpont Morgan
Library), David Stone, Ralph MacPhail Jr., J. Donald Smith, Bill Mahoney, Marc Shepherd, Billie Aul
(New York State Archives) and Samuel T. Huang (Northern Illinois University Libraries).
TRIAL BY JURY
TJ 1 New York: Richardson & Foos [printers], 1875. Printed for the first American
production at the Eagle Theatre (NY) with cast list. Salmon wrappers. 16 pp.
In this libretto, the second and subsequent verses of the Judge's Song have been
|At primary meetings I now was seen
||Where I treated the boys to whisky
|At ten cents a drink — for I couldn't be mean,
||Besides which it might have been risky.
|My name got known at each ward election,
||Good fortune came when I sought her
|For in order to show my circumspection
||I married a rich man's daughter.
|My father-in-law, he paid each bill,
||Which was much more than I expected,
|Then he said if to be a Judge you will,
||By the jingoes I'll have you elected.
|So father-in-law he called the boys,
||For he swore he'd do as he stated,
|There were torch-light processions and lots of noise
||And by Jove — I was nominated.
|Now election day came round at last,
||The boys they all stuck by me;
|The other side saw I was running so fast,
||They'd have given their heads to buy me.
|I couldn't be bought — my price was too high,
||(For virtue must be respected);
|I made "Free Whisky" my party cry
||And you bet I got elected.
|At length I became as rich as the Astors —
||The voters all thought it funny,
|That when they supposed they'd be my masters —
||I got all of their money.
|The citizens then my character high
||Tried vainly to disparage —
|And now, if you please, I'm ready to try
||This Breach of Promise of Marriage.
Two other textual variants are noted. The Defendant's recitative has been
changed to "Is this the Court and that the Jury?.....Oh, why these looks of fury?"
Also the Judge's couplet, "Gentle simple-minded Usher....." has been omitted.
TJ 2 New York: A.S. Seer [printer], 1879. Tan wrappers. 13 pp. No Americanised
verses in Judge's Song. The Defendant's' recitative has been changed to "Is this
the Court of the Exchequer?.....If this is the Exchequer, Your evil star's in the
HER MAJESTY'S SHIP PINAFORE
Of all the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, Pinafore is unmatched in the variety of
American librettos printed. The wild success of the piece ("Pinafore-mania") is well
described (Prestige, Kanthor). Additional information about the New York productions
for which librettos were printed can be found in Odell. Librettos contain unauthorized
minor text variations which simplified Gilbert's dialogue for American audiences.
PF 1 Boston: Alfred Mudge & Son, Printers, 1878. Published for the first American
production at the Boston Museum with cast list. Grey or blue wrappers with
illustration of the Boston Museum on front cover. 31 pp.
PF 1.1 Boston: Alfred Mudge & Son, Printers, 1878. Published for Ford's production in
Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. with cast list. Grey wrapper. 31 pp.
a. A variant printing with tan wrappers deletes cast list, includes "and other
cities....where it was presented under the direction of Chas. E. Ford", and reprints
a January 1879 editorial from The Philadelphia Ledger.
of the Fiftieth night at the Broad Street Theatre (Philadelphia),
Feb. 18, 1879. “Compliments
of Ford & Zimmerman.” Decorative
wrapper illustrated with ship and titled “H.M.S.
Pinafore.” Title page redesigned
as souvenir. No cast listed. Mudge & Sons
listed as printers on wrapper but not on title page. 31
The following three librettos have no identifying printer, but are similar enough
to PF 1 to surmise that they were printed by Mudge.
PF 1.2 Boston: n.p., 1879. Published for M.M.O.P. [Murphy's Miniature Opera
Pinafore] Co. with cast list for provincial tour. Grey wrappers. 31 pp.
PF 1.3 N.p.: n.p., 1879. Published for the Park Garden production ("performed on a
real ship on the water"), Providence, R.I., with cast list. Grey wrappers. 31 pp.
PF 1.4 N.p.: n.p., n.d. Published for production at The Narragansett Boat Club,
Providence, R.I. with cast list. Grey wrappers. 31 pp.
PF 2 Boston: Oliver Ditson & Co., 1878. Printed by Alfred Mudge & Son. Dated
1878 on both wrapper and title page. Blue wrappers. 31 pp.
a. A variant with wrapper dated 1879; title page dated 1878. Wrapper colours
include grey, blue and tan.
b. Similar to a. with cast list for the production at the Boston Theatre.
Subsequent later reprintings exist, undated.
PF 3 Boston: Geo. A. Jones & Co., 1879. [Published for the Boston Pinafore Company
at the Gaiety Theatre, April 1879.] Grey wrappers. 31 pp.
PF 3.1 Boston: Jones & Pinkham, 1879. Grey wrappers. 31 pp.
PF 4 New York: A.S. Seer [printer], 1879. Multiple colour wrapper variants. 28 pp.
A number of variants of this libretto are noted:
a. Wrapper notes production at the Standard Theatre. No cast list.
b. Printed for Rice's Opera Bouffe Extravaganza Combination at the Lyceum
Theatre, Jan. 23, 1879, with cast list, and indications in text for insertion of
c. Printed for production at Columbia College, April 28-29, 1879, with cast list.
d. Redesigned wrapper dated 1880; title page dated 1879.
e. Wrapper imprinted Wheeling: Daily Intelligencer Steam Book & Job Printer, 1879. Advertisements for Wheeling businesses. Title page retains A.S. Seer imprint.
PF 5 New York: Richardson & Foos [printer], 1879. Published for production at the
Standard Theatre. No cast list. Wrapper colours include grey and tan. 28 pp.
PF 6 New York: Wm. A. Pond & Co., 1879. Grey wrappers. 28 pp.
a. Similar wrapper with Pond imprint. A.S. Seer [printer] 1879 listed on title
PF 7 New York: George Munro, 1879. Tan wrappers. 41 pp.
PF 8 New York: Louis A. Klopsch, 1879. Miniature format, 4.75 x 3 inches, with
advertisements interspersed with text. Published for production at the New York
Aquarium with cast list. Black wrappers. 69 pp. 2 pp. music.
PF 9 New York: G.W. Carleton, 1879. With six portraits of principals in the Standard
Theatre production. No cast list. Buff wrapper. 46 pp. Running head on
alternate text pages. Copies exist with different illustration sequence.
PF 10 Brooklyn: Tremlett & Co. [printer], 1879. Printed for production at the Academy
of Music, Mar. 25, 1879 with cast list. Tan wrapper. 31 pp.
PF 11 Philadelphia: Frank J. Pilling, 1879. Cast list for McDonough & Lamb’s Pinafore Combination. Grey wrappers. 31 pp.
PF 12 Philadelphia: Ledger Job Print, 1879. Advertisement for Broad St. Theatre
production April 1879. No cast list. Lyric to interpolated song for Hebe on inner
back wrapper. Grey wrappers. Typography similar to PF 11. 31 pp.
PF 12.1 Philadelphia: Ledger Job Print, 1879. Ford's Miniature Edition, published for
children's production. No cast list. Eight illustrations. Text ends p. 31.
Next unnumbered page has two illustrations. Hebe's song on inner back wrapper.
Sullivan's letter to The Era quoted on inner front wrapper.
a. A variant, printed as "Wallack's Miniature Edition."
PF 13 Philadelphia: J. Travis Quigg, 1879. Grey wrappers. 31 pp. Advertisement for
American Comic Opera Company production at the North Broad Street Theatre.
PF 13.1 Philadelphia: J. Travis Quigg, 1879. Quigg's Portrait Edition. Portrait of
Sullivan on front wrapper; Gilbert on title page. 31 pp. text followed by music.
Wrapper colours include grey and green.
PF 13.2 Philadelphia: J. Travis Quigg, 1879. Quigg's Church Choir Illustrated Libretto.
Eight illustrations of cast members and two scenes. Portraits of Gilbert and
Sullivan. Cast list of Church Choir production. 43 pp. text followed by music on
p. 44. Advertisements printed before and after text. White wrappers.
PF 14 Buffalo: William H. Clark, 1879. Wrapper colours include blue, purple, pink.
PF 15 San Francisco: Bacon & Co, 1879. Wrapper colours include pink, blue, tan.
31 pp. Advertisements for Nicoll the Tailor on all four wrappers.
A number of wrapper variants are noted:
a. Advertisements for Haverly's Theatre (Chicago), Haverly's Lyceum Theatre
(New York), and Bush St. Theatre (San Francisco) replace those for Nicoll the
b. Printed for use at Tivoli Garden. No advertisements. Price 15c.
c. "Given free to patrons of Tivoli Garden." Advertisements on three wrappers.
d. Printed for use at the Standard Theatre.
PF 16 Lancaster PA: Burger & Hartmyer, 1883. Published for production by the
Lancaster Opera Co., Nov. 29, 1883 with cast list. Advertisements
interspersed. Orange wrappers. 59 pp.
PF 16.1 Lancaster PA: Commercial Printing House, 1893. Published for production by The Lancaster Opera Co., Mar. 14-16, 1892 with cast list. Benefit for B.P.O.E. Elks. Advertisements interspersed. 43 pp.
Although The Sorcerer preceded H.M.S. Pinafore chronologically, it was widely
produced in America only after Pinafore proved successful. The early American librettos
correspond to the unrevised (pre-1884) version (see Allen, 1958).
SO 1 New York: A.S. Seer [printer], 1879. Lilac wrappers. 28 pp.
SO 2 New York: Wm. A. Pond & Co., n.d. Grey wrappers. 32 pp.
SO 3 Boston: Oliver Ditson & Co., n.d. Wrapper colours include tan, salmon,
and grey. 30 pp. Front wrapper text printed within double borders.
Two variants of the front wrapper are noted:
a. No text border. Same typeface.
b. No text border. More modern typeface. Addition of John C. Haynes Co. to
list of distributors.
SO 4 San Francisco: J.A. Brodie & Co., 1879. "Furnished free at Tivoli Gardens with
Nicoll the Tailor's compliments." Wrapper colours include tan, blue and purple.
THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE
For this and the subsequent three operas, Gilbert and Sullivan sold the libretto
publishing rights to J.M. Stoddart. A box in the Stoddart librettos sets forth the hope that
such exclusive rights would prevent the unauthorized publication of their work.
American librettos contain textual variants not found in the British librettos,
including a different second act finale and the given names of the Pirate King (Richard)
and Sergeant of Police (Edward). The intricacies of the various libretto printings are
described by Allen (1958). The details which distinguish the first and second editions of
the Stoddart libretto have yet to be fully described, and are beyond the scope of this list.
PP 1 Philadelphia: J.M. Stoddart & Co., n.d. Stoddart copyright 1880. Authorization
box. "Authorized Copyright Edition", "Price 10 cents" and Stoddart address appear on title page
but not on wrapper. Cast list for the Fifth Ave. Theatre production. Wrapper
colours include pink, blue, grey and tan. 39 pp. Advertisements on wrappers may
distinguish earlier from later printings.
A number of variants of this libretto are noted, all with authorization and copyright
date printed on wrapper:
a. Stoddart address printed on wrapper. Variant typography. Price Ten Cents.
b. 38 pp. only. Typesetting condenses text on p. 21. No cast list.
c. Printed for the Boston Ideal Opera Co., with specific cast list. No price on wrapper.
d. Wrappers for Oliver Ditson & Co. Remainder of libretto as 1, including
Stoddart title page. No price on wrapper or title page.
e. Wrappers for Ditson as in ld with price on wrapper and title page.
f. Illustrated green wrapper printed by Tremlett & Co., for production of
Brooklyn Amateur Opera Co., March 21, 1882. Cast listed on wrapper.
Remainder of libretto as 1.
PP 2 New York: Benjamin W. Hitchcock, n.d. No copyright, but authorization box is
present. Authorized Copyright Edition. Cast list for Fifth Ave. Theatre
production. Grey wrappers with double border. 39 pp. Address 385 Sixth
Avenue. Price 10 cents.
PP 2.1 New York: Hitchcock Publishing Co., n.d. No copyright or authorization box.
Authorized Copyright Edition. Cast list for Fifth Ave. Theatre production.
Tall format 9.25 x 5.25 inches with wide borders surrounding text. White
wrappers with double border. 39 pp. Address 131 W. 23rd St. Price 15 cents.
a. Green wrapper with ornamental device and no double border. Smaller format
7.75 x 5.25 inches. Price 15 cents
b. Green wrapper design as in 2.1 with double border. Smaller format. Later
address 49 Eighth Ave. Price 15 cents overprinted 25 cents.
PP 2.2 New York: Hitchcock Publishing Co., n.d. No copyright or authorization box. Authorized Copyright Edition. Cast list for Fifth Ave. Theatre production. 39 pp. Black or grey wrappers. A later printing with address 38 John St.
PP 2.3 New York: Hitchcock Publishing Co., n.d. Taller format 9.25 x 6 inches. No copyright or authorization box. Authorized Copyright Edition. Cast list for Fifth Ave. Theatre production. Grey wrappers. 39 pp. A later printing with address 38 John St. and front wrapper reference to Iolanthe.
PP 2.4 New York: Hitchcock Music Store, n.d. Stoddart copyright. Authorization box.
Authorized Copyright Edition. Cast list for Fifth Ave. Theatre production. Tan
wrappers. 39 pp.
PP 2.5 New York: Hitchcock & McCargo Publishing Co., n.d. Stoddart copyright. 39 pp.
PP 3 New York: A.W. Tams Music Library, n.d. Pink wrappers. 39 pp.
PP 4 Np: N.p., n.d. Printed for production at The Narragansett Boat Club of
Providence R.I. with cast list. Authorized Copyright Edition. Stoddart copyright
1880. Authorization box. Local advertisements. Blue wrappers. 39 pp.
PP 5 N.p: N.p., n.d. Taller format 9 ½ by 5 ¾ in. 24 pp. An early printing with no other identifying features. Contains numerous
variations in punctuation and wording throughout.
PP 6 N.p.: N.p., n.d. Standard Edition of Opera Librettos. Text in two columns.
20 pp. Advertisements for Wm. Knabe & Company on wrappers.
PP 7 Boston: N.p., n.d. Printed for production at Castle Square Theatre, ca. 1896.
Cast list for Standard Theatre (New York) production. Brown wrappers. 39 pp.
8 N.p., n.d.,
1885. Printed for production by
Brooklyn Amateur Opera Association,
April 21, 1885. Cast list on wrapper. Advertisements
interspersed with text. 39 pp.
The publishing rights for Patience were purchased again by J.M. Stoddart, whose
librettos are distinctive for the unusual use of separate page numbers for the head and tail
of pages, and footnotes on pp. [headed] 38 and 40, which provide a glossary for American
readers. The textual variants in PC 3, remarkable remnants from the British license copy,
are reprinted in Bradley (1984). Stedman provides additional background for the earliest
Gilbert draft lyrics.
PC 1 Philadelphia: J.M. Stoddart, n.d. Stoddart copyright 1881. Authorization box.
Green or blue wrappers with characteristic ornamental device. 42 pp. Textual
variants characteristic of an early printing include the absence of footnotes,
Grosvenor's given name Algernon, a second verse to "Long years ago," Colonel's
recitative before act 2 finale, and the addition of "We hear the soft note"
following the usual act 2 finale.
a. Wrappers for Oliver Ditson Co. Remainder of libretto as PC 1.
b. An intermediate state with all variant points in PC 1 except Grosvenor’s given name of Archibald.
PC 1.1 Philadelphia: J.M. Stoddart, n.d. Stoddart copyright 1881. Authorization box.
Green or blue wrappers with characteristic ornamental device. 42 pp. A later
printing without the textual variants noted in PC 1. Earliest printings bear Stoddart address 727 Chestnut St.
a. Wrappers for Oliver Ditson Co. Remainder of libretto as PC 1.1 except for minor phraseology variants (e.g. 1.1: “despair droopingly.” 1.1a: “droop despairingly.”)
PC 1.2 [Philadelphia]: J.M. Stoddart, n.d. Stoddart copyright 1881. Authorization box.
Pink wrappers. 42 pp. Church Choir Co. Edition, printed for production at the
Lyceum, Philadelphia. Cover illustration by Pilotell.
PC 1.3 Philadelphia: J.M. Stoddart, n.d. Stoddart copyright 1881. Authorization box.
Green or blue wrappers. 42 pp. Standard Theatre Edition, published for D'Oyly
Carte's New York production. Larger size (8 ¾ x 5 ¾ in.) with illustrated covers
and five illustrations of characters by Pilotell. 1 p. music.
a. "Arch Street Opera House" replaces "Standard Theatre Edition" on cover.
b. Variant printing for the Boston Ideals. Orange and gilt decorated cover
printed by Alfred Mudge, Boston. Title page uses the illustrated front cover of
PC 1.3. Illustrations and music as in 1.3.
c. Variant printing for the Boston Ideals. Blue nd gilt decorated covers printed
by Alfred Mudge with minor design variation from b. Lacks illustrations,
authorization box and music. Title page as in PC 1.
PC 2 New York: Hitchcock Publishing Co., n.d. Stoddart copyright 1881. Cream
wrappers. 42 pp. Ornamental device and footnotes as in PC 1. Approximate
size 8 x 5 ¾ in. Later larger format printings exist with various wrapper colours and later
address at 38 John St.
PC 2.1 New York: Hitchcock Music Stores, n.d. Stoddart copyright 1881. Authorization.
Blue wrappers with different ornamental device. 42 pp. Footnotes and double
pagination present. Copies exist with special notice announcing the purchase of
J.M. Stoddart by Benjamin Hitchcock.
PC 2.2 New York: Hitchcock & McCargo Publishing Co., n.d. Stoddart copyright 1881.
Grey wrappers. 42 pp. Footnotes present.
PC 3 San Francisco: Francis, Valentine & Co [printers], 1881. Printed for Melville
Opera Co. White decorative wrappers. 47 pp. Textual variants characteristic of a
very early printing include Grosvenor's given name Algernon, a second verse to
Long years ago"; the first verse only of a new duet for Patience and Grosvenor
("Love me with a love enduring"); Duke's song (act 1); Marionette Trio limited to
one verse; Colonel's recitative and Duke's solo (act 2); and use of "We hear the
soft note" followed by "For we're Waterloo-House young men" as the act 2 finale.
PC 4. San Francisco: Album Libretto Co., n.d. "Souvenir of the Tivoli Opera House."
Green wrappers. 47 pp.
PC 5 Honolulu: Hawaiian Gazette Co. [printer], 1889. Cast list for unidentified
production. Tan wrappers. 44 pp.
All of the early American librettos, like the British first edition libretto, printed
the two subsequently deleted songs, "Fold Your Flapping Wings" and "DeBelville Was
Regarded" (see Allen, 1958). The earliest printings carry a notice announcing the
publication delay of the vocal score until December (1882).
IO 1 Philadelphia: J.M. Stoddart & Co.,n.d. Stoddart copyright 1882. Authorization
box. Standard Theatre Edition, published for D'Oyly Carte's New York
production Nov. 25, 1882. Standard Theatre cast list. Cream wrappers. 46 pp.
Approximate size 9 x 5 ¾ in.
a. [47 pp]. Similar to IO 1, with omission of pagination (but not text) for p. 14.
Florence Bemister replaces Kate Forster as Leila in printed cast list.
IO 1.1 Philadelphia: J.M. Stoddart & Co., n.d. Stoddart copyright 1882. Authorization
box. Authorized Copyright Edition. Published for Collier's Standard Opera
Company production at the Bijou Theatre, Boston, Dec. 11, 1882, with cast list.
Cream wrappers. 46 pp.
a. Similar to IO 1.1 with wrapper printed for Rice's Standard Opera Company,
[Bijou Theatre, Boston]. Cast list as in IO 1.1.
b. Wrapper printed for the Barton Comic Opera Company. No cast listed.
IO 1.2 Philadelphia: J.M. Stoddart & Co., n.d. Stoddart copyright 1882. Authorization
box. Authorized Copyright Edition. Smaller format, approximately 7 ½ x 4 ¾
in. Wrapper colours include green, pink and cream. 46 pp. No cast list.
A number of variants of this libretto are noted:
a. Stoddart wrapper printed for Barton Comic Opera Company.
b. Stoddart wrapper printed "To be produced at the Lyceum Monday Ev'ng,
c. Stoddart wrapper printed for Chas. E. Ford's English Opera Co.
d. Wrappers printed Oliver Ditson & Co., Boston. Remainder as IO 1.2.
e. Wrappers printed Wm. A. Pond & Co, New York. Remainder as IO 1.2.
IO 2 New York: Hitchcock Publishing Co., n.d. Stoddart copyright 1882. Grey
wrappers. 46 pp. A later printing, with address 38 John St. Reprinted with address 28 Ann St.
IO 3 Boston: N.p., n.d. Printed for production at Castle Square Theatre, Feb. 3, 1896,
with cast list. 2 pp. music. Salmon wrappers. Text ends p. 46 followed by 2 pp.
music. Pagination present for p. 48, but not p. 47.
The earliest American libretto is unique in its preservation of six sets of variant
lyrics, including two complete songs ("If we discharged our duty clear" and "Whene'er
we go") which Gilbert rewrote prior to the London premier. These are reprinted by
Randall, who does not mention the additional changes in the dramatis personae listing:
The earliest edition describes Lady Psyche as Professor of Experimental Science and
Lady Blanche as Professor of Abstract Philosophy. In the second edition, these titles
become consistent with the first British edition. The earlier edition also omits Sacharissa,
Chloe and Ada from the d.p. listing, as well as the description of the setting. Again, these
are restored in the second edition.
PI 1 Philadelphia: J.M. Stoddart, n.d. Printed by Pennypacker & Rogers. Stoddart
copyright 1884. First edition with the variant lyrics as noted above. Grey, grey-brown or blue-green wrappers. 49 pp.
a. Wrappers printed for Oliver Ditson & Co. [Boston]. Measures 8 x 5 in.
Stoddart copyright on title page but not on wrapper. D.p. page on inner front
b. Wrappers printed for Ditson, but smaller format, 7 ½ x 4 ¾ in. Stoddart
copyright on both front wrapper and title page. D.p. page on verso of title
c. Wrappers printed for Wm. A. Pond & Co. [New York].
PI 1.1 Second edition. Similar to 1a without the variant lyrics. Wrappers printed for
Oliver Ditson & Co. (and possibly others).
The earliest American productions of The Mikado are described by Allen (1985),
and provide an informative background for the librettos printed for them. Variant texts in
the British librettos are discussed by Allen (1958).
American librettos are distinguished
by a number of textual variations. The Pond, Bancroft, Pugh and Tams librettos
print "The Sun Whose Rays" in both acts, and along with
some other librettos, delete portions of the "Kissing Duet" and
Act 2 Finale.
MK 1 [Chicago]: N.p., 1885. Earliest American libretto, printed for the production by
Sydney Rosenfeld's Opera Company, July 6, 1885 with cast list. Blue wrappers.
MK 2 New York: Wm. A. Pond & Co., n.d. Copyright by Pond 1885. An early
printing which omits the cast list and Ko-Ko's "Little List." 47 pp. only. Grey
wrappers. D'Oyly Carte performing rights notice. 4 pp. music.
MK 2.1 New York: Wm. A. Pond & Co., n.d. Copyright by Pond 1885. D'Oyly
Carte performing rights notice. Cast list for Fifth Ave. Theatre production. Grey
wrappers. 48 pp. including 4 pp. music. Pond address 25 Union Square. 15 cents. Front wrapper text enclosed within border.
A number of typographically variant front wrappers exist:
a. Front wrapper as 2.1 with overprint for McCaull Opera Comique Co.,
b. Front wrapper with no border. Price and address as in 2.1.
c. More modern typeface. Text enclosed within border. Later address. 20 cents.
Later (probably 20th century) printings list price as 25 cents.
MK 3 New York: Caulon [printer], 1885. Tan pictorial wrappers illustrated with scenes
from the opera. Title page identifies separate set designers for each act (Hughson
Hawley, Joseph Clare), does not list Gilbert and Sullivan, and indicates "first
produced at the Standard Theatre, New York....August 19th, 1885 (sic)." 46 pp.
followed by 11 pp. music.
a. Title page variant. Gilbert and Sullivan listed, but no identification of set
designers and no statement regarding first production. No printer identified.
MK 4 New York: H. Grau [printer], n.d. Reprinted from the Chappell libretto.
Sullivan portrait on cover. Cast list of Savoy Theatre production. 36 pp.
Wrapper colour pink or grey.
a. 40 pp, with additional 4 pp. music.
b. Wrapper printed "As performed by the McCaull Opera Co."
MK 5 N.p.: n.p., n.d. Reprinted from the Chappell libretto. Decorative blue-green
wrapper. Text printed in double columns. 21 pp.
MK 6 New York: The Mack Publishing Company, n.d.  Pictorial front and back
wrappers. Souvenir book of words with interspersed advertisements for Royal
Elixir and other medicinal products. Text in double columns. 31 pp. including 10 pp. music. Issued with ten illustrated cards.
MK 7 New York: Arthur W. Tams Music Library, n.d. 40 pp. Cast list for Fifth Ave.
Theatre production. Orange wrappers. Tams address 1600 Broadway. Later printing lists address 318-320 West Forty-sixth St.
MK 8 Boston: Oliver Ditson & Co., n.d. 42 pp. Wrapper colours include salmon
A number of printing variants of this libretto are noted:
a. Wrapper overprinted for McCaull Opera Comique Co., Philadelphia.
b. 46 pp. includes 4 pp. music. Wrapper colours include orange, blue and pink.
c. Similar to b. A later printing adds John C. Haynes & Co. to list of distributors
on wrapper and omits "The End" in text.
MK 9 Cincinnati: The Bloch Publishing Company, 1885. Printed for The Thompson Opera Company with cast list.
48 pp. 15 cents.
MK 10 Cincinnati: A.H. Pugh Printing Co., n.d. Advertisements for the Denver and
Rio Grande Railway with four engraved scenes along the railway interspersed with
text. Wrapper colours include tan and green. 48 pp. Libretto printed for regional
a. Printed for Chicago Juvenile Opera Co. No cast list.
b. Printed for Thompson Opera Company with cast list that shows minor variations from MK 9.
MK 11 San Francisco: A.L. Bancroft & Co. [printer], n.d. Printed for Carleton Opera
Company production at the Baldwin Theatre. Cast list. Text interspersed with
advertisements. Green wrapper. 52 pp. including 2 pp. music.
MK 12 Salt Lake City: J. Parker [printer], 1885. Printed for the Careless Amateur Opera
Co. with cast list. Grey wrappers. 43 pp. Textually similar to 2.1
MK 13 Baltimore: Charles W. Jordan, 1886. Printed for amateur production benefiting
the Hospital Relief Association of Maryland. Cast listed. Text printed in double
columns. Pink wrappers. 20 pp.
MK 14 St. Louis: Woodward & Turner, (printers), . Reprinted from the Chappell
libretto for the Emma Abbott Grand English Opera Co. Cast list. Text printed in
double columns. Salmon wrappers. 21 pp.
a. Variant wrapper design printed for Emma Abbott Grand English Opera Co. A
later printing with no publisher or city identified and a variant cast list.
b. Libretto printed for the Alfa Norman English Opera Company with cover
portrait. Larger format but libretto is otherwise the same. No publisher or
Textual variants and Americanisation distinguishing the American and British
first and early editions are detailed by Clayton. American librettos, except for RG 1 and
1a, substitute "Buffalo" and "Baltimore" for "Basingstoke" and "Birmingham."
RG 1 New York: Wm. A. Pond & Co., n.d. Copyright 1887. D'Oyly Carte performing
rights notice. Cast list of D'Oyly Carte's Fifth Ave. Theatre (N.Y.) production.
Grey wrappers. 47 pp. First edition with additional 14 lines in chorus of family
portraits on p. 34.
a. Variant printing omits cast list.
RG 1.1 New York: Wm. A. Pond & Co., n.d. Copyright 1887. D'Oyly Carte performing
rights notice. Cast list of D'Oyly Carte's Fifth Ave. Theatre production. Second
edition. Grey wrappers. 45 pp.
RG 2 New York: H. Grau, 1887. Tan wrappers. 32 pp.
RG 3 Boston: Oliver Ditson & Co., n.d. Olive wrappers. 43 pp.
RG 4 [Boston]: N.p., n.d. A complimentary libretto distributed by Nonotuck Silk Co.,
Keeler & Co., and possibly other companies, interspersed with advertisements.
Wrapper colours include grey and yellow. 39 pp.
RG 5 Cincinnati: John Church Co., n.d. Bright red wrappers. "Standard Libretto."
15 cents. 43 pp.
THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD
Early American librettos correspond to the first British edition (see Allen 1958).
YG 1 New York: Wm. A. Pond & Co., n.d. Grey wrappers stamped "The Only
Authorized and Correct Edition Published. Rudolph Aronson." D'Oyly Carte
performing rights notice present (two states have been noted). Cast list of production at The Casino (NY, 1888). 48 pp.
Pond issued a later edition in pale yellow wrappers (n.d., 48 pp., same cast list)
without the wrapper stamp or performing rights notice. Facsimile of Mikado
cover on back wrapper.
YG 2 New York: Richard A. Saalfield, n.d. Wrappers either pink or yellow, over-printed in red and black. Cast list of 1888 Casino production. 48 pp. (Pirated
from the Pond authorized edition.)
YG 3 Boston: Oliver Ditson & Co., n.d. Olive wrappers. 48 pp.
YG 4 New York: F. Rullman, n.d. Printed by A. Anderson, Portland OR for the Emma
Abbott Grand English Opera Company tour. Text printed in double columns.
Cast list. White wrappers. 20 pp.
The first American edition, printed for D'Oyly Carte's original 1889 New York
production, is unique in that it contains additional early lyrics for two songs ("Thy Wintry
Scorn" and "Till Time Shall Choose"). The latter, as well as additional dialogue, were
never published in its British counterpart, nor ever performed. Randall describes these in
detail. The second edition omits both these songs and dialogue, but includes rewritten
dialogue containing a number of interesting Americanisation
Prestige describes the response by the D'Oyly Carte organization to the
unfavourable reviews and poor receipts garnered by this first production. After being
partially re-cast, and radically restaged, The Gondoliers re-opened at a different theater
one month later. Bradley (1982, p. 376, 428) attributes the Americanisation in the
second edition libretto to Helen D'Oyly Carte, and one surmises that they were part of the
overall attempt to make the opera more palatable to American tastes.
GN 1 Cincinnati: The John Church Co., n.d. First edition, with variant lyrics and
dialogue noted above. 48 pp. Grey wrappers. "Only Authorized And Correct
Edition." Copyright 1889. D'Oyly Carte performing rights notice. No cast list.
a. Variant printing. Title on wrapper set in fancy type, and The King of
Barataria printed larger than The Gondoliers.
GN 1.1 Cincinnati: The John Church Co., n.d. Second edition, without the textual
differences noted above. 46 pp. Grey wrappers. "Newly Revised and Only
Authorized and Correct Edition." Copyright 1889. D'Oyly Carte performing
rights notice. London Savoy Theatre cast list. Later printings of the second edition have more modern typeface, variously
coloured wrappers, and may list publisher's addresses in Europe.
GN 2 New York: Richard A. Saalfield, n.d. 48 pp. Pink wrappers. Variant lyrics and
dialogue pirated from the John Church Co. first edition.
GN 3 Scranton, PA: The Schoen Printing Co., 1898. 48 pp. Green illustrated wrappers.
Printed for a production by the Scranton Conservatory of Music for the benefit of
the Free Kindergarten Association at the Lyceum Theatre, Nov. 21-23, 1898.
With cast list.
THE GRAND DUKE
The Grand Duke was not seen in America until well into the twentieth century. However an early American libretto provides an insight into Gilbert’s earliest draft and retains Hesse Halbpfennig, Elsa and Wilhelm, which Gilbert subsequently changed to Pfennig Halbpfennig, Lisa and Rudolf in the British first night edition. This libretto also contains variant lyrics and additional songs which were cut prior to the London first night.
GD 1 Boston: Geo. H. Ellis, Printers, 1896. Publishers listed on cover are London: Chappell & Co., Boston: Walter H. Baker & Co. Authorization, copyright and performing rights application to Mr. D;Oyly Carte on cover and title page. No cast list. 55 pp.
1. Allen, Reginald. The First Night Gilbert and Sullivan. New York: The Heritage Press,
2. Allen, Reginald. " The Life and Times of The Mikado." In The Mikado. A Centenary
Celebration. New York: The Pierpont Morgan Library, 1985.
3. Bradley, Ian (ed.). The Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan. Harmondsworth, Middlesex:
Penguin Books Ltd., 1982.
4. Bradley, Ian (ed.). The Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan:2. Harmondsworth,
Middlesex: Penguin Books Ltd., 1984.
5. Clayton, J. K. " The 'Ruddigore' Libretto." The Gilbert and Sullivan Journal 6:4, 31-
32, (Dec. 1946) and 6:5, 45-47, (Mar. 1947).
6. Kanthor, Harold. "H.M.S. Pinafore and the Theatre Season in Boston 1878-1879."
Journal of Popular Culture 24:4, 119-127 (Spring, 1991).
7. Odell, George C.D. Annals of the New York Stage. Vols. 10-14. New York:
Columbia University Press, 1938-45.
8. Prestige, Colin. "D'Oyly Carte and the Pirates: The Original New York Productions
of Gilbert and Sullivan." In Gilbert and Sullivan. Papers Presented at the
International Conference Held at the University of Kansas in May 1970. Edited
by James Helyar. Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Libraries, 1971.
[University of Kansas Library Series, 37]
9. Randall, David A. "The Gondoliers and Princess Ida." Reprinted in W.S. Gilbert: A
Century of Scholarship and Commentary. Edited by John Bush Jones.
New York: New York University Press, 1970.
10. Stedman, Jane W. "The Genesis of Patience." Reprinted in W.S. Gilbert: A Century
of Scholarship and Commentary. Edited by John Bush Jones. New York: New
York University Press, 1970.
Page updated 8 January 2108
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